Against the Wind (album)

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Against the Wind
Bob Seger - Against the Wind.jpg
Studio album by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Released February 25, 1980 (1980-02-25)
Recorded 1979
Genre Rock
Length 40:24
Label Capitol
Producer Bob Seger, Punch Andrews, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Bill Szymczyk
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band chronology
Stranger in Town
(1978)Stranger in Town1978
Against the Wind
(1980)
Nine Tonight
(1981)Nine Tonight1981
Singles from Against the Wind
  1. "Fire Lake"
    Released: February 1980
  2. "Against the Wind"
    Released: April 1980
  3. "You'll Accomp'ny Me"
    Released: July 1980
  4. "The Horizontal Bop"
    Released: October 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
The Boston Phoenix Unfavorable[2]
Robert Christgau C+[3]
Los Angeles Times Favorable[4]
The New York Times Favorable[5]
Rolling Stone Unfavorable[6]
Smash Hits 5/10[7]

Against the Wind is the eleventh album by American rock singer Bob Seger and his fourth with the Silver Bullet Band. It was released in February 1980. It is Seger's only number-one album to date, spending six weeks at the top of the Billboard Top LPs chart, knocking Pink Floyd's The Wall from the top spot.

Release[edit]

Against the Wind was an immediate commercial success, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart in its third week and remaining there for five weeks behind Pink Floyd's The Wall before reaching No. 1 and holding the top position for six weeks.[8] By late 1981 the album sold 3.7 million copies in the United States[9] and was certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003.

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the album Against the Wind and Capitol Records art director Roy Kohara won the Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.[10][11]

Critical reception[edit]

Rock critic Dave Marsh, writing for Rolling Stone, 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" saying that Seger had crafted "failureproof songs that are utterly listenable and quite meaningless." Marsh had followed Seger since before Night Moves, when Seger finally gained national fame, and said in his review that Seger's long, tireless struggle to stardom is trivialized by this record. "He had to fight hard to prove there was still a place in rock & roll for a guy like him, and, with Night Moves, he won. This is the LP that makes such a victory meaningless ... It makes me sad, and it makes me angry (another emotion that's disappeared here, though it's often fueled Seger's finest work)."[6]

Marsh did concede that on the album "Seger sings fantastically well" and called it a "carefully constructed album." A review in the The Boston Phoenix echoed some of Marsh's criticisms, saying that Seger offered nothing that hadn't been heard before or equaled his best work, "only heavy-handed efforts to simulate it."[2]

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.[4] John Rockwell of The New York Times called it an "honest, attractive album" and a "nice return to his Night Moves form."[5]

Seger himself said the album "is about trying to move ahead, keeping your sanity and integrity at the same time."[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bob Seger.

Side One
No. Title Length
1. "The Horizontal Bop" 4:03
2. "You'll Accomp'ny Me" 4:00
3. "Her Strut" 3:51
4. "No Man's Land" 3:43
5. "Long Twin Silver Line" 4:18
Side Two
No. Title Length
6. "Against the Wind" 5:34
7. "Good for Me" 4:03
8. "Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight" 2:52
9. "Fire Lake" 3:30
10. "Shinin' Brightly" 4:30

The Silver Bullet Band perform on tracks 1–3, 6, 8

The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section perform on tracks 4, 5, 7, 9, 10

Personnel[edit]

The Silver Bullet Band
The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section
Additional Musicians
  • Bill Payne – organ, synthesizer, piano on "You'll Accomp'ny Me"
  • Dr. John – keyboard on "Horizontal Bop"
  • Paul Harris – organ and piano on "Against the Wind" and piano on "Betty Lou's Getting Out Tonight"
  • Doug Riley – synthesizer on "No Man's Land"
  • Sam Clayton – percussion on "You'll Accomp'ny Me"
Backing harmony vocals on "Fire Lake"
Backing harmony vocals on "Against the Wind"
Backing Vocals on "You'll Accomp'ny Me" "Good For Me" and "Shinin' Brightly"

Production[edit]

  • Producers: Punch Andrews, Steve Melton, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Bob Seger, Bill Szymczyk
  • Engineers: John Arrias, Steve Melton, Bill Szymczyk
  • Mixing: Punch Andrews, John Arrias, Steve Melton, Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, Bob Seger, Bill Szymczyk
  • Mastering: Wally Traugott
  • Remastering: Robert Vosgien
  • Art direction: Roy Kohara
  • Photography: Tom Bert
  • Paintings: Jim Warren

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
1980 Billboard 200[8] 1

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1980 "Fire Lake" Billboard Hot 100[8] 6
1980 "Against The Wind" Billboard Hot 100[8] 5
1980 "You'll Accomp'ny Me" Billboard Hot 100[8] 14
1980 "The Horizontal Bop" Billboard Hot 100[8] 42

Awards[edit]

Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1980 Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band[11] Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Roy Kohara[11] Best Recording Package

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[13] 5× Platinum 500,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band: Against the Wind > Review at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Frost, Deborah (April 15, 1980). "Bob Seger: Against the Wind". The Boston Phoenix. Boston, Massachuessetts. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1980). "Consumer Guide Reviews". robertchristgau.com. Robert Christgau. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (March 16, 1980). "Seger, Joel: Artistry vs. Hit Making". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. 
  5. ^ a b Rockwell, John (March 28, 1980). "The Pop Life". New York Times. New York, New York. 
  6. ^ a b Marsh, Dave (May 15, 1980). "Bob Seger's 'Wind' is mostly hot air". Rolling Stone. New York, New York: Straight Arrow Publishers Inc. 
  7. ^ Hepworth, David. "Bob Seger: Against the Wind". Smash Hits (March 20 – April 2): 31. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Bob Seger - Chart history". www.billboard.com. Billboard. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ White, Timothy (November 26, 1981). "Bob Seger: no more 'platinum paranoia'". Rolling Stone. New York, New York: Straight Arrow Publishers Inc. 
  10. ^ "Nominations for Grammy Awards". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. January 14, 1981. 
  11. ^ a b c "23rd Annual Grammy Award Winners". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. February 27, 1981. 
  12. ^ White, Timothy (May 1, 1980). "The Fire This Time". Rolling Stone. New York, New York: Straight Arrow Publishers Inc. 
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bob Seger – Against the Wind". Music Canada. 
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Bob Seger – Against the Wind". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
Preceded by
The Wall by Pink Floyd
Billboard 200 number one album
May 3 – June 13, 1980
Succeeded by
Glass Houses by Billy Joel