A&M/UMG Recordings

This week marked the 40th anniversary of the release of Bryan Adams’ breakthrough album, Cuts Like a Knife. The album, Bryan’s third, was his first U.S. top 10 album and gave him his first three U.S. hit singles: “Straight from the Heart,” the title track and “This Time.” Bryan says credit for much of the album’s success goes to MTV. 

Bryan tells ABC Audio that MTV was hugely responsible for the successful 1983 release: “There was a fraternity of probably 10 artists that they put on heavy rotation: Madonna, Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, myself, Duran Duran. And we got played over and over.”

In fact, the video for “Cuts Like a Knife,” starring a Penthouse model named Raquel Pena, was one of the most popular videos of 1983. It was filmed in the empty swimming pool of an abandoned YMCA in LA, which was also the location for the party Bryan’s label threw when the album went Platinum.

“Back then, when MTV first started, it was a cable thing … and not everybody had cable,” Bryan says. “But anyone that did have cable was getting all these songs all the time. So I’m really, really grateful to them. I wish it still existed.”

As previously reported, Bryan and his band performed Cuts Like a Knife in its entirety at London’s Royal Albert Hall in May 2022; the full performance hits streaming on February 3. He believes the album holds up after 40 years.

“It was really exciting to go back and listen to those songs,” Bryan says. “Some of the songs I’d never played ever live. I had to sit in a rehearsal hall for a few days and get my head around it.” 

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