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Bryan Adams knows what Charlotte wants

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  • PREVIEW

    Bryan Adams

    WHEN: 8 p.m. Monday.

    WHERE: Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St.

    TICKETS: $39.50-$79.50.

    DETAILS: 704-372-1000.



At age 53 and with his last No. 1 hit 18 years back in his rear-view, Bryan Adams doesn’t have any illusions.

The Canadian rocker knows exactly what fans are coming to his acoustic concert at Knight Theater Monday to hear: “The songs everyone knows,” said Adams, who mainly has been performing “stripped-down” shows since releasing his “Bare Bones” live album in 2010.

“The most popular songs are the ones that everyone gets off on. Everything else is just … you know, they sort of sit through it.”

The 15-time Grammy nominee talked to the Observer last week about the biggest of those hits: 1991’s “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” – how he came up with it, and why it worked.

Q. Can you recall the process of creating that song?

Sure I do. I remember exactly how it happened. We had two weeks off between mixing the final mixes for (the 1991 album) “Waking Up the Neighbors,” and a friend of mine who used to work at my record company was working on a film (1991’s “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”).

He called me and said, “Look, I’ve got 45 minutes of soundtrack here and they need a song. Can you try and cobble something together?” I said, “Sure, send it over.” So they sent it over and I sat down, and I was working with (producer-songwriter Robert John) “Mutt” Lange at the time.

Mutt and I sat and listened to this music that was composed by Michael Kamen, and we took a tiny smidge of it out and re-wrote a bunch of other music that went with it. …

I can remember distinctly sitting at the back of the studio with Mutt, and we were just working on words and (going) back and forth and (he) said, “OK, we’ve got a first verse here. Why don’t you sing it back to me?” So I just picked up the guitar and played him the first verse.

I stopped at that point, I looked up at him and he had this smile on his face, and I smiled back. I guess both of us knew right then and there that we’d written something great. I think the whole thing took about 45 minutes.

Q. Wow. That’s pretty amazing.

Usually, the songs that are the biggest hits are the ones that came the quickest. … I’d love to have more 45 minutes like that, but they just don’t happen that easily.

Q. But did you know “(Everything I Do)” was going to be a big hit?

I knew it was a good song, and I knew it was definitely going to go on the album, but I had no idea that it was going to be No. 1 for about six months. No idea.

Q. What’s the secret to a great love song?

A lot of the secret of delivering a song like that is how you sing it, and I think the simpler the better. The reason that a song like “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” was such a huge success because even if you don’t speak English, you understand what that means.

Janes: 704-358-5897.
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