Tuesday, November 1, 2022

"Forget Me Not" by Bad English

Song#:  3968
Date:  07/22/1989
Debut: 92
Peak:  45
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By 1988, John Waite's solo career was on the slide. His 1987 album peaked at a minor #77 and failed to generate a Pop Top 40 hit. Meanwhile, his former bandmate in The Babys, Jonathan Cain, was looking for something new following the breakup of his band Journey. Cain had been chatting with another former Babys member Ricky Phillips about doing a project and it wasn't long before the pair were chatting up Waite to see if he wanted to join them. The trio got together to see if they still meshed and could come up with some songs. As they began to toy around, Cain's Journey bandmate Neal Schon started to hang out with them. Schon was set on a starting a solo career, but after he heard what the guys were coming up with, he decided to join them. The new "supergroup" would hire in drumer Deen Castronovo and Bad English was born. A band filled out with members of The Babys and Journey was catnip to Epic Records who quickly picked them up. Work began on a self titled debut album and upon completion this first single was issued out. It would be a hit at Rock getting to #2, but it didn't fully ignite at Pop where it just missed out on the Top 40. However, their next single would provide the band with a major breakthrough.

ReduxReview:  The melding of The Babys and Journey certainly had potential and this first single was a good rock radio vehicle for them. The song had AOR hit written all over it with Waite's vocals leading the way and Schon giving great guitar. It was a catchy, charging song that was quite well done. That said, the dark rock tune wasn't necessarily the best fit for pop radio. It was a good introduction, but they were going to need something a bit more mainstream leaning if they were going to bust through. Luckily, they did have a song in their back pocket for the occasion, which would come next. In the meantime, this song excited some listeners and was better than most anything Waite had put together on his previous two solo albums. It also gave Schon and Cain a chance to rock out following Journey's more pop/AC leaning Raised on Radio album.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Prior to auditioning and getting the drummer spot with Bad English, Deen Castronovo had spent several years in the metal band Wild Dogs. The Portland, Oregon-based band formed in 1981 and the following year were able to get a record deal with the indie label Shrapnel. Prior to the band recording their self-titled debut album, their drummer left for another opportunity. Needing a replacement, the band's lead vocalist Matt McCourt found 16-year-old Castronovo and hired him for the spot. Wild Dogs would finish off the LP and release it in 1983. Soon they'd start to get opening slots on tours with bands like Slayer and Anthrax. A second album, Man's Best Friend, would follow in '84. Seeking a bigger break, the band would then sign on with a larger label, Enigma. In '87, they would issue out their third album Reign of Terror. However, it didn't do much to break the band wider. Thanks to a connection, Castronovo had met Neal Schon and when Bad English started to seek a drummer, Schon called Castronovo in for an audition. He would get the job with the shortlived supergroup. The connection so Schon would pay off later as Castronovo would join a new lineup of Journey in 1998.


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