A Lesson in Leaving Your Audience Behind
This album came out during a strange time in rock pop the last few years of the 80s. Hair metal was dying (finally!), the chintzy keyboard assaults of the early 80s were dying as well (yay!) and pop was in a tough place. Bands that were good just a few years before were struggling to find a newer sound and a newer audience. Most of them failed miserably, and they were good bands.
This was Adams' effort to go from teen angsty pop rock into a slightly darker space, and it hurt him commercially, as it did most bands doing the same thing at the time.
It's a shame, because this album is a pop gem in spite of its more adult orientation. If you're not inclined to like Adams because of his teen pop rock, give this a chance to see how it fits. It's considerably different from anything else he did before and he's done since.
"Native Son" is one of the best Bryan Adams' songs - IMHO. Accompanied by several other great songs this album is still powerful!
Some of the Best
let's get real
Top-to-bottom, Reckless was one of greatest pop records of all time....so surely it would've been unrealistic to expect something of that caliber with Bryan's next release....but indeed, when I was a teenager, I eagerly awaited Bryan's follow-up album......but "Into the FIre" had to be one of the biggest musical letdowns of the decade for me. "Flop" is probably a better word.
First of all, the cover art for the album is quite dull and uninspiring....(what was he thinking?) I suppose, though, that it was an omen for what was inside. Obviously there is no "Summer of 69" here. Neither is there anything approaching the instant electricity of "One Night Love Affair" or the excitement of "It's only Love." Neither is there anything playful like "Kids Wanna Rock." Nor is there anything even close to as beautiful as "Heaven."
Now to be fair, "Only the Strong Survive" is a catchy and enjoyable song. As is "Hearts on Fire." If my memory is correct, "Heat of the Night" was the first single released from this album, which was a curious choice....not even sure if any other song was released after that or not. But the two aforementioned songs are both better than "Heat of the Night." Anyway, my opinion is that Bryan lost something after Reckless....and after two stellar albums, this one was the beginning of the end for him....at least for what I loved about him. Sure, he had a string of tender-hearted songs later in his career, but I think he's much better, much more in his element, rockin' it out in that mid-tempo, high-energy, happy-go-lucky pop song. It seems to me that he made comments at the time of wanting to "grow" as an artist and that he couldn't be singing songs like "Run to You" for the rest of his life......but I sure wish he would have put off this urge for "growth" a while longer. Doing so might have prolonged his genius.
Inspiring and great memories!
This was released 2 months before I graduated from college and I remember the depth of the songs and the realization how much Bryan had grown with this album. Great lyrics and those typical Bryan Adams harmonies are some of his best ever on this album! Like others have said, the album is perhaps one of his best overall. So many fond memories and realizing it has been 25 years since this release and my days in college.....unbelievable!
Best BA album ever
Yes, one should love "Reckless" and "Cuts Like a Knife," just as I love those records, but this was the record where BA became more than just a pop star, and showed that he could write songs steeped in extreme heartbreak ("Victim of Love," best song on the record), unjustice ("Native Son"), family struggles ("Rebel"), partriotism and honor ("Remembrance Day") and themes of the common man ("Another Day"), yet still rock out ("Hearts on Fire," "Heat of the Night"). Every song on this record is very, very strong. My fave of the BA catalog, the last true BA rock record before he went into "Robin Hood" territory. A must-have for even the casual BA fan; you'll see what he really is all about. Wish he still wrote all his records with Jim Vallance. BA4EVER.
Probably my favorite bryan adams album. About wore it out. Every song is great.
INTO THE FIRE
Probably one of the best albums I bought in the 80's I still have it, and I still play it (yes L.P.) sometimes you just can't beat vinyl. And this one has to be one of his best too.
One of the best
Defintely one of his best albums period. Every song is good and has a story to tell. A lot of emotion in Native Son. Loved it:)
Underrated in a major way . . .
After Reckless, it was probably inevitable for a bit of a sales letdown. But for the real BA fan, this is really one of his best. Less love song and more introspection then Bryan maybe has ever done. From the ghostly "Into the Fire" punishing "Rebel" and Sweeping "Native Son", this is some great later 80's rock.