Bob Seger, the pride of Michigan, has been a musical force for decades. With a career that spans from the sixties to present day, he has released dozens of memorable songs and monster hits. He has always been know as an excellent piano and keyboard player, as well as being an outstanding lyricist and songwriter. But what his music doesn’t get enough credit for is the amazing guitar work that can be found in his many musical gems.
Take for example the outstanding guitar solo in his famous song Like a Rock, a song that was once used by Chevrolet to advertise its pickup trucks. That solo blends a country vibe with some superlative slide work.
Another great example of great guitar work in a Seger song is Her Strut. Not only does that song have an outstanding guitar solo, the riff that repeats throughout the song, coupled with some really great power chords, is simply mesmerizing.
Then there is the haunting melancholy of the guitar work found in his lonely-boy blues song, Mainstreet and in Turn the Page – a song punctuated by Travis picking guitar throughout. Metallica did a great job covering Turn the Page, but Seger’s version is more emotional and connects better with the listener. But I do love the heavy rock aggressiveness of Metallica’s version.
Probably his most famous and recognizable song, Night Moves, features some great acoustic guitar work. It’s basically a three-chord song but the guitar playing is very tight, with just the right amount of fills and embellishments, including some really tasty harmonics at the bridge.
Another hugely popular song by this musical genius is Old Time Rock and Roll, made famous by Tom Cruise’s dance moves in the movie Risky Business. Some really good Chuck Berry style guitar-playing in that tune. No huge guitar solo but some very solid guitar playing all the same, that also includes very good saxophone playing. Such a great party tune, guaranteed to get people get up and dance.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my all-time favourite Bob Seger song, Hollywood Nights, as well as another great Seger song, Against Wind. Both of those songs also feature excellent guitar-playing.
If you are new to Bob Seger, you have to check out his earliest – and one of his best – hits, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.
What strikes me when listening to his wonderful music is how touching and poignant his lyrics are, and how tight the Silver Bullet band is, featuring solid drumming and bass playing, with such incredible backup singing harmonies and outstanding saxophone playing.
What a musical treasure Mr. Seger has been throughout the years. A true gentleman and a fantastically talented musician.