Bryan Adams on his first record deal - "They gave me the incredible sum of exactly a dollar"

Virgin Radio

9 Mar 2022, 12:26

Chris Evans and Bryan Adams at Virgin Radio

Chris Evans and Bryan Adams at Virgin Radio

Bryan Adams joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about his 15th studio album, So Happy It Hurts, and about securing his first record deal back in the day.

The new record lands this Friday, 11th March, and Bryan told Chris that he created it during lockdown at the start of the pandemic. “There was a moment, where you think you’re going to die, and that’s it. You’ve got no more gigs going on, you’ve got to find that inner strength, and I came back with a record,” he said. 

“I really did feel like ‘we’ll never gig again,’” he continued. “I didn’t get really down about it. I just thought, ‘Okay, I’m just going to concentrate on getting all the bits of paper out of my pockets that had all the ideas, and start putting them together.’ And that’s what I did. So, for about six months, I just knuckled down. And I couldn’t put my band together, because they wouldn’t leave the house, so I just sat down and figured it out myself.”

Bryan’s latest single is called Never Gonna Rain. “It’s about turning the negatives into positives,” he explained. When speaking about his lyrics, the musician added: “I think that it’s an obligation of the songwriter to put their own life into their music and their lyrics, so a lot of it is true.”

When Chris asked whether Bryan already has an ear for which songs on the new album might be the bangers, the singer-songwriter replied: “I don’t really know, because even with a song like Run To You, I mean, I loved the track when we recorded it but I had no idea it was going to do anything. All I can say is, if it feels right in the car, it’s probably going to be alright!

“Go into the car and have a listen to it. Or the other one is, invite a friend over and play it for a friend. If they pick up their phone and start doing something else, you know you’ve got a dud!” 

Bryan has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. Revisiting his first ever record contract, back in the day, he told Chris: “I signed when I was 18, and on the contract I signed, they didn’t give me any money, they just said, ‘Well, we’ll sign you and see what happens,’. It was a no-risk deal for them, and a terrible royalty rate. I was 18, I thought ‘Okay, I’ve got nothing else going on, so I’ll do it.’ And I did it, but on the deal, it says, in order for this to be a real contract, you have to exchange some money, so they gave me the incredible sum of exactly a dollar." 

“So I said to the president of the company, after my album came out, ‘Where’s my dollar?’ And he said, ‘I’ll send it to you’. I’ve got it framed in my office!”

Bryan will be playing a 21-date So Happy It Hurts UK headline tour in May, June and July. The tour will see the musician play a run of shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall. “We’re doing three nights there, which has been booked for literally years! We keep having to postpone it because of the Covid regulations. It will be a different album every night, so that’s what it’s going to be, and then we’ll do some of the rest of the songs that you know and love,” he said.

The good news for fans is that the upcoming album isn’t the only new release from the legendary artist. “There’s one out already, which is Pretty Woman: The Musical. That came out yesterday, and then on Friday we’ve got the new album, So Happy It Hurts, and then in a month’s time I’ve got a recordings record called Classic, where I’ve taken a lot of my original recordings and re-recorded them.”

Speaking more about reworking some of his old tunes, he continued: “The biggest difference is all the songs have endings, whereas they didn’t have endings on the originals, because they would just fade out. Back then, you just fade the song out. So now these all have the endings that I’ve worked out from years and years of touring.”

So Happy It Hurts is out this Friday, 11th March. 

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.