Child of a broken home. A drop out at age 16. Bryan Adams had the resume of a Rocker. Barely 18 he became the lead singer for Canadian group, Sweeney Todd and recorded an album. He also started writing songs with drummer Jim Vallance.
After two uneventful solo albums (with Vallance in his backing band) Adams hit with a pair of dramatic ballads, "Straight From The Heart" and "Cuts Like A Knife." Both were Top 10 hits with "Cuts Like A Knife" getting the full MTV treatment (seemly showing up every third video).
By '85 Adams was cookin'. First, he hit with "Run To You" then "Summer of '69." Both were lean, fast moving songs. "Run To You" had a stinging guitar riff blended with a story of desire and conflict. "Summer of '69" featured fond remembrances of a certain sexual position though people initially thought it was about growing up - well, in a way it was. Adams also kept pumping out the ballads like "Heaven" and "Somebody." The latter was actually pretty good.
While he still Rocked on occasion ("Can't Stop This Thing We Started"), Adams spent the early '90s hanging his career on ballads and sometimes, just for kicks, power ballads. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" was a monster hit. Then he teamed with Sting and Rod Stewart for the main song from the film Three Musketeers- "All For Love" (basically an alternate version of "Everything I Do"). Mining the soundtrack vein again, he produced the Spanish influenced "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" for Don Juan DeMarco. From there it just got worse including a duet with fellow Canadian Anne Murray. That's taking national loyalty to the extreme. Too bad because the guy could have been a contender.
After a seven year absence (no doubt to let the dust settle), Adams returned in '05 with his "Room Service" CD. It didn't do much in the U.S. but went to #4 in the U.K. That same year, he performed at the Canadian edition of the Live 8 concerts in Barrie, Ontario.
Returning to soundtrack work, Adams wrote and performed "Never Let Go" for The Guardian, a pretty bad movie starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher, and composed "Never Gonna Break My Faith, sung by Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige, for the superior Bobby, revolving around RFK's assiniation in '68. Both films were in theaters in '06.
Two years later, Adams released his 11th album, the appropriately titled, "11." Then he embarked on an 11-day tour in 11 cities to promote the album.
In the '80s, Adams was clearly a tenant of Rock's second tier. As a mainstream practitioner he is good but not great. By the '90s though he took the deep dive into pop ballad land and fell off the radar. "So Far So Good" is a hits album and that's Adam's specialty. His best individual albums are "Cuts Like a Knife" and "Reckless." Both are solid sets from his early career with "Reckless" being more Rock oriented.
The good news about "Room Service" is the gravelly voiced singer still has his pipes intact. While the set lacks a "Summer Of '69" or even a "Cuts Like A Knife" it's an agreeable effort with a couple impressive tracks including the economical Rocker "She's Too Good For Me" and the title track. The opening song "East Side Story" is a nice little pop number.