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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Rewind: Night Moves - Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band (October 1976)

Night Moves - Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
Capitol Records
Produced by Bob Seger and Punch Andrews
Released 22nd October 1976
US Chart #8 

 Listen To The Album Here:

Side 1

Side 2

All tracks

    Bob Seger – vocals, guitar

The Silver Bullet Band
    Drew Abbott – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9); background vocals on "Mary Lou" (track 9)
    Robyn Robbins – piano, organ (tracks 1, 3, 4, 9)
    Alto Reed – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 9)
    Chris Campbell – bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 9); background vocals on "Mary Lou" (track 9)
    Charlie Allen Martin – drums, tambourine, maracas (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 9); background vocals on "Mary Lou" (track 9)

Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section
    Pete Carr – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (tracks 5, 6, 7, 8)
    Jimmy Johnson – rhythm guitar (tracks 5, 6, 7, 8)
    Barry Beckett – piano, organ, ARP synthesizer, clavinet, melodica (tracks 5, 6, 7, 8)
    David Hood – bass (tracks 5, 6, 7, 8)
    Roger Hawkins – drums, tambourine, maracas, congas, tympani drums (tracks 5, 6, 7, 8)

Additional musicians
    Jerry Luck – accordion on "Ship of Fools" (track 8)
    Joe Miquelon – guitar on "Night Moves" (track 2)
    Doug Riley – piano, organ on "Night Moves" (track 2)
    Sharon Lee Williams – backing vocals on "Night Moves" (track 2)
    Rhonda Silver – backing vocals on "Night Moves" (track 2)
    Laurel Ward – backing vocals on "Night Moves" (track 2)

 Recorded at Pampa Sound Studios, Detroit, Michigan (A1, A3, A4, B5)
Recorded at Nimbus Nine Studios, Toronto, Canada (A2)

Recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Alabama (B1, B2, B3, B4)

Singles On Night Moves
A-Side: Night Moves
B-Side: Ship of Fools
Released November 1976
US Chart #4
UK Chart#45

A-Side: Mainstreet
B-Side: Jody Girl
Released April 1977
US Chart #24

Released June 1977
US Chart #41

Success in the music business these days seems to come a lot easier to artists/bands as the expectations of the sales bar have been somewhat lowered but for older artists the bar was quite high and even though they might have been making a great noise on the live front it didn't always guarantee great sales of albums and singles. I was thinking about this today for some reason and noted that today is the 41st anniversary of the release of Night Moves by Detroit rockers Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band. It's actually an album that I quite like (which might come as a surprise to some who know some of the things that I listen to!). So I thought I do a wee post looking at the years leading up to the album. There are lots of links to Bob Seger Albums/Songs etc. Click on them to enjoy the music.

Prior to Night Moves the highest chart placed album Bob Seger had enjoyed was Live Bullet which was released in April 1976 that reached #34 in the USA. He had released three albums and a number of singles under the banner The Bob Seger System between 1969-70  with only the Debut Album Ramblin' Gamblin' Man breaking into the Top 100 (it peaked at #62). A further five albums were released between 1970-75 with Beautiful Loser reaching the highest (if you can call it that) of #131!

Bob Seger had put together The Silver Bullet Band in 1973 and it would be three years and many live shows down the road before they actually begun to sell any records and getting themselves a much wider audience. What makes it more remarkable is that Bob Seger had been playing in bands since 1961 (his first band being The Decibels - they recorded an acetate and had it played on the radio only once, but it was an original song, and the first song ever written by Seger called The Lonely One). 

The first official release that he appeared on was in 1965 with his third band Doug Brown and The Omens with a single called TGIF backed by First Girl (which was credited to the band whereas the A-Side is just credited to Doug Brown).

 In 1966 he left Doug Brown's band but did retain him as Producer for his next stop with his band Bob Seger and The Last Heard (though East Side Story was the only one of five singles that the band were not credited on). East Side Story was actually written by Seger for another local Detroit band called The Underdogs but I actually can't find a record of that particular release even on Discogs! With the Seger recording more than 50,000 copies of it were sold (though that was mainly in the local market rather than nationwide). Another Detroit band called The Wanted would also release a Cover of the song in 1968. Just as Bob Seger and The Last Heard were getting more attention with their single Heavy Music (a Top 100 Single in Canada!) their label went bust!

In looking for a new label Bob Seger was courted by Motown Records but opted for Capitol Records as he thought they would fit better there despite the fact that Motown were offering more money. Bob Seger and The Last Heard became The Bob Seger System for three albums and a number of singles. Their Captiol Records debut single in 1968 was 2+2=? and was a protest song about America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Whilst not charting in the USA it did make it to #79 in Canada. 

His first big Top Twenty single in the USA came courtesy of Ramblin' Gamblin' Man which peaked at #17 (#18 in Canada). It should be noted that Glenn Frey (future member of the Eagles) had his first studio gig playing guitar and laying down backing vocals on Ramblin' Gamblin' Man.

Other singles would pepper the charts between 1969 and early 1976 but most in the lower reaches - Get Out of Denver (1974 reached #80 and was given a new lease of life via Eddie and the Hot Rods in 1976), though Katmandu from the Beautiful Loser album did reach the dizzy heights of #45 in 1975!

As I mentioned above the albums didn't fare so well after the Ramblin' Gamblin' Man Debut album: Noah (September 1969 didn't chart); Mongrel (August 1970 #171); Brand New Morning (October 1971 did not chart); Smokin' O.P.'s (August 1972 #180); Back In '72 (January 1973 #188); Seven (March 1974 did not chart); and Beautiful Loser which I already mentioned above (April 1975 #131).

Night Moves would change everything as between 1976 and 1991 there would be six Top Ten albums including one #1 album in 1980 - Against The Wind.

Forward wind 41 years and Bob Seger is still out playing live and next month (17th November) will release his 18th Studio album entitled I Knew You When. It includes the Lou Reed song Busload of Faith and Glenn Song (a tribute to the departed Eagle Glenn Frey). Also included on the album is a cover version of Democracy written by Leonard Cohen.

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