Against The Wind (1980) – Bob Seger

Bob Segar, Live at Boston Garden Oct 7, 1980

Against The Wind is the title track from Bob Seger’s 11th Studio Album released in February, 1980. It is Seger’s only number 1 album to date. The album spent 6 weeks at number 1 and knocked off Pink Floyd’s The Wall from the top spot. I am not conversant with a lot of his discography, but I sure did wear out his Greatest Hits record. I have fond memories of this song in particular when I went on long drives through Gipsland, Victoria, Australia in the 1990’s. So when I hear this song it transports me back to the gorgeous rolling-green hills on those trips and the carefree period I found myself.

It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago

Janey was lovely, she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playlng low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
Till there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove

And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then

I consider this song a bastion of classic Americana songwriting. The way the rhythm and texture of sound coalesce with these lyrics, elicits great emotion in the listener. However, many critics were harsh on Seger after the release of this album. One such example is Rock critic Dave Marsh, writing for Rolling Stone, who strongly criticized the album as a betrayal of Seger’s longtime fans: “I’d like to say that this is not only the worst record Bob Seger has ever made, but an absolutely cowardly one as well“.  In a more positive review in the Los Angeles Times, critic Robert Hilburn said the album was “close to [Seger’s] earlier works” but represented a “mastering of the form” and that the reflective ballads stood out.

Wikipedia describes Seger as ‘a roots rocker with a classic raspy, powerful voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that dealt with love, women, and blue-collar themes, and is one of the best-known examples of a heartland rock artist‘. With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

References:
1. Against the Wind (album) – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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5 comments on “Against The Wind (1980) – Bob Seger
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Rolling Stone can go jump in a lake… I liked it…and the line “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then” has stuck with me forever.

  2. It’s a good song, but as is often the case, was so overplayed on the radio that I eventually grew tired of it.

  3. Even though I’ve heard the song a thousand times I’ve never listened to the words before! So it’s like you made the song new!

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