Bryan Adams wasn't initially enamored with the idea of making a covers album when his record company pitched the idea for the new "Tracks of My Years."
But he gradually warmed to the idea.
"I was somewhat reluctant to start it, because most of the time when you hear these kinds of records you kind of think, 'Well, it's really hard to make the original songs better than they were,' " explains Adams, 54, who recorded versions of favorite Beatles, Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chuck Berry and other songs -- including Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" -- for the project, which came out Sept. 30 and debuted at No. 1 in his native Canada. "I didn't feel like doing jsut a spin-off of a bunch of cover songs."
But after working on a couple with producer Bob Rock in Vancouver, Adams recorded a couple of things, including the Manhattans' "Kiss and Say Goodbye," that he "thought sounded kind of great. It was so different to the original I thought, 'That was a good start.' So I just fumbled my way through a bunch of covers, basically."
The ultimate concept Adams latched on to for the album was an uncharacteristically nostalgic homage to his youth in Ontario, listening to stations on "a little transistor radio that had one earpiece. It was a great time; you'd go from Kris Kristofferson to the Beatles, from 'Never My Love' into Ray Charles, easy. That's what I wanted to capture on this album."
"Tracks of My Years" -- which includes one brand new song, "She Knows Me," co-written with longtime creative partner Jimmy Vallance -- is just one of several projects Adams has cooking these days. He'll release a 30th anniversary edition box set of his "Reckless" album on Nov. 24 and is working on a new studio set with Jeff Lynne that he hopes to put out in 2015.
"I've been making three albums this year -- that's more than in the old days. Can you imagine that?!" says Adams, who's in the midst of an acoustic Bare Bones Tour. "I thought you get to dial it down when you get older, but apparently not -- which I'm not complaining about."
Bryan Adams's Bare Bones Tour
8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21
Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
Tickets are $48.50-$88.50.
Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.
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