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As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as The Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the "System" from his recordings, and continued to strive for national success as a solo artist. In 1976, he achieved national fame with two albums, the studio record Night Moves and the live record Live Bullet. His backing band from 1975 was known as "The Silver Bullet Band," an evolving group of Detroit-area musicians. He also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which backed him on several of his best selling singles and albums.
A roots rocker with a classic raspy, shouting voice, Seger was first inspired by Little Richard and Elvis Presley. He wrote and recorded songs that dealt with blue-collar themes. Seger has recorded many rock and roll hits, including "Night Moves," "Turn the Page," "Like a Rock" and also co-wrote the Eagles number one hit "Heartache Tonight." His iconic signature song "Old Time Rock and Roll" was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001. With a career spanning five decades, Seger continues to perform and record today.
Seger's songs have been covered by many artists including Thin Lizzy and Metallica.
Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 1974 Seger formed the Silver Bullet Band. Its original members were: guitarist Drew Abbott, drummer and backup-singer Charlie Allen Martin, keyboard-player Rick Mannassa, bass guitarist Chris Campbell, and saxophone player Alto Reed. With this new band sitting in occasionally, Seger released the album Seven, which contained the Detroit-area hard-rock hit "Get Out of Denver." This track was a modest success and charted at #80 nationally.
In 1975 Seger returned to Capitol Records and released the album Beautiful Loser, with help from the Silver Bullet Band (with new keyboardist Robyn Robbins replacing Mannassa) on his cover of the Tina Turner penned "Nutbush City Limits." The album's single "Katmandu" (in addition to being another substantial Detroit-area hit) was Seger's first real national break-out track since "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Although it just missed the US top 40, peaking at #43, the song received strong airplay in a number of markets nationwide.
In April 1976 Seger and the Silver Bullet Band had an even bigger commercial breakthrough with the album Live Bullet, recorded over two nights in Detroit's Cobo Arena in September 1975. The album stayed on the Billboard charts for 168 weeks, peaking at #34 which was Seger's highest charting album at the time. It also contained Seger's hit rendition of "Nutbush City Limits" (#69 US) as well as Seger's own classic take on life on the road, "Turn the Page," from Back in '72. It also included his late 1960s successful releases — "Heavy Music" and "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man." Eventually reaching 5x Platinum status, it remains one of the Top 10 selling live albums of all time.
Critic Dave Marsh later wrote that "Live Bullet is one of the best live albums ever made ... In spots, particularly during the medley of 'Travelin' Man'/'Beautiful Loser', Seger sounds like a man with one last shot at the top." An instant best-seller in Detroit, Live Bullet quickly began to get attention in other parts of the country. In June 1976 he was a featured performer at the Pontiac Silverdome outside Detroit in front of nearly 80,000 fans. The next night, Seger played before less than a thousand people in Chicago.
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