The Crux of the Biscuit


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Crux of the Biscuit emerged fully formed on Jan 5 2009. The Crux primarily discusses music, makes fun of music, and celebrates music. The Crux also reserves the right to discuss movies, books, and other aspects of pop culture. And if you don't know what the crux of the biscuit is please, for the sake of humanity, educate yourself. Or look for the answer on my banner.


MARCH 28, 2009 12:43AM

Bryan Adams—The Crooner from Vancouver: A Retrospective

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From the desk of the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame:

Bryan Adams—The Crooner from Vancouver: A Retrospective

In the strange and confusing history of rock and roll, some artists’ popularity and longevity remain a mystery. Eddie Money and Meatloaf are two that come to mind.

But no artist’s popularity and success is more confounding, more head scratching than that of Bryan Adams. He is what a Russian immigrant grandmother might conjure as an ideal rock star. His music is a strange amalgam of creepy and incomprehensible nostalgia, driven by clichéd sentiments and even more clichéd backbeats. He is like the weird bastard child of Simon Cowell and John Mellencamp.

We at the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame tm have reviewed, studied, and thoroughly mocked Mr. Adams’ career, and now, gentle reader, we wish to share our research and pain with you.

We begin in 1983. A young Mr. Adams, fresh faced and ready to RWAK, unleashes the single “Cuts Like a Knife” upon an unsuspecting world. This is nominally a song about a young lady who leaves the narrator for “someone new.” The narrator laments that he “took it all for granted” but he was completely shocked and taken aback when she was “letting go” (presumably of their love). Okay. The narrator is surely immature. A child. A baffoon. Of course the young lady will look for someone new. Besides, Kiss just rolled through town, and you know, Gene Simons is good with the ladies…But then Adams hits the inexplicable chorus: “Well it cuts like a knife/but it feels so right…”

Hmmm. First of all, why would the girl leaving you for someone else “feel so right?” This makes no sense. Is this some sort of deranged white boy Canadian blues type thing? Of course this is a minor piffle compared to the inane and absurd simile employed as the song’s title and main idea: Cuts like a Knife. Is this how Mr. Adams employs similes?

--“Is it still raining Bryan?”

“Yeah, boy, it’s wet as water out there!”

--“Whew, it sure is hot out today, huh Bryan?”

“Absolutely, it’s as hot as fire man!”

--“Say Bryan, it’s really cold out there!”

“Yup, as cold as ice!” (oh, wait…that was another band…uhh...anyway…)------------------------


We now come to Mr. Adams’ break out hit, the song that had America shaking its rear in faux nostalgic ecstasy: “Summer of 69.”

At first blush the song is a tender look back to the youthful and carefree days of the 60s and the innocence of first love. But there is something about the song that does not quite jibe,  something about the song that just does not add up. After many weeks of exhaustive research and many a late night drinking beer, the research staff at the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame has uncovered an inaccuracy in the Summer of 69 that very well may shake the rock world to its very foundations. The sad and ugly truth is this: Bryan Adams was born in November of 1959, which would have made him all of NINE YEARS OLD during the summer of 1969. “Those were the best days of [his] life”? You were “young and restless, and needed to unwind”?  At nine? Jesus. How sad.

After many more beers and a round with something an intern called “a hookah” we came upon the theory that the “Summer of ‘69” may not be referring to the fabled summer of Woodstock, free love, and hippies, but instead is referring to the famous sexual position: soixante-neuf (69), which if true, would indeed qualify as the best summer of a young adult’s life (and we would have to seriously have to reconsider our opinion of Mr. Adams). At any rate, the song takes on a completely different meaning if you listen to it in this way. ----------------------


Bryan Adams really hit his stride in the middle 80s with the belching and farting power ballad “Heaven.”

First of all, we find ourselves in full on nostalgia mode “thinkin’ about all our younger years” sung by a gent who is all of 25 years old. But it isn’t the faux nostalgia that is offending in this song—no—it’s the nonsense lyrics that make us want to put our face through a pane of glass: “Baby you’re all that I want when you’re lyin’ here in my arms, I’m findin’ it hard to believe we’re in heaven…” So wait a minute. Let me get this straight. The girl is all that he wants. He loves her, and is singing this grand power ballad for her, yet he’s finding it “hard to believe we’re in heaven”? Huh?

He then goes on to croon “Nothing is all that I need, and I found it there in your heart…” What? You found NOTHING in her heart. Real romantic Romeo. The strangest part of this song is the creepy video which is, I’m guessing, his vision of heaven. It consists of Adams slobbering on his microphone to hundreds of television sets with (we’re guessing) the girl he loves. Ugh. This vid is just too much. Depression. Despair. Total breakdown. The beer helps. Beer definitely helps. And the hookah thingy. Yup, ahhh, yump. -----------------------------

For the sake of your sanity, dear reader, as well as ours, we skip ahead a few movie power ballads (don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about) to the dawn of the millennium. Here we find Mr. Adams in his 40s, with a severe crew cut and an ironic desire to appear hip. This is where many RNRHoS researchers and interns became inconsolable. The song in question is, quite frankly one of the dumbest songs ever written. A song that makes fucking Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” sound like a Leonard Cohen song. A song thats premise is a pick up line that has never and will never work. Yes, astute reader, you guessed it, Adams' 2000 raver: “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me, Is You.” No amount of critical distain can do justice to the sheer macho idiocy of this song. Watch at your own risk----------------------------------


So there you have it kind reader. It is our pleasure to indict Bryan Adams into the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame. We hope you will join us again as we consider the wretched and shameful careers of hack rockers and lame balladeers.


