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Monday, April 6, 2015

Recklessly Everything: A Track-By-Track Breakdown of Bryan Adams' 1984 Masterpiece

Posted By on Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 7:33 AM


By Jeremy Essig

Over 30 years ago, Bryan Adams released the musical equivalent to a relationship Swiss Army knife.

Reckless, Adams' multi-platinum 1984 release, contains all the tools necessary to navigate whatever place one finds oneself through the course of a relationship -- a blade to stab an ex-lover or a ruler to measure the depth of commitment. Clocking in at fewer than 40 minutes, Adams manages to hits all the relationship fence posts within the album, from the unplanned bar hookup to finally regaining your confidence after a nasty breakup.

Or, in other words, Reckless is the one album to have on a deserted island if you happen to fall in love and break up with someone on that island (while also cheating with a third person on said island).

In anticipation of Adams' Reckless Anniversary Tour, hitting the Fox Theatre this Wednesday, April 15, we present to you a track-by-track breakdown of the album's many uses.

1. "One Night Love Affair"

Recommended Usage: When you're using a stranger's toothbrush but you're afraid to ask for their number.

Much like many relationships, Reckless begins with what was intended to be a one-night stand. But where Carole King wondered if the night in question was a fleeting moment on "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," Adams goes into the night accepting the situation for what it is.

During the course of the fling, however, Adams begins developing feelings for his partner and worries that he's letting on that he wants more than a fun evening with no strings attached. A tale as old as time.

2. "She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'"

Recommended Usage: Relationship? Who needs a relationship?

There's an old adage that the best way to find a relationship is to stop looking. While this may run contrary to the belief of founder Neil Clark Warren, sometimes the best way to fight the fear of spending your life alone is to embrace the single lifestyle and set the town on fire.

With Reckless' second track, Adams tells the tale of a girl hunting through town for one thing -- her own happiness. "She ain't got much, but she's got independence. Yeah, she's doing alright," he sings during the bridge -- an anthemic call for anyone comfortable on their own in a paired-off world.

3. "Run to You"

Recommended Usage: Deleting illicit text messages.

Hey everyone, Bryan Adams is a dick! Well, maybe not Adams himself, but certainly the person from whose perspective he is singing this track. For all the songs written about being cheated on, Adams turns the table by providing a tune for those perpetuating the infidelity.

As the narrator of the illicit affair, Adams seems conflicted -- describing his partner in the steady relationship as having both a "cold" love and, conversely, a "true" love. For anyone leaving a forbidden romance on the way back to the one you're promised, "Run to You" is the perfect soundtrack for getting your story straight.

4. "Heaven"

Recommended Usage: Being committed and happy in a way that makes your friends sick.

Though it's not an official question on their census, one would have to imagine "Heaven" would rank No. 1 on a list of "songs to which Canadians in their early thirties were conceived."

In what is the most interesting piece of sequencing on Reckless, Adams follows up his ode to infidelity with the album's most honest love song. If you find yourself in that magic place in a relationship -- the point where all defenses have been broken down, but before a "Run to You" situation reminds you why those defenses existed in the first place -- enjoy the bliss provided by the unofficial Canadian national anthem of love.

5. "Somebody"

Recommended Usage: Looking for Mr. or Mrs. Tonight.

When just off a bad breakup or looking to quench a relationship dry spell, most people have had those evenings where who you go home with is less important than the act of going home with someone itself.

With "Somebody," Adams explores the time between the single, carefree evening that was planned in "She's Only Happy When She's Dancin'" and before the awkward morning set forth in "One Night Love Affair" -- that period in between the third and fourth whiskey and soda, where the conversation with a stranger is flowing, the neon highlights their hair in just the right manner and the possibility of future unwelcome text messages remains unfactored.

Continue to page two for more.

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