Tag Archives: Bryan Adams
Topping the UK Singles Chart has proven to be one of the most challenging feats for a Canadian recording artist over the years. Less Canadians than you would think have crowned the chart and many you would assume have done so have not. From the 1950s until the present, only eight Canadians have scored a #1 hit in Britain: four women and four men. No bands have made the grade. There were a few who were able to hit the top as a featured artist (Drake), a group with a Canadian member (The Archies), or a collaboration (DVBBS with Borgeous and Tinie Tempah) but for the purposes of this list, we will count these simply as honourable mentions.
The first Canadian recording artist to score a number one hit in Britain was Ottawa’s rock and roll pioneer Paul Anka. He charted a total of 15 songs in the UK from 1957 until 1974 but it was only his first that hit the top: “Diana”. The song spent a total of 25 weeks on the chart including nine weeks at #1. It sold over a million copies in the land of Buckingham.
Winnipeg’s Terry Jacks scored two hits in the UK. “Seasons in the Sun” reached number one there in 1974 as it did just about everywhere else. It had been 17 years since a Canuck was on top.
North Vancouver’s Bryan Adams has landed 36 songs on the UK charts. Only one of them hit the top, and that was “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” in 1991. The blockbuster smash which remained on top for 16 weeks also propelled his album Waking Up the Neighbours to the top of the British Albums chart, something that hadn’t happened since Neil Young’s Harvest in 1972.
Céline Dion (Charlemagne, QC) is the only Canadian to score more than one chart-topper in Britain. “Think Twice” was her first in 1994. The second was of course “My Heart Will Go On” in 1998. Surprisingly, though, the former was a bigger hit than the latter. “Think Twice” remained on the charts for 31 weeks and spent seven of them on top. Celine has enjoyed 30 charting singles in the UK.
With 18 hits in Britain, Victoria’s Nelly Furtado was fortunate to have one of them crown the chart, and that one was 2006’s “Maneater”. Nelly was the only Canadian artist to receive a BRIT award during the noughties decade.
Six years after Nelly topped the British charts, her BC sister, Mission’s Carly Rae Jepsen did the same with “Call Me Maybe,” the best-selling international single of the year. The song remained on the UK charts for 48 weeks, four of them at #1. Carly has seen four charting singles in Britain so far.
Though he’s from California, Robin Thicke is a Canadian citizen (he has dual citizenship). His “Blurred Lines” reached #1 in 2013 and is still on the UK charts having spent 51 weeks thus far.
The most recent Canadian to hit #1 in the United Kingdom is Calgary’s Kiesza. “Hideaway” is her 2014 debut single, and she became a household name in Britain before most Canucks had heard of her. With the seven names above, Kiesza is in pretty blessed company.
The king of heartland rock is in the middle of his cross-Canada tour which began in St. John’s on April 11; tonight he is in Toronto. After Thunder Bay, May 9th, he is off to Portugal and will return to do western Canada in June. Bryan Adams released his first hit single in 1979, “Let Me Take You Dancing” which received extensive airplay on Vancouver’s “LG73″. After two albums that saw modest sales, he unleashed his triple platinum Cuts Like a Knife in 1983 which spawned 3 Top 40 hits. This album was basically the setup for his hydrogen bomb, Reckless, the first Canadian album in history to go diamond at home with a million copies sold and 6 Top 20 hits, including “Run to You” which made the Top 5.
In 1991, Adams released his second diamond album, Waking up the Neighbours, which saw one of the biggest hit singles in history top the charts around the globe and was featured in the Hollywood blockbuster motion picture Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The song was “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”. Waking Up the Neighbours became the first Canadian album since Neil Young’s Harvest in 1972 to top the album charts in the United Kingdom. Although the 90s saw Adam’s greatest success on the singles charts (9 number ones), most think of him as an 80s sensation. His achievements brought unsurpassed Canadian pride to those who spent their youth in that decade.
Check out the tour dates on Bryan Adams’ website.
Bryan Adams was the very first Canadian recording artist to score a diamond album when he released Reckless in 1984. In 1991, he scored his second diamond album, Waking Up the Neighbours. It became the first Canadian album to top the British charts since Neil Young’s Harvest way back in 1972. Waking Up the Neighbours included Adams’ biggest international hit, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You“. The song, featured in the Hollywood movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, not only topped the singles charts in a number of countries around the world, it became the biggest song of the year in many of them. Adams has scored some 37 Top 40 singles and won 17 JUNO awards. Simply put, he is perhaps the most successful Canadian male solo artist of all-time.
Bryan will be touring Canada in a few months. Today he put up a good quality music video for “Tonight in Babylon”, a collaboration with DJ trance group Loverush UK. For your convenience, we’ve embedded the video below. And, my gosh it’s good!
