Bryan Adams

Reckless (A & M ‘85) Rating: B+

Before he became an easy listening superstar (epitomized by “Everything I Ew” I mean “Do”), Bryan Adams was just a boy next door type with a raspy voice, a good band, and a sure hand with a hook. These strengths were never more apparent than on Reckless, which features his most consistent material and a good mixture of catchy heartland rockers (“One Night Love Affair,” “Run To You,” “Somebody”) along with his best ballad, “Heaven.” Sure, some of these songs are overly obvious and clichéd, but quite a few of them actually (at least semi) rock, such as his signature song “Summer Of '69,” “Kids Wanna Rock,” and “It’s Only Love,” a spicy duet with Tina Turner. As for the ones that don’t, well, at least back then his heart was in the right place. Reckless spawned no less than seven hit singles (all of the songs mentioned above) and went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most successful albums of the ‘80s. Sure, it has some filler (the three songs not mentioned), and I’d rank Adams behind Springsteen, Seger, and even Mellencamp. However, when I put this album on (or when I hear one of these songs - most likely "Summer Of '69" - on the radio), it instantly transports me back to junior high school and makes me feel nostalgic for those carefree, innocent days, when this album was a monster hit that soundtracked many of my experiences back then. Also, it doesn’t sound fake and dated like many ‘80s albums do today, so despite its faults it holds up surprisingly well.

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