Born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada back in 1959, Bryan Adams released his first album in 1980 at the age of 21. But it was with records like “Cuts Like a Knife” (1983), “Reckless” (1984) and “Waking Up the Neighbours” that he became one of the best-selling artists of all time wiht an estimated amount of more than 100 million records sold. A prolific songwriter, Adams didn’t wrote songs only for his career, he also co-wrote tracks for many other artists, including the legendary America Hard Rock band Kiss.
The 3 Kiss songs co-written by Canadian singer and guitarist Bryan Adams
Released on Kiss’ 1982 album “Creatures Of The Night” (1982), “War Machine” was co-written by Gene Simmons, Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. The track became one of the most famous songs of the record and keeps being played by Kiss live ever since. The successful Canadian singer and guitarist Bryan Adams recalled in an interview with Eddie Trunk back in 2021 how he ended up co-writing the track: “I think what happened was – they had recorded ‘Rock and Roll Hell’ and asked me to come down. You’d have to get Gene‘s version of this. But he asked me to come down and meet with them. Maybe help out on some other songs. So I thought, ‘OK.’
“I went down to Los Angeles and Gene had a guitar riff, and we didn’t have a song. And I thought it was a pretty cool guitar riff. I didn’t finish the idea when I was in LA. But I took it back to Vancouver and started working on it.”
“And sat down with Jim (Vallance – Songwriter) and we came up with ‘War Machine.’ Again, I was always thinking about the live context of things, and that’s interesting you should tell me that that song is still on their live show because that’s exactly what I was thinking, that you could make this a really exciting song based on the lyrical content. And they recorded that. I think that was 1981. So I was a broke songwriter and really grateful for the opportunity. To this day still very grateful for the opportunity. I’ve never seen them live. I mean, I’m glad to hear it worked out,” Bryan Adams.
“Rock and Roll Hell”
Another track from the “Creatures Of The Night” (1982) album, “Rock and Roll Hell” was also written by Vallance, Adams and Simmons. As songwriter Jim Vallance recalled in interview with Rock Pages back in 2007, he originally wrote the track for the Canadian band Bachman Turner-Overdrive. BTO released the song in 1979 but it was altered for Kiss three years later.
“I originally wrote the song for Fred Turner to sing (BTO). I was trying to tell Fred’s story. In fact, the lyric grew from some conversations I had with Fred. He was at a point in his life when he was burned out and discouraged, and not interested in touring. That’s what the original lyric was about.”
“When Bryan and I wrote the new lyric for KISS, we were thinking about a young guy who WANTS to be in a famous band, and can’t wait for the chance to do a tour. In other words, the opposite situation from Fred’s. You can see what we’re trying to say in the first two verses of the song. The third verse was written by Gene,” Jim Vallance said.
“Down On Your Knees”
Released a few months before “Creatures Of The Night” album, the track “Down On Your Knees” was one of the four original compositions on the Kiss Greatest Hits record “Killers” (1982). The track was written by Bryan Adams, Paul Stanley and Mikel Japp.
The album was released only outside the United States at the time but quickly became available as import. The other original tracks are “I’m A Legend Tonight”, “Nowhere To Run” and “Partners In Crime”.