BAD ENGLISH: Backlash [ tape ] Check samples + video. John Waite, Neal Schon, Deen Castronovo. Journey members
Bad English was an American rock band super group formed in 1988, reuniting keyboardist Jonathan Cain with singer John Waite and bassist Ricky Phillips, his former band mates in The Babys.
the awesome AOR / Melodic Rock supergroup BAD ENGLISH.
Bad English second album “Backlash” is another terrific slice of pure US Melodic Rock AOR, and a must in your collection.
Formed in 1987 by Journey guitar master Neal Schon, monster drummer Deen Castronovo and reuniting keyboardist Jonathan Cain (also Journey) with singer John Waite and bassist Ricky Phillips (his former bandmates in The Babys), the band’s self-titled debut exploded into the Melodic Rock scene (and the charts) in 1989.
Ugh, it is hard for a band to create an album to follow up a No. 1 double-platinum-selling record, but Bad English did it. Perhaps not a huge seller, but artistically, “Backlash” is even superior to the brilliant debut.
I remember a John Waite interview where he recall the creative process of “Backlash”. According to Waite, the band wanted to forget about commercial considerations for the second album, and of course, the record company wanted more hit singles.
I think the band won, as while we have have very commercial songs on “Backlash”, for the most part there’s a more elaborated, focused material of offer here. Even more AOR than the debut album.
“Backlash” may not have had the hit singles the Bad English debut did, but it was arguably the better of their two releases. The same arena-rocking blend of power ballads and melodic rock anthems is in place here, and if anything, Backlash is even more radio-friendly.
Songs like “So This Is Eden,” the superb “Straight To Your Heart” (co-written by Mark Spiro) and “Life at the Top” hit just the right balance between guitar driven melodic rock and keyboard-drenched AOR, and even the ballads, the fantastic “Time Stood Still” and “Make Love Last” work really well, and without the ‘instant’ (or cheesy if you prefer) lyrics of the previous album’s big hit When I See You Smile.
“The Time Alone With You” shows off John’s voice and writing ability, we have a haunting midtempo AOR pearl in “Savage Blue”, Journey best is represented with “Pray For Rain”, while the catchy “Make Love Last” (co-written by great guitarist Tim Pierce) round out a fabulous album.
I truly love Bad English’s “Backlash”, another terrific slice of US Melodic Rock / AOR from these incredible musicians.
Produced by my favorite in this matter Mr. Ron Nevison – often accused of bass-less productions in favor of the melodic sheen – “Backlash” is another proof that it isn’t true; the drums kick, the bass lines are big and the overall sound is full.
Yes, A MUST HAVE
1. So This Is Eden
2. Straight to Your Heart
3. Time Stood Still
4. Time Alone With You
5. Dancing Off the Edge of the World
6. Rebel Say a Prayer
7. Savage Blue
8. Pray for Rain
9. Make Love Last
10. Life at the Top
John Waite – lead vocals
Neal Schon – guitars, background vocals
Ricky Phillips – bass, background vocals
Jonathan Cain – keyboards, background vocals
Deen Castronovo – drums, background vocals
Mark Spiro, Tommy Funderburk – background vocals
5.0 out of 5 stars Should Have Been a Hit
I don’t know what more you could say about John Waite’s distinct voice. He sings rock like nobody’s business. Ballads? You bet. I spent many summer days driving around, windows down, and this little gem of a tape cranked. This is a little tighter than the first. Song writing a little more focused. The first almost felt like it was pieced together from different albums. It’s been a long time since I bought an album I could listen to all the way through and not get bored. They definitely left us on a high note. This tape, and others like it are why I don’t listen to radio any more. Get a mind of your own and buy this tape. It’s worth it. Take it from David Bowie…””I am the DJ, I am what I play””
5.0 out of 5 stars Timing is everything
The only problem with this alblum is that it was released in 1991. By then the new grunge rock had seeped into the MTV brains of the new youth generation and the rock of the 1980s was old news. No one really cared. Except for people, like me, who will always love the music of the 1980s. If you loved Journey and/or the Babys then this is a must buy. It is just as strong as Bad English’s first album. But, due to it being the 1990s got very little airplay.