1. Ottawa’s emerging CRMA-nominated country star Kira Isabella sang the national anthem to open the Sens vs. Leafs game last night. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better performance. Given the cheers of the crowd, I think most would agree that it was absolutely sensational. You can watch Kira’s performance HERE.
2. Vancouver’s emerging rock ‘n roll star Stef Lang has released a new single, “Paper Doll” and has generously offered it as a FREE download HERE. She has announced a nation-wide tour that will commence at the end of March. You can view a tentative list of dates HERE.
3. Avril Lavigne has completed two nights of performances at Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena as she launches the final leg of her Black Star Tour. Japan is the second largest music market in the world and the Japanese are among her most avid fans. Three of Avril’s albums have been certified DIAMOND in Japan. She has released a snippet video of her concert, a tour-de-force a capella performance. You can watch it HERE. While in Tokyo, the pop punk princess tried her hand at taiko drumming: video HERE.
4. Bryan Adams will be on tour in Japan soon. He’ll tour Europe in March and Canada starting in April. We’ll post more info on his Canadian concert tour later on.
5. Mia Martina, the sultry voice behind “Stereo Love”, “Latin Moon”, and “Burning” will be touring the major cities in western Canada very soon:
Feb 14: Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver
Feb 15: Back Alley, Calgary
Feb 16: Treasury Vodka Bar & Eatery, Edmonton
Feb 17: Fame Night Club, Winnipeg
Early February 1993, I had been in Guyana for nearly a year helping out with a literacy project and became extremely ill with typhoid fever. I travelled from New Amsterdam to Georgetown to see a doctor. While waiting to cross the coastal highway, a truck stopped, pulling over slightly towards the curb. I began to cross. Delirious with the illness, the sound of a horn did not seem to be real. The truck had pulled over: why would it be honking at me? But the volume of the horn increased. As it turned out, the large truck had stopped to allow a smaller, faster truck to pass it, and this smaller vehicle was now but several metres away from me refusing to put on the brakes. I had seconds to dart out of the way and was so weak with the typhoid that I didn’t know if I could. It was like a moment when you are given a choice: let it end now or carry on with life. Obviously I chose the second option and managed to leap forward out of the way.
After picking up some chloramphenicol, in a miserable state, and very homesick, I hopped onto a so-called mini-bus (15-seater van used like a taxi). These vans are notorious for having the latest car stereo system. The drivers usually crank up the volume ignoring complaints from the passengers and play the raunchiest reggae music imaginable. But this time something magical happened. As the mini-bus pulled out of the car park, a song came over the speakers that was sung by someone from my hometown of North Vancouver, BC. I had to fight back the tears. That song was Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You“. I think it was a more effective cure than the chloramphenicol.
Adams co-wrote the song with Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange and it was featured on the soundtrack of the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. “I Do It for You” was a #1 single all over the world, selling 10 million copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time. In Canada it was the biggest song of the year. A Canadian artist scoring the #1 song of the year had not happened since Corey Hart’s “Never Surrender” in 1985. It’s one of the Canadian Music Blog’s favourite songs of all-time by a Canadian artist.
By the way, thank you Bryan for saving me.
Look into my eyes – you will see
What you mean to me
Search your heart – search your soul
And when you find me there you’ll search no more
Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
You can’t tell me it’s not worth dyin’ for
You know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you
Look into your heart – you will find
There’s nothin’ there to hide
Take me as I am – take my life
I would give it all – I would sacrifice
Don’t tell me it’s not worth fightin’ for
I can’t help it – there’s nothin’ I want more
Ya know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you
There’s no love – like your love
And no other – could give more love
There’s nowhere – unless you’re there
All the time – all the way
Oh – you can’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for
I can’t help it – there’s nothin’ I want more
I would fight for you – I’d lie for you
Walk the wire for you – ya I’d die for you
Ya know it’s true
Everything I do – I do it for you
Song: “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”
Album: Waking Up the Neighbours
Artist: Bryan Adams
Origin: North Vancouver
Notable Canadian band manager Bruce Allen organized a project to record a charity single for African famine relief in response to Britain’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Jim Vallance in an interview told the story of how things came together in writing and recording the song “Tears Are Not Enough” sung by a supergroup of Canadian artists called Northern Lights.
…in 1985, David [Foster] returned to Vancouver for a year. He and his wife Rebecca bought a house in the same neighbourhood where Bryan Adams and I lived, but we didn’t see much of them. One day I ran into David in the lobby of Little Mountain Sound Studio, where he was producing an album for Paul Hyde and Bob Rock’s group, The Payolas. He approached me in a panic and said, “You have a home studio, right?” I replied that I did.
