December 13, 2006 at 1:00 am

What critics have said down through the years

Bob Seger onstage at Pontiac Stadium in June 1976. (The Detroit News)

"If there is any grace in heaven, 'Night Moves' will give Bob Seger the national following which has long eluded him. It is simply one of the best albums of the year. As a vocalist, Seger recalls Rod Stewart; his raspy voice can both soar and attack. As a composer, he echoes Bruce Springsteen in his painful attempts to memorialize his past."-- Kit Rachlis, Rolling Stone, January 1977

  • "I've never had much truck with Seger's myth -- he's always struck me as a worn if well-schooled rock and roll journeyman, good for one or two tracks a year. But this album is a journeyman's apotheosis. The riffs that identify each of these nine songs comprise a working lexicon of the Berry-Stones tradition, and you've heard them many times before; in fact, that may be the point, because Seger and his musicians reanimate every one with their persistence and conviction. Both virtues also come across in lyrics as hard-hitting as melodies, every one of which asserts the continuing functionality of rock and roll for 'sweet sixteens turned thirty-one.' "--Robert Christgau, "Christgau's Music Guide," 1981.

  • "one of the best live albums ever made."-- Dave Marsh, "The New Rolling Stone Record Guide". Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1983.

  • "He was, in short, magnificent, presenting a show so finely honed that the old Stones/Who dispute about the 'greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world' seems just a little beside the point. Indeed Mick Jagger, judging the recent televised Stones Paris debacle, would do well to visit Seger's show to pick up a few hints." --Andy Gill, New Musical Express (London) review, 1977.

  • "he can take solace in the fact that he's one of the few Motor City rockers to outlast the White Panther era of the late Sixties and early Seventies. That wild-in-the-streets political and cultural movement produced such acts as the Stooges, the MC5, Mitch Ryder and Detroit, Bob Hodge and Catfish, the Rationals, SRC, and others. Seger has never as closely identified with the doomed Panthers as most other local acts. ('I was never a True Believer, in that sense. I didn't like the idea of movements swallowing up people,') Neither, surprisingly, did he ever play the Grande, the local rock mecca of that era, even though Detroit musician and fans alike agreed that he was easily the best in town."--John Morthland, Creem, July 1977.

    You can reach Susan Whitall at (313) 222-2156 or swhitall@detnews.com">swhitall@detnews.com.