Bryan Adams - 'Reckless: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition'

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Bryan Adams - 'Reckless: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition'

Put it on and find out (remind yourself) just how good one of the greatest ever Rock albums actually is.

Despite being a long time Bryan Adams fan, I decided not to allocate his new album to myself given other team members would likely have better knowledge of the original material. So it was a joyful surprise when the re-issue (two-disc version, there is a four-disc as well) of his seminal 'Reckless' album arrived shortly after. For perspective's sake, this was the first album I ever purchased; I bought a double cassette in my early teens (one half being 'Cuts Like A Knife', the other 'Reckless') and so began my lifelong appreciation. That said, it has waned in the last decade as my tastes have shifted.

I don't suppose I need to write much on the original album itself given the majority of the planet knows at least a couple of 'Reckless' songs; hell, single-celled life forms on Neptune could probably name at least one song. I hadn't listened to 'Reckless' in quite some time but having now returned to it... I have been reminded what an absolute fecking monster it is. It doesn't hurt that it starts with one of my all-time Adams favourites in 'One Night Love Affair', but as you listen the awesome songs just keep pouring out; 'Heaven', 'Kids Wanna Rock', 'It's Only Love' and of course those two songs... those two Goliaths... 'Run To You' and 'Summer Of 69'.

In addition to the ten original tracks, the first disc also includes seven "bonus" tracks. 'Let Me Down Easy' is a middle of the road Rocker with a light strummed verse and catchy chorus that was originally written by Adams and Jim Vallance for Stevie Nicks, but it ended up being recorded by Roger Daltery. 'Teacher, Teacher' is a punchy number with a quick fire chorus and was recorded by .38 Special. 'The Boys Night Out' is an anthemic track that ploughs a similar lyrically furrow to 'House Arrest' or 'Kids...' but not as raucous musically. There is a slightly sleazy and grubby sounding guitar to 'Draw The Line' whilst 'Play To Win' has a solid groove to it. The last two offerings are the best; 'Too Hot To Handle' is a guitar driven Rocker with an infectious riff whilst 'Reckless' is a slower paced song with some scorching lead guitar. Overall they are good tracks, if a little raw, but only the latter two get anywhere near the level of the material that eventually made the album.

I have to admit it was the second disc that really had my interest. It is a recording of a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon for BBC Radio 1 on 20th April 1985. The performance features fifteen tracks including seven from 'Reckless' itself. I was disappointed to see that '...Affair' was missing but overjoyed to see live rarities 'Remember' (from his self-titled debut) and the always welcome 'Lonely Nights' and 'Tonight' (from his second album) with the remainder coming from '...Knife'. The performance recording has a crisp finish with each member audible in the mix, although the crowd are not a vociferous as I have experienced personally; given he was only just breaking big, this is understandable. As a long time fan, I enjoyed this live disc even if it wasn't the liveliest performances of these classic songs.

The nicely package gate-fold release is rounded out by a nice booklet with lyrics for all seventeen songs and some informative notes from Alexis Petridis; for example did you know that 'Run...' was original written for Blue Oyster Cult?

Overall, this is a superb re-issue of a stunning album. I already own two versions but I would happily purchase this edition as well. If you are in the same boat, I would suggest you still invest in a copy and if you don't, then this is a must buy without doubt. If you also haven't played this (in a while?), put it on and find out (remind yourself) just how good one of the greatest ever Rock albums actually is.

Dave Scott

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