SINGAPORE – Pop-rock star Bryan Adams could have easily coasted on the many hits he has churned out over the decades.
But the 63-year-old Canadian – whose repertoire includes (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, the 1991 ballad that is one of the biggest-selling singles of all time – was especially productive in the past year when it came to new material.
He released a total of five albums, such as So Happy It Hurts (2022), which includes the title track that was nominated for Best Rock Performance at the recent Grammy Awards.
His output also included two albums, Classic and Classic Pt II, that comprise re-recorded versions of his signature tunes, such as Summer Of ’69 and Heaven, both first released in 1985.
The flurry of releases was due to the downtime Adams was forced to take during the pandemic, he tells The Straits Times in a Zoom interview ahead of his Singapore concert at The Star Theatre on Monday.
He last performed here in 2017.
“I have to be honest. I really loved it. I had a great time with my family and I really enjoyed it. I missed my other family, which is my touring family, a lot. And I was worried about whether or not we would ever do it again because it was such an extremely bizarre thing to have happened to everybody,” says the singer, who contracted Covid-19 twice in 2021.
He lives in Vancouver and has two daughters, aged 10 and 11, with British actress Alicia Grimaldi.
“But at the same time, even though I was extremely happy with my family, I was still working on music. I figured, well, I’ve got to put all this down, that’s why there’s been such an influx of songs.”
So Happy It Hurts – full of upbeat tunes – is a celebration of life returning to normal after the pandemic years.
“One of the things that I always believed that you should do as a writer is to write your truth. It’s important that you convey exactly what you’re feeling at that particular time and, in doing so, people will relate to it,” he says. “And so, this album was really just exactly how I was feeling at that time.”
Adams, who kicked off his music career as a teenager in 1975, is a big fan of feel-good music, singling out the songs by American pop star Lizzo. “I think there’s a lot of great new music out there that’s very uplifting. I love Lizzo, she makes me laugh.”
He also credits another contemporary favourite, American singer Taylor Swift, for inspiring him to re-record his old songs in the two Classic albums.
Like Swift, Adams decided to make new versions of his hits after his former record company, Universal Music Group, did not want to return the original master recordings.
“I was certainly inspired by Taylor’s initiative to do that, and I really thank her for being so forward about doing that, because it was a very bold thing to do.”
He had a lot of fun revisiting the old songs and played most of the musical instruments himself. “They are sort of the web that continues to be part of my life, and I adore them and I can remember where I was, almost like looking back on a photograph that you had.”
The coming months will be just as productive for the veteran performer.
Besides the rest of his world tour, he is also finishing another album of brand-new songs that he expects to release at the end of 2023 or early 2024.
He is also putting out more live albums and videos recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The first of the series, Cuts Like A Knife – 40th Anniversary, Live From The Royal Albert Hall, was released in February 2023 and features songs from that album he first released in 1983.
The upcoming ones will also celebrate other past albums.
“You can’t stop creative flow,” he says. “I suppose some people are like candles – eventually, they burn out. But it seems to me that I kind of have this steady flow right now. And there’s so much, I don’t have enough time to make all the songs that are rattling around in my head and get them all down.”
Asked how long more he sees himself touring the world and making new music, he replies with the title of his hit 1996 album and song: “18 till I die, baby.”
Book it/Bryan Adams: So Happy It Hurts 2023
Where: The Star Theatre, 04-01 The Star Performing Arts Centre, 1 Vista Exchange
When: March 13, 8pm
Admission: Tickets from $118 to $228 via Ticketmaster (go to ticketmaster.sg or call 3158-8588) and all SingPost outlets