Is there any doubt that "Reckless", Canadian rocker Bryan Adams' fourth album, is the pinnacle of his career? OK, there was the massive success of that "Everything I Do" single, but do you know anybody who still likes that song after it was UK number one for around sixteen years? Yes, yes, I know it was sixteen weeks, but at the time it felt like years. I don't know what it is about "Reckless", but everything just seems to be right about it. The songs are fantastic (co-writer Jim Vallance brought the best out of Adams), the production perfect, the performances full of energy and the whole album has a confidence and joy that he'd never managed to capture before and struggled to regain afterwards.
The singles (there were seven of them from the ten tracks, which gives it the feel of a greatest hits collection rather than a studio album) are amongst his best songs ever - the morally-dubious cheater's anthem "Run To You" is far better than the subject matter deserves (it's probably one of the greatest songs of the decade), "Summer Of '69" is a fist-poundingly joyous slice of nostalgia, "Heaven" is beautifully tender and, despite the power ballad bombast, is wonderfully romantic, passionate slice of soft rock, "One Night Love Affair" is a melodic rocker that kicks off the album with a sense of purpose, the duet with Tina Turner, "It's Only Love" has a fantastic opening riff and more balls than a sports equipment store and "Somebody" is a immensely catchy piece of pop-rock. The only single on the album I'm not overly keen on is "Kids Wanna Rock" as it seems to be the only cynically-written track to 'get the crowds going'. It's not bad, it's just not anywhere near as good as the rest of the material on the release.
The other album tracks are also pretty good, "Long Gone", especially; if it had been on one of Bryan's weaker albums, it probably would have been a single. "She's Only Happy When She's Dancing" is a little throwaway and ordinary, but not too distracting from the overall quality of "Reckless". Altogether, it's not an over-exaggeration to call this a classic album, probably the only one that Adams has to his name, despite the longevity of his career and many hit singles. There are always going to be people who will sneer at a mainstream rock album like this, but for anyone who enjoys rock music, one listen to "Reckless" would probably be enough to convince those, apart from the biggest cynics, that this is a truly great piece of work. As George Michael would later title one of his albums, you really do need to listen without prejudice. Definitely one of the best albums of the 1980s.
on 16 December 2014
Most fans will agree the original album is THE BEST Bryan Adams made. The original "10 songs version" (written after the fairly successful Cuts Like A Knife) came out way back in 1984. However, Reckless had no fillers as every song was great and resulted in six of them being released as singles. IMHO Run To You is the highlight on the superb original version but the other 9 give it a damn good run for its money!
So 30 years go by and like so many albums these days, a deluxe version is released to celebrate/commemorate the original. The BIG question is.....do we get a true deluxe version? OMG yes we do!
Having been a huge BA fan since hearing Run to You on the radio back in '84, seeing him numerous times live and buying everything before and after Reckless, I admit this will be a somewhat biased review. This fully deserves the description Deluxe Edition;
On the first cd we have the original album plus 7 new songs. As stated earlier, the original 10 songs are BA at his best. One Night Love Affair starts us off, great song with both guitar and vocal hooks. Next arguably the weakest song on the album She's Only Happy...(and this is a good song too, just not as good as the rest!) We then get the mighty Run to You, IMHO one of the top 3 BA songs of all time. Next Heaven, a superb rock ballad. Then we get Somebody; another magnificent tune. Summer of 69 followed by Kids Wanna Rock followed by It's Only Love (with Tina Turner). 3 immense songs and there's no time to rest because he finishes off with Long Gone and Ain't Gonna Cry. Both great rock songs. But what of the 7 "new" songs? To my ears all 7 could easily have appeared on Cuts like a Knife, although I can see why perhaps 3 of them didn't make the original version of Reckless. The 4 songs I immediately enjoyed are "Teacher, Teacher", "Play to Win", "Too Hot to Handle" and "Reckless". All 4 are strong songs, each with a hook that BA so enjoyed writing back then, either guitar or vocal based. My only slightly negative comment is either there are little if any keyboards or they have been mixed VERY low in the production of these new songs. However, it's good to hear something from BA which proves he used to be a rocker, as there are no ballads amongst the 7 songs. Not that I mind a good rock ballad and it has to be said BA has written quite a few classics in his career.
