Where To Start With... Bryan Adams
According to Sorelle Saidman's 1995 biography Everything He Does, Bryan Adams signed his first record deal in 1978 with A&M Records for the princely sum of one dollar. More than three decades on and with a career sales tally that exceeds 60 million albums, it's a deal that deserves to go down as one of the shrewdest in the history of the music industry.
Not that Bryan Adams himself will feel hard done by; with 12 studio albums under his belt, a personal fortune estimated at $65 million and his own star on Hollywood's walk of fame, the Canadian has every right to be happy with his end of the deal. Such was the ubiquity of his 1991 single Everything I Do (I Do It For You) that by the end of its record-breaking 16 week run atop the UK Singles Chart, even the producers at Top Of The Pops couldn't bear to air more than 10 seconds of the song they'd been forced to play every single week for four solid months.
After that kind of commercial success, any artist could be forgiven for performing a career mic-drop and walking away, but instead Adams has released six more albums, won a string of awards for his skills as a photographer and been awarded honours in his native Canada, both for his contributions to music and his philanthropic efforts through The Bryan Adams Foundation, which allocates much of his personal fortune to providing education for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds the world over.
Somehow though he's also managed to find the time to record his 13th studio album, Get Up, which arrives in stores today (You can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page). Produced by ELO's Jeff Lynne, Get Up! finds Adams sticking largely to the formula that has brought him so much success over the last 30 years, but there are a few curveballs here and there - 'You Belong To Me' in particular tips a hat to the skiffle groups of the 1950s and 60s.
For the most part though, Get Up finds Adams dealing in his particular brand of infectious guitar riffs and anthemic choruses. Jeff Lynne's influence can be heard on tracks like the Beatles-esque 'Don't Even Try' and the uplifting 'Brand New Day', and while his production isn't quite as bombastic as the stuff you might remember from Mutt Lange on Reckless and Waking Up The Neighbours, he's a good fit for Adams and the singer-songwriter himself says it's one of the best albums he's ever made.
You'll be able to judge for yourself when the album arrives in stores this Friday and you can find the video for new track 'Brand New Day' below, in the meantime though we take a look back over Adams' career and pick five of his best moments. And no, it does not include that song...
Iconic guitar riff? Check. Anthemic chorus? Check. Taken from his 1984 breakthrough record Reckless, 'Run To You' is everything that's good about Bryan Adams distilled into three minutes and fifty three seconds of solid radio gold.
Another cut from Reckless, 'Summer of '69' is still one of Adams' most enduring tunes. Chiming guitars, big, bolder-than-brass production and lyrics you can scream your lungs out to in the pub, this is what Adams does best. So, altogether now: “I got my first real six-string / bought it at the five-and-dime...”
Taken from the multi-platinum juggernaut that is Waking Up The Neighbours – yes, the one with the song that dare not speak its name – this track earned Adams two Grammy nominations and was kept off the Billboard 100 top spot only by Prince's 'Cream'. Still a live favourite on his many world tours, and rightly so.
Not to be confused with the John Cafferty song of the same name from the Rocky soundtrack, 'Hearts on Fire' was featured on 1987's Into the Fire, the follow-up album to Reckless. After the runaway success of its predecessor, the sales figures for this album were a little more subdued and critics began to wonder if Adams' career had already reached its apex, but then somebody had the idea of making a film about Robin Hood...
Taken from 1998's On A Day Like Today, 'When You're Gone' was recorded as a duet with Mel 'Talented Spice' Chisholm following her departure from the Girl Power merchants and proved a big hit, silencing those who doubted whether either of them could follow up on their glory days.