John Waite – Change

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Different/Same.

From his 1982 album, Ignition and from the 1985 movie soundtrack Vision Quest. The song reached #54 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on April 05, 1985.

From Songfacts

This song was originally recorded by the band Spider, which featured future David Letterman Show band member Anton Fig on drums and Holly Knight on keyboards. The song was written by Knight, who went on to co-write many hits, including “The Best,” (Tina Turner) “Rag Doll” (Aerosmith) and “Obsession” (Animotion).

The song first appeared on Spider’s second (and last) album, Between The Lines, which was released in 1981 on Mike Chapman’s Dreamland Records. Knight told us the story behind “Change”: “I was thinking how important it was to keep things real when success starting happening for us. I had seen several musicians let the fame and success go to their head and I thought that all those things shouldn’t really change a person because what’s inside of you should remain the same. I think I’ve lived my life by that notion.”

This song was pitched to John Waite, who released it as the first single from his 1982 debut solo album, Ignition. Waite recorded the song because he liked the message, it fit his sound, and he thought it had lots of hit potential. Waite was going through a huge transformation at the time: his band The Babys had broken up and he had gotten married. Work on his solo album took him to New York City, where he was away from his wife and his home as he navigated the record industry as a solo act. It was rough waters, as the album – and this single – underperformed (Ignition peaked at #68 in the US and didn’t chart at all in the UK). Waite blamed his record company, Chrysalis, for failing to promote the song, and extricated himself from his contract to sign with EMI for his next album. He was vindicated when that next album, No Brakes, produced the hit “Missing You,” while “Change” became a fan favorite and found a home on many radio stations’ playlists.
This didn’t chart when Waite first released the song, but when it was used in the movie Vision Quest, it was re-released and made #54 in America. The soundtrack also featured the #1 Madonna hit “Crazy For You.”
The Spider album where this song first appeared contains another song that would also become a hit for another artist: “Better Be Good To Me,” which was later a hit for Tina Turner. Holly Knight also wrote that one, this time with help from Spider’s producer Mike Chapman.
John Waite changed a few of the verse lyrics from the original version of the song and slowed down the tempo a bit. Holly Knight, who wrote the song, told Songfacts: “I have to say that I much prefer John’s version. It’s much more guitar driven and I love his vocals.
Neil Giraldo, who is Pat Benatar’s guitarist, husband and producer, produced this track. Little did he know that the woman who wrote it would provide his wife’s most popular song: the next year, Benatar recorded “Love Is A Battlefield,” which was also written by Holly Knight.

There’s another Knight hit-recipient on “Change” as well: Patty Smyth did the backup vocals on the track. With her band Scandal, Smyth had a hit with Knight’s song “The Warrior” in 1984. Says Knight: “That’s six degrees of separation working it’s magic right there.”

Change

People talking
And they’re saying that you’re leaving
So unhappy
With the way that you’ve been living
Oh oh oh
We always wish for money
We always wish for fame
We think we have the answers
Some things ain’t ever gonna change (change)
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (change)
What’s in your heart will never change
Look in the mirror
And you see how you’ve been taken
You won’t surrender
But now your heart is breakin’
Oh oh oh
We always wish for money
We always wish for fame
We think we have the answers
Some things ain’t ever gonna change (change)
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (change)
What’s in your heart will never change
Do you remember
When you got your lucky break
You’re looking back now
And it seems like a mistake
Oh oh oh
We always wish for money
We always wish for fame
We think we have the answers
Some things ain’t ever gonna change (change)
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (change)
What’s in your heart will never change
It’s only change (change)
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (change)
What’s in your heart will never change
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (change)
What’s in your heart will stay the same
It doesn’t matter who you are
It’s all the same (what¹s in your heart)
It’s only
It’s only
It’s only change
Never (it doesn’t matter)
You ain’t gonna
You ain’t gonna change (what’s in your heart)
You ain’t gonna change
Doesn’t matter who you are

15 thoughts on “John Waite – Change

  1. I always liked this song…I wish the Babys could have stayed together…after Jonathan Cain joined they broke up…hmmm break up Babys and ruin Journey

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great start for today! I remember the video from when it first aired. Though I hadn’t heard the song in forever, the words came right back 💕. Perfect choice.

    Like

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