The Dream

The Dream

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Before Gary Cherone joined Van Halen this group sold the band name the Dream to one of the major TV networks after their brilliant local manager, Joanne Codi, initiated a lawsuit (she was clever enough to trademark the name). When the TV show Dreams launched (about a rock band trying to make it), suddenly this group had the cash to cut a video of their regional hit penned by lead singer Cherone, "Mutha (Don't Wanna Go to School Today)." This original lineup was the band that made incredible waves in Boston, opening for Nightranger at the Orpheum Theater and drawing crowds wherever they played. Along with Girls Night Out and Rick Berlin: The Movie, they were a dominant force on the live music scene in New England during the '80s. Keyboard player Mika Watson added a dimension missing when drummer Paul Geary (famous for managing Godsmack) and singer Gary Cherone became Extreme on A&M Records. Peter Hunt's contributions on guitar and songs were vital. "The Mask" and "See the Light," two of his three compositions on this six-song EP, were, along with Gary Cherone's "Mutha," the songs that launched the band. Had there not been a Dreams TV show the band would not have been called Extreme. "The Mask" is quite simply a brilliant rock song, full of pop melody and progressive riffs. "See the Light" is a hard rock takeoff on "Eight Miles High" by the Byrds, while Hunt's "Why" is the sort of break song that an album needs to divert the listener from the musical similarities inherent in any set of recordings. Quoting Edgar Allan Poe's line, "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream," is the kind of stuff that separates this early incarnation from the onslaught that was the major-label band who hit with "More Than Words" in 1991. Sure, Nuno Bettencourt's guitar and songwriting skills were essential to that aggregation, but there was something special about the band when Paul Mangone was on bass instead of Pat Badger, and when Mika Watson and Peter Hunt created a firm foundation for Gary Cherone's voice and stage antics. They were a very special band and this EP is an important and highly listenable document of what came first.

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