Compiling "Best" Album "Cleared My Head" for New Music Projects
John Waite recently released a compilation titled, simply, Best, that features highlights from many eras of the veteran British pop-rock star's long and varied career.
The 62-year-old singer explains to ABC News Radio that rather than being a "standard greatest-hits thing," the 18-track album offers up a sampling of his creative highlights as a music artist.
"This is a bit more far out [than a hits album], and [I] had a lot of fun doing it," Waite declares. "I'm very pleased with it. I think it's like drawing a line in the sand. You say, 'This is my life. This is what I've done with it so far,' and it's cleared my head."
Best includes updated versions of two hits by his old group The Babys; a new rendition of his classic "Missing You"; the duet version of that song, which he recorded with Alison Krauss; several live tunes featuring his current backing group; a couple of acoustic numbers; and various gems from his solo catalog.
Waite explains that he was inspired to put together the retrospective last December, after he happened to stumble upon an exhibition of images by famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon in Beverly Hills.
"I was staring at a wall of photos and thought, 'What would that sound like if it was music?'" John recalls. "And I guess that was the kicker. That's what got me going."
Waite tells ABC News Radio that completing the Best project was "liberating" for him and has gotten him mentally prepared to make new music.
"I just feel like I can move forward as an artist, and up to this point I was kind of paralyzed," he admits. "I really did need to take care of this at this time in my life. But it's been very joyful. You know, I've listened to it from beginning to end [numerous times] and it's always made me laugh and smile and sort of nod my head, you know. I think I got it right. I think it's a good album." (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)
Waite reveals that he now has started going through tapes of incomplete song ideas with the hope of possibly gathering together tunes for a new album.
Meanwhile, John also has been playing a variety of shows this year with his band, which features ex-Alice Cooper guitarist Keri Kelly. Waite's upcoming gigs include multiple appearances at the 2014 edition of veteran rock manager B.R. Cohn's annual Fall Music Festival later this month in Glen Ellen, California, and a September 28 performance at the 80's in the Park Festival in Melbourne , Florida.