In an effort to make myself feel old and wallow in the glory of the days gone by, I am going to continue my look at albums that turn 30 this year. A couple of weeks ago I took a look at Phil Collins’s No Jacket Required, now I turn my attention to 1985’s hit album by Bryan Adams – Reckless.
Reckless was released in November of 1984, but peaked at #1 on Billboard album charts in August of 1985 (so it counts). To be honest, the first singles from this album did not really catch me. It was not until the ballad Heaven topped the singles chart in June that I started to take notice. It’s Only Love, a duet with Tina Turner was the song that caught me and forced me to go back and listen to the album more closely – and it quickly became one of my favorites. There are only a few albums that I own that I can say have no bad tracks- there is not a song on Reckless that I feel a need to skip- even today.
Yes, there were hits from this album:
Run to You (#6)
Summer of ‘69 (#5)
One Night Love Affair (#13)
It’s Only Love with Tina Turner (#15)
The chart success of this album is clear, but, as with most music that sticks with the listener, the music is more than away to pass the time. Reckless spoke to me as a sixteen year old. I was able to find a way to make each track fit my life and desires. I wish I could say that I had a slew of girlfriends and each song reminded me of them, but that would be a lie. But I was looking! The song Somebody was exactly what I was saying to my friends – we all want somebody to be with so there has to be somebody out there for me, too. Then Heaven comes along and captures the emotions of being with someone you are in love with. This is not to be overshadowed by Run to You that asked the question: what do you do if you fall for a girl while being with someone else? There is even a touch of that teenage rebellion with Kids Want To Rock.
Now, as an experienced, thoughtful adult (Ha!), I consider Summer of ‘69 as the album’s highlight and strongest track. In a recent interview in Rolling Stone, Adams said, “Truth be told, Summer of ’69 just sounded right lyrically. If I’m really coming clean, I should admit that my buddy Brodie bet me I couldn’t write a hit song with sixty-nine in the title. Had to prove that hoser wrong, you know what I mean?” Ok, maybe, but I think this song goes deeper than that. If you have not listened to this song recently- go listen carefully now. The song speaks to our desire to recapture the past knowing at the same time that it is impossible to do so.
And now the times are changing
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six string
I think about you, wondering what went wrong
In November of 2014, Bryan Adams released a 30th anniversary edition of Reckless. This box set includes the original album with tracks that were not released on the original and a live album.
When I review Billboard’s top albums and singles of 1985 I get a bit sad and the memories come rushing back. Fortunately, most of the memories are good, so I am definitely going to keep this ‘series’ of posts going. Why shouldn’t I? I get to spend an entire week listening to some of my favorite music again, and again, and again. Reckless is a great album that I am happy to experience as often as possible.