Against the Wind was released in 1980. It was Bob Seger’s 11th studio album and his 3rd album with The Silver Bullet Band. However, the band only plays on 4 tracks on the album. Seger is accompanied by The Muscle Shoals Rhythm section on 5 of the other 10 total songs.
The album hit Number 1 on the Billboard charts that year and had 4 singles. The title track hit Number 5 on the Billboard charts, followed by “Fire Lake” at Number 6. Both Don Henley and Glen Frey from The eagles sing back-up vocals on “Fire Lake.” It’s also Seger’s only album to ever hit Number 1.
The album also won two Grammy’s in 1981: Best Recording Package and Best Rock Performance. It’s funny because “Best Recording Package” is presented for the album cover, not the music itself, so it often goes to an art director. This award was even once called “Best Album Cover.” The “Best Rock Performance” award was discontinued in 2011.
Though the album got a lot of attention later on thanks to the title track being played in the movie “Forrest Gump,” with lyrics like “wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then” made this a theme song to the lives of lots of teenagers who grew up in the 80’s. Many will argue that this was probably Seger’s best album, though some music critics have argued that it was his worst.
I was never a hardcore Seger fan during the 80’s but I could sing along when he came on the radio and didn’t even know the actual titles to half of his songs. But he’s one of those singers I immediately wanted when I started collecting vinyl. He’s just one of those “good ole boy” American singers who definitely has his place in American music of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. He took risks and he sang about them in his lyrics mixing country, R&B, and soul.
While I love this album because of it’s significance to me in that decade, I probably prefer his live album Nine Tonight because it has a lot of his other songs that he’s popular for like “Mainstreet,” “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” and “Night Moves” all on one. It also has five songs from the “Against the Wind” album. But anyone who is a fan of Seger will probably mention this album first!