This song is featured in the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, where it plays over the credits. It was written to order for the movie, initially by American film composer Michael Kamen, with the middle eight, break, outro and arrangement added by Adams and producer Mutt Lange. Adams used a line in the movie, "I do it for you..." as the basis for the song, and they had it written in about an hour.
Adams has said that initially, this song didn't meet with Hollywood approval, as the film company wanted the song to have instrumentation in line with the films' era - lutes, mandolins, and the like. The film company relented, but still buried the song midway through the credits, apparently unaware of the huge hit they had on their hands.
This is one of the most successful singles of all time, selling over 3 million copies. It was #1 for 16 weeks in the UK (from 13th July to 26th October 1991) and 7 weeks in the US. (thanks, Matthew - Shrewsbury, England)
A longer version of this song was used as the B-side to Adam's next single, "Can't Stop This Thing We Started."
This brought Adams a huge Adult Contemporary audience, but alienated many fans of his rock music. He continued to record dramatic ballads for romantic movies: In 1993, he sang "All For Love" with Rod Stewart and Sting for The 3 Musketeers, and in 1995 he recorded "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" for Don Juan DeMarco.
This went to #1 in 30 countries. It also won a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or For Television in 1992.
Some of the hits Mutt Lange produced before lending his talents to this track include "Back In Black
" for AC/DC and "Photograph
" by Def Leppard. Bryan Adams told us about working with Lange: "Mutt is great to work with because he is committed to making sure the songs have the best of everything before they go out into the world. We've had three number one records together and many good times, a true friend." (Check out our interview with Bryan Adams
Brandy covered this on her 1998 album Never Say Never. (thanks, Daisy - Ikast, Denmark)
Michael Kamen had originally wanted the song to be as if it were Maid Marian singing to Robin Hood. However, this initial version was deemed so bland that Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Lisa Stansfield all turned it down.