Thursday, June 11, 2020

"Hearts on Fire" by Bryan Adams

Song#:  3161
Date:  06/13/1987
Debut:  71
Peak:  26
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The lead single from Adams' fifth album Into the Fire, "Heat of the Night," performed well reaching #2 on the Rock chart and #6 Pop. It wasn't necessarily a huge hit, but it did match the #6 peak of "Run to You," the first single from his previous album Reckless, which ended up selling over 5 million copies. For the new album to even get close to that sales figure, Adams was going to need another solid Top 10 hit to keep things going. This next track was selected to try and accomplish that goal, but it just didn't do the job. The tune did well at Rock getting to #3, but the song didn't have the same appeal as his previous hits and it stalled after reaching the Top 30. It was a disappointment coming on the heels of an album that spawned five Top 15 hits.

ReduxReview:  This tune isn't all that bad. It has a good Springsteen-esque arena rock chorus and is overall engaging. I think the problem was that it sounded too much like his previous songs and didn't offer anything new or interesting. While Reckless contained a nice variety of A-level material, this song played like a B-level reject from those sessions. It also didn't help that Adams and songwriting partner Jim Vallance had been cranking out material and selling it to other artists for a few years and while that probably made them some good money, I think it took away from concentrating on creating better material for Adams' album. Basically, their songwriting was becoming color-by-the-numbers and this track was a good example of that. We'd heard it before, but better, and the formula was wearing thin. I think Adams realized that too as their writing partnership disintegrated after this album. It would prove to be a good thing with Adams' next LP getting him back near Restless level sales.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  In 1990 prior to releasing his next album, Adams was tapped to make a guest appearance at a massive outdoor concert. Pink Floyd's Roger Waters decided to do a live concert version of his band's classic 1979 album The Wall. It was to be performed outdoors in Berlin. The Berlin Wall had fallen in November of '89 and the unoccupied space between East and West Berlin provide the space to put out a huge show for a massive crowd. After the logistics were set, Waters then set out to secure top names to perform various songs. Several artists that he wanted like Bruce Springsteen either had conflicts or didn't want to do the show. Others who said yes ended up dropping out due to conflicts once the concert date was set. Still, Waters prevailed and he got a few major artists to perform including Joni Mitchell, The Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper, and Van Morrison. Bryan Adams ended up performing the song "Young Lust." Originally, Rod Stewart was to sing the tune, but he bailed due to a scheduling conflict and Adams filled in. The sold out concert had 350,000 ticketed attendees with another 100,000 later able to join in on the fringe edges of the main crowd. The event was filmed and recorded for release. While Adams' song was not issue as a single from the concert album, it did get enough airplay to reach #7 on the Rock chart.


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