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Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Originally a hard-driving rocker in the vein of fellow Michigan garage rockers the Rationals and Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger developed into one of the most popular heartland rockers over the course of the '70s. Combining the driving charge of Ryder's Detroit Wheels with Stonesy garage rock and devotion to hard-edged soul and R&B, he crafted a distinctively American sound. While he never attained the critical respect of his contemporary Bruce Springsteen, Seger did develop a dedicated following through constant touring with his Silver Bullet Band. Following several years of missed chances and lost opportunities, Seger finally achieved a national audience in 1976 with the back-to-back release of Live Bullet and Night Moves. After the platinum success of those albums, Seger retained his popularity for the next two decades, releasing seven Top Ten, platinum-selling albums in a row.

Seger began playing music in 1961 as the leader of the Detroit-based trio the Decibels; his future manager, Eddie "Punch" Andrews was also a member of the band. Moving to Ann Arbor, he played with the Town Criers before he became the keyboardist and vocalist for Doug Brown & the Omens. Billing themselves as the Beach Bums, the band released "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret," a parody of the Sgt. Barry Sadler song "The Ballad of the Green Beret." The single was withdrawn shortly after its release after Sadler threatened a lawsuit. In 1966, Seger released his first solo single, "East Side Story," which became a regional hit. Several other local hit singles followed on Cameo Records, including "Persecution Smith" and "Heavy Music," before his label folded. In 1968, he formed the Bob Seger System and signed with Capitol Records, releasing his debut album, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, in the spring of that year. The title track became a national hit, climbing to number 17, but the group's follow-up, Noah, stiffed and Seger decided to quit the music business at the end of 1969 to attend college.

By the end of the summer, Seger had returned to rock & roll with a new backing band, releasing Mongrel at the end of the year. For 1971's Brand New Morning, he disbanded his group and recorded a singer/songwriter effort. Following its release, he began performing with the duo Dave Teegarden and Skip "Van Winkle" Knape, and the duo provided support on 1972's Smokin' O.P.'s, which was the first release on Palladium Records, a label he formed with Andrews. The album failed to sell, as did Back in '72 (1973) and Seven (1974), and he moved back to Capitol Records for 1975's Beautiful Loser. For the recording of Beautiful Loser, Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band, which consisted of guitarist Drew Abbott, bassist Chris Campbell, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, saxophonist Alto Reed, and drummer Charlie Allen Martin. Seger supported Beautiful Loser with an extensive tour with the Silver Bullet Band, and while it didn't make the album a hit, it provided a widespread grassroots following across the country. The touring paid off in 1976, when Live Bullet, a double album recorded in Detroit, became a hit, spending over three years on the U.S. charts and going gold; the album would eventually go quadruple platinum.

The groundswell behind Live Bullet sent Seger's next studio album, Night Moves (1976), into the Top Ten early in 1977. Night Moves became a blockbuster, generating the hit singles "Night Moves," "Mainstreet," and "Rock & Roll Never Forgets." Stranger in Town, released in the summer 1978, was just as successful, featuring the hits "Still the Same," "Hollywood Nights," "We've Got Tonite," and "Old Time Rock & Roll." Stranger in Town confirming his status as one America's most popular rockers. Seger's next album, 1980's Against the Wind, became his first number one album and all of its big hits -- "Fire Lake," "Against the Wind," "You'll Accomp'ny Me" -- were ballads. The live album Nine Tonight continued his multi-platinum success in 1981, selling three million copies and peaking at number three.

Seger returned with The Distance in 1982. The Distance was the first album since Seven to be recorded with the addition of session musicians, which caused guitarist Abbott to quit the band in frustration. Over the course of the next decade, the membership of the Silver Bullet Band shifted constantly. While The Distance featured "Shame on the Moon," his biggest hit single to date, its sales plateaued at a million copies, suggesting that his popularity was beginning to level off. Seger also began to drastically reduce his recording and touring schedules -- he only released one other album, 1986's Like a Rock, during the '80s. Like a Rock and its supporting tour were both successes, paving the way for "Shakedown," a song taken from the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II, to become Seger's lone number one hit in 1987. Four years after its release, he returned with The Fire Inside. Although the album went platinum and reached the Top Ten, it only appealed to Seger's devoted following, as did 1995's It's a Mystery, which became his first album since Live Bullet to fail to go platinum, leveling off at gold status.

