Take that old record off the shelf!: Bob Seger's "Stranger in Town" album turns 40 on Saturday

Written by on May 4, 2018

Capitol Records/UMeThis Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Bob Seger‘s 10th studio album, Stranger in Town. The nine-track collection is one of Seger’s successful albums, having sold more than 6 million copies in the U.S. to date.

Stranger in Town yielded four top 40 hits — “Still the Same,” “We’ve Got Tonite,” “Hollywood Nights” and “Old Time Rock and Roll” — and peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200. The Michigan rocker recorded about half of the album with his Silver Bullet Band and the rest with the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

Among the most enduring songs on the album is “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Although Seger co-wrote the tune with Muscle Shoals studios staff songwriter George Jackson and his collaborator Thomas E. Jones III, he is not credited as one of its composers.

Recalling his contributions to the tune, Bob tells ABC Radio, “[The Muscle Shoals guys] actually sent me the track…And I said, ‘Well, I don’t like these words. Can I re-write it?’…I kept the chorus, but I re-wrote all the verses. And they let me do that.”

He adds that he decided to let the other writers keep all the publishing, but went on to regret it when they allowed the song to be used in various commercials with which he was unhappy.

“My manager was furious about that, that I didn’t take one-third of the publishing,” Seger notes. “‘Cause they offered it to me and I said, ‘Nah, let ’em keep it.'”

Stranger in Town features a few interesting guest appearances. Little Feat‘s Bill Payne played piano and organ on “Hollywood Nights,” while The EaglesGlen Frey and Don Henley, respectively, contributed guitar solos to “Till It Shines” and “Ain’t Got No Money.”

Here’s the Stranger in Town track list:

“Hollywood Nights”
“Still the Same”
“Old Time Rock and Roll”
“Till It Shines”
“Feel Like a Number”
“Ain’t Got No Money”
“We’ve Got Tonite”
“Brave Strangers”
“The Famous Final Scene”

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