Bryan Adams: ‘I remember walking to school singing Stevie Wonder songs’

Canadian musician Bryan Adams joined Absolute Radio presenter Leona Graham to chat about his career and his new album ‘So Happy It Hurts’.

Adams, who is one of the best-selling music artists of all times revealed exclusively to Leona the reason why he thinks his record breaking single ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’ topped the charts for so long in 1991.

“I will tell you a funny story about that song that I haven’t told before,” said the singer. “When we were recording the song at some point I came into the studio and said, ‘hey Mutt (Lange) I think we have cut it to slow’ and he said ‘really?’… I sort of grabbed him and said, ‘play the song now and let’s pretend we are dancing, don’t you see it is just a little bit too slow’ and he said, ‘yeah but we haven’t got time to re-record it.’ So, what we did is we sped the tape up to the right speed and then I re-sang it. But anyone who is a musician out there will note that the song is in C sharp, but it was actually recorded in C and so it has got this strange key for the song, so I wonder even if that contributed to the fact that the song is different, because it is in a strange key. It is in a key that no other song had ever been in, you would never write a song in C sharp, so I just wonder if that had something to do with it.”

On how he first became the singer in his band
“I remember walking to school singing Stevie Wonder songs and singing to myself … and I sort of started a band. There was about five of us and we were all sitting in a room one time, and we were going to record a song. I remember the song it was Blind Faith Can’t Find My Way Home which is originally sung by Steve Winwood, and everyone looked round and said, ‘who is going to sing this’, and no one put their hand up and so I said, ‘well I will have a go.’ At the end of it there was just this sort of quiet in the room, nobody said anything, everybody just looked at me … and I thought ‘oh maybe it was really terrible’ and listening back, I have got the tape still, it was okay. So, I think from that point I just became the singer in the band.”

On working with Tina Turner
“The day before they arrived in Vancouver, they said Tina wants to meet you can you come back to the show. I thought sure, so I came back, and I remember being stood backstage in this hallway full of people and I saw this hair coming down the hallway. I could hear her saying ‘where is he’ and someone said he is over there. She came up to me and said, ‘I love the song’ and I said, ‘can you come and record tomorrow?’ she said yes. She came into the studio and without saying too much about it, other than she was incredible. I remember when she left the studio… I looked back into the control room, and I saw the engineers just sort of stood there and I went in and said, ‘I hope you got that on tape’. And they all sort of looked at me and said ‘yeah, we got it.’ It was almost like a tornado had come through the studio and just blown everything apart. It was one of the best moments for me ever recording, for sure.”

On his 1985 Live Aid performance
“I don’t really remember much about it. All I can remember is Jack Nicholson introducing me and then I was shoved on a tour bus afterwards to the next gig, so I didn’t really get to hang around… Truly if there wasn’t a video recording of it, I wouldn’t have remembered any of it.”

Chatting to Absolute Radio the multi-talented musician also chatted about how he originally started singing, his lack of memory around the iconic Live Aid performance and the ‘tornado’ experience of recording with Tina Turner.

Bryan Adams interview with Leona Graham can be heard at lunch on Absolute Radio 80s around 1:30 all next week, or on Absolute Classic Rock 7pm Monday to Thursday and you can also hear Bryan Adams Through The Decades interview Wednesday 10pm on Absolute Radio.


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