Our Best Bob Seger Albums Ranked list takes a look at the entire Bob Seger catalog and pickS ten of what we believe were the best Bob Seger albums. It was no easy task to just pick 10 Bob Seger albums. Throughout his career, Bob Seger has released eighteen studio albums. The man has also released two sensational live albums and of course there’s the traditional set of compilation albums. Bob Seger has sold close to 50 million records throughout his career. Bob Seger has enjoyed easily one of the greatest rock and roll careers in classic rock history. It took a while for his career to get going but Bob Seger hit it big in the mid-70s starting with the Beautiful Loser album in 1975. However, the album that really turned him into one of the biggest stars of the decade was the sensational Night Moves record in 1976.
From that point on, Bob Seger released album after album and hit single after hit single. He has continued to release albums into the 21st century with his latest album being released in 2017 entitled I Knew You When. At times, he released albums just under the name Bob Seger and others times under the name Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. We hope you enjoy this great Bob Seger albums list and we’re sorry if one of your favorites didn’t make the cut, there just wasn’t enough room.
This list only includes the Bob Seger studio albums.No live albums or compilations
# 10 – Mongrel
We open up our top 10 Bob Seger albums list with the legendary rock star’s third album of his career entitled Mongrel. The album was released in August of 1970. The Mongrel album was issued on Capitol Records. The Mongrel album contained the hit single “Lucifer,” which was by far the strongest track on the record. However, there were many other great songs including the album opener “Song to Rufus,” “Highway Child,” “Teachin’ Blues,” and “Leaning on my Dream.” The musicians on the album included Bob Seger on guitar and vocals, Dan Honaker on bass, Pep Perrine on drums, Dan Watson on keys and Bob Schultz on organ.
This was the first Bob Seger album to break into the Billboard top album charts although it only reached as high as 171. The song “Lucifer,” broke into the Billboard top 100 peaking at number 84. This is the best of the early Bob Seger albums and really showed the potential that Bob Seger had to become a major rock star.
# 9 – I Knew You When
Continuing on this Bob Seger albums list we go from one of his earliest albums to his most recent album entitled I Knew You When. The album was released on November 17th 2017. This was a great new Bob Seger album that was recorded in both the cities of Nashville and Detroit. It was his first album since 2014’s Ride Out. The album’s lead single “Busload Of Faith,” was a cover of a great Lou Reed song. Many of the songs released on this album are actually old tunes that Bob Seger had written earlier in his career. Some of them actually even appeared on some of Bob Seger’s already released albums like the song “Runaway Train,” which was released on It’s A Mystery. There’s just something about this album that just felt good. The man still had it so many years later.
# 8 – Face The Promise
In the number eight spot on our Bob Seger albums list we present the album Face The Promise. This was a much eagerly anticipated album as Bob Seger had not released an album in 11 years. The Face The Promise album was released on September 12th 2006. This was a very successful album for Bob Seger as it peaked at number four on the US Billboard Top 200 albums charts. It reached even higher on the U.S. top rock album charts peaking at number two. However, there was really no big hit singles from the album as the first single “Wait For Me,” only charted on the US country charts and US Adult Contemporary charts, although it did hit number 16 on the latter. Overall though, this was a fantastic rock album with 13 new songs written by Bob Seger and one collaboration with Vince Gill on the song “Real Mean Bottle,” which was also produced by Kid Rock. Bob Seger also sang a duet with Patty Loveless on the song “The Answers In The Question.” This is truly the last great Bob Seger album.
# 7 – The Fire Inside
The Fire Inside just sounds like the perfect Bob Seger album title. The album was released on August 27th 1991 at a time when grunge music just completely dominated radio and the entire music scene. Nonetheless, for us old rock and roll fans, we were real happy to be able to hit the stores and buy a new Bob Seger album. And this was a good one. One of the great attributes of Bob Seger’s The Fire Inside album was the amount of legendary rock and roll stars that appeared on the record. I guess everyone wanted to play with Bob Seger at one point in their career.
The album included guest appearances by the legendary Bruce Hornsby and Springsteen’s pianist Roy Bittan on piano. Bob Seger could not have gotten any better guitar players then the ones he got for this record including the very talented Joe Walsh, Toto’s Steve Lukather and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. On backing vocals he had one of the most talented singers in the rock and roll business with Patty Smyth. Kenny Aronoff who stands as one of the greatest drummers in the rock and roll business of all time sat behind that drum seat.
There were many standout tracks on the album. The album’s first single entitled “Take A Chance,” hit number 10 on the Mainstream Rock tracks. The album’s second single ‘The Fire Inside,” hit number six on the Billboard Mainstream Rock tracks. The album itself broke the Billboard top 200’s top 10 peaking at number seven. One of the things that we loved so much about this Bob Seger album was that he covered two great Tom Waits songs entitled “New Coat Of Paint,” and “Blind Love.”
