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Bryan Adams not Canadian?

The Story

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams is riding high on the charts right now and may have the most popular song in the world. His ballad (Everything I Do) I Do It For You is the number one song in 17 countries. But according to the CRTC, even though Adams is Canadian, his song isn't. Adams performed the song, and co-wrote the lyrics and music. But that doesn't count because his co-writer is not Canadian. In this Sydney, N.S. press conference, Adams calls the rule "a disgrace, a shame...stupidity." "You'd never hear Elton John being declared un-British," Adams continues. He's so angry that he says it's time to abolish the CRTC. Not everyone agrees. While Adams is in Sydney, a radio station music director and a recording artist argue that these rules were not created to help established artists like Bryan Adams or Elton John. For smaller acts, particularly those from smaller centres, they are the difference between success and failure.

Medium: Television
Program: 1st Edition
Broadcast Date: Jan. 14, 1992
Guests: Bryan Adams, George Gregory, Brett Ryan
Host: Norma Lee MacLeod
Duration: 7:55
"(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" by B. Adams, M. Kamen, R.J. Lange / Zachary Creek Music Inc. / A & M Records

Did You know?

• Bryan Adams was born in Kingston, Ont. in 1959. His first major hit was 1983's Straight From the Heart; it was followed by top 10 hits Cuts Like a Knife and This Time. His 1984 album Reckless, featuring the single Heaven, went quintuple-platinum. He performed in the Live Aid charity concert as well as Amnesty International's Conspiracy of Hope tour.

• The song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You was the theme song from the 1991 Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. According to Adams' official biography, it was the number one song in the United States for seven weeks and for four months in the United Kingdom and was the biggest-selling single in the history of A&M Records.

• British producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Adams' producer and co-writer, is originally from South Africa. Lange worked with diverse bands including AC/DC, Backstreet Boys, Michael Bolton, Boomtown Rats, The Cars, The Corrs, Def Leppard, Foreigner, Heart, Britney Spears and XTC. He is now Shania Twain's producer, and her husband.
• Halifax rocker Brett Ryan is an East Coast Music Award winner (Best Male Vocalist) and enjoyed modest success for his 1991 album The Answer's Electric.

• Adding insult to injury, a number of songs by foreign artists were being  counted as Canadian under the MAPL code during this controversy. They included a hard rock cover version of Joni Mitchell's This Flight Tonight by the Scottish band Nazareth, as well as songs by Bonnie Raitt and Rod Stewart.
• Adams' manager Bruce Allen was livid, and called the CRTC decision "absurd".

• International co-productions like Adams' song had become increasingly common. Several artists and record companies argued that the MAPL code was out of date and needed revising.
• Following the Bryan Adams debacle, an ad hoc CRTC committee promised to look into changing the rules so that a Canadian artist who writes 50 per cent of a song's music and 50 per cent of its lyrics would be credited with one MAPL point.

• The current MAPL code now has an exemption for recordings that "in addition to meeting the criterion for either artist or production, a Canadian who has collaborated with a non-Canadian receives at least half of the credit for both music and lyrics."
• The code also contains exemptions for instrumental music and for songs recorded before January 1972 (which can meet just one of the MAPL requirements.)


Ruling the Airwaves: The CRTC and Canadian Content more