By the time he was 23 in 1983, Bryan Adams had written songs that had been recorded by BTO, Prism, Ian Lloyd, Loverboy, and Kiss; he had also toured in support of two solo albums, opening for the likes of the Kinks and Foreigner. After recording Cuts Like a Knife with Bob Clearmountain, his potential for being "the next big thing" resulted in this lengthy interview with Dean Hill, taped in Vancouver before Bryan spent the rest of the year on tour.
The making of Cuts Like a Knife is the centerpiece here, with Part 2 of the interview containing a track-by-track dialogue of every song on the new album. In Part 1, he also discusses in depth what it was like to work with Bob Clearmountain, the new band, making videos, and the possibility of the album flopping. There is also a wealth of material that provides insight into his songwriting process.
Throughout the interview, there is a thematic element of what it is like to be on the brink of international fame at such a young age. Bryan is confident and seemingly proud of his work, including some of the clichéd writing that would eventually be fodder for some of his harsher criticisms. At the same time, his sincere and unapologetic drive to rock his fans is extremely endearing.
00:00 - Origins of "Cuts Like A Knife"
01:19 - Recording in Vancouver, Montreal, and New York
02:18 - What he looks for in a studio
02:50 - Working with Bob Clearmountain / Bryan's favorite work from Bob
06:21 - Picking up Mickey Curry from Hall & Oates
08:30 - Working with Lou Gramm from Foreigner
11:43 - Writing with Jim Vallance / overall teamwork
15:27 - Measuring the value of a song through live music
15:53 - Writing for other artists: Loverboy, Prism, Pat Benatar
17:56 - Writing from fantasy vs. direct experience
18:47 - Favorite songs from the first three albums
20:57 - Movie videos / achieving a high profile
26:15 - Upcoming tours (with Hall & Oates, Journey) / possibility of burning out
28:02 - Concern for predictability with one's sound
29:31 - Being young (23 years old)
30:38 - Possibility of flopping / other jobs
31:59 - Forced into singing / getting comfortable with a mic / meaning what you sing
00:00 - Joking around
00:22 - "The Only One"
01:34 - "Take Me Back"
02:27 - "This Time"
03:18 - "Straight from the Heart"
04:37 - "Cuts Like a Knife"
05:52 - "I'm Ready"
07:24 - Conducting the band / finally having a great band / Mickey Curry
09:22 - "What's It Gonna Be"
10:07 - Never gets stage fright / just having to rock a town / opening vs. headlining
16:41 - "Don't Leave Me Lonely" / romantic unrest
18:09 - "Let Him Know" / sequel to "Don't Let Him Know" / winning a motorcycle
21:40 - "Straight from the Heart" / co-written by Bryan's lawyer / good titles
23:14 - Back to "Let Him Know"
25:57 - "The Best Was Yet to Come" / Dorothy Stratten
00:00 - The gift and the challenge of songwriting
01:48 - Summary of the album
02:34 - The future of his writing / freedom to do what he wants
04:09 - Meeting Burt Bacharach
04:49 - Staying in Vancouver / writing in other places
06:48 - Not growing up too fast
08:46 - OUTTAKE: "Cuts Like a Knife" / title of the album / personal experience