Visibly excited, David told me he’d just got off the phone with Quincy Jones, who’d just finished recording a Michael Jackson / Lionel Ritchie song for African famine relief called “We Are The World”. Quincy played the song for David over the phone, and said he wanted David to record a Canadian song for Africa — and it had to be finished in the next week or two so it could be included on the U.S. album release!
“We Are The World” was written in response to Bob Geldoff’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, recorded and released the year before (1984). Geldoff’s song raised millions of dollars for Africa, and had already made a significant difference to those suffering from drought and famine. Quincy hoped that a Canadian song might help make a difference too.
David already had a melody, borrowed from a song he’d been working on, and he had a title, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which had been provided by Paul Hyde and Bob Rock. It was nearly twenty years later (2004) when I finally heard the story behind the “title”:
Paul and Bob had been in the studio with Foster on the day that Quincy Jones called. Several weeks earlier they’d written a song called “Tears Are Not Enough”, and after the call from Quincy they played their song for David, thinking it might be suitable for the Famine Relief recording. “So, what do you think?” they asked, when they’d finished presenting the song. “Nice title”, David replied.
The next morning (Friday, February 1, 1985) David arrived at my home studio. He played me his melody on the piano. It was a pretty ballad with an interesting, circular chord progression. He also mentioned Paul and Bob’s title, “Tears Are Not Enough”, which I thought was excellent.
With the melody and the title we had enough to get started, so began recording the track right away. Using his Emulator synthesizer David laid down a piano, followed by a Moog bass, then a bell sound. I added drums and percussion. An hour or two later we had a “basic track” (it was only intended to be a quick “demo” recording, but it worked so well we ended up using it for the final recording).
Then we started working on the lyrics:
We can close the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t you know that tears are not enough
It was a good start, but David had to rush away for a session with The Payolas, promising to return the following day. I continued work on the lyrics while my wife Rachel [Paiement] wrote a few lines in French — after all, it was a Canadian song for Africa!
The next day Bryan Adams arrived from Los Angeles and hurried over to help. He looked at the lyrics I’d written so far and immediately suggested an improvement. “How about ‘we can BRIDGE the distance’?”, he said. It was perfect, and with that we were off and running.
We finished the lyric later that evening, then Bryan and Rachel recorded the vocals. The demo was completed at 4:00 a.m. the next morning.
Meanwhile, David enlisted Bryan’s manager Bruce Allen to help assemble a roster of performers. Bruce was well-connected in the music industry, and in quick succession Joni Mitchell and Neil Young agreed to participate. Then Kim Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot. Burton Cummings came on board, and so did Geddy Lee and Corey Hart.
Comedians John Candy and Catherine O’Hara offered their services, along with legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer. Dan Hill, Jane Sibbery, Sylvia Tyson, Robert Charlebois … the list of participants grew by the hour.
I suggested we record the vocals at Manta Studios [in Toronto], where I’d recorded Bryan Adams’ first album (and also Barney Bentall, Lisa Dal Bello and Cano). The room was big enough to accommodate a large group, and I also knew that veteran engineer Hayward Parrott could handle the complex task of recording 30 soloists … plus a chorus of 50!
Michael Godin (A&M Records) contacted Manta owner Andy Hermant, who generously donated the studio. On Saturday (February 9, 1985) we flew to Toronto to prepare for the mammoth recording session planned for the following day.
During the flight we reviewed the lyric sheet and the list of artists and determined who would sing which line. We decided the song should begin with Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot (“As everyday goes by …”), then move to Burton Cummings (“How can we close our eyes …”), then to Anne Murray, Joni Mitchell, and so on.
The session took place on Sunday, February 10, 1985. It was a bitter cold day, but hundreds of fans gathered outside Manta to watch the “stars” arrive. Gordon Lightfoot drove himself to the studio in a pick-up truck. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell arrived by taxi. Platinum Blonde arrived in a white stretch limo.
Just as Quincy Jones had done in Los Angeles, Foster taped a poster in the studio lobby that said, “Leave your egos at the door”. Everyone gave 200 percent, and at the end of the day we had the makings of a magical record.
One of the funniest moments happened during Neil Young’s performance. He’d sung his line once or twice already, but Foster still wasn’t happy and asked Neil to try again. When Neil asked why, David told him he was out of tune. “That’s my style, man”, Neil shot back.
For me, one of the highlights was sitting on the studio floor a few feet from Joni Mitchell while she carved graceful lines in the air with her hands as she sang. Another special moment was meeting Richard Manuel, singer and pianist for “The Band”. In fact, Joni Mitchell and “The Band” are two of my biggest musical influences. I was in “fan heaven”, meeting them and hearing them sing lyrics I’d written!
