Nightman Listens! To – Bryan Adams (Bryan Adams 1980)

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Hello again, aimless wanderers. A lot of the three people who read this blog regularly are probably thinking ‘Bryan Adams!? What the balls? Why would anyone listen to that?’ Before and after repeatedly slapping your face, I would say that this is my blog and I’ll listen to whatever da hell I like. Now, I understand that a lot of you come here to peruse my top Iron Maiden, Led Zep, Manics, and Radiohead lists, and may sneer at the likes of Bryan Adams as a musician, but the fact is that Adams wrote some of the best straightforward rock songs of the 80s and 90s. As mentioned elsewhere, Michael Jackson was the first artist who really got me into music, and after that came GnR, Nirvana, and so on. But there were other artists at the time who, while they didn’t exactly bridge the gap between Jackson and metal, were a close enough link between pop and rock that I could appreciate them. Roxette, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, all had great songwriting abilities, wrote catchy tunes with fat-ass choruses, and they also had guitars which, to my pre-pre-teen mind, meant they must be cool. And I refuse to deny my former self as some sort of alien who must be shoved aside. So, with that in mind, I will cover some of the aforementioned artists, and those albums I either missed, never owned, or never fully listened to, or have since forgotten over time. Starting with Bryan Adams’s debut 1980 album:

Hidin From Love: 80s drums, synth disaster. Big guitar. Sounds a little cheap. Bryan sounds young. Halfway into you dodgy sex words. Queen pre-chorus. A typical big chorus to get the crowd chanting. Decent pass, decent melodies. Average solo. A young artist, but clearly has ability to write a hook and pen a hit.

Win Some, Lose Some: Slower pace. Still big drums and guitars, and presumably, hair. Songs about love and drinkin. From my time cruisin the highways of the US I imagine this is the sort of thing some rockers would have tapped their hands to whilst drifting down the road with the top down, on their way to pick up a six-pack or some such. Inoffensive, simple.

Wait And See: Catchy riff. Organ. Faster pace. A middle paced rocker. Typical 80s chorus, grabs you, cheesy, but grabs you. Decent, short solo. Rinse and repeat.

Give Me Your Love: Slow. Oh dear. 80s rock ballad as its cheesiest. Echo vocals. Simple words, melody, chorus. Still listenable, but not in front of your friends. Or enemies. High pitched love vocal. Solo? Yes, it’s all present and accounted for. Fairly bland for an Adams ballad. Come on, come on, nothing more to see here.

Wastin Time: Stomping. Food tappin’ good times. Skeep-da-deep-da-do! Straight into chorus. Needs a pre-chorus. Again pleasant chorus, but not memorable. Woo hoo. Picking up the thump in second verse. Daddy. Is there a solo coming? Yes, now. Fine. Chorus for another time, along with guitar twaddles. Scream. Repeat intro as outro.

Don’t Ya Say It: Pianos.woo-hoos. Motown? It definitely has a Motown, near disco-vibe. Interesting, this doesn’t remind me of any other Bryan Adams songs, I wonder if it is a cover. Nice enough melodies. Oh lord, a saxomophone solo – so it is the 80s then.

Remember: Noyse, drums, laugh. Ooh, I know this one. Must be on a greatest hits somewhere. Nice pacing and building. Aah, finally, a memorable chorus. That explains the title then. Decent tune, just lacking a bit of oomph. Ah yes, a disastrous synth disaster.

State Of Mind: Ballad. Piano. Sounds like Queen. Organ. Songs not given much breathing space, they seem to be BASH verse BASH chorus, end. Simple again, nothing special. BASH.

Try To See It My Way: Thomp. Romp. I think I know this one. Oooh. Ah, interesting, a different structure. Slightly. Sounds like the intro soundtrack to an 80s movie. Ally Sheedy. Tired of working in a bank. Bumps into Andrew McCarthy. They need to see it their way. Love prevails. Song and movie end.

So, Adams had not yet reached the peaks of his songwriting abilities. Sure, this is inoffensive stuff, but there are barely 2 or 3 memorable tracks, and certainly nothing up to the standard of his later, more illustrious works. Interesting, and quite funny as a historical piece, but surely one for diehard fans only.

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