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One Way Records
Produced by: Not Listed

Released: OUT / Website
Closest Relative: Himself

  1. I Drove All Night
  2. Confess
  3. Take Me Home
  4. Our World
  5. Sound Of My Heart
  6. Tears
  7. Missing You
  8. Change
  9. Midnight Rendezvous
  10. Saturday Night
  11. Laydown
  12. Euroshima

This is a most welcomed compilation of songs. It offers 5 rare, previously unreleased (and unbootlegged!) studio tracks, plus 7 live tracks. This is essentially, a must buy for every JW fan out there - bar none!
But I must also add that despite this being a wonderful record of unreleased John Waite, it is a poorly executed one - with some of the worst liner notes in all history, coupled with a complete lack of details about the songs included. John Waite has nothing to do with this release, which is a shame, as (music aside) his involvement could have lifted the standard of it.
As it is, One Way Records haven't even been able to asses who wrote 4 of the 5 studio tracks, with the credits reading 'Unknown'.
The little information available suggests that the 5 unreleased studio tracks were recorded in the sessions that would become the excellent and well-loved Rovers Return album.
In the liner notes, the poor mis-guided individual suggests Rovers Return was a poor album and the inclusion of any, or all, of these 5 unreleased tracks, would have made that record infinitely better.
As good as these tracks are - with the exception of I Drove All Night - none of the songs match the power and passion of the tracks that made Rovers Return.
In fact, I doubt the accuracy of the origins of these tracks. We'll just have to ask John himself.
I Drove All Night is the first rare track on offer. This Steinburg/Kelly composition has previously been made famous by Cyndi Lauper and Roy Orbison, but with this version, John claims his own stake in the song. This is a wonderfully uplifting performance of a classic pop song. John makes it his own with his famous passion filled ad-libbing, and it's true to say that this could easily have fitting on Rovers Return, or any John Waite record.
Confess is another great song (for the record written by Shipley/Siegler/Schukett and previously covered by Eric Martin on his I'm Only Fooling Myself album - also from Capitol Records/EMI). John again does his best to stamp this pop rock song his own and I am pleased to add this to my collection.
Take Me Home is another good mid tempo pop rocker and a song that fits John's solo style of the time. It is a little clearer why this track didn't make any record, but it's still a good addition to the JW catalogue. Our World & Sound Of My Heart both sound further dated than the first 3 tracks and could have been recorded in the sessions for Mask Of Smiles, or could veen be part of the lost sessions for the great lost album - slotted between Igniton and No Brakes, but never released.
Both are good tracks, but again, it is clear that they don't hold the same quality as tracks that made John's records. The live tracks are taking from the No Brakes tour, with the band in full swing and the recording first rate. I would add that I have heard better performances though, both through bootleg and via the No Brakes Live video release.
On this particular recording, I think John is suffering from a slight cold and his voice is a little horse during Missing You and a couple of other tracks.
To finish on a bright note, wonderful to hear the great Tommy Mandel on keyboards, getting his solo spot highlighted in the lead in to Missing You. Always a pleasure to hear the man tinkering away - there should be more of it.
BOTTOM LINE: Although the packaging and effort put into this release is somewhat questionable and minimal, the musical content is not.
The 5 studio tracks are a great snapshot of one of melodic rock's favourite sons and the live tracks capture the man in his mid 80's heyday. The compilation sits along side his body of work comfortably.
ESSENTIAL FOR: All John Waite fans - new and old.
DISCOGRAPHY:Ignition . No Brakes . Mask Of Smiles . Rovers Return . Temple Bar . When You Were Mine . Falling Backwards - Best Of . Figure In A Landscape

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