Thursday, June 30, 2011

The #41 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"Stranger in Town" by Bob Seger

We are up to #41 in Inside the Rock Era's special countdown this summer of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*.

Bob Seger, who put together a string of several great ones, checks in here.  The album can be tracked all the way through without skipping a song or two; most of the Top 100 Albums* are that way and in fact several of Seger's are--a highly reliable album artist.  Four hit singles helped publicize the album and no doubt the quality of the album surprised even the people who bought the LP.  "Hollywood Nights", "Still the Same" "Old Time Rock and Roll" and "We've Got Tonight" were all winners as singles and sound as good today as they did back in 1978.  "Feel Like a Number" was also featured in the great movie "Body Heat" starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner.  That's Mickey Rourke singing along to it in the "workroom".  "Till It Shines" and especially "The Famous Final Scene" are excellent.

 Thanks to the huge airplay from about every rock station worth its salt, Stranger in Town spent 110 weeks on the chart  position, peaking at #4.  It has sold six million copies to date and has a superb Track Rating* of 9.22

Stranger in Town:
(All songs by Bob Seger unless otherwise noted.)

Side One
1.  "Hollywood Nights" --4:59
2.  "Still the Same" --3:18
3.  "Old Time Rock and Roll" (George Jackson, Thomas Jones, Bob Seger) --3:14
4.  "Till It Shines" --3:50
5.  "Feel Like a Number" --3:42

Side Two
6.  "Ain't Got No Money" (Frankie Miller) --4:11
7.  "We've Got Tonight" --4:38
8.  "Brave Strangers" --6:20
9.  "The Famous Final Scene: --5:09

The Silver Bullet Band helps Seger on tracks 1,2,5 & 8 while the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section back him up on tracks 3,4,6,7 & 9.

The Silver Bullet Band consisted of Seger on guitar and vocals, guitarist Drew Abbott, Robyn Robbins on keyboard, Alto Reed on alto saxophone, bassist Chris Campbell and David Teegarden on drums and percussion.  Barry Beckett (keyboards), guitarists Pete Carr and Jimmy Johnson, David Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins (drums and percussion) were members of Muscle Shoals.

Glenn Frey offers up a guitar solo on "Till It Shines" and fellow Eagle Don Felder plays a great guitar solo on "Ain't Got No Money".  Bill Payne played organ, synthesizer, piano and keyboards on "Hollywood Nights" while Doug Riley contributed piano and keyboard on "Feel Like a Number" and "Brave Strangers".  Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews handled backing vocals on "We've Got Tonight" and "Still the Same".  The Waters family (Julia, Luther, Maxine and Oren) contributed backing vocals on "Hollywood Nights".  Brandye came in and did vocals on "Still the Same" and "Brave Strangers", while James Lavell Easley, Stanley Carter and George Jackson did background vocals on "Old Time Rock and Roll"

The album was recorded utilizing several studios--Criteria Sound Studios in Miami, Florida, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, Alabama and Cherokee Studios, Capitol Records Studios and Sound Suite Studios in Detroit, Michigan.  Punch Andrews was the Producer with assistance from Seger.  The Engineers were John Arrias, Mark Calice, David Cole, Hugh Davies, Gregg Hamm, Steve Melton and George Tutko while Andrews; Arrias and Seger mixed the album and Wally Traugott mastered Stranger in Town.  Roy Kohara was in charge of art direction, Ken Anderson did the design of the album and Terrence Bert and Bob Siedmann contributed photography.  It was released May 5, 1978 on Capitol Records.

Bob Seger places this great, great album at #41--Stranger in Town.

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