Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bob Seger - "Fire Lake"

(Not Available on iTunes)

(Debuted February 23, 1980, Peaked #6, 16 Weeks on the Chart)

"Fire Lake" may be a 1980 single, but its history stretches long before that. Bob Seger began writing its words in the early 1970s and recorded it for his 1975 LP Beautiful Loser. While it didn't make the final cut for that album, it sat in limbo for several years until Seger reconsidered it for the 1980 LP Against the Wind.

Rather than simply releasing the song as he'd recorded it, Seger cut it again and had three of the Eagles (fellow Michigander Glenn Frey, along with Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt), who gave it a characteristic feel that would be recognized by any of that group's fans. The song was different for Seger, with a rolling R&B meets country feel. The lyrics, however, were well in Seger's wheelhouse, featuring a protagonist who's ready to take a big risk and give it all up.

Seger has never spoken about the place he wrote about in "Fire Lake," and that has sparked some debate about where it is. Some fans say it's a reference of the lake of fire that was mentioned in The Bible, while some say it's a place called Silver Lake near Seger's childhood home. Others still point out that there is a real Fire Lake in Michigan. Wherever the source of the song, Seger spins quite a yarn and provides a compelling tale that was a quick Top 10 hit for him.

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