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Nov 03 2018

My 10 favorite Dutch albums

Rock in the polder: the 10 best Dutch albums (apoplife.nl)

Rock in the polder: the 10 best Dutch albums

Introduction

So far, Dutch rock is not very prominent on my blog. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the Netherlands were introduced with pop/rock music by Dutch musicians through acts like The Blue Diamonds and Peter Koelewijn. During the second half of the (19)60’s Dutch pop music gets more serious with Cuby & The Blizzards, The Golden Earrings, The Outsiders and Q65, culminating in the global hit Venus by Shocking Blue.

Golden Earring - The Very Best Of (edwinknip.com/apoplife.nl)

Golden Earring – The Very Best Of

In the (19)70’s Dutch pop music becomes popular, internationally as well. Bands like Alquin, Earth & Fire, Ekseption, Focus, Golden Earring, Kayak, Sandy Coast, Solution and Tee Set set the tone with well received albums. The ‘Palingsound’ (which translates into ‘Eel soud’, which refers to the local village of Volendam, where a lot of local fishermen live) rears its head: The Cats are very popular. BZN alters its sound from hard rock and begins a second career in which they dominate the Dutch charts for decades. Each new album turns gold even before they hit the shops.

The Netherlands do well in other musical genres as well: The George Baker Selection scores global hits, just like the (producers) formation Stars On 45. Teach-In wins the Euro song festival and Pussycat has a big hit with Mississippi. Vader Abraham has a huge international hit with a song about the smurfs.

Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zit (Dutch punk compilation) (youtube.com)

Als Je Haar Maar Goed Zit (Dutch punk compilation)

After punk hit the music world, bands pop up in great numbers. Herman Brood becomes huge in Holland. He even goes off to America, but the adventure backfires. During that time a lot of exciting bands come up, among which Blue Murder, Gruppo Sportivo, The Meteors, New Adventures, Nits, Phoney & The Hardcore, The Rousers, Urban Heroes and Vitesse.

Dutch rock (rock with Dutch lyrics) is no longer exotic: Frank Boeijen, De Dijk, Doe Maar, Drukwerk, Het Goede Doel, Klein Orkest, Normaal, Tröckener Kecks and The Scene sing their songs in Dutch and create great music. Nowadays that all seems pretty normal, but at the end of the 1970’s and early 1980’s it was not the thing to do.

The Ex - History Is What's Happening (theex.bandcamp.com)

The Ex – History Is What’s Happening

Within alternative circles interesting things start to happen. Midway through the 1980’s the ‘Amsterdamse gitaarschool’ gives rise to extremely good bands like Claw Boys Claw and The Fatal Flowers. The electronic Clan Of Xymox and Minny Pops do very well within their own communities. The Dutch collective The Ex is internationally renowned for its authenticity and innovation.

But The Netherlands also do well in genres like soul, disco and funk: Mai Tai, Spargo and Time Bandits create good, slick music, that sells well, even abroad. after the breakup of his band Vandenberg, hard rock guitar player Adje van den Berg is enlisted by Whitesnake.

Centerfold - Man's Ruin (musicmeter.nl)

Centerfold – Man’s Ruin

The Dutch ladies trio Centerfold is the Dutch equivalent to Vanity 6. The song Dictator is a huge hit, as well as their cover of Golden Earring’s Radar Love. The Dutch band Loïs Lane perform with Prince and even records music with him. Saxophone player Candy Dulfer is part of several line-ups of Prince’s bands.

The 1990’s start off with international success for the Urban Dance Squad and dance-act Quazar. Bettie Serveert follows quickly. Acts like 2 Unlimited, Ten Sharp, Total Touch and the Vengaboys turn into international pop acts that have hit after hit after hit.

The Netherlands is the birthplace of a sub genre in the early 1990’s: gabberhouse, extremely fast dance.

De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig - De Lachende Derde (ultratop.be)

De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig – De Lachende Derde

In the meantime Dutch hip-hop matures. Acts like Extince, Osdorp Posse and, some time later, De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig improve the overall hip-hop music coming out of the Netherlands and make it exciting and fresh. Spinvis creates some great albums at the beginning of the new century. Acts like Junkie XL, Within Temptation, Ayreon, Armin van Buuren and Tiësto are internationally held in high esteem in their own specialist environment(s).

Nowadays the Dutch rock/pop scene flourishes like never before. The diversity is huge: Typhoon differs from Altın Gün differs from Pink Occulus. And yet, they are all successful and good.

Selecting only 10 albums was difficult. In the end, a lot of the 1970’s acts got excluded because their albums are too inconstant (to me). Therefore, the, arguably, biggest Dutch act Golden Earring is excluded as well. Lots and lots of great songs, but I can’t name one album that fascinates me from start to finish.

Without further ado, my top 10:

 

Ivy Green - Ivy Green (makeafuzz.com)

Ivy Green – Ivy Green

1978

Ivy Green is generally regarded as the first real Dutch punk band. Early 1978 they record their debut album in two days. After three days of mixing the album is done. The Dutch press lauds the album upon its release. However, the sales numbers (2500 copies) are very disappointing to record label Warner Bros. The band is kicked off the label. Slowly, but surely, the band regresses into anonymity.

However, what remains is a great album that still sounds fresh today.

