Thirty years ago last Nov. 5, Bryan Adams released his fourth album, Reckless. The album was a huge success.
That same year, 1984, Tina Turner released one of the biggest albums of her career, Private Dancer. They also recorded a song together which was released on Reckless, It’s Only Love. Tina Turner brought Bryan Adams along on her tour to open the show in 1985.
Back then, bands were still releasing music on vinyl records (although CD’s came out in 1982). Adams and songwriting partner Jim Vallance had written 17 songs for the album. Problem was you could only fit 10 songs on records. So, seven songs had to be cut (Like a Knife…sorry, just couldn’t resist). One of the songs they cut, strangely enough, was the title track.
For the 30th anniversary re-release of the album, Mr. Adams included the cut tracks and threw in a bonus CD of a 1985 Hammersmith Odeon show. For the super-deluxe version he added a bonus DVD.
The concert at MTS started off with the song Reckless and after the fourth tune, Run To You, we were reminded, “in case you didn’t get the memo” that the first part of the show was “dedicated to the Reckless album.”
After the next song, Boys Night Out, Adams invited Jim Vallance onto the stage to play piano on Heaven. They had the help of about 10,000 backup singers and for the ones who forgot the words, there was a video featuring a woman who had the lyrics written all over her body on the huge video screen above the stage.
Two smaller video screens on both sides of the stage also made the musicians on stage larger than life. The videos were in black and white for the first part of the show and then “just like the Wizard of Oz it goes to color.”
A couple of songs later, a head shot of Adams appeared on the the screen with him lip syncing Tina Turner’s opening lines to It’s Only Love. At the end of the song he shared how honoured he was at 24 years of age to be able to sing and tour with the “fabulous Tina Turner.”
A few songs later, he played “a forgotten song…a song no one gave two sh*ts about but me,” Ain’t Gonna Cry. Summer of ’69 had the audience singing again.
He then gave the younger audience members a history lesson on how we used to listen to music on these 12″ vinyl discs on record players.
Next, he played a song that he and Vallance wrote for Stevie Nicks. The only problem was that they didn’t know Stevie Nicks. The song Let Me Down Easy was recorded by Roger Daltrey though. Adams pulled out the acoustic guitar for this number. This concluded the Reckless portion of the evening but Adams reassured the audience not to worry, “the good news is that I have 12 more albums.”
Adams read a few signs people held up after (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, including a sign that read, ‘My dream is to play Summer of ’69 with you.’ Then, the star scanned the audience looking for “one wild woman who can dance.” He found Liz who had a spotlight shine on her while she danced along to If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good.
Cuts Like A Knife was one of the easier songs to sing along to. Na na na…na na naa na na…na na na na na.
18 Til I Die featured a video of Bryan Adams riding a motorcycle. Seems like the 55-year-old took the Tom Waits song I Don’t Wanna Grow Up literally. After The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You, the band left the stage.
They returned for a six song encore starting off with You’ve Been A Friend To Me followed by a song that was a hit before Bryan Adams was even born, Eddie Cochrane’s 1958 hit C’Mon Everybody. The band left Adams on his own with his acoustic guitar for the last four songs.
The star of the show encouraged everyone to light up their cell phones for Straight From The Heart and said that if we wanted to be old school, to light up our lighters.
All For Love (originally recorded with Rod Stewart and Sting) seemed to move Mr. Adams as he commented on the audience singing along, “that was beautiful. That was a bit of magic. Music has always been magical to me. Intangible, untouchable thing. Music is what connects us tonight. Singing like we’ve done tonight is magical.”
Last song of the evening was Alberta Bound which was personalized for the Winnipeg audience as Manitoba Bound. Two hours and twenty minutes of good rocking, magical tunes.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
One Night Love Affair
She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’
Run to You
The Boys Night Out
Kids Wanna Rock
It’s Only Love
Ain’t Gonna Cry
Summer of ’69
Let Me Down Easy (Acoustic)
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good
Cuts Like a Knife
Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
Please Forgive Me
When You’re Gone (Acoustic)
18 til I Die
The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You
You’ve Been a Friend to Me
C’mon Everybody (Eddie Cochran cover)
She Knows Me (Acoustic)
Straight from the Heart (Acoustic)
All for Love (Acoustic)
(Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting cover)
Manitoba Bound (Acoustic) (Alberta Bound)