After years of holding out, Bob Seger has joined the digital distribution era: As of today, a dozen of his albums are making their debut at streaming and download services — 10 of which have never been available for download before.

Calling it "one of the most sought-after catalogs for digital music distribution" and trumpeting the move as "uniting Seger fans around the world," the surprise announcement affects an array of records from throughout his career. The albums now available are Beautiful Loser, Night Moves, Live Bullet, Nine Tonight, Stranger in Town, Against the Wind, The Distance, Like a Rock, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, The Fire Inside, Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits 2 and Ultimate Hits.

As Seger fans are well aware, this roll-out leaves significant chunks of Seger's discography offline and/or out of print.

Earlier this year, a widely reported NPR article looked into Seger's absence from digital services and overall curious approach to catalog management, and expressed concern that by refusing to leverage those albums in the era of streaming and deluxe reissues, he was damaging his long-term legacy; at the time, Seger's longtime manager, Punch Andrews, pointed to healthy sales and airplay figures as evidence that his music had "maintained its well-deserved relevance."

Whatever change of heart Seger's camp may have had behind the scenes, in other words, it's obviously a gradual process, although his digital rollout is a major shift — and recent vinyl reissues of his Greatest Hits and Ramblin' Gamblin' Man LPs may signal the shape of things to come. In the meantime, fans can look forward to seeing Seger onstage this fall on his Runaway Train Tour.

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