The 80’s: John Waite’s “Missing You”

johnwaite1In 1982, English singer and musician John Waite released his debut album Ignition. Though the album didn’t make much noise on the charts, peaking at #68 in the states, the single “Change,” which was also included on the soundtrack for the feature film Vision Quest, became an MTV fan favorite.  So Waite wasn’t a new face to the MTV crowd when his sophomore album, No Brakes, was released in 1984.  Unlike Ignition however, No Brakes was a huge success thanks to the single “Missing You,” a pop/rock ballad that flooded the airwaves and hit the Top 10 in the U.K. while shooting to #1 in the U.S. on both Billboard’s Top Rock Tracks and Hot 100 charts.

Fun Fact: Waite wrote the tune about his relationship with MTV veejay Nina Blackwood.

johnwaite2In addition to heavy radio airplay, the tune was and continues to be extremely popular in television and film.  In the 80s the tune was used in an episode of the popular television series Miami Vice.  Since then it’s been featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and included in soundtracks for the 1997 feature film Selena, Warm Bodies in 2013 and most recently, the 2014 feature film 22 Jump Street.

Tina Turner recorded a cover of Missing You for her 1996 album Wildest Dreams. Her version barely cracked the Top 100 in the U.S. but peaked at #12 in the U.K.  Interestingly, When “Missing You” went to number one back in the 80s, it replaced Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” On the strength of the single, Waite’s No Brakes was certified gold in the states where it hit the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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