On the second cd we have a concert recorded by the BBC from 1984, BA making reference to the venue (Hammy Odeon) during the concert. I have to say it's so good to hear songs from his first 2 albums. He opens this cd with "Remember" and later on plays 2 songs from his second album ("Tonight" and the excellent "Lonely Nights"). The rest of the concert is understandably based around both Reckless and Cuts Like a Knife songs. I have to say I love the placing of "Best was yet to come", because he follows immediately with Heaven, Run to You and Somebody. The cd finishes with Summer of 69. It has to be said BA still regularly plays quite a number of this 84 set-list, proving the longevity, depth of talent and strength of his song writing skills.
If your a BA fan, I would urge you to get this Deluxe Version of one of the greatest albums of the 80's. It's worth every penny.
on 16 November 2014
This review is for the 30th anniversary edition with 2 CD, 1 DVD and 1 Blu-ray pure audio.
The 2014 deluxe boxset is quite beautiful, it reflects the spirit of the original album, Laserdisc, cassette and VHS releases.
The audio for the 2014 remaster is great, punchy, strong, not as soft and quiet as the Japanese 2012 remastered collector's edition. The Japanese SHM-CD from 2012 is also a remaster that benefits from that fact that is an SHM-CD.
The 2014 sound remaster is very, very rich and the sound is very powerful. You can try it in close detail on the blu-ray pure audio and you'll love it. You have many sound options to chose, they are all amazing. I prefer PCM 2.0, but this is a personal favourite, only a few days after receiving this boxset and the included blu-ray disc...
So, my veredict is that the 2014 remaster sounds fantastic, but the japanese 2012 reamster is also not to forget, even if it was only made from Japanese master copies...
Unfortunatly, there only two main problems on this release:
1- The DVD video disc that contains "Rekless - the movie" and the "It's only love" video is a big letdown. The transfer to DVD is quite bad, I'm affraid...it isn't a good transfer to DVD, the colours are not vivid, the picture quality is worse than my old VHS tape of "Reckless". The japanese laserdisc edition of " Reckess" is the best! Not this 2014 DVD! You'll stop watching this DVD a few moments after start, if you have ever watched the japanese LD, like me... The 2014 DVD is in 16:9, very grainy and fuzzy, not what I expected on a deluxe edition... The laserdisc edition from Japan (out of print) has great sound and picture quality. If you've never seen the quality of the laserdic release, well, maybe you'll just say that the DVD is OK and it's not too bad...
Of course, the B.A. Reckless period videos are rare, so it's better to have them available in some format, then not having them at all... but I do hope that in the near future the record comapany finally releases a proper DVD, with a complete retrospective of all B.A. videos, remastered by people who know what they are doing!
I think a better transfer job could be achieved with this expensive edition, but it's only my opinion...
If you compare the DVD of the Bon Jovi's "New Jersey" Super deluxe edition, also released in 2014, you'll understand my criticism. The Bon Jovi DVD looks great in the original 4:3 picture ratio. Curious or not, the Bon Jovi DVD was supervised by Jeff Fura, who has huge experience, he was responsable also for producing the 2002 U.S. Scorpions's "A savage crazy world" music videos DVD, that also has great sound and picture quality!
2-There are two important audio tracks missing from CD1, that were written By B.A. in the "Reckless" period: "Diana" and "Christmas Time", two beautiful gems that were left out of this 2014 release and can be found on the Japanese SHM-CD from 2012. Why were they not included? Maybe Bryan Adams can explain that!
My conclusion is: buy this deluxe edition before stocks end!
