But in 91? It’s doubtful that even Adams and Lange foresaw they would make the biggest hit of the rocker’s career. “Everything I Do” was a single from many pop groups initially turned down, but by the end of that year it would spend 16 consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart – which is still the longest unbroken streak ever – and 17 consecutive weeks on the US sales chart (it would also enjoy seven weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100, which combines sales and radio airplay).
Our very own UK editor Rosie Fletcher recalled the delight millions of Britons had every Sunday when Adams’ single once again proved to be the most bought and listened to pop hit.
“In the UK in 1991, the official top 40 was big business,” says Fletcher, “and a lot of attention was paid to what was number one each week. So much so that many of us of a certain age listened to the charts on the radio on a Sunday night, ideally on a tape recorder with a blank C90 in our hands. This way, you could essentially create your own mixtape of the charts that you could listen to throughout the week, so that you were guaranteed to know all the words to the most popular hits. There was no Spotify. Most people didn’t have MTV. It was the 90s equivalent of a download.
She continues: “For this reason, you will find a whole generation of Britons who know, without hesitation or research, that “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” was number one in the UK charts for 16 weeks. 16 weeks! It was a MASSIVE deal. So huge, that every week when it was AGAIN number one, we would be amazed! How long is this going to last? How long can this last?! And we would call each other on our landlines to discuss our wonderment and we would talk about it at school with our friends or on the bus, because there was no Twitter or Facebook or a comment section to have an opinion there- above. on… This song was a legitimate cultural phenomenon and I still know every word.
The popularity of “All I Do” that year cannot be overemphasized. With its soulful guitar strings and angelic keyboard harmonies, the piece still exudes unabashed sentimentality and romance. It was so big, in fact, that for the VHS release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Warner Bros. Pictures placed the original clip for the single over the end credits – a fact either the studio or Adams might have regretted as it is absent from subsequent DVD releases, and the only clip on YouTube is the one without clips of Costner’s well-groomed hair.
For adults of a certain age—those who remember the early ’90s from a teenager’s or child’s perspective—Adams’ serious bridge where he swears, “Yeah, I’d fight for you , I would lie for you, walk the wire for you, yeah, I would die for you! is as etched in the memory as a national anthem.
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How Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Bryan Adams conquered the world
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