Waves was the debut album by New Zealand folk-rock band Waves. It was released in 1975 and reached No.7 on the New Zealand album charts. The album, which became a sought-after collectors item on vinyl, was re-released in 2013 on vinyl and CD with a bonus disc, Misfit, a previously unreleased album recorded by the band in 1976.
In 1975 Roger Jarrett, the editor of Auckland music magazine Hot Licks, introduced the band to Kerry Thomas and Guy Morris, co-owners of Direction Records, a chain of stores and a burgeoning independent record label. On 7 July 1975 the band began a five-day recording session for their debut album at Stebbing Studios in Jervois Rd, Ponsonby, across the road from the eight-bedroom colonial villa where Waves members lived.
Thomas arranged expatriate New Zealand producer Peter Dawkins, then living in Sydney, to return to Auckland to produce the album. Gash said: "Dawkins had five days, and he marshalled us through the procedures in a most efficient fashion. That was his job, and he did it well. He was tough though: one of our friends wasn’t cutting it quickly enough with his solo, and Peter made me go into the studio and fire him on the spot ... We freely availed ourselves of notable contributors. Some—Mike Chunn, Mike Caen, Roy Mason—were personal friends; others—Vic Williams, Murray Grindlay, Mike Harvey, Paul Lee—were introduced to us in the studio." He told The New Zealand Herald: "We were in a world we had dreamed of being in. It was a mix of excitement and terror."
At the end of the week, Dawkins flew back to Sydney with the finished tapes to mix them. "No doubt, in his world this was standard procedure," Gash said. "However what it did was disengage us from the process. When the mixes came back to Auckland, we didn’t understand them. They were not the way we heard ourselves. We voiced our desire to remix the album. Almost miraculously, Kerry Thomas agreed, and gained my gratitude forever. We kept Peter’s mixes of "Waterlady Song" and "Arrow"; the rest the band remixed at Stebbings with (engineer) Phil Yule, and that is what appeared on the album."
The band recorded a second album in 1976 for WEA Records, on which they began to explore a new direction with electric guitars. With recording almost complete, they were told that a WEA executive did not like the result and had ordered the multi-track tapes to be recorded over.
Graeme Gash – guitar
David Marshall – guitar
Kevin Wildman — guitar
Michael Matthew — bass guitar
Roy Mason – flutes ("Thoughts From Venus"), bass clarinet ("Letters"), recorders ("The Dolphin Song")
Vic Williams — drums, pervussion
Mike Harvey — piano ("Wornout Rocker")
Mike Chunn — bass ("Clock House Shuffle")
Murray Grindlay — mouth harp ("Castle Gates")
Paul Lee — sax solo ("Waitress")
Mike Caen — electric lead guitar ("Arrow")
Kerry Thomas — percussion ("Waitress")