Recording information: A&M Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA (10/06/1980); Ambience Recording, Farmington Hills, MI (10/06/1980); Bayshore Studios, Coconut Grove, FL (10/06/1980); Boston Garden, Boston, MA (10/06/1980); Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, CA (10/06/1980); Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI (10/06/1980); Criteria Studios, Miami, FL (10/06/1980); Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Sheffield, AL (10/06/1980); Nimbus Nine Studios, Toronto, Ontario (10/06/1980); Oasis Studios, Los Angeles, CA (10/06/1980); Pampa Sound Studios, Detroit, MI (10/06/1980); Studio 55, Hollywood, CA (10/06/1980); United Sound Systems, Detroit, MI (10/06/1980).
Take note that this 2011 double-disc collection is billed not as the best of Bob Seger, it's the best of Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band -- a rule the compilers immediately bend in two directions by including the Bob Seger System's 1968 debut single "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" (in its mono mix, collectors note) and "Wait for Me" from Seger's 2006 comeback Face the Promise. Along with two unreleased cuts -- a reworking of Little Richard's "Hey Hey Hey Hey" subtitled "Going Back to Birmingham" and originally cut in 1989, a perfectly fine cover that's overshadowed by the first release of Seger's version of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train," which he scrapped after Rod Stewart had a hit with a suspiciously similar arrangement -- and "Katmandu," a cut from 1975's Beautiful Loser that rightly gets grandfathered into the prime of the Silver Bullet Band, those are the only songs cut outside of Seger's golden decade of 1976-1987. Much of Seger's previous two hits collections is repeated here -- all but three of the 14 songs from 1994's Greatest Hits (two of the absent numbers are naturally the comp's newly recorded bonus cuts) and half of the 16 tunes from 2003's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 are here -- and while there are certainly strong songs missing, whether it's "Sunspot Baby" or "Understanding," this has all the giant hits in a tidy, thoroughly entertaining package. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine