Album review: BRYAN ADAMS – Wembley 1996 Live

 BRYAN ADAMS - Wembley 1996 Live

Eagle Rock [Release date 30.06.17 ]

Back in 1996 Bryan Adams was riding the crest of a wave, some might say a tsunami.  The placement of ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It for You’ in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves had made him a household name, and his 1993 So Far So Good package was a best seller around the globe, topping 13 million sales.

It was against that backdrop that Adams was able to sell out Wembley Stadium – over 70,000 hot, sweaty souls were there on that day in the summer of ‘96 – only weeks after the release of 18 ‘til I Die.  That album itself spawned three Top Ten singles – ‘The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You’,  ‘Let’s Make A Night To Remember’, and the frankly cheesy  ‘Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?’, but the Wembley gig marked the absolute zenith of his popularity.

Strangely, while the DVD of the sell-out event – which was broadcast around the world – was released in time for last year’s Christmas market, the CD release has been deferred until this summer.  Why, I’m not sure, perhaps to spread the marketing opportunities and maximise revenues on the back of his current UK and European tour?

But, backed by a five-piece band of Keith Scott (lead guitar), Mickey Curry (drums), Dave Taylor (bass), Tommy Mandel (keyboards), and Dave Cummings (percussion), what you get is 24 tracks spread across 2 discs, of no frills, guitar driven, hits including crowd pleasers like ‘Summer of ’69′, ‘Cuts Like A Knife’, ‘Can’t Stop This Thing We Started’, ‘Run To You’ and a belting ‘It’s Only Love ‘duet with Melissa Etheridge.

For a 21 year old recording, it’s pretty punchy, and captures Adams’ typically gritty performance in front of what sounds like a heavily female populated audience.  You wonder why it’s taken this long to dust it off for an official release.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley


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