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Waite, John - 1982 Ignition

ARTIST: Waite, John
ALBUM: Ignition
LABEL: Chrysalis
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2001, One Way Records (2 on 1 with 'No Brakes') * 2005, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY009


LINEUP: John Waite - vocals * Tim Pierce - guitars * Ivan Kral - guitars, keyboards * Donnie Nossov - bass, vocals * Frankie La Rocka - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 White Heat * 02 Change * 03 Mr Wonderful * 04 Going To The Top * 05 Desperate Love * 06 Temptation * 07 Be My Baby Tonight * 08 Make It Happen * 09 Still In Love With You * 10 Wild Life


'Ignition' would lay the platform for former Babys lead singer John Waite to successfully go it alone as a solo artist. Prior to this debut solo album, Waite had seen duty for the British borne but American based act, who released a handful of albums and had several of their songs become minor hits for them. 1980's 'On The Edge' would be the last album for the band, with personnel going in different directions. Jonathan Cain would join Journey, Wally Stocker went on to Air Supply while Ricky Phillips would end up touring as a bassist for a host of acts during the 80's. Waite moved to New York City, and developed his sense of pop/rock in tandem with the sharp edged vibe coming out of the Big Apple. 'Ignition' was produced by Neil Giraldo, and his association with Pat Benatar and Chrysalis Records was enough to get Waite off to an encouraging start.

The Songs
Opening out with 'White Heat', Waite builds up a bundle of energy, with raucous guitars and cranky saxophone which stands at the crossroads of power-pop and AOR. The second track 'Change' become a minor hit for Waite, originally writen by Holly Knight it was also featured on the 'Vision Quest' soundtrack. 'Mr Wonderfull' starts of with a jazz/boogie tinge, but eventually resorts to a rock song. 'Going To The Top' kinda sounds like a Bruce Springsteen track gone pop/rock style, quite likeable, but not quite as good as the 707 flavoured 'Desperate Love'. Waite moves into tougher sounding territory with 'Temptation' while the pop rock of 'Be My Baby Tonight' again borders on the power pop/new wave genre. 'Make It Happen' is one of my picks on the album, the tapping keys along with Tim Pierce's trademark guitar lines makes this a pleasant listen. The most AOR track on the album is the gorgeous 'I'm Still In Love', which to me could've been a Balance track. Beautiful stuff!

In Summary
This album sort of flew by the radar during 1982, and it wasn't until 1984's 'No Brakes' album that Waite made it as a successful solo artist with his No#1 hit single 'Missing You'. 'Ignition' was released as a two on one CD release (coupled with 'No Brakes') by One Way Records during 2001, but I understand this CD was plagued with pressing errors. Much better is the 2006 re-release by Rock Candy Records with remastered sound and expanded liner notes.

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#1 | Eric on April 10 2009 23:27:12
A superb album, but I always wondered why the U.S version which originally featured the cover art above, quickly switched to an inferior photo of Waite on further pressings?
#2 | GSpar77491 on April 11 2009 04:11:13
Love this album. It's got a great energy and cool vibe through out. Desperate Love always gets me reaching for the Tennis Racket! Saw him on tour behind this at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco with Harlequin opening, one of the best club shows I've ever seen...

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