‘Waking Up The Neighbours’
1991 release from A&M Records
Bryan Adams – Vocals, rhythm guitar. Keith Scott – Guitar. Dave Taylor – Bass. Mickey Curry – Drums. Tommy Mandel – Hammond organ.
Artist location: Ontario, Canada.
5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?
- Hey Honey – I’m Packin’ You In.
- Can’t Stop This Thing We Started.
- Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven.
- Not Guilty.
- House Arrest.
- Do I Have To Say The Words?.
- There Will Never Be Another Tonight.
- All I Want Is You.
- Depend On Me.
- (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.
- If You Wanna Leave Me (Can I Come To).
- Touch The Hand.
- Don’t Drop That Bomb On Me.
Does anyone else remember when Bryan Adams was putting out some pretty great pop rock music? Hard as it is to believe now, once upon a time this raspy voiced Canadian rocker was at the top of the charts with hit after hit and album after album as he gave us some of the biggest and most well known pop rock songs to hit the radio during the mid-to-late 80’s and early 90’s.
While he is more pop then what my usual fare is in musical tastes, I quite enjoy some of his earlier music when he was at the top and I have always felt that a lot of his music back then was heavier then most pop rock as his was much more guitar oriented.
I realize this is neither new or an unknown album but it is 25 years old this year so I figured why not review it. After all, it is my favorite Bryan Adams record and one of, if not the best, melodic pop rock albums of all time.
His first release, the 1980 self titled album, did not garner too much attention for the young artist though it did have two singles that made the charts in Canada. Album number two, 81’s ‘You Want It, You Got It’, faired a little better. Delivering three singles and chartering Adams as an opening act for bands like Foreigner.
With 1983’s ‘Cuts Like A Knife’ came Adams’ first big hits and he started to see the fruits of his labor. With songs like the title track, ‘This Time’ and ‘Straight From The Heart’, this fourth record found him finally getting critical acclaim and finding his voice in the mainstream market.
Then he struck gold with 1984’s ‘Reckless’.
His hit laden fourth album reached number 1 on the Billboard 200 charts and garnered an impressive six singles (out of the ten tracks on the record) that all reached the top 15 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. With massive hit songs such as ‘Summer Of ’69’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Run To You’ this young rocker had indeed arrived. He exploded into a full blown rock star, toured extensively and saw his music reaching all across the world.
With his longest break yet between records, he delivered ‘Into The Fire’ in 1987. While it doesn’t live up to it’s predecessor by any means, and personally I found it quite unimpressive, it still gained the artist a number seven spot on the US Billboard Top 200 chart, gave us six singles and, by all accounts was a great success for him.
While most critics think of ‘Reckless’ as his best, my personal favorite record, and a fan favorite, came next with 1991’s ‘Waking Up The Neighbours’.
By the time this sixth studio album dropped Adams was pretty much a household name. His songs pervaded the radio and his touring schedule was full. He was on top of the world and hard pressed to make a better record then ‘Reckless’.
Well he managed to, and he pretty much cemented that with one song, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You’. Written for the Kevin Costner film ‘Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves’, this power ballad won Adams a grammy, took the spot for his best-selling song of all time and has sold in excess of fifteen million copies alone.
And that is just one song from the album. Also included are hits like the upbeat ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, the beautiful ballad ‘Do I Have To Say The Words’ and one of my personal favorites, the rocking ‘There Will Never Be Another Tonight’ (click on the link near the top of the page to see the music video). In all a total of seven singles, all hits, came off of this impressive effort.
This was his very first album that longtime writing partner Jim Vallance, who had been with Adams since the very beginning, did not co-write every song on. In fact he only co-wrote four of the fifteen tracks. Instead of Valance, Bryan contracted the help of well known producer Mutt Lange, who co-wrote every song on the record and co-produced the album with Adams.
Another commercial success for Adams, now the second best-selling record of his career behind ‘Reckless’, this album is chock full of goodies from rockers like the opener, ‘Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?’ and ‘Not Guilty’ to the power ballads like ‘Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven’, this stands as the strongest release of his career in my opinion.
The music follows in the same vein as we all knew from his past few records, guitar heavy, very melodic pop rock. Every song here is fantastic. The music is catchy, upbeat and just some great, good times pop rock. Adams had never sounded better and was in top form vocally, the band sounds incredible and production is top notch, as one would expect from Lange.
We all know his music, I highly doubt there are too many people that can’t sing along to an anthem like ‘Summer Of ’69’, or are unfamiliar with the opening keys of ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’, and while Adams has not released anything that I care for, save a rare song here and there, in many years, there is no denying that this guy was, at one point in his career, putting out some damn good music.
‘Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?’.
‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’.
‘Thought I’d Died And Gone To Heaven’.
‘Do I Have To Say The Words’.
‘There Will Never Be Another Tonight’.
‘All I Want Is You’.
‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’.