Wednesday, March 10, 2021

"Wait" by White Lion

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3428
Date:  02/27/1988
Debut:  88
Peak:  8
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Glam Rock

Pop Bits:  This band certainly had its share of ups and downs trying to get established. Formed in 1983 by Danish singer/songwriter Mike Tramp and Staten Island-born guitarist Vito Bratta, the first lineup of White Lion got signed to Elektra Records in '84 and then recorded a debut album titled Fight to Survive. Unfortunately, it seems that Elektra didn't like the LP and proceeded to shelve it and dump the band. Luckily, the band's manager was somehow able to finagle a deal to get the album released on the Victor label in Japan, where it got some attention. Some areas in Europe then got wind of the album and it even made the UK chart at #72. Then the Philly-based label Grand Slamm secured the rights to release the album in the US. Besides the band performing shows, there was little to promote the LP, but it still cracked the Album chart at #151. Yet just when things looked promising, Grand Slamm went out of business and the band was left on their own again. The band would go through some lineup changes, record more demos, and continue to perform shows for a couple of years before getting an opportunity to sign with Atlantic Records. They would then be able to record their second album, Pride. It would be released, along with this first single, in June of '87 to...crickets. Nothing. The LP languished while the band did their best to promote it doing shows with bands like Aerosmith and Kiss. Pride would then make the Album chart in September of '87 and spend the next few months slowly moving up. Then finally, over six months after it was first released, MTV was goaded into playing the video for "Wait." It wasn't long before the song started to catch on. The single would make the Pop chart and eventually crash the Top 10 while getting to #18 at Rock. The album would continue to climb and crack the Top 20. By the time April rolled around, it would turn gold.

ReduxReview:  With its dramatic opening and hooky chorus, I'm shocked that the record company didn't push the hell out of this when first released. It sounded like a classic rock song from the 70s in the Sweet vein updated for the glam 80s. I loved it right off the bat and immediately got the album. When it comes down to it, you can't keep a good song down and luckily this one found its way through the muck and emerged as a winner.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Prior to signing on with Atlantic Records, the band got hired to appear in a film. For the 1986 Tom Hanks comedy The Money Pit, the band performed their song "Web of Desire" in the background during a scene. However, for some reason it was decided that the band should be fronted by a woman and Robey (aka Louise Robey) was hired for the part. Robey had her own minor hit back in '84 with a dance version of "One Night in Bangkok" (#77 Pop/#9 Dance). It seems there might have been plans for an official soundtrack album to be released, but it was not. Perhaps because a song from the movie pushed out as a single, Stephen Bishop's "The Heart Is So Willing," only got to #31 AC and failed to make the Pop chart. The film itself was a modest hit although reviews were very mixed.


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