Bob Seger puts live collection on hold to work on new release

October 3, 1997


Free Press Music Writer

Bob Seger, still glowing from last year's gangbusters comeback tour, is rolling up his sleeves to get busy with new music again. And he's got spring 1998 in his sights.

It's been 15 months since the venerated Detroit rocker played Pine Knob to close out his first tour in nine years -- a national trek that moved $26.3 million in tickets and stood as the fifth-most lucrative concert run of 1996.

Not long after the tour ended, Seger and his staff sat down to sift through hours of tapes recorded at several dates, pinpointing the best tracks for a possible live album.

Those plans have been shelved for the time being. "I just don't feel like a live album is right," Seger says. "Sometime down the road, but not right now."

Another project now on hold is Seger's second anthology of hits, the long-promised follow-up to 1994's "Greatest Hits," a dozen-track compilation that has sold more than 3 million copies and retains a comfortable berth in Billboard's Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. There's plenty of familiar fare left to choose from, including "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man," "Shame on the Moon" and "Even Now."

Because what the Orchard Lake family man is really itching to do is put out another album of new material, following 1995's "It's a Mystery," a self-produced album that played to lukewarm reviews and sales.

Seger says he was blown away at last month's Fox Theatre show from rock contemporary and pal John Fogerty. We'll have to wait to see if Fogerty's latest album -- the raw and earthy "Blue Moon Swamp" -- lights up Seger's muse, but at least Seger is being finicky: He says he's got three solid songs in his pocket and has discarded six other candidates.

He's aiming for a March release, with a national tour likely to follow. "We're still plugging away," he says.

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Guess correctly and win this lovely pair of boxer shorts to commemorate your frustration!

And for those of you who know me, yes, I have been writing the same freaking novel for the past 12 years. And yes, I 've said I was going to finish it every year for the past 12 years. And obviously it's not going to be done by March 1 like I promised. Okay, I get the irony. It's not like anybody's holding their breath for me to finish or anything.

At least there's no damn web site keeping track of everything I ever said that didn't come true. As far as I know.