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Dare to Dream
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     Dare to Dream was Great Exma's third and final album, recorded during the height of the band's popularity and released in March, 1989. Dare to Dream features Paul Murphey on keyboards and lead vocals, Stephen Hartman in bass, keyboards and vocals, Garland Hagman on drums and vocals, and a fourth member guitarist James McGuire who joined the band in 1988. Recorded at Avalanche Recording Studios in Northglenn Colorado over a 10 month period, the album Dare to Dream was produced by Paul Church, and includes the band's most musically involved compositions to date. From the epic prog rock sound of "Sell it to Me" and "Adam's Rib," to the satirical pop tune "Rock the House," to the hard driving funk of "Lock Without a Key," to the silky sultry jazz feel of "Femme Fatale," to the driving country rock instrumental jam "Hog Wild," this album delivers with every tune. These originals were all written and rehearsed in the comfort of the group's north Boulder rented rehearsal warehouse located adjacent to the frequently visited Terrace Mexican Restaurant and the lovely field shown in the photograph below (alas, which is now covered with condos).         

  
 
 
 
    
     Lest we not forget, and speaking colloquially, the band's popular and powerful interpretation of the Lalo Schifrin classic theme from the television show Mission Impossible simply kicks ass (there's no other way to put it). On the other hand, the lyrics and music to the album's token pop tune "Rock the House" were designed to prove to the band members that the most stupid songs are often the most popular. They were not surprised therefore when of all the songs on the album, "Rock the House" was selected to be included on the 1989 Colorado' Songwriter's Award Album. According to Megan Seacord of the Rocky Mountain News who reviewed Dare to Dream in 1989, the music of Great Exma sounds like a combination of Steely Dan, Little Feat and Genesis. Not to belittle these great bands to whom comparison is surely a compliment to any musician, the members of Great Exma took issue with the comparison made by someone who is clearly not an afficionado of progressive rock music. In January 1997, Dare to Dream was remastered by Paul Church and Stephen Hartman at Kerr/Macy Studios in Denver Colorado. It is this remastered version that is offered here on compact disc along with a commemorative insert with lyrics.      
 
Live Performance
Great Exma posing as the I-Men, Colorado Springs (Ca 1990)

     
     

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In the control room at Avalanche Recording Studios (Ca 1988)
      The surrealistic juxtaposition of foolishness and profundity were the building blocks for the music of Great Exma, as is well illustrated by the album Dare to Dream. Nothing illustrates this more than the fact that the group spent more than $16,000 to record this album while having no idea who would ever buy it. Dare to Dream is therefore perhaps the purest form of musical expression possible...people making music because they can. The group's dedication never wavered while making this record, even though there was no monetary justification to continue. However, marketing never entered into the creative process for Great Exma. The title "Dare to Dream" is as much a confession as it is a theme. The album was made by a band of dreamers for their friends and fans who supported the dream. The collaboration of four people from distinctly different backgrounds combined to produce grandiose music of depth, emotion satire and silliness. Despite the eclectic musical genres utilized by these musicians, all of the compositions bear the unique stamp of Great Exma, an island that was a band!
          
        

SONG LIST
1. Sell it to Me 8:14
2. Sweet Lady Kenmore 4:40
3. Rock the House 3:17
4. Rock Reprise 1:04
5. Mission Impossible 3:02
6. Adam's Rib 6:14
7. Lock Without a Key 4:26
8. Femme Fatale 5:39
9. Hog Wild 3:44

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Great Exma: Four men out-standing in their field...next to a washing machine

Purchase Dare to Dream NOW!
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Take your damn hands off that keyboard and buy this CD!

NEWS:

This album is dedicated to an amateur exhibitionist who traveled to Antarctica rather ill prepared. Only moments after his arrival, he became disoriented, lost, and very nearly died from indecent exposure. Fortunately, he was discovered by a vagabond a band of nomadic philanthropic penguins who were actually skilled plastic surgeons in their free time. They took him under their flippers, nursed him back to health, and taught him their language and social mores. No sooner than he was completely accepted into the flock with the laying of his first egg, he was tossed off the ice floe into the sea to fend for himself. He was never seen again. Concurrently, the United States Navy was conducting unusual research on antarctic penguin populations. According to recently released documents, the music of Great Exma was broadcast through enormous loudspeakers covering 678,000 square miles (433,920,000 acres) of the southernmost continent. After more than 678,000 hours (77.39726027397 years not accounting for leap years of course) of exposure, the data reveal that penguin populations displayed no apparent deviations from normal behavior and no obvious sexually preferential side effects. The conclusion was that this music has no effect in marine-adapted flightless avian taxa, or any other creatures lacking ears or other auditory sensing organs.         
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