The Seger File
An unofficial web site about the music of Bob Seger
Last updated July 22, 2006
Written and edited by Scott Sparling

Seger File Contents

The Full Contents
Search the Seger File
The 2011 Tour Page

Latest News and Updates

2010 Updates
2009 Updates
2008 Updates
2007 Updates (Jan -July)
2006 Updates (Jan-Sept)
2006 Updates (Oct-Dec.)
2005 Updates
2004 Updates
2003 Updates (July-Dec)
2003 Updates (Jan-June)
2002 Updates
2001 Updates
1998-2000 Updates
Nine Years Online
The Seger File's Birthday Party
Unreleased Tracks
Vault V
10 more unreleased tracks
Vault 4
16 more unreleased tracks
Forward Into the Vault --
26 more unreleased tracks
Return to the Vault -- 18 More Unreleased Tracks
The Vault --31 Unreleased Tracks
Recorded but Unreleased --Unreleased Seger from A-Z
Photos 1Photos 2
Photos 3Photos 4
Hall of Fame Photos
Settle Annex
A collection of great Seger photos
Dylan's "Denver"
The Albums
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Brand New Morning
Smokin' O.P.'s
Back in '72
Beautiful Loser
Live Bullet
Night Moves
Stranger in Town
Against the Wind
Nine Tonight
The Distance
Like A Rock
The Fire Inside
Bob Seger's Greatest Hits
It's A Mystery
Greatest Hits 2
Face the Promise
Other Albums
The Promised Live Album
The Promised Studio Album
Seger on the Edge
The Bob Seger Collection --(Australian Greatest Hits)
Seger Classics
A Very Special Christmas,1987
Other Album Appearances
The Seger Tribute Album
Sing Your Own Seger
Perfect Albums?
Selected Singles
Check the Label
Who Picks the Singles?
Early Singles
The Lonely One
TGIF/First Girl
Ballad of the Yellow Beret
East Side Story
Persecution Smith
Sock It To Me, Santa
Vagrant Winter/Very Few
Heavy Music
2+2=?/Death Row
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man
Looking Back
If I Were A Carpenter
Bombs Away
Chances Are
My Take on Chances Are
Reaching Number One
Other Seger Tracks
Released on Singles, But Not on Albums
Covered by Others
Written By Seger, Recorded by Others
Night Moves (SNL)
Making Thunderbirds
Old Time Rock and Roll
American Storm
Like a Rock
Real Love
Fire Inside
Night Moves (New)
Turn the Page
It's A Mystery
Chances Are
Ten for Two
The Cobo Hall Tapes
The Palace Tapes
Influences/Other Bands
TV Appearances
Like a Truck
Who Does the Song Belong To?
Ancient History Dept.
How Seger Sees Rock/Truck
Singer or Salesman?
Gatsby, Seger and Victory
The Mystery Man
How the Song Became An Ad
Good Song, Great Ad?
Bad Press, Bad Precedent
Through the Lean Years
Bob's View
Insults and Dead Horses
Fix Or Repair Daily
The Early Years
Early Days
Motor City's Burning
Places He Played
More Dues-Paying Years
Career, Misc.
Lead Singer Vs. Guitar Player
The Slow Road to Success
The Requisites of Greatness
Theories: Why It Took So Long
"You Are Now Leaving Seger Territory"
Breaking Out
What Is Success?
Early Bands
The Decibels
The Town Criers
The Omens
Democracy Rocks
Later Bands
Bob Seger and the Last Heard
The Bob Seger System
Julia/My Band/Borneo Band
Muscle Shoals band
The Silver Bullet Band
Back-up Systems
Shaun Murphy
Karen Newman
Related Bands
Detroit All-Stars
Alto Reed
Blue Highway (Drew Abbott)
Bio, Part 1
Detroit? Ann Arbor?
We Even Sang the Parts the Instruments Were Playing
A Father Leaves
Fire and the Memory of Love
All the Wild, Wild Good Times
Interests and Hobbies
Predicting the Future, Then and Now
Bio, Part 2
On Growing Older
The Seger Work Ethic
You Can't Miss That Driving Rain
Friends and Family
Let's Dig Up Something Really Nasty
I'm Gonna Tell My Tale, C'mon
Of Caves and Barbed Wire
Early Tours and Shows
The Oakland Mall
The Primo, R&R Farm, Suds Factory and Chances Are
The Agora
On the Road
Jackson County Fair
Pontiac, the Michigan Jam and Other Victories
Seger in the Arena
The 1983 Tour
The 1986-87 Tour
The Last Tour?
They'll Never Be in The Arena, But They Get to Write the Reviews
San Francisco
New York
Los Angeles
Vancouver (Canada)
The 1996 Tour
The Set List Discussed
The Set List Presented
The Set List Analyzed
Bringing the Family
Tour Notes
Thirsty for Seger
A Review of the Reviews
Palace of Auburn Hills
The 2006-07 Tour Pages
Readin' O.P.'s
A compilation of e-mail messages. Some favorite are:
-- Hope to see you tonight
-- Motor City Rock
-- The FargoDome
-- The 7-Eleven and the Winter Olympics
-- He gave me a strange look
-- Now that we're older
Brand New Email
More great letters.
-- Seger, Sinatra, Cobain
-- My Dad, Bob and Charlie Martin
-- I work for General Motors
-- Seger and Mohammad Ali
-- The last thing I hear from Bob Seger
-- Road trip to Ann Arbor
-- I never spoke to Bob, but he always spoke to me
Brand New Email Pt. II
-- Bob at the Roseland Inn
-- Seger interview
-- Backstage with a bad pass
-- Put the car in park
-- Starry August nights
-- Cool me down
-- The bridge from Motown
-- The Seger-starved masses plead for tour news
-- The Kiss File?
Seger Stories and Misc. Email
--The best thing you could say
--Blue and Julia  
--Rockin' with Fidel  
--Early days of baseball and Bob
--Follow your heart  
--Waving with the lighter
Email '05
--About Drew Abbott
--On 2+2
--On "The Lonely One"
--About Tom Neme
--About Charlie Martin
--The Toledo Jam
--About Pep Perrine
--About Jim Bruzzese
--Early days
--Early songs
Seger Inks SimTour Deal, Gets Ready to Rock
Capitol Releases "Dee-Pah!
The Seger Cam is back online
The Michigan Jam 2
The Seger versus. SpringsteenComplexo-Meter
The Medicated Top 20
Reese: Money for Music
Get Back to Work
A guide to surfing The Seger File at work.
The Primo Photo
The Rolling Stone Letter
The Imaginary Interview
Why the Seger File Is Here -- Getting Over Bob Seger

