Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Bad English: self-titled (Rock Candy, 2017)
With Journey on hold in the late `80s, guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain put together a new project, a melodic rock supergroup with former Babys vocalist John Waite. That project, of course, was Bad English, and as the arena rock era came to a close they were one of the last major success stories.
Bad English released their self-titled debut in 1989, and it was an immediate hit. Bad English struck the perfect balance between the AOR of Waite and Schon’s previous bands and the Hollywood hair metal that was so popular at the time. The end result was a polished melodic rock album with just enough hard rock backbone. The totally rocking first single “Forget Me Not” is the perfect example of this. Other standout rockers here are “Ready When You Are” and “Best of What I Got.” Of course, these guys are known for their softer stuff as well, so there’s a lot of lighter material on the debut. The most obvious one is the smash hit “When I See You Smile,” which may be the cheesiest, wimpiest power ballad ever written. “Restless Ones,” “Possession” and “Ghost in Your Heart” were much more effective.
Bad English really is the perfect example of the late `80s AOR/melodic rock sound. If you’re into that kind of music, particularly bands like Giant, Damn Yankees, Tyketto, Valentine and Alias, this is a must-have album. And of course Journey and John Waite/The Babys fans will need this one in their collections.
Reissue Notes: Bad English finally got a proper reissue this year thanks to (who else?) the Rock Candy label. As usual, the reissue features digitally remastered audio – nothing drastic, just some cleaning up – and a pair of bonus tracks (remixes of “Price of Love” and “Forget Me Not.” The booklet is loaded with a band bio/interview that’s almost worth the price of admission all by itself since the band members keep contradicting each other. All told, it’s exactly the kind of great looking, great sounding reissue this classic AOR album deserved
Summary: Finally a worthy reissue of this AOR classic.