# 6 – Like A Rock
Bob Seger’s Like a Rock album was released in 1986. Everyone knows this album because of the title track which was used heavily in Chevrolet Truck commercials. The album featured a great cover of John Fogerty’s “Fortunate Son.” The Like a Rock album was a great success on the album charts reaching the number three position on the Billboard top 200. Seven songs were released as singles from the album with the song “Like a Rock,” charting the highest at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and number 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock tracks charts.
# 5 – The Distance
At the halfway point on our Bob Seger albums list we turn to the album The Distance. This great record was released in December 1982. This is one of our favorite Bob Seger albums for many reasons. Three of those big reasons stand in the singles that were released from the album. Three spectacular songs starting with the song “Shame On The Moon,” which hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s second hit single was the great song “Even Now,” which hit number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it was the album’s third single that stands also as our favorite Bob Seger song of all-time entitled “Roll Me Away.” Just an absolute fabulous rock and roll tune with a spectacular piano riff and to die for chorus, and a vocal that Bob Seger should have won a Grammy award for. Rock and roll does not get any better than Bob Seger’s “Roll Me Away.”
# 4 – Beautiful Loser
Bob Seger’s Beautiful Loser album was released in 1975. This was Bob Seger’s first album back on Capitol Records after a four-year hiatus. This is a great rock and roll record that contain some fabulous Bob Seger songs including the title track “Beautiful Loser.” However the big hit was the great song “Katmandu.” A song that would become a Bob Seger standard. There were many great classic Bob Seger songs on the album including “Jody Girl,” “Travelin Man,” and the rock and roll spectacular number “Nutbush City Limits.”
# 3 – Against The Wind
From 1976 to 1980, Bob Seger had an incredible run of three classic rock and roll albums that are almost unmatched in Rock and Roll history. Those three albums appear in the next three spots on this Bob Seger albums list. We will be taking a look at these three albums starting with the 1980 album Against the Wind that was released on February 25th 1980. It would become Bob Seger’s only number one album of his career. There were so many spectacular songs on the record including the four incredible singles starting with “Fire Lake, and then running into “Against the Wind, You’ll Accompany Me and the “Horizontal Bop.” Out of three album run that Bob Seger had from 1976 to 1980 Against the Wind is usually considered the weakest of the three. However, it’s still such a great classic rock record. No one back then realized just how great these albums really were.
# 2 – Stranger In Town
In the number two spot on our Bob Seger albums list we turn to the Stranger in Town album. This phenomenal album served as the follow-up to Night Moves. And what a follow-up album Stranger in Town was. The Stranger in Town album was released on May 5th 1978. Four huge singles were released from the album, the first being “Still The Same.” The song hit number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. It was written by Bob Seger. The album’s second single was the great rock and roll song “Hollywood Nights,” which also opened the album. However, it was the next two singles that would become huge songs in classic rock history starting with the ballad “We’ve Got Tonight.”
The song became a hit twice as it was recorded by Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton and became a monster hit with the song hitting number one on the hot country songs charts and number two on the US adult contemporary charts. The album’s final single would become an all time rock and roll classic entitled “Old Time Rock and Roll.” The song’s popularity would soar to extreme heights when it was included in the Tom Cruise film Risky Business in one of the most iconic Motion Picture scenes of all time.
The Stranger in Town album wasn’t just about hit singles, even though the first three songs on side one were released as hit singles. There’s so many more great songs on the album including the side one closer “Feel Like A Number.” And we can’t forget about “Brave Strangers,” and the songs “Till It Shines,” “The Famous Final Scene,” and “Ain’t Got no Money,” written by Frankie Miller.
# 1 – Night Moves
We close out our Bob Seger albums list with our favorite Bob Seger album of all time entitled Night Moves. Bob Seger bought along both the Silver Bullet Band and the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section to play on this great record. The album opened up with the roaring tune “Rock and Roll Never Forgets,” and that blew our minds when we heard it for the first time. Up next was the hit single “Night Moves,” which was one of the all-time great 1970s classic rock songs. Side one finished with the “Fire Down Below,” and “Sunburst.” What a spectacular side one.
Bob Seger’s Night Moves album opened up side two with a very complimentary song to “Sunburst,” entitled “Sunspot Baby,” with lyrics that answered sides one’s closing verse. And then we were off to our favorite song on the record entitled “Main Street.” “Come to Papa,” was a great track to follow up that song with and then of course there was “Ship of Fools,” and the old rock standard “Mary Lou.:What a spectacular album and easily in our top 10 albums of the 1970s.
Top 10 Bob Seger Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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