Waking Up The Neighbours
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams
Release Date: 1991 (A&M Records)
Songs By Jim Vallance: Depend On Me
Do I Have To Say The Words?
House Arrest
There Will Never Be Another Tonight
Charts: #6 - Billboard Album Chart / April 1991 (75 weeks on chart)
#1 - UK Chart / entered chart at #1 on 09/23/91
#2 - Netherlands "Top 100 " chart / 1991
Certification: 4x Platinum (4 million U.S. sales) May 8, 1996
1x Diamond Award (1 million Canadian sales) 1992
Gold Album Award, India / 1992
World: Approximately 10 million sales
Comments:
My relationship with Bryan ended during the Neighbours album. We'd been writing songs almost every day for a year and we were starting to burn out, personally and creatively. I suggested we take a break, but Bryan refused. His previous album, Into The Fire, had not met sales expectations, and Bryan was obsessed with completing and releasing the Neighbours album as soon as possible.

So we kept writing ... eight, ten, twelve hours a day ... seven days a week. We were frustrated and exhausted. The quality of our songwriting was deteriorating, and the "vibes" in the room were getting more and more intense.
 
A few years later, in a candid interview with Toronto's Globe & Mail newspaper, Bryan confessed, "I think if we could have taken a break and worked on it on a more casual basis, we'd still be together". 

Around the same time he told a Vancouver Sun interviewer, "Jim knew when it was time to stop -- I didn't."

By the summer of 1988 we'd completed a dozen songs.  Bryan decided eight of them were ready for recording.


In July Bryan flew to England and cut the tracks at Olympic Studios with U2 producer Steve Lillywhite.  But Bryan wasn't happy with the results, so he fired Lillywhite and re-hired his old producer, Bob Clearmountain.
The brilliant Mutt Lange

In May 1989 Adams and Clearmountian recorded the songs again, this time at A&M Studios in Los Angeles.  But that didn't work either. So Bryan recorded some of the tracks a third time, this time producing the sessions himself, but he still wasn't satisfied (see "The Lost Album").

By now Bryan was beginning to realize that all those songs, written under duress, were simply not good enough.  He'd have to go back to the drawing board.

In the summer of 1989 Mutt Lange came "on board" and helped us write some new songs, and re-write some of the old songs.  Mutt was a huge inspiration.  Finally, it seemed like we were getting back on track musically ... but it was too late for me and Bryan on a personal level. It had been an intense and unpleasant twelve months, and our relationship had been damaged beyond repair.

Between 1979 and 1986 Adams and I wrote hundreds of songs is this little room >
In fact, it had been an intense eleven years!  I estimate that between 1978 and 1989 Bryan and I spent more than 15,000 hours together, just the two of us in a small room with our guitars and recording gear.  In the beginning, and for much of our relationship, that small room was filled with positive, creative energy. Towards the end however, that positive energy was seldom present.

If familiarity breeds contempt, then that's what it had come to. In September 1989, with very few regrets, I walked away.
 

Bryan moved to England, while I remained in Canada, and for most of the next decade we hardly spoke to one another.

Two phrases come to mind: "never say never" and "time heals everything". Beginning in 2001 Bryan and I have collaborated on a number of songs, and we enjoy spending time together again (whenever we happen to be in the same city). In addition, I occasionally perform with him in concert, joining him for a few songs on the piano.

 
 
 
Reviews:
MTV website: Released 10 years after Adams's debut record, WAKING UP THE NEIGHBORS continues in the hard-rocking tradition of its predecessors, but there are some notable changes. Here, Robert "Mutt" Lange, producer of AC/DC and guiding hand behind a number of other successful hard rock acts, is now Adam's full-time songwriting partner instead of Jim Vallance, who had co-written all of Adams's early hits. Many of the latter had a touch of heartland melancholy, but these songs are more concerned with the human heart. The love song "Everything I Do (I Do it for You)," featured in the movie ROBIN HOOD, was an enormous hit.

Lange's heavy-metal influence is evident here, with Adams serving up a fine approximation of an AC/DC song on "Hey Honey--I'm Packing You In," while "Thought I'd Died and Gone to Heaven" carries with it the unmistakable flavor of Def Leppard. But in general the emphasis, as always, is on hook-heavy rockers with catchy choruses like "Can't Stop This Thing We Started." Whereas on earlier records Adams had spiced up his songs with traces of social consciousness, this set is back squarely in love-and-lust territory.
 
 
 
 
James Hunter, Rolling Stone Magazine (4 stars): Waking up the Neighbours' will, with no sweat, reestablish Bryan Adams as the radio's hoarse purveyor of energy and fun. A scrupulously careful yet adamantly alive piece of work, this collaboration between the Canadian singer-guitarist and the Midas-touch songwriter-producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange alternates half-tamed sonic raunch like "Is Your Mama Gonna Miss Ya?" and "Hey Honey – I'm Packin' You In!" with eloquent mall ballads such as "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," Adams's current planet-wide phenomenon, and the even moodier "Do I Have to Say the Words?" For further balance there is fairly soulful midtempo rock ("Depend on Me") and an oddly toned state-of-the-world finale called "Don't Drop That Bomb on Me."

Like most capable pop craftsmen hellbent on seizing the airwaves, Adams and Lange walk a fine line between familiarity and derivativeness, between the blazingly immediate and the outright stale. So some tunes on Waking Up the Neighbours have turned out too broad for anyone's taste. "House Arrest" doesn't convey much of the atmosphere of "justa havin' a ball," and the hectoring sing-along "There Will Never Be Another Tonight" collapses into silliness in no time flat. More often, however, all Adams and Lange's high-impact verses and choruses and bridges and subbridges work like charms. The arrangements are only faintly dressed up with well-chosen bits of keyboard and percussion, and Bob Clearmountain's mix emphasizes Adams's vocals and Keith Scott's memorable guitar hooks – not, as per current market fashion, the rhythm section.

Bryan Adams became a superstar on the basis of Reckless, from 1984, an album released just as Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. was beginning to exert its enormous influence over how guitar-defined popsters should think, sound and wear their denim. Three years later, with his dull Into the Fire, Adams let his always believable passion for melody and crunch lead him into attempts at the sort of topical, introspective songwriting that Springsteen and John Cougar Mellencamp sometimes can pull off. But between 1987 and right now, the Traveling Wilburys restored humor and the Black Crowes embraced vulgarity. However you may feel about this turn of events in the evolution of nonmetal, bestselling guitar pop, one thing seems certain: It's coaxed Bryan Adams back toward his natural calling.
 
 
 
  Proceed to the next album, "So Far So Good"