Sunday, June 15, 2014

John Waite - No Brakes

Today (June 15th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of No Brakes, the second studio album from John Waite, the former lead singer the bands Bad English and the Babys. In his native UK, it went to number 64. Here in the US it spent forty-three weeks on the Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 10.

Side one starts with rapid-fire rocking rhythms of "Saturday Night".

Gears downshift quickly as we move on to the ballad "Missing You". Released as the first single, it went to number 27 on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 13 in Germany, number 12 in Switzerland, number 9 in the UK, number 7 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 6 in Ireland, and number 1 in Canada and on the US Billboard Hot 100. This long-distance emotional denial was a big slow dance favorite during my early college years. Tina Turner recorded a version of the song for her 1996 album Wildest Dreams.

The mixed tempo "Dark Side of the Sun" is next, blending well elements and styles of the first two tracks.

"Restless Heart", the third single, hit number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 28 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. The song has a country-rock vibe to it.

The second single "Tears" charted at number 45 in Canada, number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 8 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. It has been a long time since I heard this one, and I almost did not recognize it - that is until it got up to the chorus.

Side two opens with the up-tempo "Euroshima", a commentary on military actions. It was the B-side to the third single.

"Dreamtime/Shake It Up" was the B-side to the second single. I like the guitar work on this track.

The rousing "For Your Love" was the B-side to the first single.

The album comes to a close with danceable track "Love Collision".

This was my first listen to No Brakes. I knew the big hit singles, but the deeper cuts were a nice surprise too. Here, John Waite reminds me a lot of Corey Hart and Bryan Adams. This is one I need to look into picking up in the future.


Mark said...

According to the MTV VJ book that came out last year, "Missing You" was written for Nina Blackwood. What a great song.

Martin Maenza said...

Mark, I just finished that book a short while ago and remember the story about the song well. Thanks for noting it here when I forgot to. ;)

HERC said...

This one was a letdown for me after his time with The Babys and his wonderful solo debut Ignition. But man oh man, the ladies love "Missing You" don't they?

I fell in like with it all over again when Alison Krauss recorded it as a duet with Waite in 2007. That lady can do no wrong in my book.