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"Night Moves"
Bob Seger
Capitol 4369
Jan. 1977
Billboard: #4    Lyrics Icon Videos Icon

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Bandhen I was young, it was impossible for me to accept that I was aging, second by second, day by day, year by year. I felt infallible, at least in spirit. When I now relate this to others, they usually tell me that they also had the same experience. Whoever we were, whenever we were born, we naturally clung to the belief that our lives, our friends, our generation, was different. We believed we would somehow retain our youthful ideals. Then, slowly but surely, what was once such a natural assumption was transformed into desperation. Youth may be nothing more than a state of mind, but our renegade faith in our youthfulness became increasingly difficult to sustain. Responsibilities, finances, marriage, kids, a mortgage... before we knew what had happened, we found ourselves on the wrong side of the white picket fence, and fighting vices that had turned into habits.
Night Moves
Released in Oct. 1976 and certified platinum five months later, Bob Seger's Night Moves album alternated between rocking bone-crushers and more sophisticated ballads.
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For some reason, we have been preprogrammed by nature to eventually allow some inner force to grab the wheel and steer us toward the middle of the road. Life becomes safer there, but it also becomes predictable. A sure sign that you are long gone is when you find yourself reminiscing about the things that you can no longer do. The laws of physical attraction render you considerably less desirable to the average seventeen year old than you were when you were seventeen yourself. Once you've reached that stage, teenage lust becomes a memory. Cross that threshold, and the door locks behind you. Instead, we're doomed to fondly remember specific moments from our freewheeling youth. One moment that usually stands out is the first time that we "did it."

For a number of generations now, teenage Americans have been discovering sex by the dashboard light. Maybe apple pie was once an adequate symbol of the American way of life, but since the '50s, what could be more American than losing your virginity in the car? How about a nostalgic American Top 40 hit about losing your virginity in a car. (As an aside, Bob Seger topped himself several years later when he sold one of his least crass recordings, "Like a Rock," to be used for selling Chevy trucks on a TV ad campaign. Now that's American. This Bud's for you, Bob.) For those of us who have grown up, had children, and earn a respectable living, such spontaneous and risky behavior is, ahem, somewhat less likely to occur. But we remember. The story told in "Night Moves" is such a typical American experience that it almost always triggers parallel memories in the listener. This is what happens when a song about reminiscing becomes old enough to spur memories in its own right. More important than that, though, is the way that it captures the melancholy pleasure of reminiscing and the bittersweet pain of realizing that those days are irretrievably gone.

For a rock generation that was growing older, Seger's long-delayed 1976 studio album Night Moves touched something sympathetic inside them. The album became a staple on album-oriented stations around the US, and in addition to "Night Moves," two singles from that album -- "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" and "The Fire Down Below" -- also landed in the Top 20. On the road Seger was met with S.R.O. crowds and thunderous ovations. To this day, he continues to show rock and rollers everywhere how to grow old gracefully and keep on rockin'.

- Thomas Ryan, American Hit Radio, Prima Entertainment, 1996.

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