Guilty pleasures: Bryan Adams – Reckless (1984; 2011 reissue)

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November 5, 1984 was a very special day for Bryan Adams. Not only did the Canadian born musician celebrate his 25th birthday that day, but it also marked the release date of his second solo album, Reckless. The record wound up selling a gazillion copies, duly rocketing Bryan to superstardom.

By the time Reckless — which sees commemorative reissue on Tuesday from Universal Japan — originally came out, the young singer, songwriter and guitarist had already spent several long years honing his craft, both in the studio and on stage. The old adages of practice makes perfect and persistency pays off certainly applies here.

Comprised of a spot-on balance of rocking gusto and classy pop curves, Restless deliberately courted mainstream acceptance. Each track is built upon a concrete foundation of extra large choruses, strapping hooks, and synthesized instrumentation. Metal heads dugs the blistering guitars, while those with more subtle tastes in music, meaning casual Top 40 radio fans, simply found the infectious songs easy to hum along with.

Every tune on “Reckless” buzzes with hit-single status, and the album certainly did let loose a wealth of them. From the misty-eyed nostalgia of “Summer of ’69” to the AC-DC inspired “Kids Wanna Rock” to aching hunger of “Run To You” to the power balladry of “Heaven” to the slavish rhythms of “It’s Only Love,” on which Bryan duets with soul goddess Tina Turner, the disc witnessed to be an instance classic.

Blue-collar rock dressed in pop gear or pop dressed in blue-collar gear? No matter what label is slapped on Reckless, there’s no question the songs are extremely catchy and contagious.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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