Adams was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, to English parents. From his grandmother he also inherited a Maltese ancestry. As Adams' father was a diplomat, he grew up travelling around the world with his parents. Subsequently, most of his youth was spent growing up in Europe and the Middle East, part of the time in Birre, Portugal, situated close to Lisbon; where he learned the Portuguese language. In 1973, Adams' family returned to Canada and settled down in North Vancouver, British Columbia. His musical goals began during his teenage years, and as he explained to Carlo D'Agostino from Rolling Stone magazine, "In high school, I was too far into my music to even pay attention to girls." He washed dishes, sold pet food, and worked in record stores, and at the age of 15, Adams quit school to play in nightclubs with bands like Shock and Sweeney Todd, who released an album called If Wishes Were Horses with the fifteen year old Adams as lead singer. A serendipitous meeting with drummer Jim Vallance in a Vancouver music store led to a song-writing partnership that continues to this day. They wrote songs for many other artists notably Neil Diamond, Kiss, Prism, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart, Carly Simon and Loverboy to name a few. Adams and Vallance were both disenchanted with the club scene and both worked in Vancouver studios doing sessions. As O'Hara from Maclean's magazine phrased it, "Vallance was looking for a singer, Adams was looking for a route to musical respectability, and the two hit it off immediately."
In 1978, at the age of 18, Adams sent a few demo recordings to A&M Records in Toronto. Not long afterwards he signed with them for the sum of one dollar. Some of the first demos written in 1978 have surfaced over the years, most notably "I'm Ready" (recorded for both the album Cuts Like a Knife and later his release for MTV Unplugged) and "Remember", which was recorded on his first album. Both songs were covered by other artists even before his first album was released. Also recorded during this time was a demo of the song, "Let Me Take You Dancing".
|Sweeney Todd (Victoria)||Vocals||70s|