Bryan Adams, Live in London

Bryan Adams revisits breakthrough album 30 years on

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Three decades ago, the Reckless album put a young Canadian onto a path that would make him the best-selling rock artist in the country's history. As he revisits the album that shaped the career, we wonder what it all means.

**Time Stands Still ** At least it has for Bryan Adams – a sprightly and svelte 55 years old this month – and the indomitable Reckless album. Thirty years later and not much has changed for a record that defined Adams and his career for ever after. The Reckless shows promised much; the original album in its entirety plus a cherry picked best of Bryan set. As the happy Adams concedes at one point with a grin and a shrug, “That’s the end of the Reckless portion of the show, but, hey, I’ve got thirteen albums.”

Old Friends, Bookends Confounding expectations, Adams starts the show with the album’s title track, which never made the original - though you can find it on the latest deluxe edition – and causes frowns of consternation right around the arena. Prompting the man in front of CR to mutter, “He needs to sort this out.” But things are soon righted as the band - not least the spectacular and long standing guitarist Keith Scott – go thumping into One Night Love Affair, the familiar, strident thwack of the opening snare welcomed like an old friend, which, in a way, it is.

**Fast And Loose **Reckless might be Adams’ musical higher ground, but even he’s adroit enough to know that playing the entire thing in order is going to lose momentum live as the album was originally front loaded with hit after hit after hit; of the ten songs that made up Reckless, six were released as singles in the US. So while side one runs pretty much to plan (up to Heaven at least, which is accompanied, much to the crowd’s delight, by Adams’ old song writing partner Jim Vallance on piano), he then takes liberties with the original running order so that an ecstatic Summer Of ‘69 acts as the album’s furious, crashing crescendo.

A Game of Two Halves And while his band may rattle and hum through rollicking stompers like 18 Til I Die - ‘18 Til I’m 55!’, yells an exuberant Adams – and the tumbling Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, it’s the lazy lament of songs like Please Forgive Me and Let Me Down Easy (another Reckless outtake) that has the women around CR up and swaying to who knows what memories, hands clutching handbags tight, knuckles white from the holding on, Bryan Adams taking them forever away.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.