Into The Fire
Recording Artist: Bryan Adams
Writers: Jim Vallance
Bryan Adams
Date Written: July-August 1986 / Vancouver Canada
Albums: Into The Fire (A&M Records, 1987)
Live Live Live (A&M Records, 1988)
Charts: #6 - Billboard Album Rock Tracks Chart / 1987 (16 weeks on the chart)
Musicians: Bryan Adams: rhythm guitar, vocal
Jim Vallance: sequencer, percussion
Keith Scott: lead guitar
Tommy Mandel: keyboards
Dave Taylor: bass
Mickey Curry: drums
 
Produced by Bob Clearmountain and Bryan Adams.  Associate producer Jim Vallance.  Recorded by Bob Clearmountain, September 1986, at Cliffhanger Studios, West Vancouver.  Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, January 1987, at AIR Studios, London.
Comments:
 
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The view from Bryan's "Cliffhanger Studio"
Bryan recorded "Into The Fire" in 1986 at "Cliffhanger", his home studio in West Vancouver. Originally built as a cottage in the 1920s, the house is perched on the edge of a cliff (hence the studio's name).

One entire wall of the studio was windows, providing a spectacular view of the ships in the harbour and the city of Vancouver in the distance.

As a rule I didn't spend much time in the studio during the recording of any of Bryan's albums. One day, however, I dropped by when Bryan and producer Bob Clearmountain were working on the title track, "Into The Fire".

When I arrived, Bob was sitting behind Bryan's recording console, deep in concentration as he listened to a playback of the track. I leaned over the back of the console, between the speakers ... my favourite spot for listening.
Click on image to enlage
As I listened to the playback I noticed a possible problem with the guitar sound ... or at least, an opportunity for improvement.

On our demo recording of "Into The Fire" we'd used a Rockman pocket amplifier, which delivers a very clean, sparkling guitar sound. For me, that sound was a critical element in the song, and I was concerned by its absence from the track. I waited for the playback to finish, then as politely as possible I said, "Bob, do you think the guitar could be a bit brighter?".

Wrong choice of words!
Bob Clearmountain
Clearmountain had a mini-tantrum. He pushed his chair back from the console and said, "I don't need some guy coming in here telling me how to get guitar sounds!".

I was shocked, and also terribly embarrassed that I'd upset Bob, and possibly disrupted the work-flow of the recording session. I didn't know what to say or do, but I managed to gather myself together enough to quietly say, "I'm not some guy, Bob. I wrote the song".

To his credit Bob apologized for the outburst. Really, he's a very sweet fellow, a true gentleman. I expect he was having a bad day, and I happened to arrive at the wrong moment.

Bryan and Bob re-recorded the guitars with the "brighter" sound, and we were able to have a laugh about the whole thing later. As an added bonus, I drew inspiration from the incident and named my publishing company "Some Guy Songs".
Lyrics:
Above: lyric sheet for "Into The Fire"
(click to view)
Life as thin as a thread
Sometimes you're lucky
Sometimes you're better off dead

Your first breath is taken and into the world you are cast
You long for tomorrow while living each day as your last

Well I know what your heart desires
But you can't take it with you
Into the fire

Now you've done all you can
Your life's at the crossroads
You watch as it slips through your hands

So you stand on the mountain and shout in vain at the sky
But nobody hears you - the words only echo inside

Oh shelter the flame - it may expire
Risin' up from the ashes
Into the fire

Just hold onto your life down to the wire
Oh out from the dragon's jaws
Into the fire

There's a moment in every man's life
When he must decide what is wrong and what's right

You could wait for your dreams to come true
But time has no mercy
Time won't stand still for you

Well I know what your heart desires
Crawlin' out from the wreckage
Into the fire