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John Waite

John Waite
John Waite at Sound Check before the Surf and Song Festival
Background information
Birth name John Charles Waite
Born (1952-07-04) 4 July 1952
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Genres Pop rock, hard rock, power pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass
Years active 1975–present
Labels Chrysalis Records
Epic Records
Gold Circle Records
Rounder Records
No Brakes Records
Imago Records
Frontiers Records
Associated acts The Babys
Bad English
Alison Krauss
Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band
Website .com.johnwaiteworldwidewww

John Charles Waite (born 4 July 1952)[1] is an English musician. He was lead vocalist for The Babys and Bad English. As a solo artist, 1984's "Missing You", was a No. 1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 and a top ten hit on the UK Singles Chart.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Discography 4
    • Studio albums 4.1
    • Live albums 4.2
    • Compilation albums 4.3
    • Singles 4.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Waite was born in Lancaster, England. He was educated at Lancaster's Storey Art College.[2]


Waite first came to attention as the lead singer and bassist of The Babys, a British rock band which had moderate chart success, including two pop hits that both coincidentally peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Isn't It Time" (1977) and "Everytime I Think of You" (1979),[3] and a solid following for their concert tours. Over the course of five years, the band produced five albums ending with the final album On the Edge in October 1980, after which the group disbanded.[4]

Waite subsequently launched his solo career with his 1982 debut album Ignition, which produced the hit single "Change". The Chrysalis 45 failed to chart on Billboard's Hot 100 during its initial release (June 1982) but was a top track on AOR radio stations, as well as a very popular music video on MTV as the 'new' cable channel celebrated its first full year of operation. The pulsating track was written by Holly Knight. The song was originally recorded in 1981 by Knight's band Spider) and in 1985 was included on the platinum selling Vision Quest soundtrack. When the single was reissued, it reached the Top 50 on the Hot 100. "Going to the Top" was released as the original follow-up single to "Change".

His next album, No Brakes, resulted in international attention. It was a Top 10 Billboard album in the US due to the smash hit "Missing You" which went to No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[5] It knocked Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It?" out of No. 1. For that very reason, Turner later recorded and released Waite's smash song herself. (Turner's single peaked at No. 84 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1996.) "Missing You" also hit No. 1 on Billboard‍ '​s Album Rock Tracks as well as the Top 10 of Billboard‍ '​s Adult Contemporary chart. No Brakes sold over a million and a half US copies yet has never been certified above the RIAA Gold standard (a record company must apply to the RIAA for such certification). Two more singles from No Brakes followed, including "Tears" which was a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

The next album Mask of Smiles followed in 1985 featuring the hit single "Every Step of the Way". Another single, "If Anybody Had a Heart", was released from the soundtrack of the 1986 film About Last Night.... In 1987, Rover's Return was released with the single "These Times Are Hard For Lovers". Waite would have another soundtrack appearance in 1990 from Days of Thunder with "Deal for Life", written by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin.

In 1988, Waite joined former Babys bandmates Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips along with Neal Schon from Journey and drummer Deen Castronovo, to form the supergroup Bad English. In 1989, the Bad English ballad "When I See You Smile" (penned by Diane Warren) went to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 and earned a Gold-certified single. Its parent album reached Billboard's Top Five and sold nearly two million copies in the United States alone. Bad English released two albums before tensions amongst the members led to the band's dissolution by 1992.

Waite returned to solo work. He released the album Rough And Tumble. He has continued to tour, such as in 2003 with Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, and as an opening act for Journey in 2005.

In 2006, "Missing You" was released as a duet with Alison Krauss and reached the Top 40 on the Country Charts in the United States. Waite appeared with Krauss on The Tonight Show on 5 February 2007 to perform the song. Waite's songs have reappeared in other media as well: 2013 saw "Missing You" featured heavily in the movie Warm Bodies, and Change" is on the soundtrack of the US movie Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

In 2008 he recorded as a guest vocal the track "In God's Shadow" from the Keith Reid Project's The Common Thread.

Waite appears as himself and performs two songs in the 2010 feature film, New Day, from L'Oiseau Blanc Films.

In 2011 the title track from his tenth solo album Rough and Tumble went number one on Classic Rock radio.

Personal life

A longtime resident of New York City, Waite now lives in Santa Monica, California.[6]


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1982 Ignition 68
1984 No Brakes
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: 15 June 1984
  • Label: EMI
64 10
1985 Mask of Smiles
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: 26 July 1985
  • Label: EMI
1987 Rover's Return
  • Fourth studio album
  • Release date: 19 June 1987
  • Label: EMI
30 77
1995 Temple Bar
  • Fifth studio album
  • Release date: 14 February 1995
  • Label: Imago Records
1997 When You Were Mine
  • Sixth studio album
  • Release date: 23 September 1997
  • Label: Mercury Records
2001 Figure in a Landscape
  • Seventh studio album
  • Release date: 21 August 2001
  • Label: One Way Records
2004 The Hard Way
  • Eighth studio album
  • Release date: 21 September 2004
  • Label: No Brakes
2006 Downtown: Journey of a Heart
2011 Rough & Tumble
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Live albums

Year Album Label
2001 Live & Rare Tracks One Way
2010 In Real Time Frontiers Records

Compilation albums

Year Album Label
1992 The Essential John Waite Chrysalis
1996 Complete Capitol


Year Single Peak chart positions[7] Album
US Main US AC US Dance US Country
1982 "Change" 16 Ignition
"Going to the Top"
1984 "Missing You" 9 1 18 12 1 1 7 27 No Brakes
"Tears" 45 37 8
"Dark Side of the Sun"
1985 "Restless Heart" 59 28
"Change" (re-release) 54 Vision Quest (soundtrack)
"Every Step of the Way" 39 25 4 Mask of Smiles
"Welcome to Paradise" 85
1986 "If Anybody Had a Heart" 76 24 About Last Night... (soundtrack)
1987 "These Times Are Hard for Lovers" 77 53 6 Rover's Return
"Don't Lose Any Sleep" 81
1990 "Deal for Life" 80 Days of Thunder
1993 "In Dreams" 103 True Romance (soundtrack)
"Missing You" (re-entry) 56 The Essential John Waite
1995 "How Did I Get By Without You?" 89 20 Temple Bar
2001 "Fly" 27 Figure in a Landscape
2005 "New York City Girl" 23 The Hard Way
2006 "Missing You" (with Alison Krauss) 34 Downtown: Journey of a Heart
2011 "Shadows of Love" Rough & Tumble
"If You Ever Get Lonely"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

See also


  1. ^ George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia; Pareles, Jon, eds. (2001). The  
  2. ^ "City rock star meets President Clinton". Lancaster Guardian. 2013-02-14. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "The Babys | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  4. ^ "Life Story: The Babys (continued)". Archived from the original on 16 April 2007. 
  5. ^ Bronson, Fred, ed. (1997). The  
  6. ^ Bolton, R. Scott (2014-03-12). "Interview with John Waite". Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 589.  
  8. ^ Hung, Steffen (29 July 1987). "Swedish Charts Portal". Retrieved 31 December 2011. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 949.  

External links

  • John Waite - Official Site
  • Discography at
  • Interview on Yuzu Melodies
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