Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen, two of the most iconic American singer-songwriters, defined the sound of a generation.
Both blues rock artists have won Grammy awards and are renowned for their artistry. But who has the best voice, and what makes each artist special?
Today, we’re learning a little more about these music stars.
The Story of Bob Seger
Bob Seger grew up in a musical household in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He formed a band with Ann Arbor High School classmates Pete Stanger and R.B. Hunter. The trio, called The Decibels, recorded Seger’s very first song in 1961. The Lonely One only played twice on the radio. As a result, The Decibels considered themselves a failure and disbanded.
Seger played in several other bands, including Doug Brown & The Omens and The Bob Seger System, before going solo in 1971. His acoustic solo album, Brand New Morning, flopped in 1972 and inspired him to form a new band.
In 1974, he created the Silver Bullet Band, the first of his projects to see true commercial success. The album Night Moves by the band broke into the top 10 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1976. In 1980, Against The Wind became the Silver Bullet Band’s only album to reach the number-one spot on the Billboard 200. The band won a Grammy award for the album in 1981.
Seger’s induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 preceded his 2006 album release, Face the Promise. The record debuted at number four on the Billboard Hot 200 charts before earning platinum certification. His raspy and powerful voice and songwriting abilities propelled Seger to become one of the best singer-songwriters in American history.
The Story of Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen, born and raised in New Jersey, bought his first guitar for less than $20 from an auto parts store. His high school teachers at Freehold High School described him as having no friends and only wanting to play guitar. He graduated in 1967 and didn’t even attend the graduation ceremony.
While in high school, Springsteen began playing with a band called The Rogues. They played in small venues like cafes and the local Elk’s Lodge. He played in several bands, including Steel Mill and the E Street Band, before signing with Columbia Records in 1972.
Springsteen and the E Street Band finally saw commercial success in 1975 with the release of their album, Born To Run. The record reached number three on the Billboard 200, and most of the tracks enjoyed ample radio play.
In 1984, Springsteen released his Born in the U.S.A., an album that dominated the charts. Not only did the album release number one on the Billboard 200, but seven singles from the record cracked into the top 10 on the charts.
Springsteen has won twenty Grammy Awards, and Bono inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. His distinctive voice, massive vocal range, and immense musical talent have carried Springsteen to success over the last 50 years.
Have Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen Performed Together?
Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen, two rock and roll legends born just four years apart, saw commercial success in 1976 and 1974, respectively. You would be right to assume that their paths have crossed several times.
The two performed together for the first time in 1980. Seger popped on stage to help sing Thunder Road with Springsteen’s band, The River. The two enjoy a lasting friendship and performed together a second time in 2011.
Springsteen joined the Silver Bullet Band to sing Old Time Rock and Roll at Madison Square Garden. The two reunited a third time in 2016 to perform a couple more tunes at the Palace of Auburn Hills near Detroit.
What Makes One Voice Better Than the Other?
Now the question you’ve been waiting for – who has the better voice? While both have undoubtedly proved their musical excellency, Seger’s talent outshines that of Springsteen.
Seger can be described as versatile. Reddit user jtaustin64 said, “[he] is such a talented singer that he has songs for all different kinds of tastes.” Though songs like Old Time Rock and Roll have been described as gimmicky, deeper cuts like Turn the Page demonstrate his multifaceted voice.
Springsteen released 20 studio albums, 23 live albums, and eight compilation albums. This makes him more consistent than his counterpart, who had several stints that lacked inspiration. The best of Seger outshines the best of Springsteen, but Springsteen’s consistency in writing and performing helped propel him to fame.
What Are Seger and Springsteen Doing Now?
Bob Seger embarked on a farewell tour in 2019. The following year, his good friend and longtime saxophonist in the band, Alto Reed, died of colon cancer. Seger said that he cannot imagine touring without his friend and so retired from his long traveling career. Currently, he lives in the Detroit area, where he has lived his entire life.
Bruce Springsteen, on the other hand, hasn’t hung up his guitar just yet. Springsteen and the E Street Band toured North America in 2016 and New Zealand in 2017. They recently embarked on a year-long tour in April of 2022.
After completing their rounds of the U.S.A. next April, the band will head to Europe until July of 2023. They’ll stop in ten different countries, including Denmark and Germany. If you live in North America or Europe, chances are the band will be making a stop near you in 2023, an opportunity you probably won’t want to miss.
Springsteen and Seger, both Grammy-winning members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, helped American rock and roll reach its full potential. You may share our view of who has the better voice, or maybe you disagree. But we can probably all agree that both voices shaped the sounds of a generation.
Who do you feel has the best voice between Seger and Springsteen? Let us know in the comments!