When I See You Smile

Album: Bad English (1989)
Charted: 61 1

Songfacts®:

  • Bad English was a supergroup comprised of lead singer John Waite, keyboard player Jonathan Cain, bass player Ricky Phillips, guitarist Neal Schon and drummer Deen Castronovo. Waite, Cain and Phillips had been in a popular British band called the Babys, while Schon, Castronovo and Cain were in Journey (Cain was in both groups). It was quite an assemblage of musical talent, and between them they wrote 11 of the 13 songs on their self-titled debut album. "When I See You Smile" wasn't one of them.

    The song was written by Diane Warren, who had a knack for supplying popular rock musicians with pop hits: she wrote "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" for Starship, "Who Will You Run To" for Heart, and "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" for Aerosmith. She had also written the song "Don't Lose Any Sleep," which appeared on Waite's 1987 solo album Rover's Return.

    The band was signed to Epic Records, whose A&R man Don Grierson implored them to record a hit. They liked him, so when he suggested "When I See You Smile," the band agreed to record it, since they knew it would supply Grierson with his hit.
  • This is by far the biggest hit for Bad English, but it's not their only one. Their first single was "Forget Me Not," which made #45 in the US. "When I See You Smile" was their next release, and "Price of Love" came next, charting at #5. They released one more album (Backlash, 1991) before terminating the project. In our John Waite interview, he explained: "It was fun for a year. And then people reverted to type. I think the Journey guys wanted to be back in Journey and I wanted to be back solo. We had a very valiant attempt at making a second record, but we weren't given enough time to write it. We tried, and we almost made it."

Comments: 1

  • Don from Sevierville, TnIf I ever get married again, this is one of the songs I want played at my wedding.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Charles Fox

Charles FoxSongwriter Interviews

After studying in Paris with a famous composition teacher, Charles became the most successful writer of TV theme songs.

Kevin Godley

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Art Alexakis of Everclear

Art Alexakis of EverclearSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer of Everclear, Art is also their primary songwriter.