BOB SEGER The SILVER BULLET BAND – ” Against The Wind ” Released on February 25th 1980,

Posted: February 26, 2022 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Bob Seger dropped a lyric video for the title track to Against the Wind”, which turns over 40 years old. The clip follows the lyric video for “Night Moves,” on his newly launched YouTube channel. Bob Seger had already set a high standard. Early in his career, he had established himself as a no-nonsense heartland rocker, beloved in his native Michigan and already making inroads in other parts of the nation as well. A series of early albums on Reprise, Capitol and Camden Records established a certain tone and  tenacity, but it was  his first national hit, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,” that found him elevated to the status of iconic heartland rocker, primed to please multitudes of air guitarists in venues large and small.

The first album recorded with the band in tow, 1976’s “Live Bullet”provided the big breakthrough, and with two successive efforts, “Night Moves” and “Stranger in Town”, both formally credited to Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, 

‘Against the Wind’ is Classic Bob Seger imagery with animated horses, motorcycles, and vast American highways flash across the screen with each line of the track. “It seems like yesterday,” he sings, “But it was long ago/Janey was lovely, she was the queen of my nights/There in the darkness with the radio playing low.”

Released on February 25th, 1980, with his Silver Bullet Band, “Against the Wind” is Seger’s only Number One album. “Knowing the difference between when people are using you and when people truly care about you, that’s what ‘Against the Wind’ is all about,” he said of the track in 1980. “The people in that song have weathered the storm, and it’s made them much better that they’ve been able to do it and maintain whatever relationship. To get through is a real victory.”

Side one was stocked with a pair of songs that some observers perceived to have sexist connotations “The Horizontal Bop,” an obvious reference to the joys of intercourse, and “Her Strut,” said to be inspired by Seger’s admiration for Jane Fonda, but also interpreted as offering some sentiments that were demeaning to women. In retrospect, however, the latter seems quite the opposite, given that it asserts the strength of the woman in question. Seger’s ricochet-like guitar solo brings it all home.

Still, it’s the ballads that best define the album overall. The title track offers an homage to determination and defiance, or as Seger himself told one interviewer at the time, it’s “about trying to move ahead, keeping your sanity and integrity at the same time.” To most listeners, however, it came across like an anthemic ode to maintaining perseverance and commitment despite all the odds.

“Fire Lake,” a song originally intended for the “Beautiful Loser” album but shelved due to the fact it was incomplete at the time. In some ways, it brings close comparison to any number of early efforts by would-be rival Bruce Springsteen, thanks to its aural imagery and description of some simple summer joys. With three of the Eagles Glenn Frey, Timothy B. Schmit and Don Henley providing the harmonies,

Given Seger’s successful streak of multi-platinum albums released from the mid-’70s to the early ’80s, it’s difficult to discern any one album that stands out overall. Yet even now, some 40 years on, “Against the Wind” still ranks as one of Bob’s best.

He finally launched his catalogue on streaming services in 2017, making him one of the last major artists to do so. However, many of his earliest records, like “Smokin’ O.P.’s” and “Back in ’72″, remain unavailable both digitally and in print. “Jack White is always asking me about that,” he explained in 2018. “He wants to remix them all and said he’d do it for free. Maybe when I retire I’ll get serious about it.”

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Against The Wind Released on February 25th 1980

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