Anyone who has ever attended a Bryan Adams concert knows he’s always good for a couple of cover tracks so it’s hardly surprising that his first studio album since his 2008 `Eleven’ release is an ambitious collection of 14 covers of radio classics from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as well as one new collaboration with long-time co-writer Jim Vallance, a catchy mid-temp track titled “She Knows Me”. Co-produced with David Foster and Bob Rock, `Tracks Of My Years’ pays tribute to a time when radio was king and did not discriminate against, pop, rock, Motown or country, Adams attacks a full palate of songs from 50’s Chuck Berry songs like “Roll Over Beethoven” and Eddie
Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody” to more challenging takes like a bluesy version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me” and a mournful melodic cover of Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”. As is the case with all these tribute albums, purists will cringe while true fans will enjoy their hero’s vocal spin on the classics. Critics will say it’s sacrilegious for Adams to take a shot at Bob Dylan’s `Lay,Lady Lay’ or totally re-interpret “God Only Knows” and “You Shook Me”, but as far as Adams is concerned, it is what it is, him having a run at some of his old time favorites. It’s hardly surprising that Adams shines brightest with classic rockers like Cochrane’s “C’mon Everybody”, Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” and The Beatles’ “Anytime At All” but he also does a polished job tackling bluesy ballads like Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, Smokey Robinson’s “The Tracks Of My Tears” or the Association’s mid-tempo “Never My Love”. Hey, if Rod Stewart can churn out his American Songbook records, there’s nothing to stop Adams having a crack at his favourites. Critics I am sure will pan this effort, but who cares so long as he and his fans are having fun.
Download: “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “C’Mon Eveybody”, and “She Knows Me”.