|1. The Only One|
|2. Take Me Back|
|3. This Time|
|4. Straight From The Heart|
|5. Cuts Like A Knife|
|6. I'm Ready|
|7. What's It Gonna Be|
|8. Don't Leave Me Lonely|
|9. Let Him Know|
|10. The Best Was Yet To Come|
Bryan Adams has been fortunate to have nearly the same studio band for two decades. On "You Want It, You Got It" - keyboardist Tommy Mandel and drummer Mickey Curry were brought in. On "Cuts Like a Knife", Bryan went out and recruited Keith Scott for guitars and Dave Scott for Bass (Scott was very well known in Vancouver). Scott and Adams' guitaring combine for some incredible jamming - especially on this collection. These four band members would form the nucleus of Bryan Adams' studio band for the next 2 decades. This album features some incredible background vocals - two main background vocalists include Scott and Foreigner's Lou Gramm. Combine this with strong songwriting by the Adams/Vallance connection and Bob Clearmountain's mastery, the makings for a very strong album are clearly in play. A lot of why Adams really grew on this album are some of the contributions of Keith Scott, he was the perfect right-hand man for Adams.
Another staple of the Adams/Clearmountain connection is the ability to order tracks on the albums in a near flawless fashion. Once again Adams/Clearmountain have the perfect opening track in "The Only One" and the perfect closing track "The Best is Yet to Come" (ironically a great song title to end this album with 'Reckless', 'Into The Fire', and 'Waking Up the Neighbours' in Adams' future). On "The Only One", the team effort is heard right away - Adams and Scott have some great guitar work while Taylor's bass, Mandel's Keyboards, and Curry's drumming are in fine form. You'll also hear some of the nice background vocals that really make up this album from Gramm and Scott.
Want more great guitar work - "Take Me Back" is the song to hear. This song appears on the "Live Live Live" album and the that live version features Bryan starting the song "Take Me Back Keith". Although you don't hear that on this album, the song is still solid. And yes, same message as "The Only One" - full team effort. The third song "This Time" reminds me of a sequel to "Don't Look Now" - although no obvious lyrical connections they do have a similar rhythm. Other songs that really follow this Team Effort include "Straight From the Heart", "Cuts Like a Knife", "I'm Ready", and "Let Him Know". "Straight From the Heart" is the prototype for what is the classic Adams ballad. The provoking lyrics really shine here. This is the one song that wasn't co-written by Jim Vallance. On this song Eric Kagna is Adams partner, but not a beat is lost on this song. "Let Him Know" is a catchy song that often gets lost with some of the other monster songs that are on this album.
This is also a solid album in terms of the liner notes. All lyrics are included along with the appropriate songwriting and studio musician credits. This is something where "You Want It, You Got It" fell very short.
I'll emphasize the exceptional "Team Effort" that sets this album apart from the other Adams' releases. It is a must have for anyone building or keeping a Bryan Adams collection.