Wa Wa Nee
|Wa Wa Nee|
|Genres||New wave, synthpop, pop rock|
|Past members||Paul Gray
Singer/songwriter Paul Gray and guitarist Steve Williams formed the band in 1982. They were joined by Geoff Lundren (bass), Elizabeth Lord (keyboards, backing vocals) and Chris Sweeney (drums) and signed with CBS Records in 1985. Mark Gray and Phil Witchett joined the group soon after and their debut single "Stimulation" was released in April 1986. The song peaked at number 2 in Australia. "I Could Make You Love Me" was released in August 1986 and peaked at number 5. In November 1986, Wa Wa Nee released their debut self-titled album which peaked at number 29 in Australia. Two more singles were released from the album, "Sugar Free" in December 1986 and "One and One (Ain't I Good Enough)" in April 1987 and both peaked inside the Australian top 20. "Sugar Free" was released in the United States in July 1987 and peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song featured in the film, Cassandra "Stimulation" was released as the follow-up single where it peaked at number 86. It was featured in the film Satisfaction. In 1987, a remix album, titled Ulta Mixes was released.
During the recording of the second studio album in 1988, keyboardist Phil Witchett died. In November 1988, "Can't Control Myself" was released as the lead single from the band's second studio album. The song peaked at number 31. Their second studio album, Blush was released in May 1989, and spawned two more Top 100 hits in Australia, "So Good" and "I Want You". The group disbanded later in 1989.
Steve Williams went on to work with James Freud Band, Mama's Darlings and Richard Clapton. He relocated to Europe before returning to live in Australia. In 2006, he was involved in a Led Zeppelin covers band called The Zep Boys.
Paul Gray worked with Deni Hines, CDB, Kate Ceberano, Tina Arena and Bardot as a keyboard player, musical director, songwriter and producer. Paul Grey appeared in the Countdown Spectacular 2 concert series in Australia between late August and early September 2007 as a performer and musical director. He sang two songs: "Stimulation" and "Sugar Free". He has also appeared with 80s Enuff and Idols of the 80s. Gray performed Wa Wa Nee hits on 28 March 2010, at a fundraiser for the children of Jenin, a devastated area of the West Bank, Palestine. All funds went directly to the building of a pre-school in the area. Gray performed at local music venues in Melbourne in 2010, with fellow 1980s hitmakers, Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen) and Brian Mannix (Uncanny X-Men). Paul Gray supported Belinda Carlisle on some of her dates of her 2011 Australian Tour. Wa Wa Nee also supported Rick Astley during his 2012 and 2014 tour of Australia.
Albums and EPs
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions|
|1986||Wa Wa Nee
|2010||The Essential Wa Wa Nee
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1986||"Stimulation"||2||86||Wa Wa Nee|
|"I Could Make You Love Me"||5||—|
|1987||"One and One (Ain't I Good Enough)"||19||—|
|1988||"Can't Control Myself"||31||—||Blush|
|"I Want You"||52||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- Australian chart peaks:
- Top 100 (Kent Music Report) peaks to 19 June 1988: Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. p. 331. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Top 50 (ARIA Chart) peaks from 26 June 1988: "australian-charts.com > Wa Wa Nee discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- "I Want You" (ARIA Chart) peak: Scott, Gavin. "25 Years Ago This Week: May 28, 1989". blogspot.com.au. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "Billboard > Artists / Wa Wa Nee > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-07.
- "Wa Wa Nee". Retro Universe. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- "Billboard > Artists / Wa Wa Nee > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-09-17.