Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Roll Me Away" by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

Song#:  1472
Date:  05/28/1983
Debut:  55
Peak:  27
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Seger's album "The Distance" was doing well thanks to the #2 showing of "Shame on the Moon" (#1 AC/#15 Country) and the #12 "Even Now" (#2 Rock). This third single tried to keep things going, but it just wasn't quite as successful. It only managed to get inside the Pop Top 30 while hitting #13 at Rock. Both "Even Now" and this song were far more rock oriented and didn't fully speak to the crossover audience that took his previous studio album, "Against the Wind," to #1. Although "The Distance" would reach #5 and go platinum, it was a steep drop from its multi-platinum predecessors.

ReduxReview:  Heartland rockers like Seger and John Mellencamp were often compared to Bruce Springsteen in an unflattering way. I remember reading several reviews back then that would call either Seger or Mellencamp a "poor-man's Springsteen." That was a pretty shitty statement because basically they were saying that people who love those two artists were not really smart enough to understand Springsteen's music and that even the artists themselves pale in comparison. I don't think either is true. Each artist had fans from all walks of life and each artist had their own unique sound and awesome music. That's been proven out over the years and the crappy comparison eventually stopped, but at a time when Heartland rock was nearing its peak, most reviewers thought Springsteen farted sunshine and any others were cloudy imitators. The weird reason I bring this up is two-fold. First, the whole "Mask" controversy (see below - BTW, Seger's songs were better in the film, especially this song) and second, this is the one time I'd actually compare Seger with Springsteen. The song has that big epic sound and vision that reminds me of a few Springsteen songs. However, this is all Seger to me. It's not a song I can hear Springsteen performing and that's the difference. It's just Seger showing that he can be an epic heartland storyteller and do it just as well as anybody else. I absolutely love it. The song has become my favorite from Seger's catalog.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  The 1985 movie "Mask" starring Cher and Eric Stoltz was originally supposed to feature songs from Bruce Springsteen's catalog. Based on the life of Rocky Dennis, director Peter Bogdanovich selected Springsteen songs to be used in the film because Springsteen was Dennis' favorite singer. However, talks between the film company and Springsteen's label for use of the songs broke down. Bogdanovich was forced to get other songs and he chose ones by Seger. This particular song was used at the end of the film while a few other Seger songs like "Katmandu," "Mainstreet," and "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets" were featured. Later in 2004, a Director's Cut of the film restored the Springsteen songs as originally intended after rights to use them were secured. So instead of "Roll Me Away" being the final song, Springsteen's "The Promised Land" was used. The other Springsteen songs used in the Director's Cut that replaced the Seger tunes were "Thunder Road," "The River," "Born in the U.S.A." and "Badlands."


No comments:

Post a Comment