Todays recommendation from the unsolicited music recommendation service is, MTV Unplugged by Bryan Adams.
One suspects than an unwritten rule of MTV sessions is the requirement to open with the big hit regardless of its suitability for the ‘unplugged’ treatment. Consequently Summer of ‘69 opens this album in a fairly unremarkable way but it is worth pushing on.
The track Back to You makes fair better use of the unplugged instrumentation while the version of Cuts Like A Knife is one of the best live recordings made of that track. I’m Ready and Fits Ya Good continue with interesting arrangements and treatments.
A significant change in feel happens with the track When You Love Someone featuring well captured and arranged strings. The backing vocals are also delivered with great sensitivity as well as the instrumental solos. Though the ending is perhaps a little disappointing.
The interesting use of the strings continues into the track 18 Till I Die with the strings driving the entire track even covering the typical guitar solo. The reworking of tracks continues with I Think About You to great effect.
The blues versions of If Ya Wanna Be Bad - Ya Gotta Be Good / Let’s Make It A Night To Remember is a welcome shift in feel but lacks the interest of the other tracks. Likewise the track The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You is perhaps a little bland as well and A Little Love is perhaps entirely miss-able.
As the album concludes there is a fear, especially if you have not checked the liner notes, that that song is on the way. Fear not an initially sensitive version of Heaven leads to the concluding track I’ll Always Be Right There.
Throughout the album the playing of Keith Scott is as always exceptional, However the performance specific contributions of Michael Kamen and Davy Spillane (Bagpipes) really stand out.
If you use Apple Music you can listen to MTV Unplugged.