Bad English deliver a perfect blend of radio-oriented rock (ROR he says?), hard-edged and ‘cutting up rough’ on one side of the blade, while gilt-edged and silky smooth on the other.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Bad English
ALBUM: Bad English
SERIAL: EK 45083
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: John Waite – vocals * Neal Schon – guitars * Ricky Phillips – bass * Jonathan Cain – keyboards * Deen Castronovo – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Best Of What I Got * 02 Heaven Is A 4 Letter Word * 03 Possession * 04 Forget Me Not * 05 When I See You Smile * 06 Tough Times Don’t Last * 07 Ghost In Your Heart * 08 Price Of Love * 09 Ready When You Are * 10 Lay Down * 11 The Restless Ones * 12 Rockin’ Horse * 13 Don’t Walk Away
This album holds a very special place in my CD collection. It was, in fact, the very first CD I ever bought, back in the year 1989 when I made the transition from vinyl to CD. I suppose too, for the line-up that graces this album, it is indeed a pretty special album.. period!
As we all know, Bad English reflect two parts Journey, two parts The Babys, plus new boy Deen Castronovo, a drumming fiend with a history playing with local Oregon band Wild Dogs, plus appearing with guitar god Tony MacAlpine on some of his solo CD’s.
The result, Bad English deliver a perfect blend of radio-oriented rock (ROR he says?), hard-edged and ‘cutting up rough’ on one side of the blade, while gilt-edged and silky smooth on the other. Even a Schick razor couldn’t do this well!
The impassioned vocals of Waite proved the perfect counterfoil for the Journey pairing of Schon and Cain. Chuck into the mix Richie Zito’s full production (particularly those bucket sounding drums) plus some minor songwriting contributions from Diane Warren, Mark Spiro, David Roberts, and Martin Page, and you’ve got an album that most of us AOR fans will already have in the collection in any case.
So why the hell am I writing anything about it then? Simply, because some of those songs have killer hooks and memorable parts to them that just stick like adhesive!
Let’s focus on some truly great songs: ‘Possession (apart from the very obsessed lyrics.. in another era they could’ve been singing about vampires or demons!), is a wonderfully emotive tune, the chorus, solo, and acoustic pieces all hit the right spot for me.
Then there’s ‘Ghost In Your Heart’, what a song. Dramatic, emotive yet again, and this time, the lyrics reflect the mood of the song perfectly. The two commercial tracks: ‘When I See You Smile’ and ‘Price Of Love’ did wonderfully well on the US charts (#1 and #5 respectively).
Elsewhere opener ‘Best Of What I Got’ rampages into and out of your speakers setting the scene for the rest of the album, followed by other rockin’ efforts such as ‘Forget Me Not’ (another lyrical piece of cleverness, the ‘mark’ of Spiro strikes again!) and the melodrama that is ‘The Restless Ones’. And I haven’t gotten around to the other tracks!
I gotta say, the inside cover shot of the band looks like an absolute lark. All dressed in black leather, the guys look decidedly uncomfortable trussed up like chooks. Thankfully the music is no lark. Classic stuff indeed.
No AOR CD collection is complete without this album. Because there are 13 tracks on the album, it would be hard to give this CD the full ‘thumbs up’ as the quality just shades toward the end which is not unexpected given its duration. Instead, we’ll give it a 9.5. Hope that keeps everyone happy.
Price Of Love
When I See You Smile
Forget Me Not
Entire Album (Select Tracks)