Song Of The Day 9/25/2015: Bryan Adams – “Lonely Nights”

Stopped Clock Week – Eagle-eyed, or even boozy-eyed, viewers of this national treasure of a blog will no doubt recognize this as being the second SOTD in the last two months by Bryan Adams. The first time was during last month’s historic Week Of Lies, which I could argue doesn’t count since that week was full of gimmick songs. But nope. I’m gonna cop to it. Although if you’d told me at the beginning of this year that I’d feature two songs by Bryan Adams on this blog before the year was over, I would… well, to be honest, I would have been thrilled, because that would have hinted to me that I sold out this blog to someone like the Hearst Corporation (hey, it worked for me before) and would have gotten a handsome payout. I’m just a cool seven mil away from prostituting this word salad to Time Warner and spending my days driving the kids to school. In Switzerland. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d program not just one but two Bryan Adams songs by choice. But, well, here we are. And it cuts like a knife, don’t it girls?

I’m actually an admirer of Adams’ unheralded self-titled debut album from 1980. It’s very pared down. In fact I was led to believe it featured only Adams and co-producer Jim Vallance on all instruments, but I couldn’t verify it on my usual verification marts online because – and this is very weird – Bryan Adams’ entry has mysteriously disappeared from All-Music Guide* and I can’t totally confirm it through the info on discogs.com. For the record, it’s a modest, completely acceptable piece of Canadian hard rock and it has a modest feel to it. The first song I ever heard from Adams, though, was today’s number from You Want It, You Got It. The hook is invincible, the verses even have a couple of surprises in them, and it’s a solid piece of power pop. You know what happened next, so let’s just skip to the exciting footnote:

*Hey, I might’ve stumbled onto something peculiar here. When I went to search for Bryan Adams on All-Music Guide I got sidetracked to a discussion board with the paraphrased heading ‘Why Isn’t Bryan Adams on All-Music Guide?’ 

It turns out that in 2012 Adams and his attorneys requested that Rovi, overlords of AMG, remove all information pertaining to Adams’ biography, discography, credits, album reviews, and possibly even his very existence from their site. This is strange, because every other artist in the world is listed on All-Music Guide and has been for a very long time.

Speculation is that Adams might have been upset at some of the reviews his albums received on All-Music Guide, especially the later ones. Which is kind of odd, because All-Music Guide are typically very, very generous with their reviews and star ratings,** much more than less encyclopedic music sites like Pitchfork or Consequence of Sound. I mean, there’s a certain point where bad is bad and even All-Music can’t save an album’s reputation, but as middling as I find Bryan Adams post–1981, even I can’t believe our Canadian friend would get this butt-hurt about bad critical notices, especially since he, ah, has never exactly been a critical darling. 

However, the star ratings on the discography on the archived Bryan Adams All-Music page via Wayback Machine isn't very embarrassing at all. Most of his post-1991 work isn't highly rated, but was it ever? Which indicates to me that there must be some other power play at work here, especially since Rovi refuses to explain the conflict. Whatever the explanation, I’m sure it’s misinformed, petty and ego-driven. C'mon Bry-Bry -- set your metadata free!

**I know All-Music Guide pumps up their star ratings for a fact because I wrote a review of a Crash Test Dummies album for AMG in the late '90s. I gave it a one-and-a-half star rating. The editors upped it to three. I did not write for AMG again, but that was mainly because I was working far harder than their $2.50-per-review rate.***

***Yes, I know: the irony, the irony, the current fucking irony.

Popular Recent Posts