Recorded but Unreleased

It is folly to try to list the number of recorded but unreleased Seger songs. Only Seger knows how many there are, but based on various statements it's clear there are hundreds. In 1983, he told Timothy white that he had 100 finished songs recorded and another 400 half-written songs.

For the last four studio albums alone -- The Distance, Like A Rock, The Fire Inside and It's A Mystery -- Seger has written at least 120 songs, by his own published statements. Of these, he recorded at least 90. Yet these four albums contain only 43 songs -- meaning there are almost 50 recorded songs and another 30 or so in demo form or unrecorded, since 1982 alone.

Here are a few recorded but unreleased songs that I know of:

A Man Broken. Recorded in 1990 for The Fire Inside. The lyrics are about a man broken by love. A poignant ballad about the pain of unfulfilled love. "It's not a welcome night / when you sit there all alone / hoping she will take you back..."

Adelaide. From 1993.

All Brand New. 1999.

Almost Home. 1976.

Along the Way. 1976.

Always Have to Say Goodbye. The track listing From the 1974 Retro Rock radio show, (also known as Rockin' the Radio.) The actual name of the track is Full Circle (see below). This is in the same mode as Twenty Years From Now -- just Seger and guitar.

Amazed. 1997.

Anniversary. Written for The Distance. About a divorced couple: two years after the breakup, at the same moment in different parts of the country, they remember it's their anniversary.

At Sea. 1997

Babe. From 1979.

Before. 1996.

Black Linen, White Lace. 1972.

Blue Ridge. 1997.

Can't Hit the Corners No More. One of Seger's famous unreleased tracks...It was written at least seventeen years ago for Against the Wind.