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic Rock at its best
John waites excellent voice combines with the superb guitar playing of Neil Schon, of which some of his best work is on this album. No fillers on the entire album, from the rockin ‘Straight to the heart’ & ‘So this is Eden’ to the haunting ‘Savage Blue’, an excellent album for the car or gym, I never tire of listening to it. Give it a listen. Shame they broke up.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad English’s “”Backlash””
John Waite on vocals, Neal Schon on guitar, and Jonathan Cain on keyboards…..it doesn’t get better. John Waite and Neal Schon belong playing together. The only bad part of this tape is that it was their last work together. “”Straight to Your Heart”” gets you rockin’, then “”Time Stood Still”” & “”The Time Alone With You”” shows off John’s voice and writing ability. “”Savage Blue””, “”Pray For Rain”” and “”Make Love Last”” round out a fabulous album.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good English,
I’m a fan of Journey, this is mostly Journey with a different Lead Singer who is also good, so why not? They deliver.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best In High Energy Glam Rock!
Ever since i was introduced to the song “”Time Alone With You”” that was a radio hit back in 1991, never had i really expected that years later it would continue to be a constant listen in my player for its rocky and catchy package. Those putting their last work down should know first what they’re talking about, because every song has its story to tell. From the ballad smoothness of Time Alone With You, Make Love Last and Time Stood Still to the edgy Straight To Your Heart and to the adventurous Rebel Say A Prayer and the passionate Savage Blue, this album is tops, without a doubt. If you like high-energy rock that has a lasting, melodic edge to it, then Backlash is definitely it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad English,
Backlash is the second and last album by Bad English and, like the first one, it is one of the most enjoyable albums I’ve heard so far. It is not easy to get tired of it; John Waite performs at his best and combines perfectly with Neal Schon’s guitar. A superb album.
5.0 out of 5 stars very good, still not quite as good as the first,
While I gave it 5 stars (cause I love Bad English) I have to say that unlike other reviewers, I don’t think this CD is better than Bad English’s debut. NO SONG can top “”Possession”” or “”Forget Me Not””, though “”Straight to Your Heart”” comes very close. That song, as well as “”Pray for Rain”” are the only songs that I really like on this entire album. I think most of the songs sound similar. Another great group to check out that reminds me a lot of Bad English is “”The Storm””. Their debut came out in 1991. If you can find it and it is still in print, you really need to get it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superior Second Effort
Two short years after releasing their debut, which reached platinum status and charted five singles (most notably the top 5 hits “”When I See You Smile”” and “”Price Of Love””) Bad English folded when this album managed only a #42 placing for it’s single “”Straight To Your Heart”” and stopped on the album chart at a dismal #72.
Why remains a mystery. Everything that was good about the first album has been improved on greatly for this release: the songs are tighter (and there’s less of them, so it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome like the first one tends to), the playing sounds more like they mean it, and best of all, the rockers not only rock, they’re actually great to listen to.
“”So This Is Eden”” is a great opener, but almost all of the tracks qualify as highlights. My personal favourites are “”Time Stood Still””, “”Pray For Rain”” and “”Life At The Top””, but there isn’t a poor cut here.
Recommended to all John Waite/Babys fans, and those who like their Journey with a harder edge.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad means good – or GREAT in the case of Bad English,
John Waite on vocals. Neal Schon on guitar. Jonathan Caine on keyboards. Can I say more? This band should have been great. Babys, Journey together. It is like a Reece’s cup. I have had this for decades and if it ever goes, I will buy another one! The songs are all great. The lyrics have meaning. The band rocks. I wish they’d stayed together and put out more albums.