Bryan Adams' 15 best songs ever, ranked

27 July 2021, 16:16

Bryan Adams' 15 best songs and videos
Bryan Adams' 15 best songs and videos. Picture: A&M/YouTube

By Tom Eames

Bryan Adams became the king of the 1990s power ballad, best known for his husky voice and guitar solos.

It's easy to forget just how many awesome songs Bryan Adams has released, particularly at his 1990s peak.

Here are our favourite tunes that we always love hearing, for a perfect Bryan playlist:

  1. Star

    From 18 Til I Die, this was an underrated ballad that just missed out on a UK top 10 position in 1996.

    As was tradition, Bryan was hired by movie bosses, and the song was used as the theme to the Robin Williams movie Jack.

  2. Let's Make a Night to Remember

    This somewhat raunchy song featured on Bryan's 1996 album 18 Til I Die.

    Along with the song 'The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You', the song served to disrupt Bryan's clean-cut image of the time.

  3. Can't Stop This Thing We Started

    Written alongside pop rock supremo Mutt Lange, this song gave Bryan a number one hit in his native Canada, and a number two in the States.

    It featured on his massive Waking Up the Neighbours album in 1991.

  4. Cuts Like a Knife

    An early hit for Bryan back in 1983, it became a favourite for the rock star at his live shows ever since.

    He once said: "It's just a good thing to have the tape rolling when you're recording me. The best example was when we wrote 'Cuts Like A Knife', which was just literally a mumble.

    "We looked at each other, rolled the tape back, and it sounded like 'cuts like a knife', so we started singing that."

  5. Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?

    A Bryan Adams classic, and another song from a movie. This time, he recorded this Spanish-tinged ballad for the Johnny Depp movie Don Juan DeMarco.

    The song was number one in the States, and was also up for an Oscar, but lost to 'Colors of the Wind' from Pocahontas.

  6. Open Road

    This was the lead single from Bryan Adams’ 10th album in 2004. The song was completed over two continents while Bryan was touring.

    While most of the song was recorded in Vancouver, the vocals were done in Paris and guitarist Keith Scott worked on the song backstage in Lethbridge, Alberta. It was co-written by Elliot Kennedy, who also worked with the likes of Boyzone, Gary Barlow and Spice Girls.

  7. Please Forgive Me

    Bryan recorded this ballad for inclusion on his 1993 greatest hits compilation So Far So Good.

    The song reached number two in the UK charts, and it also featured Toto's David Paich on keyboards.

  8. Don't Give Up (with Chicane)

    After Bryan worked with Chicane on 'Cloud Number 9', the group contacted him about appearing on their new song.

    Bryan agreed to the role, and also wrote the melody and lyrics to the song, and it reached number one in the UK in 2000.

  9. Cloud Number 9

    This song featured on Bryan's 1998 album On a Day Like Today.

    He later released a remixed version by dance act Chicane, and this gave Bryan another Top 10 hit in the UK, reaching number six.

  10. All for Love (with Rod Stewart and Sting)

    Following Bryan’s huge success with ‘Everything I Do (I Do it for You)’ from the Prince of Thieves soundtrack in 1991, he was recruited for the 1993 Three Musketeers movie starring Kiefer Sutherland and Charlie Sheen.

    Rod Stewart and Sting joined him on the track, which was inspired by the Musketeers’ motto: “All for one, and one for all”. What an underrated song!

  11. When You're Gone (with Mel C)

    Sheryl Crow was actually the first choice to sing this classic duet before Spice Girl Mel got involved. "When I was first doing it, I asked Sheryl Crow to do it and never heard back from her!" he later said.

    "I was in LA at the time and got in the lift at the hotel and in walked Mel and I said 'hey Mel!' and she said 'Hi'. I said: 'We should sing something together' and she said 'I'd love to!' Then I said: 'I've got one for you!'"

    Weirdly, Bryan later released a new version with actress Pamela Anderson for his Anthology album. Yeah, we'll stick to the original.

  12. Run To You

    This track deals with the subject of infidelity, and is sung from the perspective of a man who declares that he will continue to “run to” his seductive mistress over his faithful partner. Naughty Bryan.

    Bryan and Jim Vallance originally wrote the song for Blue Öyster Cult, but the group turned it down.

  13. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

    The ultimate '90s power ballad.

    Read more: The Story of... 'Everything I Do'

    This rock ballad still holds the UK record for most consecutive weeks at number one. While we might have got bored of it back in 1991, it remains one of the greatest love songs of all time.

    It was recorded for the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but lost out to 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Oscars.

  14. Summer of '69

    Originally titled 'Best Days of My Life', this song was amazingly not a hit in the UK (only reaching number 42), despite it being arguably his best known and most loved song!

    Read more: Watch Bryan Adams perform surprise 'Summer of 69' duet with Taylor Swift - video

    Bryan later said: "That song is 25 years old now so it's had that many years to incubate. A lot of songs, like that one, hit big in America but really not anywhere else. It didn't chart anywhere in Europe until at least 10 years after it was released. I think songs can have a life of their own regardless of the promotion."

  15. Heaven

    First appearing on the soundtrack of the romantic movie A Night in Heaven, Bryan Adams included it on his Reckless LP a year later. It reached number one in the States a year and a half after its first release.

    The song was inspired by Journey’s ‘Faithfully’, after Adams had toured with the band. DJ Sammy reached number one in the UK in 2002 with an uptempo dance version, while a stripped ‘Candlelight’ remix featuring the vocals of Dutch singer Do also became popular.