Seger in 1983: "That doggone song, it almost made it onto [The Distance]. We remixed it and remixed it, and finally I decided that I wanted to recut the track. When I played Henley the final album at his house, it was between 'Can't Hit the Corners' and 'Love's the Last to Know.' He said, 'Well, 'Love's the Last to Know' sounds finished, done. 'Corners' is a great, great song with a lousy track. Gotta recut that track.' So that's what I'm gonna do." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

In 1986, "Corners" was listed in the yellow Phonolog books (remember them?) as the flipside of "American Storm," in the days just preceding its release -- causing a storm of phone calls and much excitement on the Seger DEW Line. But when the single appeared, "Corners" was absent. In its place was a live version of "Fortunate Son." Which, of course, was also a treat. But why the Phonolog tease on "Corners?"

Seger later told Timothy White and Musician Magazine (June 1986) that he pulled it off the single so that he could give it to Martin Scorcese for the soundtrack of the Color of Money. But this, too, proved to be a tease: when the movie was released, the song was not included.

Seger describes the song as follows: "It could be about a ballplayer, say thirty-five years old, who is definitely losing it. Or he could be in rock & roll, or he could be a writer, and a lot of people think he did his greatest work when he was young and now he's just cruising. It happens so much to entertainers." Timothy White, May 1, 1980, Rolling Stone. "The Fire This Time."

"Al Kaline was my favorite baseball player. What was great about Al was that he retired long before he had know, he had this pride. But you do see guys hanging on and hanging on...and I thought it interesting subject matter...

"I think I was thinking about Catfish Hunter and in a way I was thinking about Mark Fydrych and his brief moment in the sun, which was a marvelous thing in Detroit. It was a baseball reference, but it could be anything that requires youth in order to accomplish it. Interview on Later with Bob Costas.

Seger has also said that Punch didn't want him to release the song because people would assume Seger was referring to himself as the person who 'couldn't hit the corners.'

'Hitting the corners,' of course, refers to the corners of the strike zone. Young pitchers rely on their blazing fastballs, older pitchers rely on their control, tricking batters by hitting the corners of the strike zone. When their control goes -- when they can't hit the corners -- their careers go.

White describes the song as: "A slow, stark ballad that opens with light guitar and synthesizer passages and then segues into a percussionless mesh of piano and voice."

White's article offers the following excerpt:

"They used to call you reckless, they used to call you fast
They used to call you dangerous, but that's all in the past
Now they call you clever, the quintessential pro
And sometimes now they whisper when you turn your back to go...
A grown man in a children's game
A game you once played free
You've gotten old before your time and you're worried now they'll see
This ain't competition, man
This is war
And you can't hit the corners no more."

Can't Stop This Night. From 1990.

Carfax Abbey. A song about vampires. Carfax Abbey is one of the locales in Bram Stoker's Dracula. Dracula fans might notice that the lyrics mislocate Carfax Abbey in Transylvania, "in the high Carpathians" (the Carpathian Mountains); Carfax is actually in England, north of London. Carfax Abbey is the property Count Dracula buys so he can be nearer to London and a supply of fresh blood.

Cold Dark Night. From 1992.

Could Have Been Right. 1972. Gear Publishing, author uncertain. Seger?

Crossfire. A terrific hard-rocking social commentary song recorded in 1992 for It's A Mystery. According to Seger, the band loved it. The theme is drugs and decay on urban streets that are "way past mean." The lyrics strike dead-center: "Two high school kids, see 'em on the corner / they quickly turn and double back / They look like gang, they might be shooters / no need to mess with that." Possibly left off the album because it paints such a disturbing picture, presumably of Detroit. "Life's short, life's cheap, you soon discover / another young stud dead in the gutter. / All is breakin' down in this great big town / you've got one desire / to make it through the crossfire."

The Daughter Was the Mother of Them All. 1973. A cross between "Long Song Comin'" and "Need Ya," this is a rocker about with sort of a Grim Fairy Tale feel to the lyrics. The song is about a beautiful daughter, a greedy father, a king, and some cows...with whom the daughter gets too friendly, spoiling her chance to marry the king. Good tune, great vocals, despite the strange lyrics. "It don't rain in springtime and my barn ain't got no stall / If this daughter ain't the mother of them all."

