Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

John Waite - Ignition (1982)


I post the above cover art because that's what my CD looks like, but it pales in comparison to the original LP artwork:


As blurry and retro as that cover is, I loved it and was terribly disappointed when the CD didn't have the same artwork. I guess there's more to music collecting than just the music. (Apparently the cover art issue was rectified in a later reissue, but that's not doing me much good.)

When I ranked my top 82 albums of 1982, Ignition placed at #51.  Here's what I wrote:  "Waite's first solo release.  Side one's 'White Heat' followed by 'Change' may be one the best one-two punch album opening on this entire list."  The rest of the album is good, but not great and certainly doesn't measure up to the first two tracks.  The album was produced by labelmate Neil Geraldo [sic], Pat Benatar's husband/guitarist/songwriter/producer, so it has the same New Wave pop rock sound as early '80s Benatar and that's not a bad thing.   In fact the production, along with Waite's fantastic rock voice, saves most of the songs from being complete filler.  The problem is the material, which is fine for rockin' background music at your next '80s party, but doesn't really hold up to active or repeated listening. What do you mean you don't have '80s parties?  What's wrong with you?

The single Change got a second lease on life when it was included in the 1985 movie Vision Quest and on its soundtrack album.   Even then, it inexplicably didn't crack the top 40, peaking at #54 in April, 1985.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #68
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #195

Tracks:  White Heat, Change, the rest. To be fair, the mid-tempo ballad Going To The Top isn't bad at all and paved the way for Waite's later #1 single, Missing You.  I just recently discovered that Change is a cover of a Spider tune and is that Patty Smyth on background vocals?


Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  My buddy Jim had a copy of this LP, which I promptly dubbed to a cassette.  I'd like to say that it got lots of playing time in my car back in '82-'83, but it would be more accurate to say that the first two songs got lots of playing time in my car back in '82-'83.  In fact, hearing those songs this morning makes me want to stick this CD in the truck stereo, roll down the windows, crank it up and drive around while air drumming/singing.  I apologize to my neighbors in advance because this is happening.

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