It's Only Love
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams with Tina Turner
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: December 1983 / Vancouver Canada
Albums: Reckless (A&M Records, 1984)
Live Live Live (A&M Records, 1988)
Tina Live In Europe (Capitol Records, 1988)
So Far So Good (A&M Records, 1993)
Anthology (A&M Records, 2005)
Bare Bones (2010)
Reckless - 30th Anniversary Edition (November 2014)
Charts: #7 - Billboard Top Rock Tracks Chart / 1984 (25 weeks on the chart)
#15 - Billboard "Hot 100" Singles Chart / January 1986 (14 weeks on the chart)
#29 - UK Chart / November 1985 (6 weeks on the chart)
#12 - The Record (Canada) / December 16, 1985 (13 weeks on the chart)
#20 - Netherlands / 1985
Awards: 2007 - SOCAN Classics Award for more than 100,000 radio performances in Canada
Audio 1:
Bryan Adams: rhythm guitar, vocal
Tina Turner: vocal
Keith Scott: lead guitar
Dave Taylor: bass
Tommy Mandel: keyboards
Mickey Curry: drums
Arranged by Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams. Produced by Bob Clearmountain and Bryan Adams. Associate producer, Jim Vallance. Recorded by Bob Clearmountain, April/May 1984, at Little Mountain Sound, Vancouver. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, September 1984, at the Power Station, New York.
Audio 2: Audio Pending > from the Bare Bones album.
Bryan Adams: acoustic guitar, vocal
Gary Breit: piano
Produced by Bryan Adams. Recorded by Ben Dobie at the Weinberg Center in Fredrick, Maryland, June 15, 2010.   Mixed by Bob Clearmountain at Mix This, Los Angeles California.

Photo (right): With Tina at Little Mountain Sound Studios, May 1, 1983, during the vocal session for "It's Only Love". >

(photo by Bryan Adams)

45 Sleeve / UK
45 Sleeve / Japan
"It's Only Love" would have been a solo Bryan Adams performance were it not for Bryan's persistence in pursuing Tina Turner. Her single "What's Love Got To Do With It" had just started taking off at radio, and she was finally emerging from years of obscurity! If Bryan had approached her even a few weeks later, chances are Tina would have been too busy to participate.

After splitting with her husband (and band-leader) Ike Turner in 1976, Tina spent several years playing night-clubs, corporate conventions, and whatever other work she could find to support her four children. She was half-a-million dollars in debt, and at one point she had to resort to food stamps to feed her family!

When I was playing drums for Tom Jones in 1980, Tina appeared on Tom's television show as a guest. She sang "Proud Mary" ... and she was amazing!!

Around the same time as the Tom Jones appearance Tina met a young Australian manager, Roger Davies. Roger took Tina under his wing and helped her record the "Private Dancer" album. As everyone now knows, the album was an enormous success -- in fact, success came so quickly that Tina found herself caught between two very different worlds: "top dollar" requests were arriving daily for stadium concerts in support of her hit single "What's Love Got To Do With It", while at the same time she had agree to perform at a McDonald's Restaurant Manager's convention, booked several months before.

To her credit, she honoured all of the small engagements before turning her full attention to the "big time".

It was also a real treat watching Tina sing in the studio. She has the energy of a hurricane, yet she's focused and professional. A very sweet lady.

There was a moment during the recording session when I didn't think her vocal was going to work (we wrote the song for Bryan's vocal range, and it was the wrong key for Tina). She paused for a minute, then she said, "Let me try something a little different".  Right there, on the spot, she came up with a completely different approach to the melody.  It was perfect!
Lee Michaels
The structure of the song, in terms of feel and chord movement, is loosely based on Lee Michael's single "Do You Know What I Mean", which reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard chart in September 1971. I've long admired the way Lee's song delivers two simple lines of rhyming lyric, followed by the title.  The pattern repeats over and over for the duration of the song, with a brief "bridge" departure at the halfway point. Very simple, and very effective:

Been 14 days since I don't know when
I just saw her with my best friend
Do you know what I mean?
Do you know what I mean?
I was also thinking about guitarist Keith Scott while when I was working on the song's arrangement. Keith's an amazing player, and I thought "It's Only Love" could feature a "Keith solo" after every 8 bars, similar to Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along The Watchtower" (verse / guitar-solo / verse / guitar-solo / etc).

For me, there are lots of positive memories associated with this song, and I always enjoy hearing it when it comes on the car radio.
Bryan's brilliant guitarist,
Keith Scott
When the feelin' is ended
There ain't no use pretendin'
Don't ya worry - it's only love

When your world has been shattered
Ain't nothin' else matters
It ain't over - it's only love
And that's all - ya

(Guitar Solo)

When your heart has been broken
Hard words have been spoken
It ain't easy - but it's only love

And if your life ain't worth livin'
And you're ready to give in
Just remember - that it's only love - love

(Guitar Solo)

Yeah - You can live without the aggravation
Ya gotta wanna win - ya gotta wanna win
You keep lookin' back in desperation
Over and over and over again

Ya, ya - it's only love, baby
Oh yeah - hey
Ooo baby, baby - it's ony love, love, love
Love, love, love

When your world is shattered
Ain't nothin' else matters
It ain't over - it's only love

If your life ain't worth livin'
And you're ready to give in
Just remember - that it's only love
Ya - that's all

(Guitar Solo)

Ya it ain't easy baby
But it's only love - and that's all