One of the few major streaming holdouts has folded. Bob Seger’s music has just become available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Napster and Slacker Radio. Up until now, his only songs on Spotify were the Christmas songs “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Sock It To Me Santa,” but 13 of his albums are now there, including Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, Live Bullet, Night Moves and Against The Wind. He’s also released 10 albums for digital download that weren’t previously available.
In a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Seger, who will embark on a nationwide tour with the Silver Bullet Band this summer, explained why his music wasn’t available online. “It’s an ongoing issue with my manager and Capitol Records,” he said. “They agreed to something many years ago about new media and they don’t want to live up to it. Until that’s resolved, we let very little out … It does [frustrate me]. I wish people could get any song at any time.” It’s unclear how the situation with Capitol was resolved and what spurred Seger to change his mind.
Despite this development, six of his earliest albums (Noah, Mongrel, Brand New Morning, Smokin’ O.P.’s, Back In ’72 and Seven) remain completely out of print and every studio album since 1991’s The Fire Inside is still unavailable on streaming sites. Friday’s selections, however, represents his commercial peak in the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. At least some of his other albums will be added in the future, but exact details are unclear at this point. Unlike every other classic rock icon, Seger has never released a box set, a DVD or a documentary.
“I’m going to eventually do a collection,” Seger told Roling Stone in 2014. “I’ve been working on it for years. I’ve got so many albums, but I just keep waiting for the right time to release them. It’ll probably happen when the download issue gets settled.” He also expressed sympathy for the fans that have been waiting for years to get their hands on his early music without having to shell out for expensive vinyl copies. “I’m sorry about all this,” he said. “But, nevertheless, I’ve had the same manager for 49 years and he’s been right most of the time. And I hate to get into that area. He doesn’t mess with my music and I don’t mess with his area.”
With Seger and Taylor Swift now on streaming services, the list of holdouts remains pretty small. Tool, Peter Gabriel, Garth Brooks, King Crimson and Thom Yorke albums are unavailable and key releases by Def Leppard, De La Soul, Aaliyah have also been held back.