Against the Wind (Bob Seger song)

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"Against the Wind"
Single by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
from the album Against the Wind
B-side"No Man's Land"
ReleasedApril 1980
Format7" vinyl
Length5:34 (album version)
3:45 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Bob Seger
Producer(s)Bill Szymczyk
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band singles chronology
"Fire Lake"
"Against the Wind"
"You'll Accomp'ny Me"
Alternative cover
German cover
German cover

"Against the Wind" is a song by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band from the 1980 album Against the Wind. Released as the second single from the album, it peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] Glenn Frey and Don Henley of the Eagles sang background vocals on this song.

Background and writing[edit]

During an interview on WWFX, "100 FM The Pike", Bob Seger said that "Against the Wind" came about from his days as a high-school cross country runner. The line "Let the cowboys ride!" towards the song's end is a reference to the closing lyrics of the song "Santa Fe/Beautiful Obsession" by Van Morrison.

Seger later said that the line "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" bothered him for a while, but that everyone he knew loved it, so he left it in. He also said that it has since appeared in several other hits by other artists, so that proved it was an acceptable lyric.[2]

Music critic Maury Dean described the theme as being about aging and dealing with "all the burdens we'll ever have to face."[3]

Rolling Stone Magazine critic Dave Marsh stated in his review of the Against the Wind album that none of the ballads (including the title track) contained any memorable lines, but he later amended that to acknowledge that the lines "Well, those drifter's days are past me now/I've so much more to think about/Deadlines and commitments/What to leave in/What to leave out" are not only memorable but also haunting in the way Seger "haltingly expresses his indecisiveness."[4]

Chart performance[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

In 1999, Brooks & Dunn covered this song on the television soundtrack to King of the Hill. This version peaked at number 55 on the Hot Country Songs charts based on unsolicited airplay.

The song was also covered by The Highwaymen on their debut album.

In 1978, two years before the US release, the song was covered (translated to Spanish under the title "Contra el viento") by Argentine rock band Plus on their second album Melancolica Muchacha.[7]

The Hold Steady released their version of the song on their 2007 Stuck Between Stations EP.

  • Garth Brooks covered the song for the 2013 Classic Rock album in the Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences compilation.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song was played in the movie Forrest Gump, where Forrest was running across the country.[8]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Pop Songs: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 218.
  2. ^ Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Greatest Hits, CD sleeve.
  3. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock 'n' Roll Gold Rush. Algora Publishing. p. 359. ISBN 087586208X.
  4. ^ Marsh, Dave (1985). Fortunate Son. Random House. pp. 129–132. ISBN 0394721195.
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Singles (1980)". RPM. Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  7. ^ "Melancólica muchacha".
  8. ^ "Forrest Gump - Run Scene". YouTube. August 29, 2012.

External links[edit]