Urban Heroes released their Live album in 1981

Urban Heroes 1981 (musiccollections.nl)

Urban Heroes 1981


In 1980, seemingly out of nowhere, the single Get It by Dutch band Urban Heroes appeared. The second single was equally great. One year later they released Live.

Urban Heroes

Unfortunately, little is known about the history of Urban Heroes. Then again, the band didn’t last very long. It all begins with a jazz-rock group named Storm, consisting of Jaap de Jonckheere (guitar), Martin Zonderop (bass) and Ad van Ree (drums). After both Evert Nieuwstede (vocals) and Jeroen Ernst (keyboards) are added to the line-up in 1979, the band is renamed to Urban Heroes.

Urban Heroes 1979 (muziekencyclopedie.nl)

Urban Heroes 1979

The music changes as well. The jazz-rock is replaced by a combination of new wave, rock and ska. One year later it results in the beautiful debut album Who Said… Urban Heroes. The start of their career is very promising. The singles Get It and Not Another World War do very well in The Netherlands and the album is praised by the press, even abroad. The band is often likened to The Police.

The second album The Age Of Urban Heroes is released in 1981 and contains a huge hit with the single Habadabariwikidi. Following the release Zonderop is replaced by Frank Papendrecht.

Urban Heroes - Live (napster.com)

Urban Heroes – Live


The band performed a lot and became a real tight live unit. Sometime later in the same year 1981, the band released the Live album. I bought it on November 21, 1981, the day of the first huge anti cruise-missile demonstration in Amsterdam.

I loved the album, therefore it’s part of my 10 favorite Dutch albums. The album was produced by Rinus Gerritsen, best known for being Golden Earring’s bass player.

Urban Heroes - Live - The singles (discogs.com)

Urban Heroes – Live – The singles


In 1981 two singles were culled from the album, which weren’t particularly successful.

  • We Are Urban Heroes
  • Saturdaynights In Peking


All songs written by Urban Heroes, unless stated otherwise.

  • Indecent Exposure (Jaap de Jonckheere)
  • We Are Urban Heroes
  • Into
  • 1980 (Has Just Begun)
  • Dada
  • High Schoolhaters (Jeroen Ernst, Jaap de Jonckheere, Evert Nieuwstede)
  • Ordinary Man (Jeroen Ernst, Evert Nieuwstede)
  • Habadabariwikidi (The Lovehopper)
  • Not Another World War
  • Saturdaynights In Peking
  • In The Age Of Me (Jaap de Jonckheere, Evert Nieuwstede)
  • Stress
  • Chips (Jeroen Ernst, Evert Nieuwstede)
  • Get It
  • Bonus:
    Gang Of Five


  • Evert Nieuwstede – vocals
  • Jaap de Jonckheere – guitar
  • Jeroen Ernst – keyboards
  • Frank Papendrecht – bass
  • Ad van der Ree – drums
Urban Heroes - Who Said... (1980) & The Age Of (1981) (youtube.com)

Urban Heroes – Who Said… (1980) & The Age Of (1981)

After Live

The personnel change continued. Drummer van der Ree was replaced by Hans van Mourik in 1982. In 1982 and 1983 the band released 4 singles, to little to no success. Late 1983 the band quit, helped by problems with management and the record company. The promising career was over in a flash.

A part of the group formed Boom Boom Mancini (which transitioned into Superbeau), another part continued on as City And State.

In 1988 the band reunites, leading to the 1989 album Hot Piece Of Merchandise. Both the album and singles fail to make any impact, so the band became dormant again. In 1994 album Inner Dream was released, once again followed by a period of silence, until the album Lost & Found was released in 2004, an album originally recorded in 1983 (and was never released). In 2003 somebody accidentally stumbled upon the tapes. After a small club tour in 2009, the album Back in Town was released in 2012.

In closing

What’s your opinion on Urban Heroes? Let me know!

This story contains an accompanying video. Click on the following link to see it: Video: Urban Heroes released their Live album in 1981. The A Pop Life playlist on Spotify has been updated as well.

Compliments/remarks? Yes, please!