For Bryan Adams and longtime songwriting partner Jim Vallance, having Jeff Lynne produce his latest album, Get Up!, is "dream come true stuff."
"It was such a thrill. Working with Jeff brought out the best in me and in Jim," Adams tells Billboard. "Jim and I both have great respect for (Lynne) and admiration as a producer and a musician, and suddenly he's working on our songs and our demos? It was killer, man."
Get Up!, the follow-up to last year's covers set Tracks of My Years, comes out Oct. 30 and is Adams' first of all-original material since 11 in 2008. He and Vallance co-write eight of the nine tracks, while Adams and Lynne combined for "Do What Ya Gotta Do," which was originally pitched for the American Hustle film soundtrack but didn't end up on it. "Don't Even Try" and "You Belong To Me," meanwhile, date back to the beginning of Adams' work with Lynne; both were intended for a TV pilot that was never made, but it was the director of the proposed series who put Adams and Lynne together. Listen to "Don't Even Try," which Billboard is exclusively premiering below.
"The guy said, 'I need some songs. I'm gonna get my buddy Jeff to do one,'" recalls Adams, who first met Lynne back in 1987 in the U.K. "I said, 'Oh, you know Jeff?' 'Yeah.' "Tell him I said hi.' Next thing I know I get a message back; 'Jeff wants you to give him a call if you get a chance next time you're in L.A.' So I called him and he said, 'Next time you're in L.A., come over and have a cup of tea.' So that's all it was; I went over there one day and on the way out he said, 'Hey man, we should cut a song some time.' 'Hell yeah!'"
Adams says the Get Up! recording process took place intermittently; he'd send demos of songs to Lynne, who would create finished tracks, playing most of the instruments himself. Not surprisingly, Lynne gravitated quickly to the Beatles-flavored "Don't Even Try." "When I played that song for Jeff he looked at me and said, 'That sounds like a Rubber Soul outtake,'" Adams says. "The director of that TV series wanted songs that had sort of a '60s feel, so I was going for that and it just came out with that kind of sound."
The process of working with Lynne on Get Up! was pretty seamless despite all the back and forth. "The way the whole (album) worked is we would send the demo to Jeff and he would either keep or replace what he thought was good or bad, and if I needed to come back and do something I would. But more often than not he'd use the vocal that I sent and that was it," Adams explains. "I would say Jeff's kind of a minimalist in the sense that there's no frills on the recordings. It's real instrumentation. It's not computerized. He never relies on instrumentation that's been sampled. It has to be played, so I think all those elements provide sort of a really organic sound, even though he may be using modern technology to record things."
With Lynne's own new ELO album on the way this fall (Alone in the Universe, out Nov. 13) Adams hasn't had an opportunity to do any more work with Lynne but hopes to in the future. But, after spending the past year celebrating the 30th anniversary of his Reckless album in concert, Adams -- who directed the video forGet Up!'s first single "You Belong To Me" and plans to do more -- is looking forward to taking the album on the road in the new year. "I had someone tell me I could take this whole album and open the show and people would think it's one of my classic records," Adams says. "It's rockin', that's for sure. They'll be great to play live."
