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1976 – Part 1.6: Bob Seger – Night Moves

I always have time for a little bit of Bob Seger. “Old Time Rock N Roll” was the song that got his name into my consciousness. “Turn The Page” was another, but I heard the Metallica version first. Actually, that whole “Garage Inc.” album from Metallica, got me excited to check out bands that I wasn’t sure I should check out.

So “Night Moves” is album number 9. For a person who lived on the road, the cover is perfect, with his image and the spotlight in the background.

At the age of 30, Seger did good live business in middle America, but couldn’t break through nationally.

Then he dropped the “Night Moves” album, a road trip of nostalgia and a soundtrack for many growing up in the 70’s. I didn’t hear this album until the 90’s. Such a long time after its release but if I heard this in the 80’s I wouldn’t have liked it, as I was head over heels in love with hard rock and heavy metal.

“Rock and Roll Never Forgets”

It’s a 12 bar blues romp.

The catchcry of “come back baby, rock and roll never forgets” is truth. As fans of the music and its lifestyle, we can dabble our tastes in other styles but we always come back to our rock and roll roots like we never left.

“Oh the bands still playing it loud and lean / Listen to the guitar player making it scream”

“Night Moves”

When I was doing some reading on Bob Seger, a lot of reviews when the album came out, kept mentioning how his songs sound like other songs that came before. And I’m thinking, perfect, that’s just the way I like it.

“I used her, she used me / But neither one cared / We were gettin’ our share / Workin’ on our night moves”

The strummed acoustic guitar kicks it off, but it’s Seger’s phrasing and vocal delivery, almost “American Pie” like.

The narrative of the secret getaways of teenage lovers takes its cues from Van Morrison and his “Brown Eyed Girl” and the movie “American Graffiti”. Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland” from “Born To Run” can also be heard, a coincidence or a fact that both artists have the same influences.

“The Fire Down Below”

It feels like a song from The Eagles “Hotel California” album which came a few years after. Reading comments on the YouTube video of the song, led me to a 60’s R&B singer called Johnny Taylor, and his songs “Who’s Makin’ Love” and “Take Care of Your Homework”. And one comment even mentioned that the Silver Bullet Band is tight in the “Brown Sugar” style of the Rolling Stones.

All I can say is, take what has come before and make it better.

“Sunburst”

“Sunburst” has inspirations from the Beatles “Dear Prudence” and Rod Stewart’s “Handbags And Gladrags”.

Stick around for the change at the 2.10 minute mark when it gets a bit metal like.

“Gaze on the sunburst / His weapon at his side / He flashes it with pride / Before his legions”

What’s this. Lyrics about the wood finish on a guitar. Before the term “Guitar Hero” even existed.

“Sunspot Baby”

Another 12 bar blues romp, that he would really nail with “Old Time Rock’N’Roll”.

“She packed up her bags and she took off down the road / Left me here stranded with the bills she owed / She gave me a false address / Took off with my American Express”

Story telling at its best about a lover who did a number on him as she charged up a fortune on his credit card.

“Mainstreet”

It could be about any town in any part of the world, as we all have the same main streets and a story or two of someone who tried to make it out.

The guitar melodies and leads on this one are excellent.

“And sometimes even now, when I’m feeling lonely and beat / I drift back in time and I find my feet / Down on Mainstreet”

That’s right, you can never escape your hometown. You know every corner, every crack on the road, every curb and every smell. It’s in your DNA.

“Come to Poppa”

It smoulders along with its “Cocaine” groove.

“If you need a pacifier / Call me anytime”

This is more crude than any lyric that the PMRC found offensive in a decades time for their “Filthy 15” list.

“Suck on that”, I say.

“Ship of Fools”

The Eagles influence is present again with “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Take It Easy” combining to become “Ship Of Fools”.

“Mary Lou”

It’s a cover and it sounds like Seals and Crofts “Your Mama Don’t Dance” or “Jailhouse Rock” or “Smokin In The Boys Room”.

You know the riff I’m talking about.

In the U.S, six million copies were shipped, for a 6× Platinum certification. And “Night Moves” is the anchor to Seger’s most successful period which includes “Stranger In Town” in 1978 and “Against the Wind” in 1980.

How many artists can say that their ninth album broke em him to the masses?

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Music

The Night Flight Orchestra – Internal Affairs (2012)

2012 Album released that should not be forgotten.

Wow – what a classic rock album released in June 2012.

Internal Affairs

The Night Flight Orchestra (NFO) is a side project / super group of Bjorn Strid (Soilwork) on vocals, Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy) on bass, David Anderson (Meanstreak and Soilwork session player) on guitars, Jonas Kallsback (Meanstreak) on drums and Richard Larsson (Von Benzo) on drums.

Imagine Kiss, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Bee Gees, Boston, Deep Purple, Steely Dan, Led Zeppelin and Journey thrown into a blender.  The result is The Night Flight Orchestra.

1. Siberian Queen kicks it off with its combination of Led Zep’s Immigrant Song and Achilles Last Stand.  This icy princess from the Russian wilderness, starts to do the opposite and warm the ear buds for more.

2. California Morning kicks off with a Boston meets Kiss guitar riff to tell the story about  tearful goodbyes on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

3. Glowing City Madness – This has an Elton John style vocal melody to tell the story of an Asian Dancer.

4. West Ruth Ave – Wow, what a catchy hook on this song.  This song is hit potential and it deserves to go viral so that everyone hears Bjorn’s story of fleeing Ft Lauderdale and ending up in Phoenix. It has that Gotye levels of catchy, a Kiss Dynasty / Foreigner / Bee Gees rock disco vibe and a Layla esque outro.

5. Transatlantic Blues – The first part is very Styx like and then it moves into a heavy Deep Purple meets Kiss War Machine style riff.  Even Jake E Lee referenced the same classic rock material for his Badlands project with Ray Gillan on vocals.

I read somewhere on the net that this song is about embarking on an inner journey and ending up in the middle of nowhere, shitfaced and listening to KANSAS.

6. Miami 5:02 – This is what happens when Van Halen meets Deep Purple.  Waking up in Florida in your birthday suit and a pair of Ray Bans.

7. Internal Affairs – Play That Funky Music White Boy meets Stevie Wonder Superstitious.  Nothing more should be said.  This funky ode is to a mysterious women from the age of the Cold War.

8. 1998 – is the 2012 version of Bob Seger’s classic 70’s recordings like Turn The Page and Night Moves crossed with the best of the Michael Stanley Band.  This song tells the story of travelling the endless highways of America.

9. Stella Ain’t no Dove – The threesome party anthem.

10. Montreal Midnight Supply – This is Deep Purple, 38 Special and Kiss Detroit Rock City stomping shuffle.  In the chorus it even sounds like Y&T’s Midnight In Tokyo.  Throughout the whole song you get that classic twin guitar feel of Thin Lizzy.

11. Green Hills of Glumslöv – Glumslöv is the small village in Sweden where Bjorn is from.  When you hear this song, you will get the instant sensation of the Warriors returning to Coney Island and Joe Walsh’s In The City playing in the background.  There is also a large Queen influence in this.

12. American High is the digital bonus track.

Overall its a great album.

What could have NFO done differently with this release?

Since they embraced the 70’s vibe in the music, in my view they should have embraced the 70’s vibe for marketing and released an 8 song album (Tracks 1 to 8) and then released ‘4 singles with a B side’.  Tracks 9 to 12 could have been the B sides.  Single material songs are West Ruth Ave, Internal Affairs, California Morning and Transatlantic Blues.

 

 

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