The Pop Song Pantheon, Vol. 7
"Night Moves" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (1976)
Rock and roll is ostensibly a youthful domain, bounded off emphatically from infiltrators on the far side of twenty-five. And yet, Bob Seger's greatest songs--almost without exception--are rock anthems intended for those of us with wrinkling skin and graying beards. Seger specializes in nostalgia with a backbeat, as on this, my favorite of all of his songs. It's a Proustian looking-back at the empty bliss of summertime sex in adolescence, but moves to gravity in a slow bridge. Lest you think you're lost to weltschmerz entirely, though, Bob brings you back to hopefulness with one of the best unspoken "1-2, 1-2-3" guitar-riff returns I can think of.