Shame On The Moon

Album: The Distance (1982)
Charted: 2


  • Bob Seger wrote most of his own material, but one of his biggest hits, "Shame On The Moon," was a cover. It was written by Rodney Crowell, who recorded it on his 1981 self-titled album. The plaintive song reflects on the burdens and compulsions every man carries, which seem to be most acute around midnight (maybe it has something to do with the moon). The only person who can really understand him is the one who lies beside him.
  • Some Eagles are part of this story. Don Henley is the one who turned Seger on to Crowell. When Seger bought Crowell's album, he loved "Shame On The Moon" and played it for his band. His producer, Jimmy Iovine, wasn't sold, but when Seger recorded harmony vocals with his good friend Glenn Frey, he knew they had something special. Seger co-wrote the Eagles song "Heartache Tonight" with Frey a few years earlier.
  • Speaking with Creem in 1983, Seger said: "It's more like a western song - a cowboy song - than it is a country & western song. And the track is flawless, the best and tightest track on the album. We cut it in like two hours, and everyone decided it was the miracle track. But then we had to decide whether to use it or not because The Distance was going to be a real rock album. I purposely didn't write any medium-tempo songs for this one because I wanted it to be hard rocking with a few ballads for pacing. But we figured we'd throw it on and see what happened. The next thing we know, the Capitol guys are saying, 'That's the single!' (laughs) Fine! Whatever it takes! So thank you, Rodney. It's a great song, and I'm beholden to the lad for writing it."
  • This was a huge crossover hit for Seger, climbing to #2 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for four weeks (held off by "Baby, Come To Me," then "Billie Jean"). It was also a #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart (by far his highest placing) and his only entry on the Country chart, where it went to #15. Rodney Crowell was under the radar at the time, but his 1988 album Diamonds And Dirt contained five Country chart-toppers.
  • Bill Payne of Little Feat played the piano on this track. Other personnel:

    Guitar – Drew Abbott, Waddy Wachtel
    Bass – Chris Campbell
    Drums – Russ Kunkel
    Organ – Craig Frost
    Percussion – Bobbye Hall
    Backing Vocals – Laura Creamer, Shaun Murphy

Comments: 13

  • Greg from Durham, NcGlenn Frey joins Seger on background harmony vocals on the song. The song spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and topped the adult contemporary chart. The song also went to number 15 on the country chart in early 1983, marking Seger's only Top 40 entry on that chart. Tanya Tucker also covered the song, for her 1983 album Changes. Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that "his trademark acoustic guitar sets the tone, followed by an easygoing vocal and loping rhythm."
  • Lisa from Eveleth, MnLOVE : )
  • Dane from Green Cove Springs Fla., FlI've always loved this song.I love the words & music,the harmonies, & the laid back feel.
  • Rick from Belfast, MeBob has done many gems.....but this one takes the cake!!!....awesomely done for #1
  • Paul from Detroit, Miwho couldn't love this song?! Perfection.
  • James from Detroit, MiI've often tried to advise my daughter about the perils of dealing with men and this song explains them perfectly. Men have to be strong and hard to face pain and heartache. We are not supposed to feel hurt or loss, but we do and sometimes that hurt can be profound. This song explains it better than any other.
  • Ken from Edmonton, AbGlenn Frey plays piano and sings backing harmony.
  • Don Watson from Indianapolis, InI know Bob has put out some great music, but "Shame On The Moon" has to be about my favorite, (along with his latest "Wait For Me" from The Promise). It's one of those songs that I have to just sing along with whenever I hear it, no matter where it is playing. It's flowing melody and harmonizing chorus, along with profound lyrics, make it one of his best.
  • Duane from Wheatfield, InThis song is a little mystic in its feel.
  • Marcial from Santiago, ChileIn its musical approach the song reminds me, in some way, of "Ghost Riders in the Sky". Kind of an atmosphere which takes you to a strange and very misterious landscape of unknown destiny. I love this song, it is plenty of a cosmic fate. Seger is great in his performance.
  • Kory from New Hope, MnI htink this song and the entire "the distance" is by far the best bob seger album he recorded
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyI believe Don Henley and Glenn Frye are singing backup here.
  • Josh from Phoenix, Azthis is the best bob seger song
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