Bad English - Bad English

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 2022 in Year-1989

ARTIST: Bad English
ALBUM: Bad English
SERIAL: EK 45083
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2009, SPV/Steamhammer, SPV 306122 CD * 2017, Rock Candy Records, CANDY320

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, 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!

The Songs

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!

In Summary

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.

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  • I remember some cranky neighbours asking me to turn down Ghost In Your Heart. They must have liked Forget Me Not better because there wasn't any complaints on that one

  • Terrific album. Everyone brought their A game on this project. All wrapped up in a solid Richie Zito production.

  • 1989 was truly a great year.

  • Top album - JW rocks it up with pals, the follow up was pretty good too IMHO.

  • Big fan of Backlash too.

  • A really good album that is 2-3 songs too long for my liking.

  • It would be difficult for me to select two or three songs to remove from this album because most of them are all pretty decent.

  • EmdaEmda Odenwald / Germany

    Regarding John Waite
    I've recently rediscovered his smash hit from 87, the extended rock mix edition. I dont buy much music these days but i had to have this 12" maxi vinyl with the extended mix above and another extended version called "Jellybean Mix" Its pure 80's AOR bliss, brilliant!

  • EmdaEmda Odenwald / Germany

    And yes "Ghost in your Heart" what a song! I recorded this masterpiece on EVERY self made Tape back then!

  • That Rock Mix of These Times Are Hard For Lovers is absolutely going to make a future Dive. Outstanding Emda!

  • edited October 2021

    I've a few JW remixes extended versions

    The one above on 12" still with a Virgin Records £3.29 price sticker on it (haha - surprised I never took that off).
    I also have the extended 12" of Missing You - but that is replicated on the For Japan Only EP I have which also has a live version of Tears, a remix of Restless Heart and extended version of Euroshima.

  • That version of These Times are Hard for Lovers is cool

  • Aren't those keyboard layers by Jonathan Cain at the start of "ghost in your heart" some of the best and most haunting omes ever played in the genre? They certainly are to these ears.

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