How Bob Seger Wrote “Still The Same”

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Few musicians can equal the things he performed during his career as a rock and roll musician in the 1970s and 1980s despite his unassuming appearance and lack of interest in attention.

Seger got his start in music in the 1960s by playing in a number of Detroit-based bands. In 1969, he issued his debut album, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” which featured the popular title tune.

With the help of his backing band, the Silver Bullet Band, Seger rose to fame throughout the 1970s and put out several popular albums, including “Live Bullet,” “Night Moves,” and “Stranger in Town.” His music incorporated elements of rock, folk, and blues, and his unique raspy voice delivered lyrics that frequently dealt with issues of working-class nostalgia and blue-collar existence.

Bob Seger managed to record five top 10 albums during his 12-year run with the Silver Bullet Band (1976–1987) and had 16 Top 40 singles, including “Still The Same,” during that time.

The song he composed most famously is probably Still The Same. He saw someone and used their individual lines to create the song’s persona. The subject of this song is a cunning gambler who always seems one step ahead. At first, Seger seems to be praising this man, gushing about how he still has the same winning skills. This isn’t the case, however, as Seger turns and leaves him because he hasn’t changed and because there is nothing more to say at the song’s conclusion. It’s like reconciling with an old buddy, only to be reminded of why you stayed apart.

Bob Seger discussed the character in this song with Bob Costas. He explained, “They’re just very charismatic, but they have tremendous faults, but part of the appeal is the charisma. You overlook everything because of the charisma. That’s a gift and a curse.”

He clarified that the song’s inspiration was:

“People have asked me for years who it’s about. It’s an amalgamation of characters I met when I first went to Hollywood. All ‘Type A’ personalities: overachieving, driven.”

The opening words of the song, which peaked at #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 list, are dripping with the frontman’s adulation. The lyrics describe a desire to remain loyal to oneself in spite of prosperity and celebrity as well as a sense of melancholy.




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