Bad English was an English/American hard rock/glam metal supergroup formed in 1987. It reunited keyboardist Jonathan Cain of Journey with singer John Waite and bassist Ricky Phillips, his former bandmates in The Babys, along with Journey guitarist Neal Schon and drummer Deen Castronovo.
The members decided on a name for the band while playing pool. John Waite missed a shot and Jonathan Cain made a comment on how bad his "" was (referring to the spin a player puts on the cue ball) and the band decided to use the phrase. The name is also thought to be a reference to The Babys, since the name was misspelled and an example of bad English.
Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon, who had both enjoyed enormous success in Journey, formed Bad English with Waite after Journey disbanded. They were joined by Ricky Phillips, who had played bass for The Babys on two albums with Waite and Cain, and drummer Deen Castronovo. The eponymously titled debut album was a big seller, and contained three top-40 hit singles: the number one hit "When I See You Smile" written by Diane Warren, the top 10 hit "Price of Love," and "Possession." Another track from the debut album, "Best of What I Got", which was also featured in the soundtrack to the 1989 feature film Tango and Cash, was released as a promotional single to Rock Radio, where the tune cracked the top 10.
The band's second album, Backlash (1991), came and went without any fanfare. The only single, "Straight To Your Heart," missed the Top 40, peaking at No. 42. Ricky Phillips writes on his website that the group had parted company before the second album had been mixed. Both Phillips and guitarist Neal Schon expressed frustration with the "pop" side of the band's songs and wanted a harder edge. In the end, it proved to be the band's undoing as everyone left to pursue other projects.
In later interviews, Waite revealed that although he loved playing to stadium-sized audiences, he was uncomfortable with the corporate rock image that he felt the band had presented and has been a solo artist ever since.
Schon and Castronovo went on to join the fledgling rock band Hardline in 1991; however, both would leave the group not long after the release of their debut album, with Schon pursuing other projects and Castronovo joining Ozzy Osbourne's band. In the mid-1990s, Schon rejoined Cain in a reformed Journey. Castronovo also joined Journey in 1998, eventually leaving in 2015. He later became a member of The Dead Daisies and Revolution Saints. Meanwhile, Phillips returned to session work, recording with artists such as Coverdale/Page, Bobby Kimball, and Eddie Money, before joining Styx in the early 2000s. John Waite returned to his solo career.
- John Waite - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Neal Schon - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Jonathan Cain - keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Ricky Phillips - bass, backing vocals
- Deen Castronovo - drums, percussion, backing vocals
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|1989||"Forget Me Not"||45||—||2||—||—||—||Bad English|
|"When I See You Smile"||1||11||10||4||61||—||
|"Price of Love"||5||—||30||44||80||—|
|"Best of What I Got"||—||—||9||—||—||—|
|1990||"Heaven Is a 4 Letter Word"||66||—||12||—||—||—|
|1991||"Straight to Your Heart"||42||—||9||—||—||41||Backlash|
|"Time Stood Still"
(Bad English featuring John Waite)
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or not released to that country|
- List of glam metal bands and artists
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- A ROUSING RECEPTION FOR BAD ENGLISH, Daily News of Los Angeles, January 29, 1990
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- John Waite
- Jonathan Cain
- Neal Schon
- Ricky Phillips
- Deen Castronovo