May 1978: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band Blow Up with "Stranger in Town"

(MANDATORY CREDIT Ebet Roberts/Getty Images) UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Bob SEGER; Bob Seger performing at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
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(Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

Never let it be said that Bob Seger didn't work for his success. Slugging it out on the rock circuit since the mid-1960s, the Detroit stalwart moved the needle with breakout 1976 live album, Live Bullet. After scoring a hit with Night Moves in 1977, the country was ready to see what he had in store on his next studio effort.

RELATED: April 1980: Bob Seger Releases "Against the Wind"

On May 5, 1978, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band released Stranger in Town, Seger's tenth solo effort. The album established Seger as a rocker to be reckoned with, flying off store shelves to reach platinum status in a month. The record peaked at #4 on the US album charts for the week of July 22, 1978. The #1 album in America that week: the Rolling Stones' Some Girls.

Packed with hits, the album is loaded with some of Seger's most popular tunes, none less than the fourth and final single from Stranger in Town, "Old Time Rock and Roll." Not issued as a single until March 1979, the song made a decent chart run, peaking at #28 on the Hot 100. It became a cultural touchstone years later, when Tom Cruise danced in his underwear to the track in 1983 movie, Risky Business.

The album's first single, "Still the Same," would fare much better chart-wise, reaching #4 on the Hot 100 on July 21, 1978. The #1 song in America that week: Andy Gibb's "Shadow Dancing."

High-energy second single "Hollywood Nights" charged up the charts to peak at #12.

The third single from Stranger in Town, the ballad "We've Got Tonight," would land one click below its predecessor, reaching #13 on the Hot 100.

“There’s definitely a dark tension, I think, behind a lot of my stuff,” Seger told Rolling Stone back in 1978. “There was a definite…hopelessness of abject poverty that has always crept into everything I’ve ever done. There’s a little bit of desperation — just a little bit. Because I’ve been there, I’ve been broke. I used to think, it’s funny, but I used to think that the most frightening thing was to ever blow it and have to go back to it. But now that I’m pretty well set for life, I’m not so frightened anymore.”

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Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
"If I get it, I will probably never sing again," reflected the Fleetwood Mac songstress in her latest journal entry.
(David Warner Ellis/Redferns)
The band's first single hit #5 on the Hot 100.
Cover art for the single by Matador Records
“Greatest drum fill of all time. Thank you Phil Collins for the terrifying bop.”

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