Cuts Like a Knife by Bryan Adams on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In an era dominated by glitzy video-friendly pop stars and serious, issue-oriented heartland rockers, Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams managed to avoid becoming either. He was an unpretentious everyman who preferred white T-shirts and jeans and songs that spoke simply of love and its dangers with short, concise pop guitar hooks that radio could take to heart — and eventually did. At the time of 1983’s Cuts Like a Knife, Adams had released two overlooked solo albums — though his single “Lonely Nights” made a modest impression — and had been placing songs composed with songwriting partner Jim Vallance with other artists. His next album, 1984’s Reckless would break him internationally. But here with “Cuts Like a Knife,” “The Only One” and “This Time,” Adams established his solid reputation as a writer of high caliber pop. His scruffy voice adds just the right amount of dirt to the tracks (Rod Stewart-lite), and the guitar-organ mix retains an excited edge without settling into cliché (Tom Petty-lite). Adams remained a modest rocker, handy with a ballad (“Straight From the Heart”), who like, say, Steve Miller in the previous decade found the winning formula and stuck to it with unforced ease and grace.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In an era dominated by glitzy video-friendly pop stars and serious, issue-oriented heartland rockers, Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams managed to avoid becoming either. He was an unpretentious everyman who preferred white T-shirts and jeans and songs that spoke simply of love and its dangers with short, concise pop guitar hooks that radio could take to heart — and eventually did. At the time of 1983’s Cuts Like a Knife, Adams had released two overlooked solo albums — though his single “Lonely Nights” made a modest impression — and had been placing songs composed with songwriting partner Jim Vallance with other artists. His next album, 1984’s Reckless would break him internationally. But here with “Cuts Like a Knife,” “The Only One” and “This Time,” Adams established his solid reputation as a writer of high caliber pop. His scruffy voice adds just the right amount of dirt to the tracks (Rod Stewart-lite), and the guitar-organ mix retains an excited edge without settling into cliché (Tom Petty-lite). Adams remained a modest rocker, handy with a ballad (“Straight From the Heart”), who like, say, Steve Miller in the previous decade found the winning formula and stuck to it with unforced ease and grace.

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3:16
4:41
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3:31
5:19
3:58
3:40
2:58
3:11
3:04

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