Bryan Adams, by Bryan Adams
If there is one thing that this book does particularly well is to demonstrate the aesthetic sense of Bryan Adams in a visual sense. This is not a book that has a strong narrative sense to it, but it does have amazing vignettes and stories and also some gorgeous photos. If this book may have encouraged Adams to try his hand at high-class fashion photography, it would be no surprise. This book happened to come out in the period between So Far So Good and 18 Til I Die, and manages to include quite a few interesting stories from the career of Adams that fans of his should appreciate. As someone who has liked Bryan Adams’ music for a long time, I found the photos and the stories to be interesting, and it provided some insight into Adams as a person that one might not find otherwise, given his general reticence at talking a lot about himself and his difficult relationship with music criticism in the press. That is not to say that I have made all of the same life decisions as the author did, but rather that it was nice to see the man behind the music and to ponder the complexity of his career before 1995, during which time he was one of the biggest rock and roll musicians ever.
It must be emphasized that this book is organized in a rather random fashion, not that this is by any means a bad thing. There are some gorgeous photos, and often alongside that the author will discuss some aspect of the context of those photos. Included among the insights that this book provides is Bryan Adams’ vegetarianism, his criticism of the music video for “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” as well as his appreciation of his years of work with co-writer Vallence. Also, there is an interesting story about the vacation that was taken by a notable flamenco guitarist that providentially allowed him to take part in the recording of “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?,” Adams’ most recent #1 hit. Perhaps most poignantly, the author discusses the way that leaving home allowed him to better appreciate his home in the Vancouver area, which strikes me as a worthwhile insight to have. Sometimes we best know home after leaving it behind, if we truly belong in a place, and Adams is fortunate to belong to the place where he grew up while also being able to explore the world as an artist. And this book is all the better for being a record of that exploration.