Up until last week, hearing most of Bob Seger‘s catalog without committing some sort of minor copyright violation was no easy task. Very few albums were on iTunes and absolutely nothing was on the streaming services, meaning you had to buy physical CDs to get the famous albums or resort to expensive collectible vinyl for his early catalog, which has been out of print for decades. It was like his team felt if they just held out long enough this whole Internet fad would go away and people would go back to shelling out 20 bucks whenever they wanted to hear an album. They finally came to their senses last week, though a very sizable chunk of his work remains unavailable.
One song you can definitely hear is “Night Moves.” The title track to his breakthrough LP has been a mainstay on classic rock radio for decades, and you can check out the official video right here, though it requires a great deal of context. The song takes place during his teenage years in 1962, but he wrote it in 1976 when he was entering his thirties and beginning to look back nostalgically at a time when he was trying to make “front page drive-in news” by hooking up with a “black-haired beauty with big dark eyes” in the back of his 1960 Chevy.
He didn’t get around to making a video for “Night Moves” until 1994 when he released his first greatest hits package. So, it features 1994 Bob Seger lip-syncing to 1976 Bob Seger singing about 1962 Bob Seger. Got all that? It filmed months before Matt LeBlanc got cast as Joey Tribbiani on Friends, so he was willing to take a role as the love interest to Daphne Zuniga, then in the middle of her run on Melrose Place. If the video wasn’t packed full of enough 1990s TV icons, Johnny Galecki from Roseanne (and later The Big Bang Theory) is also in it. It’s a wonder they didn’t find roles for Wayne Knight, Calista Flockhart, Jenna Elfman and Dave Coulier.
When Seger hits the road in late August for his first US tour in two years, “Night Moves” will almost certainly come at a key moment in the encore section. Let’s hope by then there’s some movement on getting the rest of his catalog back into print. He can even promote with them “Night Moves”-style videos. Maybe he can cast Jim Parsons and Taraji P. Henson in a “Get Out of Denver” video or Randall Park and Sofía Vergara one for “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” They’d be as wonderfully bizarre as this “Night Moves” video.