Bryan Adams

Reckless ArtworkBryan Adams
Reckless-Deluxe Edition
A&M/UME
by David Chiu

The most popular and successful album of Bryan Adams’ career? The answer is simply 1984’s Reckless. Following the breakthrough Cuts Like a Knife from the year before, Reckless was the record that catapulted the Canadian rocker to the top of charts. It yielded a slew of Top 20 U.S. singles: “Run to You,” “Somebody,” “One Night Love Affair,” “It’s Only Love,” “Summer of ’69,” and his first Number One smash “Heaven.” In an era where synth-pop ruled the first half of the ’80s, Reckless epitomized straightforward rock and roll’s return thanks to its mix of hard rockers and power ballads. On Reckless, Adams and his songwriter partner Jim Vallance really hit their stride, not only with those aforementioned hits but even  some key album tracks that weren’t necessarily singles or reached the Top 40 from “Kids Wanna Rock” to “Long Gone.” Ironically, I always wondered why this album had not been reissued on its 20th and 25th anniversaries, but now Adams’ definitive record has been given the deluxe treatment as a 4-disc set that not only contains the original record, but also several bonus tracks, including the song Reckless that didn’t make it on the album; an inspired 1985 live concert from London’s Hamersmith Odeon  in which Adams and band not only performed the songs from that record but earlier cuts from his other albums, including the older gems “Remember,” “Lonely Night” and “Straight From the Heart” (the performance of “Somebody” really burns from this show); a DVD Reckless the Movie, containing the videos for the songs from the album; and a Blu-Ray of the original album and a 2014 new stereo remaster. You don’t often hear Reckless mentioned in those ‘best albums of all time’ lists, which is a shame because for all its commercial success,  it’s a perfect rock and roll record and still remains Adams’ best (though certainly not as underrated as 1987’s Into the Fire). Hopefully this deluxe version will make people reevaluate and appreciate Reckless in a whole new light.

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