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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May 2019 - Bryan Adams > THE LIFE OF BRYAN

THE LIFE OF BRYAN

AS HE NEARS HIS 60TH BIRTHDAY, BRYAN ADAMS – SINGER, SONGWRITER, RECORD PRODUCER, GUITARIST, PHOTOGRAPHER, ACTIVIST AND VEGAN – SHOWS LITTLE SIGN OF WINDING DOWN. HE TALKS TO CLASSIC POP ABOUT HIS 40 YEARS IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS AND HOW HIS NEW ALBUM HAS FOUND HIM CO-WRITING WITH ONE OF THE BIGGEST POP STARS ON THE PLANET…

Ever since his fourth album, Reckless, in 1984 featured Summer Of ‘69 and Heaven, all of Bryan Adams’ albums have reached the Top 10. The energetic Shine A Light – featuring Ed Sheeran co-writing the title track and a Jennifer Lopez duet made with Ariana Grande’s producer – has kept Bryan firmly where he belongs. Fresh from a sell-out arena tour, the Canadian icon invited Classic Pop to his management studio in Chelsea to talk about how he’s stayed on top for 35 years…

Did you have any grand plans as to how you wanted the new album to sound?

This one wasn’t even a question of thinking of an album. I was getting songs together for the Pretty Woman musical, which I’ve co-written with [lifelong writing partner] Jim Vallance. I was parking the ideas for songs that weren’t suitable for the musical. Within a year, I started realising I had enough material for an album, so last summer I gathered the last few songs together. I wasn’t writing them thinking, “I must write for the musical” – songs just come out how they will. I kept interspersing new and old ideas that had some sort of cohesion. Really, though, Shine A Light is simply the best songs I could put together.

How did you decide which songwriters to work with on the album? You’ve worked with most of them before – Jim Vallance, Eliot Kennedy, Gretchen Peters…

I’m all over the place, so it tends to be whoever’s most available and convenient at the time. I started writing Part Friday Night, Part Sunday Morning years ago, but I’d never recorded it. I wrote it with Gretchen, but I’d shelved it, thinking maybe it could be good for somebody else to record. The same goes for The Last Night On Earth. After I sang Summer Of ‘69 with Taylor Swift on her tour, I thought The Last Night On Earth could be good for Taylor to work on with me. I just never bothered getting round to asking her! Driving Under The Influence Of Love was written for Joe Cocker before he died.

“I KEPT INTERSPERSING NEW AND OLD IDEAS THAT HAD SOME SORT OF COHESION. REALLY, THOUGH, SHINE A LIGHT IS SIMPLY THE BEST SONGS I COULD PUT TOGETHER.”

BRYAN ADAMS

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About Classic Pop

Issue 52 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bryan Adams and get the inside track on his adventure-packed 40 years in music plus we meet Howard Jones who tells us why he's returning to his synth-pop roots for new studio album, Transform. Classic Pop celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 2 Tone movement by speaking to those who made it happen including Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, Pauline Black and Ranking Roger; hip-hop legends De La Soul reveal the ties that have kept them together since their 1989 breakout LP 3 Feet High And Rising and we also talk to Toyah Willcox who explains why she's revisiting her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. Elsewhere, we interview Erasure's Andy Bell, pop tunesmith Guy Chambers and A Flock Of Seagulls. We also have unseen photos of Nick Heyward and Haircut 100. Our Classic Album is Soul II Soul's Club Classics Vol One and we serve up a buyer's guide to Japan and David Sylvian. Our packed new album reviews section includes Howard Jones, Morrissey, The Cranberries and The Waterboys. On the reissues front, Stephen Duffy's wonderful I Love My Friends makes its debut on vinyl plus there are re-releases from Heaven 17, Stevie Nicks, Julian Cope and more. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by The Specials, Giorgio Moroder, Emika and Stewart Copeland.