Bryan Adams – Into The Fire (1987): Review

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Produced by Bryan Adams and Bob Clearmountain
Label – A&M

3 years had passed since the release of Adams’ world dominating, career defining “Reckless” album. Constant touring and promotion, awards and adulation for the Canadian in the intervening years would lead to a follow up was bound to be critically scrutinised. At the time of release, it was felt that “Into The Fire” was a poor follow up, lacking the hooks and immediacy of “Reckless” and that much of the content sounded tired and formulaic. Without doubt, the album doesn’t contain the most memorable songs of Adams’ back catalogue, and the collection would spurn only one hit single (“Heat Of The Night”) which sounds like an out take from the “Reckless” sessions

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The noticeable difference between this and earlier recordings is the genuine move away from the chest beating flag waving rock iconography, and a deliberate move to deliver songs with a more serious undertone. The impassioned delivery of songs devoted to the trials of Native Americans (“Native Son”), the fallen war heroes (“Remembrance Day”), and the misunderstood loners (“Rebel”), show that at least Adams is lyrically testing his audience. If there is a genuine reservation, it’s down to the fact that the music shows no sign of positive development from any of his previous works, and on songs like “Only The Strong Survive” and “Hearts On Fire” there is a feeling that Adams is stepping on the tried and tested treadmill and playing what he thought was the safest option.

Although not essential, “Into The Fire” isn’t the bum follow up to “Reckless” that the rock press would have us believe. It’s worth a listen.

7/10

Track Listing
1. “Heat of the Night” 5:07
2. “Into the Fire” 4:41
3. “Victim of Love” 4:07
4. “Another Day” 3:41
5. “Native Son” 6:04
6. “Only the Strong Survive” 3:45
7. “Rebel” 4:02
8. “Remembrance Day” 5:59
9. “Hearts on Fire” 3:30
10. “Home Again” 4:18

Heat Of The Night

Hearts On Fire

Victim Of Love

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