Wa Wa Nee

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Wa Wa Nee
Origin Australia
Genres New wave, synthpop, pop rock
Years active 1982 (1982)–1989 (1989)
Labels CBS Records
Past members Paul Gray
Steve Williams
Geoff Lundren
Elizabeth Lord
Chris Sweeney
Mark Gray
Phil Witchett

Wa Wa Nee was an Australian funk/pop band, active from 1982 to 1989.

Career[edit]

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.[1] "I Could Make You Love Me" was released in August 1986 and peaked at number 5.[1] In November 1986, Wa Wa Nee released their debut self-titled album which peaked at number 29 in Australia.[1] 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.[2] 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.

Later works[edit]

After the dissolution of Wa Wa Nee, Bassist Mark Gray went on to work with Tania Bowra Band, with James Reyne and Indecent Obsession.

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.[3] 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.

Discography[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions
AUS
[1]
US
[2]
1986 Wa Wa Nee
  • Released: November 1986
  • Label: CBS
  • Producer: Jim Taig, Paul Gray, Chris Cameron
29 123
1987 Ulta Mixes
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: CBS
  • Producer: Jim Taig, Paul Gray
  • Remix album
1989 Blush
  • Released: April 1989
  • Label: CBS
  • Producer: Jim Taig, Paul Gray, Robyn Smith
32
2010 The Essential Wa Wa Nee
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Singles[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[1]
US
[4]
1986 "Stimulation" 2 86 Wa Wa Nee
"I Could Make You Love Me" 5
"Sugar Free" 10 35
1987 "One and One (Ain't I Good Enough)" 19
1988 "Can't Control Myself" 31 Blush
1989 "So Good" 36
"I Want You" 52
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Australian chart peaks:
  2. ^ a b "Billboard > Artists / Wa Wa Nee > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-07. 
  3. ^ "Wa Wa Nee". Retro Universe. Retrieved 2017-03-05. 
  4. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Wa Wa Nee > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 

External links[edit]