Adams’ Definitive Live Testament…
Released by Eagle Rock on 30 June 2017, and reviewed by Brian McGowan.
Released on DVD last year, Wembley 1996 – Live is now available as a 2 CD set, released to coincide with Adams’ summer 2017 tour of UK & Europe.
This Wembley gig came at Adams’ commercial peak. The arena was packed with adoring fans, all plugging into the Adams’ juke box of worldwide hits. He didn’t disappoint. 24 songs, all of them sing-along familiar, delivered by an ace band which includes Keith Scott on lead guitar and Mickey Currie on drums, both long time live band members, sought after by many a producer and artist.
Adams’ career trajectory climbed steeply upwards during the nineties. His ‘Mutt’ Lange album collaborations, 18 Till I Die and Waking Up The Neighbours yielded a plethora of hit singles, not least the irritatingly ubiquitous ‘Everything I Do’, which topped the US and UK Charts for 2 years (ok, I’m exaggerating).
Surprise then that it’s the older material, written a decade earlier with the hugely talented Jim Vallance that sounds freshest here. ‘Cuts Like A Knife’, ‘Heaven’, Summer of 69′. All products of the lean years, when Adams and Vallance wrote and played together, young, ambitious, hungry, eyes on the prize. Adams too sounds rejuvenated on this material, like performing these substitutes for a painting in the attic. Credit to him and his band, they could probably churn out all these tracks in their sleep, but they are sharp, precise, together… and the sound is perfectly captured and mixed by the Canadian genius, Bob Clearmountain. They clearly wanted to give an electrifying performance, and you can see the sparks (not least on a cover of Chip Taylor’s ‘Wild Thing’).
Despite releasing some quality material on subsequent albums – none of which featured Lang or Vallance – Adams never equalled the commercial success he achieved during the nineties.
Arguably then, this concert – Wembley Live – is the definitive live testament to his songwriting artistry (some ridiculous song titles aside) and sees him at his performing peak.
- The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You
- Do To You
- Kids Wanna Rock
- Can’t Stop This Thing We Started
- This Time
- 18 Til I Die
- Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
- Touch The Hand
- Cuts Like A Knife
- It’s Only Love (with Melissa Etheridge)
- Everything I Do
- Run To You
- There Will Never Be Another Tonight
- Seven Nights To Rock
- I Wanna Be Your Underwear
- Wild Thing
- It Ain’t A Party
- She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing
- Summer Of 69
- All For Love
- Let’s Make It A Night To Remember
- I Fought The Law