A long hiatus followed, where Seger kept his head down and spent time with his family. These quiet years were only interrupted by his 2004 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Finally, in 2006, after an 11-year hiatus, Seger released Face the Promise, his first record since 1975's Beautiful Loser not to feature the Silver Bullet Band. Although it spawned no big hit singles -- "Wait for Me" made it into the Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 20 -- Face the Promise performed well, debuting at four on the Billboard charts on its way to a platinum certification. A couple archival projects followed: the 2009 compilation Early Seger, Vol. 1 that balanced previously released cuts with re-recorded old tunes, and the 2011 double-disc set Ultimate Hits: Rock & Roll Never Forgets, which was certified platinum and generated the modest adult contemporary hit cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train." A new album called Ride Out appeared in October of 2014, debuting at number three on the Billboard charts. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Downtown Train (Radio Single)

Comments

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Oh my, BS is forever etched in my memories!
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mlbristol2
This Reminds me of my Dear Friend JMB. 1985 FOREVER.
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What they did a few years ago was take Bob Seger, Bob Seger & the SBB, and The Bob Seger System and merge them into this. He had some work without the SBB, and the System was before any of his popular work.
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Loved you then love you still great stuff,great memories thanks
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This is the song my mother wants to have played at her funeral-I am DEAD serious:)
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Saw Bob Segar n 1978 Dallas Texas one of the greatest concerts ever love it when his sax player came off stage and played n front of the 1st row
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Great Group . Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band . Great Sound Great Artist
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I love you, you don't know hiow your miusic has saved me....melody
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Great Song Great Artist .
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Great Song Great Singing By Bob Seger& The Silver Bullet Band.
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Hes really cool
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Great Song
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One of my all time favorite cuts
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alabastervil l i s 0
another artist who is riding out his fame from his music he did before the middle 80s when artists like him sold out and made keyboard laced pop crap junk music. never forgive never forget. sorry but ill pass
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above_all
Totaled my 1980 Suzuki 850 while home from the Air Force in 1981 while listening to Bob Seger. 34 years later; this past Monday, I rode 250 miles in the mountains of North Georgia and listened to Bob Seger the entire time. Some things never change.
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above_all
Totaled my 80 Suzuki 850 while home on leave listening to Seger in 1981. Rode 250 miles in the mountains of North Georgia on my 85 Goldwing. What did I listen to? Bob Seger the entire time; some things never change.
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Can it get better...Don ' t think so!!
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Roll me away. My life starting over at 54 thanks bob for the inspiration that will roll me through my remaining years thanks bob
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kwaddell19
happy birthday bob!
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Like a rock
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Reminds me of trucks driving through piles of dirt.
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Sounds like a good dance for disco days
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Bob you are the man!!!
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My Life 70s
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cunninghamer i c a 9 2 5 7
:-) Bob is the real deal
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15th row
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Game in the moon
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crazypatssli n k y
Definitely Seger over Springsteen
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nic1262
One of the few I grew up on and still love today (maybe even more. )
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I'll second that!
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Seger over Springsteen any day
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rogerblocke
I always thought Bob Seger was better than Bruce Springsteen
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Such a fine memory, I think I'm gonna take it with me
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Thks, MR. BOB FOR FOLLOWING THAT DREAM. & for all the great memories of my life.
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Bob Seger, great when I was a teen. But now...GREAT, somehow the songs have more meaning!!! Put on Like a Rock. That song is EVERYONES life sitting at home listening to pandora and typing comments. Thanks, Mr. Seger, your a class act.
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deannamestra d a 7 0
This song reminds me of a bar I went to in Texas!!!!
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The night before i was leaving a work release program, i stayed up all night listening to the night moves album over and over
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Night Moves will always be one of my top 10 favorite albums. But then I grew up in East Detroit and as a teen-ager used to dance to Bob Seger and his band which played at a VFW Hall in Harper Woods near where I lived. I loved East Side Story.
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Let the cowboys ride!
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One of the best ever . My oldest brother turned me on to him. That was in the 70s still at it even better.
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Hollywood Nights is my favorite out of them all
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Yo steven go away u irritate me
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Seger will always be a legend in my book wrote so so many great songs and always puts on a great concert rock on bob
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He's a legend
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tammie.butle r 2
RECENTLY SAW HIM IN NASHVILLE,TN
WOW, MADE ME FEEL 17 AGAIN!!!! HA HA
I'M STILL HUMMING THE MUSIC. {BOB SEGER ROCKS!!!!!}
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Bob Seger is an awesome legend and songwriter and singer and i love all of his songs rock on Mr. Bob seger
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Bob Seger is a living legend. .
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Tiny dancer I was a dancer in a bar always danced a set of Bob Sugar. Great times great music thanks Bob
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pchasteen07
I used to dance to this with my teacher Bill Dean at high school dances after ball games!! Here's to you Mr. Dean!!!
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I like that old time rock and roll!!!
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