Friday, 31 October 2014

Brainbox: Doomsday train

Brainbox, a progressive blues band from Amsterdam, is probably better remembered for the subsequent career of its members than their music. Guitarist Jan Akkerman and drummer Pierre van der Linden later joined Focus, and singer Kaz Lux moved on to Flavium. To my taste, their hit Doomsday train is not a song that has aged well.

Year: 1970
Charted: 6 weeks
Top position: 16
My score: 2/6

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Golden Earring: Instant poetry

In the Netherlands, Instant poetry was the follow-up of their international success Radar love. This rock song with its weird lyrics (washing machine - space age dream) did well, and is still a good listen 40 years later.

Year: 1974
Charted: 9 weeks
Top position: 3
My score: 4/6

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Focus: House of the king

Focus is internationally best known for their novelty hit Hocus Pocus (which is mmusicallyfar more interesting than most novelty songs). In the Netherlands, they were a well-respected prog band with five top40 hits as well. The instrumental House of the king remains a favourite with the fans.

Year: 1971
Charted: 4 weeks
Top position: 14
My score: 4/6

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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

BZN: Mon amour

BZN from Volendam are one of the most successful groups of all time in the Netherlands with 55 of their singles reaching the top40. They started as a more hard rock act with some success but after ten years they decided to change course completely. A female singer was added, and the songs became more and more radio friendly. Their first single new style was Mon Amour, which immediately went to number one. I liked their first incarnation better, and even in their second incarnation, I like other songs far better. So be it.

Year: 1976
Charted: 14 weeks
Top position: 1
My score: 2/6

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Gus Williams: Canyon to canyon

Canyon to canyon, a country influenced song, was the only hit for Gus Williams, better known perhaps as Guus Willemse, the singer and bassist of Solution.  This is a song I had frankly totally forgotten until I stumbled upon it searching for this blog.

Year: 1979
Charted: 4 weeks
Top position: 27
My score: 3/6

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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bolland and Bolland: Summer of '71

Inspired by Simon and Garfunkel, as well as Dutch contemporaries Greenfield and Cook, the brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland (born in South Africa) scored a few top40 hits in the 70s. Later they became world famous as writers and producers for the likes of Falco (Rock me Amadeus). Their debut single Summer of '71 is to my taste one of their best.

Year: 1972
Charted: 5 weeks
Top position: 19
My score: 4/6

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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cats: Be my day

The Cats from Volendam extended their string of hits from the sixties (10) into the seventies (another 20). Be my day was their first hit recorded in the USA, and also their last of five number one hits. I like a few of their other hits better, but this is still quite enjoyable,

Year: 1974
Charted: 15 weeks
Top position: 1
My score: 4/6

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Boudewijn de Groot: Jimmy

Boudewijn de Groot, one of the greatest Dutch ballad singers of all time, had his major successes in the sixties, but in 1973 he did manage a final top10 hit with Jimmy (sometimes subtitled Hoe sterk is de eenzame fietser - How strong is the lonesome bicycle rider, a Dutch image if there ever was one). Not his best song, but not too shabby either.

Year: 1973
Charted: 11 weeks
Top position: 6
My score: 4/6

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Luv': Trojan horse

Luv', consisting of three female singers primarily selected for their looks rather than their voices, was one of the first acts to make it big thanks to a TV show: their first hit in 1978 was the tune of Waldolala (U.O.Me), which they sang themselves in every episode. A string of seven hits followed in the 70s, including two number one hits. For today's post, Trojan horse, one of those two to reach the top.

Year: 1978
Charted: 11 weeks
Top position: 1
My score: 2/6

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Hank the Knife and the Jets: Guitar king

Hank the Knife and the Jets from Arnhem started as a split-off from the successful band Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers. Their retro rock and roll sound fared well in the charts initially. Guitar King was their first hit, just missing out on the top position in the charts, and remains fun to listen to.

Year: 1975
Charted: 11 weeks
Top position: 2
My score: 4/6

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lemming: Lucifera

The shock rock of Alice Cooper was undoubtedly one of the influences of Lemming, a band from Rockanje. Their horror movie inspired songs helped them to three top 40 hits, of which Lucifera was the first one. I still quite like it.

Year: 1973
Charted: 8 weeks
Top position: 19
My score: 4/6

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Champagne: Light up my eyes

When they first hit the charts in the second half of the seventies, Champagne from Rotterdam were hailed as the Dutch ABBA, both in terms of composition and type of music. To my taste, the difference in class is evidenced by the fact that ABBA's songs still hold up 40 years later, whilst the six hits of Champagne sound dated or worse. This is their fourth chart success, just failing the top 10.