Dark Eyes. Written for The Fire Inside, and inspired by Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman." "We danced the last dance / soulful and slow / You held onto me like you'd never let go / and I looked in your eyes / your dark eyes."

Days When the Rain Would Come. Or is it, Day When the Rains Came. Or Days When the Rains Came. Whatever. Recorded in 1985 for Like A Rock. [Update: No longer unreleased; included on Early Seger, Vol. 1]

Distant Shore. From 1995. A mid-tempo song of loneliness in L.A. -- "...on a distant shore where I don't belong." Recorded for It's A Mystery.

Don't Ask. 2004.

Downtown Train. Seger recorded Tom Wait's "Downtown Train" in early 1989. He traveled to England that summer, where he happened to tell Rod Stewart about recording the song. "The next thing I knew, a month later he recorded "Downtown Train" in London and two months later he recorded it in the same studio I recorded it in Los Angeles." The song became a #3 hit for Stewart. Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "Lost chances? Seger says he has no regrets."

Seger later called Stewart a "nonperson" for stealing his idea to record the song. Stewart's manager claimed that Rod recorded the song before his get-together with Seger. Stewart himself replied: "It's most disappointing to hear something like this, since the geezer knows very well the full truth. It sounds like sour grapes to me. Go ahead, Bob -- feel free to record something of mine, like 'Maggie May.'" John Smyntek, July 30, 1995, Detroit Free Press. "New Seger album due out this fall."

Smyntek finished his article with a good comeback line: "As for the "geezer" charge... Stewart is four months older than Seger." John Smyntek, July 30, 1995, Detroit Free Press. "New Seger album due out this fall."

All I can add to that is: Watch out, Rod -- Bob will whittle you into kindlin.'

Dreamin'. 1977.

Elevator Button. Written for The Distance.

"My first attempt at reggae...It had four guitars going 'wanko-wanko-wow' in perfect harmony, with these wildass answer licks, and forty-five people at the end yelling 'PUSH! THE ELEVATOR BUTTON!!' Doing it over and over until it gets to be manic, like something on Magical Mystery Tour." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

The song was inspired by John Belushi's death. "The idea of 'Elevator Button' centered on the neurotic thing in Western civilization where we go up to an elevator and push the button. It lights up, telling us it's coming, but we can't wait for it, so we push it again. I use that as a metaphor for doing drugs and booze -- you want life to be better, faster, so you keep pushing these buttons...I wrote that in August, right in the middle of the work. I had to do battle with Jimmy [Iovine] and Punch about that song, because they couldn't hear it, and I really did. I felt strongly about that song because of Belushi and all of the other people who have done themselves in. There was one line in the second verse that Henley liked: 'Elevators go up/They go down/Some go real high/Some go below the ground.'"

"The idea was, if you keep pushing that button, you're gonna end up real high or real dead...

"I would have wanted that on the record more than 'Comin' Home.' But the producer and the manager beat me down on that one. You have to give up certain things if you ever want to get the record out." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

Famous Masquerade. Seger in pure J.J. Cale mode. I assume the song was written by Seger since it doesn't appear on any of Cale's albums. At any rate, Seger gives it the typical (for Cale) understated vocal. A great tune about a casual sexual liaison. Definite boxed set material.

The Fat Man. Another Fats Domino song, recorded during the sessions for "Blue Monday."

Finding Out. 2001

Fly Away. From 1990. Left off The Fire Inside.

Forward Into the Past. 1999.

Freewheelin'. 1976. Gear Publishing, author uncertain. Seger?

Full Circle. From 1974. Listed on the Retro Rock radio show as "Always Have to Say Goodbye."

The Future's Now. From 1992.

Good Luck, Baby Jane. 1977. Covered by Juice Newton.

Good Neighbor. From 1992. Also left off The Fire Inside.  

Got No Shadow. From 1984.

Hang Down Your Head. Another Tom Waits song recorded for It's A Mystery.

Hard Enough. From 1995. Left off It's A Mystery

Hard Night for Sarah. From 1979. Left off of Against the Wind? Later recorded and released by Kid Rock.

The Hard One. 1999.