After completing the vocal session in Toronto, David and I returned to Vancouver and booked time at Pinewood Studios and Little Mountain Sound where more instruments were added to the track, including Loverboy’s Doug Johnson and Paul Dean, who contributed keyboards and guitar. Steven Denroche, a member of the Vancouver Symphony, was called in to play French Horn…
One important Canadian artist unable to attend the Toronto recording session was Bruce Cockburn, who was performing in Germany at the time. Cockburn ‘s manager, Bernie Finkelstein, wondered if there wasn’t a way Bruce could record his vocal at a studio in Germany and have it edited into the finished product at a later date. It was a nice idea, but to meet our deadline Bruce’s contribution would have to be filmed and recorded sometime in the next 48 hours. In a moment of weakness I volunteered to fly to Germany!
The good news is, Air Canada provided a free ticket. The bad news is, there were no direct fights — so I had to fly from Vancouver to Toronto, Toronto to London, London to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to Hamburg … a 44-hour round-trip. I arrived in Hamburg just in time to catch Bruce’s performance at a club on Tuesday evening. I met him backstage, for the first time, after the show.
I’d brought a cassette tape of the song, which Bruce hadn’t heard yet. But before I could even play the tape, Bruce dropped a bomb. He said he hadn’t yet decided if he wanted to participate in the project!
Bernie had neglected to tell me that Bruce hadn’t made up his mind yet — and I’d just spent 22 hours on a #$&@ airplane! In my sleep-deprived, jet-lagged stupor my first reaction was to reach across the table and grab Bruce by the throat with both hands. Instead, I used every ounce of diplomacy I could muster. I told Bruce how magical the session in Toronto had been … how it was truly a special project, and that everyone was looking forward to his involvement, which was true!
Bruce eventually came around, and he agreed to meet me at a Hamburg recording studio the following morning. It took less than an hour to complete Bruce’s audio and video recording, then it was back to the airport for the 22-hour return flight to Vancouver (via Frankfurt, London and Toronto).
I met one of the film people at the airport in Toronto during my two-hour lay-over, and I handed him the Cockburn footage to edit into the video. After spending a much-needed night in my own bed in Vancouver, I flew to Los Angeles the next morning to deliver Bruce’s audio track. Foster and his assistant Chris Earthy met me at the airport, and we rushed over to Kenny Roger’s “Lion’s Share” studio where Cockburn’s vocal was edited into the audio mix that engineer Humberto Gatica had nearly completed.
“Tears Are Not Enough” reached #1 on the Canadian charts and helped raise more than $3-million for African Famine Relief.
Lyrics and Vocalists
As every day goes by, how can we close our eyes (Gordon Lightfoot)
Until we open up our hearts (Burton Cummings)
We can learn to share and show how much we care (Anne Murray)
Right from the moment that we start (Joni Mitchell)
Seems like overnight, we see the world in a different light (Dan Hill)
Somehow our innocence is lost (Neil Young)
How can we look away, ’cause every single day (Bryan Adams)
We’ve got to help at any cost (Liberty Silver and Loverboy’s Mike Reno)
Chorus (sung by the nine singers above):
We can bridge the distance
Only we can make the difference
Don’t ya know that tears are not enough
If we can pull together
We could change the world forever
Heaven knows that tears are not enough
It’s up to me and you to make the dream come true (Carroll Baker, Ronnie Hawkins, and Murray McLauchlan)
It’s time to take our message everywhere (Corey Hart)
C’est l’amour qui nous rassemble
d’ici a l’autre bout du monde (Véronique Béliveau, Robert Charlebois, and Claude Dubois)
Let’s show them Canada still cares (Bruce Cockburn)
You know that we’ll be there (Rush’s Geddy Lee)
(Chorus – all 18 singers above)
And if we could try (Bryan Adams and Don Gerrard)
Together you and I (All 44 Singers)
Maybe we could understand the reasons why (Zappacosta and Dalbello)
If we take a stand (Rough Trade’s Carole Pope and The Payola$ Paul Hyde)
Every woman, child and man (Salome Bey, Platinum Blonde’s Mark Holmes, and The Parachute Club’s Lorraine Segato)
We can make it work for God’s sake lend a hand (Loverboy’s Mike Reno)
(Chorus – all the above singers plus Paul Anka, Liona Boyd, actor John Candy, Tom Cochrane, Tommy Hunter, Martha Johnson (M+M), actor Eugene Levy, pop pianist Frank Mills, Kim Mitchell, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer, Jane Siberry, Sylvia Tyson (Ian & Sylvia), dj Barry Harris, actress Catherine O’Hara, and Wayne St. John)
The “Tears Are Not Enough” project was one of the finest moments in Canadian music history.
Les Yeux de la Faim
It didn’t receive much attention outside of Quebec but Francophone artists banded together to record an additional charity single for African famine relief. Celine Dion, Rene & Nathalie Simard and others lent their voices to the beautiful “Les Yeux de la Faim“.