The Best Of Me, by Bryan Adams
If you had to take a pick as to the most inessential best-of collection that Bryan Adams has ever made, this album would likely be it. Like many other Bryan Adams albums, this was one I bought when it came out and when it came out I enjoyed it well enough as a compilation that included songs I was mostly already familiar with. It is more what happened after this album was released that made this album so inessential, and that was the later release of a two-disc retrospective that included far more material than this one did that made this particular collection so out of date that it has not even been released on Spotify, and there is really no need to do so since every other song on this album has already been released somewhere else.
This album begins with “The Best Of Me,” a new song that is a decent rocker focused on relationship issues that was later included on the two-disc Anthology (review forthcoming). “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” is a familiar track from Waking Up The Neighbors and So Far So Good. “I’m Ready” comes from its MTV Unplugged version. “Summer Of ’69” comes from Reckless and So Far So Good. “Let’s Make A Night To Remember” comes from 18 Til I Die. “All For Love” was a #1 hit from the Three Musketeers soundtrack with Sing and Rod Stewart and is a highlight here. “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” is from Don Juan Demarco as well as 18 Til I Die. “Run To You” comes from Reckless. The Chicane remix of “Cloud Number Nine” appeared as a bonus track to On A Day Like Today. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” comes from the Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves soundtrack, Waking Up The Neighbours, as well as So Far So Good. “Back To You” comes from MTV Unplugged. “When You’re Gone” (featuring Melanie C) comes from On A Day Like Today. “Please Forgive Me” was first released on So Far So Good. “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me” comes from 18 Til I Die. “Inside Out” comes from On A Day Like Today, while the version of the album I bought includes “Don’t Give Up” (featuring Chicane), a new track that was much appreciated, instead of “18 Til I Die.”
The one thing about this album that bugs me a little is that it is not really an album that lives up to its title. To be sure, the songs on this album are very excellent if you happen to be a fan of Bryan Adams as I am. It is just that this album anthologizes songs that were either released very soon before this album was made and that much of the target audience had already bought from 18 Til I Die, MTV Unplugged, and On A Day Like Today, or material that had already been in So Far So Good. This anthology was largely a missed opportunity, and the fact that it was later superseded is no big loss, unfortunately for the catalog sales of this particular collection.