'Missing' in action again as Waite teams with Krauss

Even though his heart-sleeved ballad "Missing You" was a slow-dance special in 1984, John Waite has no gushy feelings for that decade.

"I distance myself from (the '80s) entirely," Waite, 55, says with more than a little disdain. "I really don't align myself with anything."


The former Babys and Bad English vocalist, who went on to have a chart-topping solo act, has seen a resurgence in his career thanks to a gorgeous remake of "Missing You," now a duet with country music's Alison Krauss. Waite's last album, the roots-rocking Downtown: Journey of a Heart, has also received critical buzz.

Question: For someone who doesn't like the '80s, Bad English (whose biggest hit was power ballad "When I See You Smile") seems like the ultimate '80s creation. What gives?


Answer: At the time, I was bored to death with being solo. I wanted to lose myself in a band. They were very good players, and it was fun to tour. But there's no way it could have lasted more than the two albums.

Q: Did you approach Alison Krauss on the "Missing You" project? That's an inspired pairing.

A: I wasn't even sure if she was aware of who I was. But she jumped at the chance and said yes immediately.

Q: You two have an incredible amount of chemistry in the song. What was the recording session like?

A: Meeting her was electric. . . . The afternoon we spent getting to know each other, we tried singing it a few different ways. And the second afternoon, we just nailed it. . . . It was my idea that she might start the song out because people would not expect that. I was trying to get as far away from the original as possible. Her interpretation of the lyrics was so tender.