On this day in 1976 (October 22,) Bob Seger’s album “Night Moves” came out via Capitol Records.
“Night Moves” is the ninth studio album by Bob Seger, but the first official album to mention the Silver Bullet Band. This is the album that made Bob Seger a household name. Three singles were initially released and two of those singles made the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The album went Gold and later went Platinum six times.
Four of the nine songs were recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama alongside the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Another four were recorded at Pampa Studios in Detroit alongside the Silver Bullet Band. However, after these recording sessions, the band needed one more song. Three days were booked at the Nimbus Nine Studios in Toronto where three more songs came out. Those three songs really weren’t anything special though.
The band kept writing and writing while part of the band went back to Detroit. Seger stayed with the rest of the crew. In came producer Jack Richardson, local guitarist Joe Miquelson, organist Doug Riley, and existing band members bass player Chris Campbell and drummer Charlie Allen Martin. Seger held on to this idea for almost six months. He and Richardson came up with “I woke up to the sound of thunder,” right on the spot. Thus, the song “Night Moves” – and the title track – was born.
The Meaning Behind ‘Night Moves’
Per Songfacts, the single “Night Moves” is inspired by the movie “American Graffiti. Set in 1962 and released in 1973, Seger says, “I came out of the theater thinking, Hey, I have a story to tell too. Nobody has ever told about how it was to grow up in my neck of the woods.”
The song is about the coming-of-age of teenage love and the affair that Seger engaged in once upon a time. The song is very autobiographical. The singer was dating a girl who had a boyfriend deployed in the military. When he returned home, the girl married her boyfriend, and Seger was left utterly heartbroken.
The literal meaning behind “Night Moves” has a few different meanings. It’s perceived as the literal moves taken on a girl and then all the parties and night outs that Seger once had. They’d turn on their headlights and dance around in front of them.
Bruce Wendell at Capitol Records knew that “Night Moves” was going to be a hit. He told Seger, “you’re going to be singing this song for your entire career.”
Funnily enough, there wasn’t a video for “Night Moves” until Seger released his Greatest Hits record in 1994. That’s when the first video for the song came out. Directed by Wayne Isham, the video incorporated a vibe from “American Graffiti” as that was the movie that started it all.