|Tom Hayes||19-Oct-2006||Waniyetula - A Dream Within A Dream|
Although Waniyetula formed in 1969, and toiled throughout the 1970s, it seems odd a band’s first album wouldn’t be until 1983. Well, as it turns out, this wasn’t the case at all. In 1975, the band recorded a full album called “Nature’s Clear Well” with the aid of Dieter Dirks. However it wasn’t released until 1978, and the US label who bought the tapes (Import Records, the German press on Venus actually came a little later) changed the name of the band to Galaxy, without consent of Waniyetula, because it “sounded” better. Can you imagine? During the interim between the recording and release of “Nature’s Clear Well”, Waniyetula embarked on an ambitious project surrounding the works of Edgar Allan Poe. When the Alan Parsons Project debuted with the exact idea, Waniyetula were deflated and it took a number of years to finally get the sound they wanted. Not surprising, then, that the Poe titled “A Dream Within a Dream” has the distinct pop-prog sound of APP. In fact, the closest comparison would be the Canadian group Saga, especially at the time of “World’s Apart”. The songwriting is crisp, with an eye on the sales charts, but an unusually high music quotient – again similar to APP and Saga. There’s a little of the UK neo scene to be found, ala Marillion, though it’s hard to say how much exposure Waniyetula had to this movement. Other than the stray mellotron and organ sighting, most of the sounds are out of the early 80s digital factory. The production is almost too perfect. After 14 years, Waniyetula were no mere amateurs, but a highly polished act who had the misfortune of missing out on the big time. No doubt they would’ve been a “hair band”, and Waniyetula would get the same wincing reaction that Europe and Loverboy do now. Though perhaps much richer financially. The Garden of Delights CD reissue is, as usual, perfect and filled to the brim with history and photos. Included are both tracks (including the mandatory Doors’ cover “Light My Fire”) from a very rare 1971 compilation entitled “Concert ‘71”. At this point, they were quite an excellent cosmic rock act, and would’ve been great on the Ohr label! The other track, entitled ‘Vision’, sounds a bit later, similar to Saga’s “Heads or Tales” album. A good album for those that like the aforementioned progressive pop outfits.
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