Friday, September 25, 2009

Bryan Adams -- "Heaven"

Firstly, Bryan Adams has a Web site that is in my opinion quite well designed and well maintained. On this Web site are some photographs Bryan Adams has taken of famous people. They are actually very good. Check them out. I like the Morrissey ones.

Also! Bryan Adams wrote some bad lyrics once. Here they are.

Oh - thinking about all our younger years / There was only you and me / We were young and wild and free

You know, when I listen to the opening guitar riffs of this song, I always expect Steve Perry to bust in and sing "Highway run / Into the midnight sun." It never happens, but still.

So, I was more than a little tickled to find this aside on the Wikipedia page for this song: "While writing 'Heaven', Adams and [Jim] Vallance were influenced by Journey's music and lyrical style, particular their song 'Faithfully.'" This proves, unequivocally, once and for all, that I am a genius.

Also, this video is almost like David Lynch-ian, with Bryan Adams alone in a theater with about a thousand TVs. I think it's some kind of commentary on the unique solitude of a rock star, and how it's possible for one to be surrounded by people and yet still completely alone. Of course, this is completely unrelated to the content of the song, which is about a guy who really really likes a girl and everything is totally awesome and nothing can ever tear them apart (not anymore, at least, everything is totally cool now and all that bad stuff is totally in the past) and they will be together forever until the end of time.

Now nothing can take you away from me / We’ve been down that road before / But that’s over now / You keep me coming back for more

You know, Bryan Adams seems like kind of a cool guy. He's Canadian, speaks Portuguese, has a charitable foundation that probably does some pretty good work, took those cool photographs on his Web site ... and yet, and yet, he writes some of the cheesiest songs ever. Why is this? Does the fault lie with his songwriting partner, Jim Vallance? Does Bryan Adams write like some seriously introspective and literate and lyrical shit and then Vallance tears it up and says, "Fuck this, Adams! Give the people what they want! The people want insipid tripe that's been written, recorded, released, chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated by musicians ten million times since the dawn of time when Neanderthal man got his first real six-string at the five and dime!" Then Adams always gives in because Jim Vallance is fourteen feet tall, weighs 525 pounds, and eats the bones of failed songwriters for breakfast.

Anyhow, that's my working theory on how we ended up with these lyrics here.

Baby you’re all that I want / When you’re lying here in my arms / I’m finding it hard to believe / We’re in heaven

I think you are right to be skeptical, Bryan Adams. It sounds like you two have had some tough times in the past, and although things may seem real nice right now, relaxing in bed after you have presumably just had sexual intercourse, this may just be an illusion of happiness.

And love is all that I need / And I found it there in your heart / It isn’t too hard to see / We're in heaven

Or, OK, you're actually in heaven. That's another theory.

"Love is all that I need, and I found it there in your heart?" Come on now, Vallance. Let's be reasonable here. Why don't you let Bryan Adams out of his cage in your basement, where you only let him out to perform the occasional benefit concert in sub-Saharan Africa or snap a few photos of Lindsay Lohan, and give him a crack at some of this songwriting? .... I don't think he can hear me. He's plucking full-grown eagles out of the sky right now and manipulating their vocal cords to make them sing "Cuts Like a Knife."

Oh - once in your life you find someone / Who will turn your world around / Bring you up when you’re feeling down

Oh, buh-rother.

Yeah - nothing could change what you mean to me / Oh there’s lots that I could say / But just hold me now / ‘Cause our love will light the way

I changed my mind. Jim Vallance is actually in fifth grade and Bryan Adams is afraid to tell him that his lyrics are bad because he will start crying.

I've been waiting for so long / For something to arrive / For love to come along / Now our dreams are coming true / Through the good times and the bad / Yeah – I’ll be standing there by you

I changed my mind again. I think this song was a little experiment to see how many power-ballad cliches could be crammed into one radio-length song. Somebody call the Guinness Book of World Records.


  1. TRUE FACT: My very first rock concert ever was a Bryan Adams show, which I saw when I was a high school senior (i.e., old enough to know better). I'm not ashamed enough of this fact as I probably should be. It was actually kind of awesome? There, I said it. There was a girl involved, which always improves things.

    Anyway, the opening act was called "The Storm" and the vocalist sounded really familiar to me but I couldn't place it, and then their last song was a Journey medly and I suddenly realized OH MY GOD "THE STORM" IS STEVE PERRY OF JOURNEY'S NEW PROJECT! Even at 17, I was terribly embarassed for him. Now that I know that Bryan Adams tried to emulate the Journey style on this song, I wonder if having The Storm as his opener was sort of like an act of charity to one of his idols, who was now fallen on rough time. I'll bet that tour was exquisitely awkward.

  2. Are you sure it was Steve Perry? I just did some perfunctory research and it seems that "The Storm" was in fact a Journey side project but Steve Perry was not involved. Of course, he could've been serving as a guest vocalist at that particular concert. Either way, "The Storm" is an awesome band name.

  3. That is intriguing! They never actually said it was "The Storm Featuring Steve Perry"; I just assumed it was him due to the Journey medley and the extreme Perry-ness of the voice. Perhaps Journey's non-Perry members went out and got a vocal ringer, a la Jimmy Page's shameless team-up with David Coverdale.

  4. Hey, "Heaven," was my junior prom theme! But I can't defend the lyrics...(perhaps I shouldn't mention that my senior prom theme was "When I'm With You" by Sheriff).

    Anyway, I saw that you had posted on the blog The Comics Curmudgeon; if you like that blog, you might also like Pointless Planet, which is quite similar but which mocks TV ads rather than comic strips. Check it out:

  5. Bryan Adams was the opening act for the Journey Frontiers tour. Steve Perry would also release a solo album around this time (1983) and teh band would release one more album in 1986 before going on hiatus. The band called The Storm was made up of three former Journey members, Gregg Rollie (also of Santana), Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith. Steve Perry was never involved with the Storm. Rolie had left Journey in 1980, partly because he could not stand Steve Perry. So for the Storm to tour with Bryan Adams makes sense, especially considereing Steve Smith played drums on at least one of BA's greatest hits (Heaven)

  6. Bryan Adams,,the guy's 50,,but hasnt had any hit songs in well over 20yrs,,

    1. Leonardo DiCaprio hasnt won any Oscars yet. But still, awesome is awesome.

    2. Hell has begun to freeze over...

    3. Hell has begun to freeze over...

  7. Poor dear boy - YOU are a puerile, juvenile idiot. (Yes, I know that puerile and juvenile are synonyms, just didn't want you to have to look up puerile.) I am almost 64 years old, and have been listening to all kinds of music for over 50 years, and the song Heaven is one of the most real, touching and beautiful songs written, of which in my opinion there are many. I have been deeply in love with one man for 43 years, and when you are lucky, you get the opportunity to fall in love with someone and spend a lifetime with them, through all the ups and downs, and hear a song like this one and have it strike a sweet, true chord. Cheesy? Not even close.

    By the way, I'm not a fan of Journey. Oh, and if you are not male, I will be SHOCKED!