Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bryan Adams - Reckless

Today (November 5th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Reckless, the fourth studio album from Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. This blockbuster record went to number 19 in Germany, number 11 in the Netherlands, number 10 in Switzerland, number 7 in the UK, number 5 in Sweden, number 2 in Australia and Norway, and number 1 in Canada. Here in the US, it also hit number 1 on the Billboard Album chart with a total chart run of eighty-three weeks.

Side one opens with “One Night Love Affair”, the album’s fifth single. It peaked at number 85 in Australia, number 19 in Canada, number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 7 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. This mid-tempo rocker tells of two lonely people who seek out comfort for a night and are then left even emptier than before.

Next up is “She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’”. Here, Adams sings about a young woman frustrated with her daily grind who seeks refuge in weekend night spots where she can dance the night away.

“Run to You”, the lead single, hit number 24 in Australia, number 21 in Belgium, number 14 in the Netherlands and New Zealand, number 11 in the UK, number 8 in Ireland, number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 4 in Canada, and number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. That opening guitar riff sets up the dramatic mood for the track; Adams’ vocals add to the layer atop of it.

“Heaven”, a power ballad, first appeared on the soundtrack of A Night In Heaven from 1983. Released as the third single from this album, it went to number 38 in the UK, number 28 in Germany and the Netherlands, number 22 in Belgium, number 17 in New Zealand, number 14 in Switzerland, number 12 in Australia and on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 11 in Canada and Ireland, number 9 in Spain, number 8 in Sweden, number 3 in Norway, and number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100. For a good chunk of time, this was a key slow dance track that typically ended up with us slowly swaying in a tight embrace and making out with our partner on the dance floor.

“Somebody”, the second single, went to number 35 in the UK, number 20 in Ireland, number 13 in Canada, number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. This mid-tempo rocker rings out the yearnings of an aching heart, looking to fill a void. Adams’ guitar perfectly echoes the sentiment.

Side two starts with “Summer of ‘69”. As the fourth single, it hit number 62 in Germany, number 42 in the UK, number 40 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, number 18 in Ireland, number 17 in Austria, number 13 in Sweden, number 11 in Canada, number 9 in Norway, number 7 in Belgium and New Zealand, and number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The tune tells the tale of some friends who form their first band at the end of the 60’s. Being my favorite of the singles from the album, I love this song to this day! When it comes on the radio, I am belting it out right along with Adams and pounding out the beats on my steering wheel with my hands.

“Kids Wanna Rock” was the B-side to the fourth single; it charted at number 42 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. This pedal-to-the-metal anthem comments on the current, at the time, radio scene and asserts that rock n’ roll was and always will be king. This one is my favorite of the deep cuts from the album.

Tina Turner joins Adams for a duet on “It’s Only Love”; the combination of these two performers was like lightning in a bottle. As the sixth single, it scored at number 52 in Australia, number 44 in Germany, number 37 in New Zealand, number 30 in Austria, number 29 in the UK, number 21 in the Netherlands, number 16 in Ireland and Switzerland, number 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 14 in Belgium and Canada, number 7 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and number 5 in Sweden.

The B-side to the second single was “Long Gone”. I like the blues vibe to this one, especially on the guitar. I would love to hear a version of it done fully in that style by pulling back on the drums a bit and slowing it down slightly.

The album closes with “Ain’t Gonna Cry”, another thundering high energy rocker.

While I did not own a copy of Reckless on vinyl, I did manage to pick up a copy of it on CD in the early 90’s. I had already been a fan of most of the record, thanks to the constant play of the hit singles all throughout 1985 and beyond. Many of these songs were staples of on-campus parties during my sophomore and junior years of college as well. Definitely a classic 80’s album that still holds up today three decades later.

For more Bryan Adams, click here.

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