Listen to Bryan Adams' 'Don't Even Try' from his new album 'Get Up!': Exclusive song premiere
Canadian Bryan Adams performs on stage during an Open Air concert in the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, Sunday, June 20, 1999. (AP Photo/Martin Ruetschi)
Wynonna Judd, left, and Bryan Adams sing "Raised on Robbery" during Turner Network Television's "All-Star Tribute to Joni Mitchell," Thursday, April 6, 2000, at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs on his world tour at the sold out Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday, Dec. 3, 2001. (AP PHOTO/KEYSTONE/Franco Greco)
American director Kelly Asbury ,left, Canadian pop star Bryan Adams, center, and American director Lorna Cook pose before the screening of their animated film " Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron", which is out of competition at the 55th International Film Festival in Cannes, south eastern France, Saturday, May 18, 2002. (AP Photo/Patrick Gardin)
Canadian pop star Bryan Adams, right, and American producer Geffrey Katzenberg, smile as they arrive for the screening of their animated film "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron," directed by Kelly Asbury and Lorna Cook, which is out of competition at the 55th International Film Festival in Cannes, south eastern France, Saturday, May 18, 2002. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Bryan Adams, playing his bass guitar with a hand broken in a motorcycle accident, performs on the NBC "Today" show Summer Concert Series in New York's Rockefeller Center, Friday, May 24, 2002. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Canadian Bryan Adams performs at the Golden Jubilee pop concert in the gardens of Buckingham Palace in London Monday June 3, 2002. Around 12,000 members of the public attended a concert hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II which featured music from Sir Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Tom Jones among others. (AP Photo /WPA, Stephen Hird)
Canadian musician Bryan Adams during the German TV bets show "Wetten, dass..?" (Bet, that..?) in the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, France, Saturday evening, July 6, 2002. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs on stage in the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland, late Monday, Nov. 18, 2002. (AP Photo/Keystone/Eddy Risch)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs during a concert in Basel, Switzerland, Thursday evening, Dec 2, 2004. (AP Photo/Keystone, Patrick Straub)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004. Adams in on tour in India performing in New Delhi and the southern city of Bangalore. (AP Photo/Sebastian John)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams delivers an acceptance speech during the Golden Kamera media award ceremony in Berlin Wednesday evening, Feb. 9, 2005. Adams was awarded in the category "Pop International". (AP Photo/ Jan Bauer)
Pop star Bryan Adams receives a bouquet before his news conference in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2006. Adams will perform Sunday night to raise money for victims of the mammoth South Asian earthquake that killed 87,000 and left millions homeless. (AP Photo/Adnan Ali)
Rock star Bryan Adams performs on stage during his concert in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, late Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005.(AP Photo/Str)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs on stage during his free concert in front of Rome's Colosseum, Monday, July 31, 2006. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
Canadian rock singer, guitarist and songwriter Bryan Adams performs during his Athology Tour at Steel Arena in Kosice, Slovakia on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006. (AP Photo/CTK, Peter Lazar) ***SLOVAKIA OUT***
Canadian singer Bryan Adams performs during the International Song Festival in Vina del Mar, Chile, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007. (AP Photo/Santiago Llanquin)
Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams arrives at the Memorial Service for Diana, Princess of Wales at the Guards Chapel on Birdcage Walk in Central London, 31 August 2007. The Princess died 10 years ago today in a car crash in Paris with her partner, Dodi Al-Fayed. (AP Photo/Leon Neal, Pool)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams performs during his concert in Zurich, Switzerland, on Saturday, March 15, 2008. Adams is on tour to promote his new album "11". (AP Photo/Keystone, Steffen Schmidt)
Canadian singer Bryan Adams performs during a concert at the Monumental Stadium in Lima, Sunday, April 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Der kanadische Saenger Bryan Adams tritt am Dienstag, 29. April 2008 in einem Fernsehstudio in Huerth bei Koeln auf. Dort wird die 50. Folge der "Chart Show" aufgezeichnet, die am Freitag 2. Mai 2008 unter dem Motto "erfolgreichste Rock Classics" beim Fernsehsender RTL um 21.15 Uhr ausgestrahlt wird. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz) --- Canadian singer Bryan Adams performs in a TV-studio in Huerth, western Germany, near Cologne, on Tuesday, April 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Hermann J. Knippertz)
Canadian singer and photographer Bryan Adams poses during a photo call in front of two pictures of his exhibition "Hear the World ambassadors" with 22 black and white pictures in Berlin, Wednesday, May 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Miguel Villagran)
Canadian singer Bryan Adams is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles Monday, March 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams stands beside of one of his photo prints showing British singer Amy Winehouse during the opening of his exhibition in Duesseldorf, Germany, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. Adams shows 150 pictures of his photo work like celebrity portraits, but also a series of portraits of injured soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Bryan Adams arrives to watch the show by Vivienne Westwood during London Fashion Week, at the Saatchi Gallery in west London, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Singer-songwriter Bryan Adams performs in concert during his âReckless - 30th Anniversary Tour 2015â at the Delaware State Fair on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Harrington, Del. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)