‘Live’ Bullet is a live album by American rock band Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, released in April 1976. It was recorded at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, during the heyday of that arena's time as an important rock concert venue. The album is credited, along with Night Moves, with launching Seger's mainstream popularity.
|Live album by|
|Released||April 12, 1976|
|Recorded||September 4–5, 1975|
|Venue||Cobo Hall, Detroit|
|Producer||Punch Andrews, Bob Seger|
|Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band chronology|
|Christgau's Record Guide||B|
'Live' Bullet became a staple of FM rock radio in Detroit. Classics such as the live version of "Nutbush City Limits" and the medley of "Travelin' Man/Beautiful Loser" were among the most widely played live tracks on Detroit stations such as WWWW (W4), WRIF, and WABX. Other tracks such as "Let It Rock", "Turn the Page" and "Get Out of Denver" also received wide airplay in Detroit.
The success of Seger's music at this time, however, was highly regional, with Seger still remaining quite unknown in adjacent media markets such as Chicago. Even in his home state of Michigan, Seger often struggled to garner mass appeal outside the Metro Detroit area. In December, 1975, 3 months after Live Bullet was recorded, a scheduled concert at Western Michigan University was cancelled after only a few hundred advance tickets were sold. In June 1976, Seger played the Pontiac Silverdome in metropolitan Detroit at a historic concert that also included Point Blank, Elvin Bishop and Todd Rundgren. 78,000 people were in attendance and the concert lasted until nearly 1:30 a.m. The next night, Seger played for fewer than a thousand people in Chicago.
However, it was only in the following winter that the release of his next recording, Night Moves, launched Seger into more national markets. Over time, the life-on-the-road tale "Turn the Page" would become the most nationally played song from 'Live' Bullet, and a perennial favorite on album-oriented rock and classic rock stations.
For Detroit fans, however, the entire 'Live' Bullet recording captured a Detroit artist at the height of his energy and creativity, in front of a highly appreciative hometown crowd. 'Live' Bullet also captured the wild and free spirit of rock concerts in the seventies, and has great historic value in that regard.
As I told everybody last night, I was reading in Rolling Stone where they said, "Detroit audiences are the greatest rock & roll audiences in the world." I thought to myself, "Shit! I've known that for ten years!"— Bob Seger, "Nutbush City Limits", 'Live' Bullet
In 2015, Live Bullet was ranked No. 26 on Rolling Stone's "50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time" list. Readers of Rolling Stone ranked it No. 10 in a 2012 poll of all-time favourite live albums. In an article supporting the 2015 list, Seger states, "We were doing 250 to 300 shows a year before Live Bullet. We were playing five nights a week, sometimes six, as the Silver Bullet Band, and we just had that show down."
All tracks are written by Bob Seger, except where noted.
|1.||"Nutbush City Limits"||Tina Turner||4:37|
|1.||"I've Been Working"||Van Morrison||4:35|
|2.||"Turn the Page"||5:05|
|3.||"U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)"||3:17|
|4.||"Bo Diddley"||E. McDaniels (Bo Diddley)||5:40|
|2.||"Get Out of Denver"||5:21|
|3.||"Let It Rock"||E. Anderson (Chuck Berry)||8:30|
The 2011 remastered CD reissue has one extra track, "I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home", (3:05), recorded live at the Pontiac Silverdome.
The live version of the song "Katmandu" was also featured as the sole Bob Seger track as part of a promotional-only compilation album issued by Capitol records entitled The Greatest Music Ever Sold, which was distributed to record stores during the 1976 holiday season as part of Capitol's "Greatest Music Ever Sold" campaign, promoting 15 "best of" albums released by the record label. 'Live' Bullet is a live album and not a "best of" compilation, though several tracks were major regional hits ("Lookin' Back" #2 in Detroit, etc.).
Many songs from the album such as "Nutbush City Limits", "Lookin' Back", and "Turn the Page" became hit singles off the album, whereas their original studio versions were overlooked. "Lookin Back" was released as a single in 1971 but had very short lived success as it was not on an actual Seger album. It was originally performed by Seger's first band, The Bob Seger System, whereas the Live Bullet version featured The Silver Bullet Band.
Two of the songs on the album are actually medleys. "Bo Diddley" is a medley of "Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love?", while "Let It Rock" is a medley of "Let It Rock" and "Little Queenie" with some minor lyrical changes. Additionally, the tracks Travelin' Man and Beautiful Loser feature no audible pause between the two, and are played as a single medley (though the CD has a digital track marker for each). As a result, many album-oriented rock and classic rock radio stations have played them together as a medley.
The Silver Bullet BandEdit
- Bob Seger – lead vocals, guitar, piano
- Drew Abbott – lead guitar, background vocals
- Alto Reed – tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, percussion, background vocals
- Robyn Robins – organ, clavinet, mellotron, piano on "Katmandu"
- Chris Campbell – bass guitar, background vocals
- Charlie Allen Martin – drums, background vocals, answer vocals on "Heavy Music", harmony vocals on "Jody Girl" and "Get Out of Denver"
|1976||Billboard Pop Albums||34|
Singles | "Nutbush City Limits" (Hot-100 #69) | "Travelin' Man" (uncharted)
|RIAA – U.S.||Gold||December 12, 1976|
|RIAA – U.S.||Platinum||December 16, 1977|
|CRIA – Canada||Gold||December 1, 1979|
|CRIA – Canada||Platinum||December 1, 1979|
|CRIA – Canada||Double Platinum||December 1, 1983|
|RIAA – U.S.||4× Platinum||June 6, 1991|
|RIAA – U.S.||5× Platinum||September 22, 2003|
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band: Live Bullet > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: S". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 12, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
- Campbell, Mary. "Bob Seger to storm into Poplar Creek with rock poetry" Chicago Sun-Times July 25, 1986.
- The New Rolling Stone Record Guide. Ed. Dave Marsh and John Swenson. New York: Random House, 1983. ISBN 0-394-72107-1
- "50 Greatest Live Albums". rollingstone.com. Retrieved August 11, 2020.
- "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Live Albums of All Time". rollingstone.com. Retrieved August 11, 2020.