Bryan Adams

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 December, 1997, 12:00am

Bryan Adams - Unplugged (A&M) These MTV unplugged albums ('unplugged' is a trademark) can seem a bit of a con: largely a reworking of old material - if you are lucky with two or three new songs thrown in (as here) - they allow artists to sell old records in different packaging.

But a few represent worthwhile additions to back catalogues, and this is one. Here, Adams looks less than ever like the caricature success made of him with the monster hit (Everything I Do) I Do it for You : the nadir of tedious, maudlin ballads. This record comes with a few of its own - and closes with a double helping - but they are largely dispensed with quickly in order to get on with the real business: a set of spirited rock 'n' roll numbers sufficient to rehabilitate Adams. The Only Thing that Looks Good On Me Is You and the bluesy If Ya Wanna Be Bad Ya Gotta Be Good show what he's really about.

Summer of '69, inevitably, begins proceedings, but benefits from its acoustic treatment and a change of arrangement. Most radically altered is 18 Til I Die, which comes armed with orchestral backing recalling that of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. Adams has come a long way.