 

Herman Brood & His Wild Romance - Cha Cha (discogs.com)

Herman Brood & His Wild Romance – Cha Cha

1978

See Herman Brood makes two great rock albums in 1 year!

 

Doe Maar - Skunk (bol.com)

Doe Maar – Skunk

1981

Early 1980’s Doe Maar was the most popular band in Holland. It all started with this album and the hit 32 jaar (Sinds 1 dag of 2). Doe Maar led the wave of bands that started to sing in Dutch.

This album is the first one that features Henny Vrienten. Vrienten was responsible for fresh ideas and songs. From 1982 onwards, after the release of the album Doris Day En Andere Stukken, the band is as huge as The Beatles once were (well, in the Netherlands anayway). However, the constant success, playing and lack of privacy overwhelm the band members and in 1984 they are done with it all and announce their disbanding.

On November 2nd, 1999, Doe Maar announces their reformation. Within weeks the whole of The Netherlands is Doe Maar crazy again. One year later the band performs a record breaking 16 (!) shows at the completely sold-out Ahoy in Rotterdam. Since then the band has performed regularly.

 

Urban Heroes - Live (napster.com)

Urban Heroes – Live

1981

In 1980 the album Who Said…Urban Heroes is released. The mix between new wave, ska and funk has great appeal, even in America. The singles Get It and Not Another World War are modest hits. One year later the album The Age Of Urban Heroes is released. The single Habadaba Riwikidi turns into the biggest hit of the band. That same year sees the release of this Live. At the time I played it to death, playing along with the great drummer.

Their success soon ebbed away.

N.B.: The album is produced by Golden Earring’s Rinus Gerritsen.

 

Claw Boys Claw - Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw (audiophileusa.com)

Claw Boys Claw – Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw

1984

And suddenly there it was, in 1984: Shocking Shades Of Claw Boys Claw, recorded within 3 hours and released on the band’s own Hipcat-label. Despite the lack-luster sound quality the album is highly praised. Thanks to shimmering performances Claw Boys Claw quickly turns into the ‘most exciting live-band of the Netherlands’.

In 1986 the band performs at Pinkpop ’86 and is one of the highlights of the day. To this day the band still records and performs. However, they were never able to equal their explosive debut.

 

Tröckener Kecks - Betaalde Liefde (cdandlp.com)

Tröckener Kecks – Betaalde Liefde

1985

Originally a punk band with Dutch lyrics. After the fantastic debut Schliessbaum and follow-up In De Krochten Van De Geest, the best Tröckener Kecks album, Betaalde Liefde, is released in 1985. Everything is good on the album: the lyrics, the music, the production (which is done by The Scene’s Thé Lau) and the guests. A perfect Dutch rock album!

 

Fatal Flowers - Younger Days (northendhaarlem.nl)

The Fatal Flowers – Younger Days

1986

The best rock band Holland has ever known, The Fatal Flowers. Their second album Younger Days is filled with good songs. The Fatal Flowers receives an Edison award in 1987 and they open Pinkpop ’87. In 1988 the band leaves for Woodstock, America for the recording of the successor, Johnny D. Is Back!, produced by none other than Mick Ronson. After Pleasure Ground, which was their most successful album to date, singer, founder and writer Richard Janssen suddenly decides to disband The Fatal Flowers. Sadly, The Fatal Flowers are no more.

 

Urban Dance Squad - Mental Floss For The Globe (mrhipster.com)

Urban Dance Squad – Mental Floss For The Globe

1989

Mental Floss For The Globe is the debut album by the rock-rapgroup from Utrecht. It’s an instant international smash. Urban Dance Squad is innovative and different: the band has a unique sound, mixing rock, funk, rap, hardcore and blues. The combination of a rapper, scratcher and a rock band was completely new and was copied multiple times since then. All stars seem to align for a bright future. In 1991 Life ‘N Perspectives Of A Genuine Crossover is released, and the band loses America in a heartbeat.

In 2000 Urban Dance Squad disbands.

 

Postmen - Documents (genius.com)

Postmen – Documents

1998

A three man group that mixes hip-hop with reggae. They win almost every award Holland has to offer. In 1998 their debut album Documents is released. The album is praised by the press. In 2004/2005 is over and band member The Anonymous Mis has a solo career using the name Postman.

 

The Child Of Lov - The Child Of Lov (ponikuta.com)

The Child Of Lov – The Child Of Lov

2013

See The Child Of Lov.

 

In closing

These are my 10 favorite Dutch albums.

Do you know other (better) ones? Let me know and I will add the cover to the story!

 

Additions

Brainbox – Brainbox / Earth And Fire – Song Of The Marching Children / Focus – Focus II / Golden Earring – Moontan / Kayak – Starlight Dancer / Ayreon – The Source

(1969 / 1971 / 1971 / 1973 / 1977 / 2017)

From Hans (see comments Dutch site)

Keuze Hans (musicmeter.nl)

 

Gruppo Sportivo – 10 Mistakes – Gruppo Sportivo – Back to 78

(1977 / 1978)

From Tom (see comments Dutch site)

Keuze Tom (musicmeter.nl)

 

Supersister – Present From Nancy / Solution – Divergence

(1970 / 1972)

From Peter (see comments Dutch site)

Keuze Peter (musicmeter.nl)

 

Compliments/remarks? I´d love to hear them!