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CD Reviews: Review of Anthology by Bryan Adams
Paulsen Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Bryan Adams: Anthology (A & M  2005)

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It’s easy to discount the career of Bryan Adams, but the man’s contribution to classic rock – especially in the ‘80s, when the genre was in serious trouble – should not be overlooked. His work is compiled nicely in the two-disc Anthology, which spans 36 tracks over 25 years.

Adams built most of his fan base in the ‘80s behind monster classic rock anthems like “Summer of ’69,” “Cuts Like A Knife” and “Run To You.” Unlike his two previous compilations, So Far So Good and The Best of Me, this collection contains every major hit in the Adams catalog. Of his 38 singles that charted, just nine are missing: “Fits Ya Good,” “I’m Ready,” “Take Me Back,” “The Only One,” “Another Day,” “Into the Fire,” “Victim of Love,” “Young Lust” and “Do I Have To Say The Words?” Like I said, no major hits are missing.

Adams probably doesn’t have the juice to justify a two-disc set, and since the songs are (properly) listed in chronological order, the meat of the set is on the first disc. The only exception is the lackluster “The Best of Me,” which was originally released in 1999, well after several songs on the second disc. Otherwise, the first disc reads like a what’s-what in the Adams catalog, including the three biggies listed above along with the major hits “Somebody,” “Heaven,” “One Night Love Affair” and “This Time.”

In the early ‘90s, Adams’ sound morphed from rock into adult contemporary, and the second half of Anthology sounds like Adams Lite, with lots of ballads and faux rock. One of the better tracks on the second disc is Adams’ collaboration with Sting and Rod Stewart on “All for Love,” which first appeared on the soundtrack for The Three Musketeers. As with most compilations, there is some new material – “So Far So Good” and “When You’re Gone” (featuring, of all people, Pam Anderson). Neither song will appeal to those looking to relive the feeling of hearing “Summer of ‘69” for the first time. Still, the collection is more exhaustive than the previous two, so fans can pick up Anthology with confidence, knowing that it isn’t missing much. 

~John Paulsen 


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