(We recently received a note from the talented and respected singer songwriter RYAN ADAMS who informed us that he was pleased and grateful for our induction of Bryan Adams into the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame. He is hopeful that “we can put any confusion behind us, and that the next motherfucker that calls out “Summer of 69” at one of his concerts will be drawn and quartered").  

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Be thankful I didn't talk about "Everything I do (I do it for you)." I thought Cosner would be too much.
Are you kdding me about Meatloaf? Bat Out of Hell is one of the great albums of all time!!! Did you get that? Three!!! Count 'em, three!!! Exclamation points!!!

I'm with ya on the rest though. It took me forever to finally discover Ryan Adams because of Bryan Adams.

And thank you much for sparing us from Everything I do (I do it for you). Really. As an English teacher that title must drive you crazy.
you should be a professional music critic--outstanding...rated for "lyrics that make us want to put our face through a pane of glass"...
I always figured the reason "it feels so right" (and song sound so wrong) is because he's gay, or at least that's the common wisdom up here in Canada. How many musicians have had a 20 year career and never had a girlfriend? When he started a second career as a photographer, that pretty much solidified that rumor.

Think about it. What a bizarro life to live, a closeted gay pop star. No wonder his lyrics are so weird.
Not caring enough about Bryan Adams, I realized I never actually bothered to research that rumor. So it turns out he actually has had some girlfriends. But I dunno, there's something about that story that feels so right. So I'm just offering it up as a possibility.
Well Cap'n, Meatloaf is certainly not Hall of Shame material but it's really hard to take the goofy over-the-top theatricalism. Anyway, I always wondered why Ryan Adams didn't change his name.

mistercomedy, thank you. Man, that compliment means a lot coming from you (meaning someone who actually knows how to be funny). Thanks.

Juliet, I don't know what to say. He's a photographer too. Jeez. Maybe he should just stick to that...
Each of your music posts gets better. (In my humble opinion, Mr. Loaf has been unfairly diminished by the likes of you and deserves a passionate defense. My next project, perhaps.) But serious kudos for this post. A riot. We've got a lot of geniuses here on OS to work on the deficit, education and global warming. We would not be complete without someone tracking matters such as these. A really great series.
bryan adams, the deer in the headlight of the seger-springsteen FastTrain that took up silent Bob (Dylan's) mantle in the 70's...oh late 70's & 80's, goddamn how i'd like to be transported back with a stashbag fulla thc to those times...i would deconstruct them in full millenial fervor, with foreknowledge construct...tear apart, put em back in shape, build some damn utopia..

oh...this was about bryan adams...sorry, the associative part of my cerebrum got zapped into action. i lived those times shamefully. thought bryan was what the gals naive could i be?

meatloaf vs adams: meatloaf is a self-conscious self-parody, adams is...a genetic accident...
great stuff jim. rated
Hey thanks jimmy! I appreciate the props. I knew all those years of watching MTV would eventually pay off!

Jim, thanks---"genetic accident" made me laugh out loud--fortunately for me (and the rest of the crew down at the R n R Hall of Shame) pop music is littered with genetic accidents where we may find amusement and mirth in their craptastic careers, ad infinitum.
More! More! from rock n roll hall'o'shame...yr public demands...

(always hated that damn cyndi lauper, but guess she had some talent)
More will be forthcoming Jim. Our crack team of researchers and interns are hard at work scouring the dark rat infested recesses of the past thirty-five years of popular music for material and "inductees."

Sao--you know that's kind of how pop music works isn't it? we kind of make up our own lyrics and meaning. I've kind of discovered that the original meanings of many of these songs are often fraught with twisted logic, dumb emotions, and full on hilarity. Good for us...I guess. LOL
MJ, brother of a different mother o' are speaking the truth here...Geez Bryan Adams is hideous...thanks for the "after dinner mint" of Ryan Adams (whom I love!) to clear my palate after the vomiting ceased.

You are duly thumbed, sir.
Some of these people should just be given an unplugged mike and told to have fun. Me I know my place. All my concerts take place behind a curtain under running water :)
Yekdeli--yeah, I thought people might need to clense the palate after wading through the "highlights" of Bryan Adams' career. Apparently Ryan Adams gets shit all the time on stage about Bryan Adams.

Esse--Yup, I too save my rock star fantasies for times when I know no one will be unduly subjected to my painful caterwauling.
A Note About Meatloaf:

A couple of commenters have taken issue with a slight against the singer known as Mealoaf. While we feel Meatloaf's Rock career is a tad on the side of corny and ridiculous (we think he's a top notch actor though) he is certainly not destined for the Rock N Roll Hall of Shame. There is ONE song of his, however, that may deserve a place in the Hall of Shame.

Stay tuned...
Man, could we get in to some serious discussions on this topic! 75% of the 1970's should be tossed in the hopper. Are you old enough to remember Andrew Gold and his MEGA hit Lonely Boy? Thank God he was a one hit wonder Shit, I just threw up in my mouth! BTW - Meatloaf ain't rock n roll, he's a Broadway star like Liza
He's got one of the all time great rocker voices, though, and "Run to You" is a great power song. I also like "Baby When You're Gone", despite the simpering presence of Mel B or C or F@#$. It's a good simple rock love tune, and Adams' vocals are great on it.