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Bryan Adams, ’80s icon, reveals the stories behind his hits

by NYPost
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Bryan Adams, ’80s icon, reveals the stories behind his hits

Pulling a Taylor Swift, ’80s pop-rock icon Bryan Adams re-recorded his classic hits for a super deluxe version of his “So Happy It Hurts” album that was released Friday. The two-disc set marks the fourth release of 2022 for the 62-year-old singer-guitarist, who earlier this year also dropped an LP featuring his own versions of the “Pretty Woman: The Musical” songs he wrote for the stage.

As Adams gets set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough album, 1983’s “Cuts Like a Knife,” in January, he looks back on the titanic tunes that have made us feel so right for four decades.

“Cuts Like a Knife”

“I wrote it with Jim Vallance, and we kind of knew pretty much right away that it was something special,” said Adams, who started by mumbling through the song indecipherably. “And Jim said, ‘Whoa, what did you just say there? It sounded like you just said, ‘Cuts like a knife.’ We go back and listen, and he said, ‘How about, ‘Cuts like a knife, but it feels so right’? I said, ‘Yeah!’ And so off we go.”

The cover of Bryan Adams' "So Happy It Hurts (Super Deluxe Edition)."
Bryan Adams’ new album, “So Happy It Hurts (Super Deluxe Edition,” includes re-recorded versions of his classic hits.

“Run to You”

This 1984 hit was originally written for Blue Oyster Cult, but the rock band didn’t want to do it. “So when it came down to recording ‘Reckless,’ which is the album I was doing after ‘Cuts Like a Knife,’ I had this song,” recalled Adams. “It was the last song I recorded for the record. I played it for the band, we did a take, and I just remember looking back into the studio and seeing everyone standing up. And that was the recording. We did one take of it — that was it.”


Adams’ first No. 1 hit was commissioned for the 1983 movie “A Night in Heaven,” starring “Blue Lagoon” actor Christopher Atkins as a male stripper. “The subject matter of the film wasn’t really compelling,” said Adams. “And I’m not dissing male strippers — I mean, obviously, they’ve got a place in this world — but you know, it wasn’t that easy to come up with [a song]. And then I said, ‘Look, let’s just forget what the film’s about — let’s just write a good song.’ So we wrote that song, submitted it, and it became part of that soundtrack, but the film didn’t do anything and the soundtrack didn’t do anything. So I put it on ‘Reckless,’ and it was from that record that it became successful.” 

Bryan Adams
Bryan Adams will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his breakthrough album, 1983’s “Cuts Like a Knife,” in January.
Getty Images

“Summer of ’69”

“I recorded that song four times before I got the performance I wanted of it,” said Adams of the 1985 hit that became one of his signature tunes. “A lot of it came down to the fact that I went into a nightclub one night, and I saw this ska band playing, and the drummer was quite brilliant. I was with one of my friends, and I said, ‘That drummer — he’s got the kind of energy that my song needs.’ So I went up to him, I said, ‘Hey, I’m Bryan. Have you ever recorded in the studio before?’ He goes, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Do you want to come in tomorrow and we can try a song out?’ He went, ‘Sure.’ And that’s how the song came about.”

Bryan Adams and Sting
Bryan Adams first enlisted his friend and labelmate Sting for the No. 1 hit “All for Love.”

“All for Love”

Bryan Adams and Rod Stewart
A chance encounter with Rod Stewart’s accountant led to the singer joining Bryan Adams and Sting on “All for Love.”
Getty Images

After “Heaven,” Adams soared to the top of the charts with three more songs written for movies: 1991’s (“Everything I Do) I Do It for You” from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” 1995’s “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” from “Don Juan DeMarco,” and 1993’s “All for Love” from “The Three Musketeers.” For the power ballad, he formed a power trio with Sting and Rod Stewart.

“Sting was on the same label as me, and we were friends … so he was my first go-to,” said Adams. “And then I started trying to find the third person because it had to be three. And I just happened to be at my accountant’s office, and it turned out that Rod’s accountant was in the office at the same time. And I just said flippantly, ‘Hey, you think Rod would want to record with Sting and myself?’ He said, ‘Sure, what’s the song?’ So he came over and listened to it. And he called Rod on the phone right then and there, and we played it for Rod over the phone.”

This story originally appeared on NY Post

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