Three singles were released worldwide from the album: "Straight from the Heart", "Cuts Like a Knife" and "This Time"; the three were responsible for launching Adams into mainstream popularity. A further two singles were released in specific territories. The album is regarded as one of Adams' finest albums as well as one of the greatest albums of the 1980s. The album was named the #48 Greatest Canadian Album of All Time by Bob Mersereau in his book The Top 100 Canadian Albums.
The recording for the album was between 13 August-20 October 1982. Mixing started on 14 October and ended on 20 October. "Straight from the Heart" was recorded at Little Mountain Sound, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada by Bob Clearmountain and Adams; it was later mixed at Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Canada. "Straight from the Heart" was originally written in 1978; the title for the song originally came from his friend Eric Kagna. This song was the last recorded song for the album. Adams didn't really want "This Time" to be recorded but since Clearmountain insisted, the song was recorded at Little Mountain studio.
"Straight from the Heart" is a ballad written by Adams and released in December 1982 as the first single released from the album, which was subsequently released the next month. It is one of Adams' most recognizable and popular songs. It was also recorded by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler in 1983; it appears on her album Faster Than the Speed of Night. The song peaked at the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 at 10 and 32 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The song has appeared on all of Adams' compilation albums with the exception of The Best of Me.
"Cuts Like a Knife" was released in 1983 and became one of the most successful songs from Cuts Like a Knife on the American rock charts and one of Adams' most recognizable and popular songs from the 1980s. "Cuts Like a Knife" was released worldwide in March 1984. The song reached the top ten on the Mainstream Rock Tracks at six; "Cuts Like a Knife" would also chart on the Billboard Hot 100 at 15. "Cuts Like a Knife" was Adams' first top 20 hit on the Canadian singles chart and remained in the top 20 for six weeks. "Cuts Like a Knife" was released the following month in Europe but didn't chart.