It's a fantastic boxset!
But keep these two problems in mind, it's not a perfect boxset...
on 1 May 2001
Most of the material released by Bryan Adams during his long career has been mediocre at best. BUT... in the mid 80s he made this album and I will always be grateful to him that he did! After 16 years of regular listening, I still love it just as much. Raw energy, unpolished production and good songs all contribute to its magic. Quite simply, this is one of the best albums ever made.
on 16 March 2006
This is an all time classic and a CD that everyone should have in their collection. If all artists have one 'seminal' work, this is Bryan's. It has 10 tracks, 8 of which still feature regularly in his live set lists, and these include the Bryan Adams songs that everybody knows and loves - like 'Run to You', 'Heaven', 'Summer of 69' and 'Kids Wanna Rock'.
Despite being released in 1984 I think it is timeless and doesn't sound that dated even today, unlike some of his later stuff like Waking up the Neighbours (still a good CD but not a classic like Reckless).
For me the highlights of this album are the first two tracks, 'One night love affair' and 'She's only happy when she's dancing'. These are lesser-known to non-Bryan Adams fans but to me they are the two of the most catchy, unforgettable and brilliantly-written songs not only on this album but of his whole 25-year career.
There's nothing 'clever' about this album - it is just ten very simple, very melodic, feel-good pop/rock songs which I've never tired of listening to over the years.
on 4 March 2014
Although, I have had this on vinyl since its release 30 odd years ago, it is only recently that I have bought the CD version. This is Bryan Adams best work. All the classic are here. Somebody, Run to You, Summer of 69 etc.. These songs are probably the most played Bryan Adams songs on the radio today. It's a great feel good rock n roll album!
on 17 November 2014
I will never ever forget when i first heard and saw the film clip "Run To You" it was amazing, there are so many killer tracks on the album we have heard so many times over the past 30 years they are timeless, and what a great way to celebrate what i consider
a legendary album an all time classic. Inclusive is a 74 page book with photos lyrics, Bryan Adam's own thoughts on the recording
of the album as well as Jimmy Vallance and the Bob Ludwig's recording and remastering process for the new box set, there is so much to get through, the extra 7 studio tracks the BBC concert series, the movie Reckless and on bluray 2 editions of the album,
the stereo 2014 remaster and the 5.1 mix of the album, a real gem.
on 6 September 2000
This is Bryan Adams' finest album and one that is just as enjoyable to hear now as when it came out. The production, arrangements, songwriting, singing, playing are all faultless (with the exception of the silly "Kids wanna rock"). From up-front rockers ("One night love affair", "Summer of '69", "Somebody", "It's only love") to the incredible power-ballad "Heaven" and the mid-tempo "Run to you", I can find no reason to criticise this album.
BA may be passing ungracefully into middle age, but this album is his legacy and will stand the test of time.
on 18 November 2014
Received this latest High Fidelity Pure Audio disc this morning, and have to say it's the best HFPA disc released so far ! Exceptional 5.1 & stereo mixes, by original producer, Bob Clearmountain. Punchy & balanced sound, across all musical instrumentation and vocals. Sound just literally zings out of the speakers !
The stereo layer contains bonus tracks. Exceptional value. Anyone thinking of buying....I'd say don't hesitate !! You won't be disappointed.
on 14 February 2015
An amazing album. We went to see Canada's best export - Bryan Adams - last year in Ljubljana, Slovenia on his Reckless Anniversary Tour. They say wine gets better with age and so does BA. The production was faultless and his voice is stronger than ever! He and his band played all the old favourites and some new songs too and they all went down a storm with the crowd. There was no elaborate light show - with a repertoire of 12 albums and dozens of worldwide hits, he doesn't need it. He spent 2 1/2 hours on stage and seemed very reluctant to leave - even after three or four encores! What a great night out! This album, (if you don't have it already) is a great souvenir from that tour.