The mega selling Bryan Adams ‘Reckless’ album, is voted by many as being one of the best of the AOR genre.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Bryan Adams
SERIAL: SP-5013 (LP), CD 5013 (CD)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Bryan Adams – vocals, guitars, piano * Keith Scott – lead guitars * Dave Taylor – bass * Pat Steward – drums
Additional Musicians: Tommy Mandel – keyboards * Jim Vallance – percussion * Mickey Curry, Steve Smith – drums * Rob Sabino – keyboards * Tina Turner – lead vocal * John Eddie, Lou Gramm – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 One Night Love Affair * 02 Shes Only Happy When Shes Dancin’ * 03 Run To You * 04 Heaven * 05 Somebody * 06 Summer Of 69 * 07 Kids Wanna Rock * 08 It’s Only Love * 09 Long Gone * 10 Ain’t Gonna Cry
WEBLINKS: Site Link
The mega selling Bryan Adams ‘Reckless’ album, is voted by many as being one of the best of the AOR genre. The fact that it went on to sell by the bucket-load has produced two interesting trains of thought.
The first: his success has probably seen the fickle AOR community turn away from him. Very much like the ‘tall poppy syndrome’. The second: because of his success, some of his quality albums are still overlooked, in favor of some acts of the genre that were one-album wonders or obscure legends in their own right.
I’ll throw Michael Bolton‘s first three albums into that same camp. Make no mistake, ‘Reckless’ is a quality album, there is not one ounce of filler onboard, making it a complete listen from woe to go. If it wasn’t, ‘Reckless’ wouldn’t be recognised for the hugely successful recording that it is.
One should not forget the tremendous contribution made by Bryan’s songwriting partner Jim Vallance. In the same league as Elton John and Bernie Taupin. A team approach bound for success.
I recall reviewing this album for the New Zealand based Kreshendo fanzine back in late 1984. Adams had been to New Zealand earlier that year as a support slot with The Police, and was promoting his ‘Cuts Like A Knife’ album at the time. Therein laid the foundation for ‘Reckless’.
The radio friendly tracks, mixed with a bit of boyish enthusiasm certainly appealed to Kiwi audiences. His video for ‘Cuts Like A Knife’ was being aired regularly, so by the time ‘Reckless’ turned up, the album was ear-marked for success. Adam’s roughened vocals a far cry from his dubious days with Vancouver outfit Sweeney Todd where it sounded as if he had a helium balloon close by! Onto the songs then:
‘One Night Love Affair’ – perfect radio rock. Tell me you haven’t played this song loud on the car stereo on some journey to elsewhere! Melodious guitars and memorable singalong choruses. Easily a winner, and a track which went into the Top 10 of the single charts.
‘Shes Only Happy When She’s Dancin’ – a happy-go-lucky tune, full of infectious lines and handclaps. Rousing and upbeat mostly. ‘Run To You’ – considered a classic rock ‘classic’ (double speak? You betcha!). Up there with the greats of the genre as a single, and one of those tracks that you can easily recommend as part of the AOR genre.
‘Heaven’ – the first ballad on show, and one that highlights Adam’s ability for the softer introspective moment when it’s called for. It obviously worked because the song hit No#1 on the singles charts. ‘Somebody’ – another radio rock tune, applying the bullet-proof formula heard on other Adams’ tunes such as ‘Cuts Like A Knife’.
‘Summer of ’69’ – you’ve no doubt heard this one on radio too.. You know the words ..‘I got my first real six-string.. Bought it at the five and dime’ A signature Adams tune, which again proved popular the world over. ‘Kids Wanna Rock’ – An anthem, in recognition of those who will go out and buy this record. Aimed squarely at the youth market.
‘It’s Only Love’ – this duet with Tina Turner was raunchy and gritty, with distinctive power chords. Another track to make it into the Top 10 singles charts, though two years after the album came out! ‘Long Gone’ – if this song came out five years earlier, it could’ve been tailor-made for a band like Foghat. It is so bluesy and energetic.
‘Ain’t Gonna Cry’ – this track is a throwback to the late 70’s pop scene. The organ runs, and scattered arrangement is similar to Elvis Costello and the like. Not the best tune on the album admittedly, but it still flows consistently with the rest of the material.
Apart from 1987’s ‘Into The Fire’ and 1991’s ‘Waking Up The Neighbors’, Adams career has been up and down. The wimpy soundtrack material that he got involved with probably didn’t do his popularity any good, though I’m sure his bank balance would disagree.
I’m sure that for the purist rocker, it would be great to see him back in the saddle for another album along the lines of ‘Reckless’. I’ve got just the album title for him if he does: ‘Still Reckless And Don’t You Forget It’.
Run To You
It’s Only Love (with Tina Turner)
Entire Album (Select Tracks)