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“Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

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“Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

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“Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band


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    “Night Moves” by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band is a classic rock song.

    Song Title: Night Moves
    Artist: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
    Album: Night Moves
    Genre: rock, classic rock, soft rock
    Composer: Copyright © 1976 Bob Seger
    Lead Vocals: Bob Seger
    Backing Vocals: Sharon Lee Williams, Rhonda Silver, Laurel Ward
    Guitar: Joe Miquelon
    Acoustic Guitar: Bob Seger
    Piano: Doug Riley
    Organ: Doug Riley
    Bass Guitar: Chris Campbell
    Drums: Charlie Allen Martin
    Director: Wayne Isham
    Producer: Jack Richardson
    Recorded: 1976, Nimbus Nine Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Released: 12 December 1976
    Format: 7" 45 rpm vinyl
    Label: Capitol
    Number of listens: 20663
    Current rank: 598 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 592 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Night Moves” is a song written and performed by Bob Seger, from his 1976 album Night Moves. Released as a single in December 1976, it eventually reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. In doing so, it almost single-handedly changed Seger from being a popular regional favorite into a national star.


    Seger and the Silver Bullet Band went to Toronto for three days to record a few tracks with The Guess Who’s producer Jack Richardson, whose Nimbus 9 Productions company was hot at the time. The band quickly recorded two Seger originals, one of which was “Long Long Gone”, and a cover of the Motown hit “My World Is Empty Without You”, but before Seger left on the third day, he composed a fourth song to record. Seger said that the song was influenced by Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland”. As the only members of the Silver Bullet Band still in Toronto were the bassist and drummer (plus Seger on acoustic guitar and piano), Richardson recruited local session musicians to play electric guitar and organ, while Sharon Lee Williams, Rhonda Silver and Laurel Ward sang the song’s trademark backing vocals.

    Richardson said that “the whole arrangement came together in the studio.” “Night Moves” is a mid-tempo number that starts quietly with acoustic guitar. Bass guitar and drums are introduced as the song’s setting is described: 1962, cornfields, ’60 Chevy. An intense summertime teenage affair is described, knowingly more sexual than romantic, with short instrumental lines breaking the evocative imagery sometimes in mid-sentence. Piano, female backing vocals, electric guitar and organ are added as the song’s emotional nostalgia builds momentum. Then suddenly it stops, as the narrative flashes forward to some period in the future, where he hums a song from 1962. To a quiet acoustic guitar, the narrator, awakened by a clap of thunder and unable to fall back asleep, ponders a different sense of the title phrase. Then the rest of the instruments fall back in, for an extended coda vamp of the chorus.

    An edit of the song was generated that omitted the narrative interlude. (This abbreviated version is the one that was used on the “FM” soundtrack.)

    After the tracks were mixed by Richardson and engineer Brian Christian, Richardson said that he received a call from Seger’s manager/producer Punch Andrews expressing dissatisfaction with the tracks, and Andrews said that Capitol Records had been equally disappointed. A few months later, when Richardson was talking to a Capitol A&R executive, he asked about the Seger sessions and was told that “both tracks” were potential B-sides. It turned out that Seger and Andrews had never given “Night Moves” to Capitol, so Richardson did and, after hearing it, Capitol made it the title track of Seger’s next album, as well as the first single.

    Seger remembers the sessions somewhat differently. He claims that it was his decision to use musicians other than his normal band, and that he saw the song as potentially the one that would define his career. However, that appears to be inconsistent with the fact that the song was not submitted to Capitol by Seger and Andrews.

Critical reaction

    Music writer Samuel Delliance of The New York Post wrote in 1977, “‘Night Moves’ is supposed to take place in Michigan in the early 1960s, but it is timeless and placeless. You can be across the street from Kissena Park in Queens in the early evening with no one in sight and the song will suddenly flood your mind just as it did Seger’s.” In his 1979 volume Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, famed rock critic Greil Marcus selected the single “Night Moves” for inclusion on same, writing simply: “The mystic chords of memory.”

    “Night Moves” was named by Rolling Stone as Best Single of the Year for 1977. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named it one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Seger’s only such selection.

Music video

    In 1994, nearly 20 years after the original song was released, an accompanying music video was released. Directed by Wayne Isham, it was set in a drive-in movie theater in the early 1960s, it interspersed footage of Seger performing in a present-day version of the drive-in (seemingly, now abandoned) with various vignettes featuring characters described in the song. Matt LeBlanc was in the starring role, prior to his debut in Friends; he later claimed that he was drunk through the whole video, having shared a bottle of tequila with Seger immediately before the shoot. Also featured in the video was Daphne Zuniga of Melrose Place. In the video, Zuniga’s dark, edgy young woman becomes an object of visual fascination for LeBlanc’s clean-cut young man.

Cultural manifestations

    Filmmaker Gary Weis produced an unofficial music video for “Night Moves” that aired on Saturday Night Live in January 1977. Seger recorded a special version of “Night Moves” for the 1981 animated film American Pop. This version, with Seger’s guitar overdubbed by a piano, has never been released on any album.

    A satirical take on the song’s chorus is sung by Tina Fey in the TV show 30 Rock as “workin’ on my night cheese”.

    It was featured in episodes of That ’70s Show, The OC, and How I Met Your Mother.

    TNN used an alternate version at the end of their coverage of the 1996 Winston All-Star Race. It replaced the line “tryin’ to lose the awkward teenage blues” heard in the regular song with “tryin’ to make some front page drive-in news”. This version also removed all mentions of the line “in the back seat of my ’60 Chevy.”

    “Night Moves”, along with “Hollywood Nights”, appeared on the soundtrack for the 2013 video game, Grand Theft Auto V. Both songs are featured in the in-game radio station, Los Santos Rock Radio.

    “Night Moves” is featured in the episode Meg Stinks! in season 12 of Family Guy; Peter Griffin states that the song, as are all of Bob Seger’s songs, is about bowel movements.

    A Spanish version of “Night Moves” is sung in a nightclub by Kenny Powers’ love interest Vida in Season 2 of Eastbound & Down.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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most recent comment

    Marc: Night Moves is George’s favorite song.

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