Hard to Make it Home. From 1976.

Haunted Eyes. Written about Kurt Cobain for It's A Mystery.

Hero. 2004.

Hey Hey Hey Hey. The Little Richard tune, recorded during the "Blue Monday" sessions.

Hit the Road. From 1979

Hollow Man. From 1992.

Honky Tonk Women. Seger's version of the Stone's masterpiece.

Hustled in Nashville. From 1974.

I Am Woman, You Are Man. From 1971. Mainly Seger and keyboards, this is an early, unfinished exploration about gender roles. One of the first Seger songs focusing on the woman's point of view (a tradition carried on by "Jody Girl" and "The Ring.")

I Knew You When. 1997.

I Remember You. This cover of the Dylan song from Empire Burlesque was promised by Seger as a future flipside in 1986. Seger recorded it with Roy Bittan and told Timothy White and Musician Magazine in June 1986 that it would be the B-side of the second single off the album Like A Rock. But when the second single, "Like A Rock," was released, the flip was "Living Inside My Heart." The flipside of every Seger single since has been "Tightrope," unless I'm mistaken.

It All Goes On. 2004.

It Passes for Love. From 1992. Left off The Fire Inside.

It's All Good. Late 90s.

It's Over. 1997.

Jet Set Woman. An early '70s tune from Seger's live show. I'm not sure if it was ever recorded.

Keep a'knockin'. The song popularized by Little Richard ("You keep a'knockin' but you can't come in.") Seger used to play this with Tee and Wink during the STK days. He may have recorded it during the "Blue Monday," sessions.

Kentucky Moonlight. 2001.

Kuwait. Written for Stranger in Town, about the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Let Me Try. 2001.

Lioness Girl. From 1990.

Little Jane. 2001.

Long Long Gone. Recorded in Toronto during the same sessions that produced "Night Moves." (My friend Jesse got a note from someone in Punch's office around that time, saying that Seger had gone to Toronto to record four songs with Jack Richardson.) "Long Long Gone" was later recorded by "The Rockets."

Love Changes All the Time. From 1990.

Love Will Find A Way. From 1988.   

Lucille. The Little Richard song. Recorded during the 'warm-up' sessions for The Fire Inside.

Maybe in a Minute. From 1988.

Media Whipped. From 1979.

Melting Pot. From 1988.

Missy Commuter. 1971. A Mongrel-style cut, which even includes a "Lucifer" style yell. "Make me your prisoner, and I will be free."

More of You. From 1992.

Movin' By. From 1992.

Mr. Bottom. 1999.

My World Is Empty Without You. The Supremes hit.

Northern Lights. From 1989.

Numbers Game. From 1990.

Outland. 1997.

Passing Through. 2005

Patient. 1976. Recorded for The Stranger in Town. Seger and the band and Punch all loved it and felt it was the best melody on the album. But Seger felt the lyrics to "Still the Same" were better, so "Patience" got bumped. "Still the Same" became the first single off the album and charted at Number 4.

The Price. 2005

Pumpin'. 1977. [Update: No longer unreleased; included on Early Seger, Vol. 1]

Quiet Wars. Seger began writing "Quiet Wars" in 1977 and worked on it off and on through 1983.

Rebecca. From the early 1970s.

Reckless Heart. From the Like A Rock sessions. A mid-tempo piano tune reminiscent of some of John Lennon's solo work. "Reckless heart / baby's got a reckless heart / all her life she's runnin' 'way from the real thing / all her life she's runnin' 'way." Gotta be on the boxed set...please...

The Reckoning. 1997.

Runaway Train. From 1993.

Sail On. Another great song from Seger's early '70s live show that may or may not ever have been recorded. "Look up in the sky, can't you see the sun is shinin'? / It shines for you and I, and it sure beats cryin' / You may have a hard road and you may have a very very very very heavy load / ah, but you got keep sailin' on."

See Me In the Evening. The Hound Dog Taylor blues number, given more life by Seger. (You can hear the original on the recently released Hound Dog Taylor album, Deluxe Edition). This track turned up on Retro Rock, an 1982 radio broadcast of a 1974 concert.

Seems Like A Long Time. From 1993.

Show It.

So Easy. 1975.

