Bob Seger always seemed more like a regular guy than a Rock Star, and this moving song about pride and consistency struck a chord with working class Americans who could relate to him. Seger grew up in Michigan, paid his dues with constant touring, and stayed true to his roots.
Seger was 40 years old when this song was released, and there was a wisdom to his words that appealed to his audience. In a 1986 interview with Creem magazine, he said: "It's a matter of growing up. From the time I was 20 until I was 30, I didn't sell a whole lot of records, but I was doing a lot of rock 'n' roll. That's the way I felt at the time. Maybe during the period when I was 30 to 40, I was getting more mature, writing about older themes. I'm sure 'Like A Rock' doesn't mean much to someone who's 20, but I gotta write what I know about."
Talking about writing this song in a 1994 interview with Music Connection, Seger said, "There have been times where I've written a bunch of verses before I even know what the title is. That's what happened with 'Like A Rock.' I wrote the first three verses of that song before I even knew where I was going. Then, one day, I just fell into the 'like a rock' thing, and I thought it worked."
Guitarist/singer Rick Vito played the guitar on this song. Vito was in Fleetwood Mac from 1987-1991.
The album version of this song is 5:56 long. The single version was cut down to 4:36.
This was used in an advertising campaign for Chevrolet trucks that ran from 1991 - 2004, making it indelibly associated with the vehicles. The song helped sell a lot of Silverados, and is considered one of the best choices for an ad campaign in the history of music. With a sturdy tempo, a singer who fits the demographic, and lyrics about reliability, this was the perfect song. The title provided a tag line better than anyone in Madison Avenue could have dreamed up, and the song got a new life, becoming much better known than it was on initial release. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 3)
The video was shot in the Mojave Desert. They went for cinematography over effects, with a blue tint and no lip synching. It was artistic but slow, and failed to make an impact on MTV. Some guys were never meant to be video stars.
This song was used in the soundtrack for the film The Weather Man (2005), which starred Nicolas Cage.