“Reckless” was massive and is still massive. The follow up “Into The Fire” was seen as a failure but “Waking Up The Neighbours” re-established Bryan Adam’s as a tour-de-force. Mutt Lange was on board for that album as co-producer and co-writer, with Jim Vallance only appearing on half of the tracks as co-writer.
Released in 1996 and five years after “Waking Up The Neighbours”, “18 Till I Die” hit the streets.
Bryan Adams and Mutt Lange are back at producing and writing most of the tracks but Jim Vallance is missing.
The band for the album is Bryan Adams is on rhythm guitar and vocals, Keith Scott is on lead guitar, Mickey Curry is on drums, Dave Taylor us on bass, Mutt Lange is on guitars, Michael Kamen is on piano and string arrangements.
The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me
It’s like a ZZ Top track. No blues purist would give them the credit but ZZ Top with “Eliminator” and “Afterburner” brought back the blues into the pop mainstream in a big way. And those little lead breaks and fills on this song are loaded with Texan spice.
The title is one of those cheesy pick-up lines, but hey, Adams makes it work as he sings about how they stick like glue and how she’s the only thing that looks good on him.
Do To You
It reminds me of a song called “What I Like About You” from The Romantics merged with a bit of “Love Shack” from the B-52’s and a little bit of punk from The Clash and somehow it still sounds like Bryan Adams.
And I like the harmonica licks that kick in between the vocal melodies.
Let’s Make A Night To Remember
This is a Def Leppard cut through and through about getting together and getting it on. It could easily be interchanged with a song from “Adrenalize” and people wouldn’t notice.
The video clip has various women posing for Bryan Adams as he photographs them, an attempt to change his image to fit into some voyeur playboy kind of image.
I like the lead break although its only four bars and way too short.
18 Till I Die
I like the arpeggios in the intro.
When the power chords come crashing in, I feel like it’s like a Rolling Stones or The Kinks like track musically. Lyrically it’s about maintaining youthful traits, even as you grow older.
It’s different, more ballad like and very similar to another song he co-wrote called “Glitter” with Motley Crue. And melodic rockers from Sweden would start to have ballads like this in the mid 2000’s.
I guess Adams was a bit ahead here.
(I Wanna Be) Your Underwear
Stupid title, but hey, management and the label were trying to alter Adam’s image from working class hero to playboy.
Keith Scott has got some Steve Vai talking guitar happening with the guitar whistles to kick off the song.
Check out the bass work in the verses from Dave Taylor. Excellent.
We’re Gonna Win
It’s a punk song, but a rock song. And I like it.
I Think About You
A ballad, but more in the country rock ballad arena, something which Mutt Lange was using a lot of Shania Twain.
I’ll Always Be Right There
Strings, an acoustic guitar and a Steve Perry like vocal delivery. It feels like a movie song but two ballads in a row, lost me.
It Ain’t A Party, If You Can’t Come Round
The cheesy titles are back which also reminds me of a Vince Neil song title and so is the loud country blues rock.
The country blues rock from the Mississippi Delta continues with this one and a riff inspired by “Peter Gunn”.
The lead break (although brief) from Keith Scott is Grade A Nashville stamped.
You’re Still Beautiful to Me
I like the feel of this song. It’s a simple drum beat, a strummed acoustic guitar, a great Adams vocal deliver and how good are those licks in between the verses and Choruses and under the vocals.
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?
Written by Adams, Lange and Kamen and featuring the excellent flamenco guitarist Paco DeLucia.
I came across DeLucia via Al DiMeola and the trio they had with John McLaughlin and became a fan with his acoustic guitar playing.
Featured in a movie I can’t remember but these movie placements ended up being huge promotional vehicles for Adams.
It was a Top 10 album in Australian, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Holland, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K (which also had it go to Number 1).
In Australia and Canada it was certified 3× Platinum. In the U.K it was certified 2x Platinum. Platinum in the U.S, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland. Gold in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany and Spain.
And the label still saw it as a disappointment.