From The Vaults

Reckless brought Bryan Adams the rock star status he knew he deserved

He wanted to be a star. He wanted to be a rock 'n' roll hero. And some people said, ‘Well, that's not very Canadian. That's a little pushy.’

And some people said, ‘Well, that's not very Canadian. That's a little pushy.’

Waiting in the Wings: Brian Adams

3 years ago
His full-tilt quest for pop stardom rubbed some folks in the Canadian media the wrong way, but Bryan Adams couldn't be stopped. 8:52

From the very beginning, Bryan Adams was young rocker from Vancouver with huge ambitions. "He wanted to be a rock and roll star. He knew he had the talent; he knew he had the songs," explains Alan Cross, Host of The Ongoing History of New Music. Adams' 1983 album, Cuts Like a Knife put him on the map, but he soon became a target for Canadian critics who labelled him as too aggressive and calculating in his pursuit of fame.

Some people in the media may have found the young musician arrogant, but Keith Scott, lead guitarist of the Bryan Adams Band suggests otherwise. The rock star had "an energy and a focus," says Scott. "He was just a dynamo of energy."

He was just a dynamo of energy.- Keith Scott, guitarist, Bryan Adams Band

Adams was determined to become an international success and he worked hard to make that happen. At one point, he had the top record in Vancouver, but they weren't even playing it south of the border, so he went down there himself to ask them to play it. To some of his critics, he may have seemed a little pushy or calculated, but as Cross explains in the video above, the young Adams had what it took to make it. And importantly for his career, Adams was a young, good-looking singer that could bridge the pop rock divide, and he was marketed that way, but it annoyed the critics.

Adams` response was to double down and create the biggest album of his career. For an entire year, he worked with co-writer Jim Vallance to create his next album, Reckless.

The intense focus paid off and the album was a giant international hit. With its release, Bryan Adams became the biggest-selling Canadian rock star of all time. And as Donlon explains, it also allowed him to prove himself to the critics, too: "And suddenly there was no critic who could pull Bryan down for anything