First Hit #1: January 22, 1994
Once upon a time, Bryan Adams had a massive hit with a song written for somewhat serious and popular period piece, and so when the producers of the Three Musketeers needed a new song, it only made sense to go back to him. However, at some point, someone suggested that with three musketeers, there must also be three singers on the song, so Rod Stewart and Sting were called in, in order to make a group that’s basically the kings of soft rock. It was destined to be a hit, and it was.
It’s not great though, and the problem lies squarely with Adams. Alright fine, I’ll admit yet again that I’m no fan of him, but that’s actually not why he’s the problem, instead it’s because he’s superfluous. See, his voice is kind of like a less powerful Rod Stewart, something that’s not immediately obvious until you hear them singing together on the same track. A good duet has contrasts, and this has that between Stewart and Sting, but Adams doesn’t quite distinguish himself between the two. What he does do is make the entire affair slightly more clumsy than it should have been. His voice is present, but it distracts more than it adds, and it feels like a third wheel at the parts when everyone’s supposed to harmonize – he can’t quite hit the notes with the same power as Stewart and Sting, and that makes his contributions make the whole thing sound a bit messy. Stewart and Sting have similar ranges, but different vocal styles – Stewart being rough and smokey and Sting being quite smooth. Adams has the smokiness of Stewart, but a very different range, and it doesn’t quite mesh with the powerful voices he’s singing with. Cut him from the song, you might have something, but since he co-wrote he probably wouldn’t like that idea very much.