Something More. 2001.

Snow Today. A statement about drugs, also written for The Distance or Like A Rock.

Stargazer. From 1979.

Still Water. A 1971 cut with Mongrel energy and growling vocals. "Sometimes baby I prefer not to talk and just to touch." The chorus says "Runs deep, runs deep" about five hundred times.

Stranger in Town. A song about pursuit. Seger reportedly pulled Stranger in Town off the album because Billy Joel's album, The Stranger, was scheduled for released about the same time. Seger reportedly felt a sense of competition with Joel. Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

Seger: "Stranger in Town is a very strange piece that a lot of my friends really love, but it's very strange. It's almost cowboy heavy metal. It's pretty wild. It was actually inspired by the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns. It's a very eerie thing, and when I did it, my manager just thought it was way too weird. But now in the era of CDs when you can get more cuts on the album, maybe someday it will resurface." Rockline interview, November 1991.


"The sky was dark, it had rained all Sunday
Six bells tolled on the dawn that Monday
Sun rose red as he came riding in,
They blinked their eyes but he kept on comin'
They hoped he'd turn but he kept on comin'
Voices hushed and the strongest they gave ground
The stranger in town
He's been running you down
He's been asking around
There's a stranger in town."

"I was being chased by my own ghost. For so much of my life, I had been afraid of myself. Now I've got the control I've always wanted, and I don't have any demons hunting me down." Timothy White, April 1983, Musician. "The Roads Not Taken."

"Stranger in Town -- the character in the song is a figure almost out of the Old West, a faster gun of some sort. I think it's often in everyone's mind that there's always somebody better on the trail. There's somebody coming to get you, take away what you've built up, and do you in. But it could even be yourself, battling your own ghost. It can alienate you, I guess, to the point where you might even be afraid of yourself..." Timothy White, November 1977, Crawdaddy. "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker"

Suicide Streets. Written for Night Moves. The band and the Muscle Shoals players didn't like the song. Seger: "It was about crime in the streets, sort of a Springsteenish thing but with real ominous lyrics. And I was gonna name the album after it, the album would have a concept about night life in general. When nobody liked that song, it sort of blew the whole thing away, and I was back to square one. I thought 'Night Moves' made a better title anyway, though I still wanted 'Suicide Streets' on the LP.

"Then I got to thinking that maybe 'Suicide Streets' was a little too down. Frankly, I was afraid people might have thought I was writing about Detroit, which I wasn't." John Morthland, July 1977, Creem. "Bob Seger Conquers the World (And About Time!)"

Sunset. From 1982.  

Time. 2004.

Tonight. 1999.

Too Late. 2005

Too Much of Nothing. The Dylan tune. Seger does a rousing cover of it. Recorded for It's A Mystery.

Yesterday Rules. A poignant ballad written for, but not included on, one of the Back to the Future soundtracks. "Yesterday Rules" was played at some of the early dates on the American Storm tour. "Traveling alone I found this out / You can lose your way taking the safest route...all of the dreams you've known end up a part of you..."

Your Best Friend. From 1992.

(Your Love Is Taking Me) Higher and Higher. This Seger cover was recorded during or perhaps just after the Smoki Nopes era and received some unauthorized airplay on Ann Arbor radio stations.

You're My Girl. From 1990.

Wildfire. A driving, high-energy, intelligent rocker in the same vein as "Roll Me Away." Recorded for Like A Rock; at one point, Seger wanted to name the album Wildfire, but ultimately the song didn't even make the track list. If it had, it would probably also be on the Greatest Hits album. It's amazing to me that Seger can write and record songs as fine as these, and then hold them back. "Full moon rising high on a windswept summer night / Me and the boys in the band were out cruisin', we were feeling alright / I really had no high hopes, I had no expectations at all / When we walked into this crowded bar in a little lakeside town way up north..."[Update: No longer unreleased; included on Early Seger, Vol. 1]

White Monkeys and Black Horses. A rap on conspicuous consumption, written for The Distance.

Wounded Angels. White describes it as "a knife-edged number whose dueling guitars (Abbott's and Seger's) show a slight Eagles influence." Timothy White, May 1, 1980, Rolling Stone. "The Fire This Time"


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