Bob Seger – Against The Wind

I’ve met some Seger fans who basically stopped liking his music when this album came out. I don’t understand that really because this is one of my favorite Seger songs although I do like his earlier ones the best. Classic Rock radio has really worn this one thin but I still listen to it when it comes on. The older I get the more I can relate.

I always thought Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then was a great line. Funny enough…Seger was going to scratch that line because he said it didn’t sound right grammar-wise… he changed his mind when people told him it was the best line in the song.

The album Against The Wind was huge. It is his only number 1 album to date. Fire Lake is what attracted me to the album and I had it many years ago. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, #1 in Canada,  and #26 in the UK in 1980.

The title track peaked at #5 on the Billboard 100 and #6 in Canada in 1980.

In the lyrics he mentions “Janey”…who was thought to be long term girlfriend Janey Dinsdale. He confirmed it in an interview at the time: Janey says to me all the time, ‘You allow more people to walk on you than anybody I’ve ever known.’ And I always say it’s human nature that people are gonna love you sometimes and they’re gonna use you sometimes. Knowing the difference between when people are using you and when people truly care about you, that’s what “Against the Wind” is all about. The people in that song have weathered the storm, and it’s made them much better that they’ve been able to do it and maintain whatever relationship. To get through is a real victory. 

Half the album was recorded with his Silver Bullet Band and the other half at Muscle Shoals studio with their rhythm section.

Seger won the 1980 Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal Grammy award for this song.

Bob Seger: “My old friend Glenn Frey of the Eagles had an idea that our guitarist Drew Abbott should play along with the piano solo. He and I then went out and did the background vocals together. The line ‘Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then’ bothered me for the longest time, but everyone I knew loved it so I left it in. It has since appeared in several hits by other artists, so I guess it’s OK.”

“The only thing that bothered me about that phrase was the grammar. It sounded grammatically funny to me. I kept asking myself, ‘Is that correct grammar?’ I liked the line, and everybody I played it for – like Glenn and Don (Henley) – were saying, ‘That’s the best line in the song,’ but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t right. But I slowly came around. You have to understand that songwriters can’t punctuate anything they write. I work in such a narrow medium that I tend to second-guess things like that. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen that line in a few other songs since I came up with it, so I guess it was okay after all.”

Against The Wind

It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playing low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
‘Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove
And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then

Against the wind
We were runnin’ against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin’
Against the wind
The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worried about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching
Searching for shelter again and again

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter against the wind

Well those drifter’s days are past me now
I’ve got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

Against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m older now but still runnin’ against the wind
Well I’m older now and still runnin’
Against the wind
Against the wind
Against the wind

I’m still runnin’ against the wind
I’m still runnin’ against the wind (against the wind)
I’m still runnin’ (against the wind)
I’m still runnin’ against the wind (against the wind)
Still runnin’ (against the wind)
Running against the wind
Running against the wind (against the wind)
See the young man run (against the wind)
Watch the young man run (against the wind)
Watch the young man runnin’ (against the wind)
He’ll be runnin’ against the wind (against the wind)
Let the cowboys ride (against the wind)
Oh (against the wind)
Let the cowboys ride (against the wind)
They’ll be ridin’ against the wind (against the wind)
Against the wind (against the wind)
Ridin’ against the wind (against the wind)
Against the wind


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Bob Seger – Against The Wind”

  1. I’m with you, Max – yet another shocker! πŸ™‚

    Sure, while it may not be at the same level of earlier Bob Seger tunes like “Katmandu”, “Turn the Page” and “Old Time Rock and Roll”, there’s nothing wrong with “Against the Wind”. My favorite from that album is “Fire Lake”, which I think is among Seger’s best songs overall. If I recall it correctly, it also was the tune that got him on my radar screen.


  2. It might be a bit overplayed but it’s still a great song and one of my favorites by Bob,though like Christian, I think ‘Fire Lake’ was my favorite off that album and in that part of his career.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had this album (with the running horses on it) and still love the title track. I’ve tried to ape Paul Harris’ style on the piano, but it remains elusive for me. Oh, I like ‘Fire Lake’ as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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