Guy Adams, November 5, 1959, Kingston, Canada
trademark white T-shirt and blue jeans, Bryan Adams may have
looked like a regular guy. But his unerring gift for
radio-friendly pop hooks made him the most successful artist
exported from Canada in the Eighties, even as critics
dismissed his straightforward, anthemic rock as a shallow
formularization of Bruce Springsteen.
father was a Canadian diplomat, and Adams attended military
schools in England, Austria, Portugal, and Israel. When he
was 12 his parents separated, and he lived with his mother
in Vancouver, British Columbia. By then he had taught
himself to play guitar and decided make music his career. At
16, he quit school, bought a grand piano with money from his
college fund, and joined bands. At age 17 he befriended Jim
Valiance, who had written songs for the Canadian band Prism.
After two years of writing and recording demo tapes, their
partnership produced the 1979 disco-styled Canadian single
"Let Me Take You Dancing." The pair sold songs to
Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Joe Cocker, and Juice Newton, then
landed a publishing deal with A&M Records, which led to
Adamsí recording contract.
eponymous debut album stiffed, but the follow up, You
Want It, You Got It (#118, 1982) did better, and Adams
opened shows for such bands as the Kinks, Foreigner, and
Loverboy. Cuts Like a Knife (#8, 1983) was Adamsí
U.S. breakthrough, producing hits in "Straight from the
Heart" (#10, 1983), the title cut (#15, 1983), and
"This Time" (#24, 1983); the latter two were
accompanied by popular eye-catching videos. Reckless (#1,
1984) was even bigger, selling over five million copies and
yielding such hits as "Run to You" (#6,1984),
"Somebody" (#11, 1985), and "Summer of
Ď69" (#5, 1985), Adamsí first hit ballad in
"Heaven" (#1, 1985), and "Itís Only
Love" (#15, 1985), a duet with Tina Turner (with whom
Adams toured, and for whom he produced a track on her 1986 Break
Every Rule). Adams appeared at Live Aid in Philadelphia
in 1985, and in 1986 performed on Amnesty Internationalís
Conspiracy of Hope Tour with Sting and U2.
the Fire yielded hits in "Heat of the Night"
(#6, 1987), "Hearts of Fire" (#26, 1987), and
"Victim of Love" (#32, 1987). Adams refused to
allow the use of the albumís "Only the Strong
Survive" in the Tom Cruise film Top Gun, because
he felt the movie glorified war.
performing at the 1988 Freedomfest in London to honor freed
South African apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela, Adams began
work on Waking Up the Neighbours. Meantime, Joe
Cocker recorded Adamsí "When the Night Comes,"
and Dion recorded his "Drive All Night"; Adams had
a quick cameo in the 1989 Clint Eastwood film Pink
Cadillac and performed at Roger Watersí 1990 Berlin
production of The Wall. The release of Neighbours (#6,
1992) was preceded by the appearance of "(Everything I
Do) I Do It for You" under the credits of the Kevin
Costner film Robin Hood -- Prince of Thieves. The
ballad was an instant smash, topping the U.S. pop chart for
seven weeks, and the U.K. chart for a record-breaking 16
weeks. In February 1992 Adams took issue with his
homelandís "Canadian Content" regulations, which
restricted airplay of Neighbours because Adams co
wrote and coproduced the record with an Englishman, Mutt
Lange. Adams briefly threatened to boycott the annual Juno
Awards, Canadaís version of the Grammys, where he ended up
winning Entertainer and Producer of the Year awards. A hits
collection, So Far So Good (#6,1993), proved his
continuing appeal in the Nineties followed by the highly
successful 18 Till I Die and On A Day Like Today Albums.
Bryan Adams (A&M)
1981 -- You Want It, You Got It
1983 -- Cuts Like a Knife
1984 -- Reckless
1986 -- Live! Live! Live!
1987 -- Into the Fire
1991 -- Waking Up the Neighbours
1993 -- So Far So Good.
1997 -- 18 Till I Die
1999 -- On A Day Like Today
2000 - Best Of Me