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On disc: John Waite

In Real Time - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Rough & Tumble - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Rough and Tumble

Rough & Tumble
(Frontiers Records - 2011)

Everybody who listened to hard rock in the 80's will know John Waite, others might just know Bad English's Missing You. Anyway, John Waite is back with a new studio album called Rough & Tumble, his last studio album was Downtown Journey Of The Heart in 2006.
The opener is the title track Rough & Tumble, and it's somehow rough, coz it's not the polished sound of the 90's. This tune is stripped down to the basics, focusing on the essential... A bluesy guitar riff and Waite's voice that's you get. With Shadows Of Love he has a Bad English-like track, a catchy balladesque rocker. One of my favorites is Evil, a song which seems to combine Waite's past and add a modern touch thanks to song writing partner Kyle Cook (Matchbox Twenty). Another highlight is the ballad If You Ever Get Lonely! A surprise is the cover of Tina Turner's Sweet Rhode Island Red, and John Waite managed to combine the Turner-ish sound with his own style. Initially John Waite had planned to do an EP, but the label wanted a full album and so he thought it's time to record a song which impressed him many years ago. The bluesy Love's Goin' Out Of Style is an enchanting tune and hopefully it will be on the set list next time around. This one has the potential to become a classic! Better Off Gone is another song of Waite / Cook, actually the first they wrote together. The right stuff to cruise around in summer and it's followed by the bluesy Further The Sky, another cover. I don't know the original, but Mr. Waite make it sound like it's his own. This time he got a helping hand by guitarist Shane Fontayne. With Peace Of Mind is a guitar-driven tune which kicks off with spoken words and shows a different facet of John Waite. The song is based on Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf. It would be the closer, but you get 2 bonus tracks. At the European edition it's Mr Wonderful and Hanging Tree. Mr. Wonderful his long time fans will know, it was on his first solo album, a song with a special feeling. Quite entertaining. Hanging Tree was written with Shane Fontayne and was a song John Waite always thought would be a good bonus track - and here we are.
If you love John Waite's solo albums, this won't disappoint you. But everybody who likes hard rock without bombastic sounds, should check it out! It's an authentic release of a great singer!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


In Real Time

In Real Time
(Frontiers Records - 2010)

John Waite isn't a nobody in the music biz, most will know him as the singer of Bad English and / or The Babys. But the singer released several albums and hits the road frequently. With In Real Time he is now presenting a live album recorded on his 2009 tour, but if you saw him in early 2010, then you got the same set. John Waite is joined by bassist Tim Hogan, drummer Billy Wilkes and guitarist Luis Maldonado. At two songs - In Dreams and When I See You Smile (bonus track) - he picked up his guitar. Mr. Waite kinda travels back in time, not just with some songs, also with the way he did this concerts. It was him and the three guys on stage - no big production. But a live show which just rocks, let the music do the talking was John Waite's motto. In Real Time documents a no-frills show with John Waite in top form. After introducing the band guitarist Luis Maldonado shows his skills and leads over to New York City Girl. Sure, every fan has some favorite songs and so you might miss one or the other song, but you can't satisfy everybody. If you saw him live recently then this live album is perfect to keep your memory fresh! John Waite is working on a new studio album which shall be out later this year. Looks like a good year for fans of the English man...

Track list:

Back On My Feet Again
In Dreams
Every Time I Think Of You
Band Intro
New York City Girl
Best Of What I Got
Missing You
Head First
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin cover)
When I See You Smile (bonus track)

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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