Erlewine has had several careers. As a musician, he was active in the
Michigan folk scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1961 he
Bob Dylan, and had traveled to
Venice, California, and
San Francisco. He and his brother Dan founded a blues band called
The Prime Movers, which regularly played
Chicago; other members included
"Blue" Gene Tyranny (Robert Sheff). When the drummer left, they replaced him with
Iggy Pop (James Osterberg), then 18 years old. The Prime Movers gave him the nickname "Iggy" as he had played in the band The Iguanas. According to biographer Jim Ambrose, the two years Osterberg spent in the band made him aware of "art, politics, and experimentation".
In 1977 Erlewine founded Matrix Software. He was the first person to program astrology on microcomputers and make astrological programs available to the astrological community. He has published more than forty books on astrology and related topics.
Michael Erlewine and his band, the Prime Movers, were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2015.
In the 1990s, Erlewine founded the All Music Guide (allmusic.com), the All Movie Guide (allmovie.com), and the All Game Guide (allgame.com). The first site in particular has become an important
popular music reference that licenses its content to numerous other websites. Erlewine regained control of Matrix Software (astrologysoftware.com) in November 2008 and continues as director of that company.
Erlewine is the host on a 12-segment television channel called Spirit Grooves/Dharma Grooves, featuring topics on alternative awareness and reaching some 540,000 viewers.
Erlewine, Michael, 1980, "Astrological programming manual", American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, Ariz.