Year: 1978
Charted: 6 weeks
Top position: 11
My score: 2/6

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Earth and Fire: Storm and thunder

One of the most successful (and for me one of the best) Dutch bands of the seventies: Earth and Fire from Voorburg/Voorschoten. Another example of a band whose albums tended to be more prog rock, whilst the singles were high quality radio friendly songs. They scored 13 top40 hits in the seventies, and Storm and thunder is an early favourite of mine. And of course, like a lot of Dutch teenage boys, I had a bit of a crush on singer Jerney Kaagman.....

Year: 1971
Charted: 10 weeks
Top position: 6
My score: 4/6

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Jack Jersey: Pappa was a poor man

Jack Jersey (real name Jack de Nijs) was a Dutch singer and producer, whose style was influenced by country and original rock and roll. He scored dozens of hits, with Pappa was a poor man being one of the most successful. Not my taste, but just OK.

Year: 1974
Charted: 11 weeks
Top position: 5
My score: 3/6

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Kayak: Mammoth

Kayak (from Hilversum) is one of a handful of Dutch rock bands that combined a progressive rock sound with chart successes. In total, they reached the top40 seven times in the seventies. Mammoth is one of their best singles, and probably the only hit by any rock band to feature a Dutch barrel organ.

Year: 1973
Charted: 4 weeks
Top position: 18
My score: 4/6

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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Greenfield and Cook: Only lies

The successful duo Greenfield and Cook from The Hague were sometimes dubbed the Dutch Simon and Garfunkel, which is too much honor in my opinion. Still, their melodic pop songs, including seven top40 hits in the Netherlands, were a pleasure to here. Only lies was their biggest success.

Year: 1971
Charted: 14 weeks
Top position: 4
My score: 4/6

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Shoes: Osaka

The Shoes, originating from Zoeterwoude near Leiden, had a string of hits in the Netherlands since 1966. This is one of their best performing songs, with an exotic angle tot he title and lyrics. Not a personal favourite of mine though.

Year: 1970
Charted: 10 weeks
Top position: 6
My score: 3/6

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Normaal: Alie

Time for a first hit in the Dutch language in this blog. Although.... Dutch? Normaal, from the Achterhoek, actually sang their 40+ top40 hits in the local dialect of that part of the Netherlands. One of my personal favourites from their repertoire is the rocking love song Alie.

Year: 1977
Charted: 7 weeks
Top position: 12
My score: 4/6

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Monday, 13 October 2014

Dizzy Man's Band: The opera

The Dizzy Man's Band, an octet from Zaandam, had considerable chart success with their fun singles. The most successful was The opera, a hilarious persiflage on exaggerated opera style singing. Its enduring popularity in the Netherlands is shown by its inclusion every single year in the Radio 2 Top2000 compiled by the audience.

Year: 1975
Charted: 8 weeks
Top position: 2
My score: 4/6

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

Herman Brood & His Wild Romance: Never be clever

Herman Brood from Zwolle has been called  "the Netherlands' greatest and only rock 'n' roll star". With his Wild Romance he had a string of hits in the 70s and 80s, but none of them ever did much for me. Here is his biggest hit of those years, Never be clever.

Year: 1979
Charted: 9 weeks
Top position: 9
My score: 3/6

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Saturday, 11 October 2014

Ferrari: Sweet love

This blog intends to give an overview of successful Dutch acts from the seventies, rather than a reflection of my personal taste. Therefore, an act like Ferrari from Heusden should be included, even though I consider them a weak second rate copy of the more successful George Baker Selection (which I do not rate high either). Still, they had eight top40 hits in the Netherlands, and Sweet love even went all the way to the top.

Year: 1976
Charted: 12 weeks
Top position: 1
My score: 2/6

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Supersister: Radio

Supersister from The Hague was one of the first Dutch rock groups that combined progresssive rock albums with high quality hit singles. Radio remains a classic, combining a deceptively simple melodious first two and a half minutes, followed by an almost psychotic one and a half minutes ending with its weird lyrics.

Year: 1972
Charted: 5 weeks
Top position: 21
My score: 5/6

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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Pussycat: If you ever come to Amsterdam

Pussycat, a group from Brunssum formed around three singing sisters, had one international smash hit with Mississippi. In the Netherlands, several other songs charted as well, and for today I have selected my personal favourite from their repertoire: If you ever come to Amsterdam.

Year: 1977
Charted: 7 weeks
Top position: 20
My score: 4/6

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Golden Earring: Ce soir (Kill me)

The Golden Earring is probably the most successful Dutch band that was active in the seventies, both in the Netherlands and abroad. In countries like the USA they are regarded as a one hit (or two hit) band, in the Netherlands, they had dozens of hits. One of my personal favourites is Ce soir (Kill me), one of many top 10 hits of this versatile band.

Year: 1975
Charted: 8 weeks
Top position: 5
My score: 4/6

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