“Reckless” is undoubtedly one of the most successful and internationally appraised solo albums of Bryan Adams. The record sold over 12 million copies worldwide and spawned 6 hit singles all of which made it to the top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100! The album also reached top chart positions in other countries, such as New Zealand, Norway, Australia and of course – Canada. Bob Clearmountain – a mastermind music engineer and producer stood next to Bryan Adams and helped craft this straight up rock ‘n’ roll record. He had also worked with notable artists, such as Toto, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Simple Minds and many more. The results were quite obvious – “Reckless” is a straight up, shockingly direct but well- schemed convergence of pop and hard edge rock ‘n’ roll! Let’s look more into it…
Released: November 5, 1984
Recorded: March–August 1984 at Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, Canada
(“Heaven” – recorded in June 1983)
Producer(s): Bob Clearmountain, Bryan Adams
Singles: “Run to You”, “Somebody”, “Heaven”, “Summer of 96”, “One Night Love Affair”, “It’s Only Love”
Personnel: Bryan Adams – lead vocals, guitars, piano, harmonica, hand claps, foot stomping and a long list of awesome musicians who contributed (including Tina Turner)
Certified: 5xPlatinum (RIAA)
“One Night Love Affair”
“She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin'”
“Run to You”
“Summer of 69”
“Kids Wanna Rock”
“It’s Only Love” (w/ Tina Turner)
“Ain’t Gonna Cry”
“Reckless” is a rocker full of enthusiasm, energy and honesty. If you are in the mood for something soft and gentle, this is most definitely not the album for you. “Reckless” has a quite promising and directly-to-the-point start– “One Night Love Affair” hits us hard from the first second. One of the best nostalgia songs also features in this album – “Summer of 69” which in addition to bringing back tons of memories, impresses us with uplifting rhythm guitars and catchy melody. The absolute highlight of this album is the glorious duet with the soulful and brilliant Tina Turner – “It’s Only Love”. The duet was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1986 and we can only wonder why didn’t they get the award – the song is an absolute mood changer. The promising “Run to You” and “Somebody” are also the ultimate radio favorites due to their refined beats and friendly lyrics. “Heaven” is an evergreen – a ballad we can’t get enough and the ballad of the ballads! The album wraps things up the same way it started – with an atmospheric, confident and straight up rock ‘n’ roll vibe in the face of “Ain’t Gonna Cry”.
Overall, the album was done exceptionally and does what I believe should be the ultimate goal of each record – it makes people happy. The greatness of the album lies in its simplicity – yes, I do agree that the lyrics are too ordinary and not at all meant to trigger a deep emotional response and yes – the melodies are not as complicated and refined, however this is a fun, rock n’ roll radio-perfect album that is meant to be entertaining, fun and enjoyable. I personally find it quite pleasant and “It’s Only Love” will forever remain one of my favorite duets of all time!
Let’s listen to some music!
It’s Only Love
Run To You
4 thoughts on “[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Bryan Adams – Reckless”
Glad you have reviewed this album. I rate this album highly and I know I had it in my top 30 albums last time I did a best albums list….which was a while ago. I think this is a cool rock record and a rarity of where, for me, it’s (mostly) all killer no filler.
In particular tracks 3 through 7, if I include Kids Wanna Rock, are outstanding. I could play them on repeat quite easily. It is often a personal journey on how music and lyrics impact a listener – as I happen to get emotional responses from a number of tracks………Run To You, Heaven, Somebody, Summer of 69.
Run to You is one of my favourite riffs and IMO the timing changes are excellent from how the songs starts to how it ends. ….’Heaven’ yep one of the all-time classic ballads – how many thousands of people I imagine used this as their wedding song for the 2nd half of the 80s.
I recently found a list on the net, from rock magazine Kerrang, and in 1985 they chose this album as the best album of the year (though released in 84).
To sum up what I think of this album I will paraphrase a recent quote from a rock music website, (I can’t recall which one)….
‘Reckless is a masterclass in how to have songs played on rock radio for the rest of time’….
Ian! Im so glad you also like the album – I truly enjoy it -it’s actually one of my favs from the 80s…I adore the Tina Turner duet – you know me and Tina haha ❤
Do you have the CD/Vinyl? I think I have the audiocasette somewhere in Bulgaria haha ;d
Just the CD….I was a very late starter buying this album so by then cassettes and vinyl were long gone and cds were in. I owned other BA albums before finding out Reckless was the best one.