For an artist that has contributed such a sizable chunk of the classic rock canon, Detroit rock legend Bob Seger only topped the Hot 100 chart one time: 1987 single "Shakedown." It was the top song in America for the week of August 1, 1987. Let's dig into five fun facts about Seger's biggest hit, released on May 23, 1987.
1. Glenn Frey was originally slated to record the song
Having the biggest song on the first Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack with "The Heat is On," Eagles legend Glenn Frey was the first choice to record the track. Nine days before the record was due, Frey bowed out, claiming laryngitis. "I was the first person (MCA president) Irving (Azoff) called," Seger told The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. "I had finished a tour, and was just sitting around."
2. Seger reworked the lyrics before recording the track.
"There were a lot of lyrics about working undercover, I didn't like them, so I threw them all out," Seger said. "I decided to write it my way and they trusted my judgment." Happy with Seger's rewrite, Azoff gave him the green-light to finish the track.
3. "Shakedown" was nominated for two major movie awards
The song was up for Best Original Song at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes, It would lose both to the same tune: "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," by Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley.
4. "Shakedown" was conspicuously absent from his first greatest hits album in 1994
When Seger released his enormously popular greatest hits album, "Shakedown" was not among the 14 tracks on the record. The rocker didn't think it represented his "greatest" work. It was a something of a career lifeline, though. His previous two singles before it, "It's You," and "Miami," peaked at #52 and #70, respectfully, on the Hot 100.
5. Little Richard performed "Shakedown" at the Academy Awards
While video of the moment is extremely rare, it was indeed the late architect of rock & roll himself, Little Richard, who rocked the tune when it was nominated for an Oscar.
So sad to hear the news about Little Richard. He was a real pioneer & one of the greatest voices in Rock n Roll. I remember when they asked me if I was ok w/ Richard singing Shakedown on the Academy Awards since I wasn't available - are u kidding? I was thrilled & he killed it! pic.twitter.com/nfyFnnacsC— Bob Seger (@BobSeger) May 9, 2020