The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world









The name John Waite may mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people: to some he will be the voice of his formative band The Babies, perhaps to more he is the voice behind his solo breakthrough album ‘No Brakes’ and the huge hit ‘Missing You’; to others he will have come to their attention with the ‘Super group’ Bad English. Irrespective of how you heard of him though the best news of all is that he has constantly delivered the goods and that his latest solo offering – 2011’s ‘Rough and Tumble’ was one of the highlights of the year.  The one thing that really matters though is how John’s voice has retained that quality and on his latest live release ‘Live All Access’ it is still liquid gold.



Kicking off with The Holly Knight penned ‘Change’ from the debut solo ‘Ignition’ this live release rubs your face in how good that album really was back in the day, prior to the worldwide recognition of the follow-up ‘No Brakes’. Along with ‘Mr. Wonderful’ (from the same Ignition album) it’s reason enough to explore the early solo material.  



Oddly ‘No Brakes’ material is confined to opening track from that album ‘Saturday Night’ (Which in truth was always my favourite track and here sounds amazing). Interestingly also the live album ignores material from many of John’s early solo albums only to include ‘In Dreams’ from the True Romance soundtrack from 1993 and nothing else from the period.



Instead we get to hear a pick of later tracks like ‘Better off Gone’; ‘Evil’ and ‘If You Ever Get Lonely’ (one of our favourites here) all of which are from 2011’s wonderful ‘Rough and Tumble’ and all of which prove how essential Waite’s newest material is.  Though if you want to immerse yourself in that album there are also tracks like the wonderful ‘Further the Sky’ and ‘Love’s Going Out of Style’ that help cement it into your consciousness.    



That leaves us with one track ‘Head First’ from The Baby’s third album of the same name on this eight track release.



The story therefore has to be why no more ‘Babies’ tracks, why no ‘big’ solo releases (there were plenty of charting singles), why no Bad English (yes we know why) and why above all it really doesn’t matter at all.



‘Live All Access; is an album that stands on its own two feet rather than on past glories and surely that is all that matters. The only question mark we have is that at only eight songs long it seems a little stunted. I’d still have loved to have heard ‘Missing You’ and Bad English’s ‘When I See You Smile’ but surely that’s reason enough to catch John in concert!




Mark Diggins