Great Rock Albums of 1983: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band- The Distance

Bob_Seger_-_The_Distance

When I returned from my six month tour in the Far East in April, 1983, I had a lot to look forward to upon my arrival in the USA. The main one was the fact that I had less than 100 days left in the service. I was what is commonly called, a two digit midget. Another thing I had to look forward to was many of the music releases that passed me by during my six months away. Adding to that was after reading a rock magazine, I found out to my delight that the unsung hero of 1970’s rock, Bob Seger, had released a new album.

“Even Now” was one of the first songs I heard on the radio upon my return. This delighted me more because I was relieved that Bob had stuck to his normal great formula instead of being railroaded by the creeping doom of synth pop. “Even Now” is reminiscent of the classic “Hollywood Nights” but it is yet unique enough to stand on its own. A great song and a brilliant way to open “The Distance.”

Things go a bit harder with the next track, “Makin’ Thunderbirds,” which has a sort of New Orleans vibe. I could easily see myself sitting in a bar banging my near empty bottle on the table in time to it. Love the sax solo to it as well. Then, if that wasn’t hard enough, “Boomtown Blues” comes at you even harder. In fact, I could see a heavy metal band covering this song.

After the first three songs get your blood pumping, things slow down a little with “Shame on the Moon.” With this song, I get the picture of a cowboy on a horse, singing this song while playing a guitar. Even so, Bob Seger and his band make it sound like a memorable ride. Things go even slower with the first ballad, “Love’s the Last to Know.” Nothing wrong here, Bob Seger is one of the few who could perform a ballad like this and still make it a good listen.

At first, “Roll Me Away” starts like another ballad but thoughts of that are soon discarded as the song propels into one of those classic 70s sounding Bob Seger songs. All of the elements that made Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band so great a decade earlier are present in this song. No wonder why it, and several other songs including the opener, did so well in the singles charts. That leads brilliantly to another hard rocker, “House Behind a House.” This too would probably sound pretty good if covered by a metal band.

Things again slow down with “Comin’ Home” before going out nice with “Little Victories.” Back then, I thought that Bob Seger was back and good as ever. Nowadays, I realise that he never really went away. “The Distance” proves it.

Track Listing:

  1. Even Now
  2. Makin’ Thunderbirds
  3. Boomtown Blues
  4. Shame on the Moon
  5. Love’s the Last to Know
  6. Roll Me Away
  7. House Behind a House
  8. Comin’ Home
  9. Little Victories
Bob Seger

Bob Seger

The Silver Bullet Band

Bob Seger- guitar, vocals

Chris Campbell- bass

Craig Frost- keyboards

Alto Reed- saxophone

Additional Musicians:

Russ Kunkel- drums

Drew Abbot- guitar on “Makin’ Thunderbirds” and “Shame on the Moon

Roy Bittan- piano on “Even Now” and “Roll Me Away”

Don Felder- guitar on “Even Now” and “Boomtown Blues”

Glenn Frey- harmony vocals on “Shame on the Moon”

What a great album to return home to! That’s what I thought when I first came back from overseas in 1983. What’s even better is that “The Distance” is as good now as it was then. If I didn’t already know that Bob Seger is in the Rock Hall of Fame, I would be using this post to ask why not.

Next post: Madness- The Rise and Fall

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1983: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band- The Distance”

  1. Yeah, has a 70s vibe despite its 80s release date. Shame on the Moon & Roll Me Away are my favorites from the album. Great driving music. These days, he doesn’t get enough attention and should be known for more than simply the Risky Business soundtrack.

    Like

    • Very much agree with that. Like I said, Seger was the unsung hero 70s rock. People today might now remember his name but you mention any of his classic songs and they’ll respond, “Oh yeah.”

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: