Saturday, August 06, 2022

The Dutch Seventies' Jukebox (4)

Over ten years ago I ran a parallel blog to this one, dedicated to sharing some of the best pop/rock hit singles of the seventies made by Dutch acts. That blog has long gone the way of the dodo, but I'm reviving it for the new lay-out of my art blog. There will be a number of posts, each containing twelve songs by different acts, in chronological order within one post. I will also be restricting myself in three aspects: no songs that were huge hits in the UK and/or USA, maximum four songs total for each act spread out over the various posts, and each song scores at least a 4/6 on the Artrockometer. The illustrations will be the original singles covers if I can find them, and each song description will end with a little symbol that links to the corresponding YouTube video (if available). The image above is by Rudy van der Veen and is in the public domain. OK... enjoy!

She Was Naked by Supersister (1970)

Supersister were a jazz-influenced progressive rock band from The Hague. They recorded some of the best Dutch albums of the era, and had a number of small hits as well. This is one of two that made the Dutch top 40, topping at #11. Both singles are excellent by the way.

Just a Friend by Sandy Coast (1971)

Sandy Coast were a Dutch pop/rock band from the area around The Hague, formed around singer Hans Vermeulen. Over a period of fifteen years (1966-1981) they had twelve top40 hits in the Netherlands. Just a Friend peaked at #11.

Don't Turn Me Loose by Greenfield and Cook (1972)

Greenfield and Cook (a translation of their real family names: Rink Groenveld en Peter Kok) were a duo from The Hague that was also known as the Dutch Simon and Garfunkel. They scored seven top40 hits (three of them making the top ten) in the period 1971-1973. Don't Turn Me Loose was one of these three, topping at #6. 

Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight by Earth and Fire (1973)

Earth and Fire were a band from the neighborhood of The Hague. Their albums were clearly progressive rock, but their singles were radio friendly and highly successful. In the period from 1970 until 1983 they scored 18 top40 hits, including two that made it to number one. Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight is one of my favourites of this great band, and made it to #3 in the charts.

Ginny Come Lately by Albert West (1973)

Albert West was a Dutch singer from Den Bosch. He scored five hits in 1969/1970 as lead singer of The Shuffles, before embarking on a solo career in 1973. That resulted in 19 top40 hits between 1973 and 2005, with five making the top ten. Ginny Come Lately was his first (and biggest) hit as solo singer, topping at #4. Albert West is one of those Dutch artists that I can enjoy in a few songs, this being one of them.

Harem Scarem by Focus (1974)

Focus are a Dutch progressive rock band formed in Amsterdam in 1969 by keyboardist, vocalist, and flutist Thijs van Leer. They enjoyed international success with their hit singles Hocus Pocus and Sylvia. From 1972 until 1974, they scored six top40 hits, including the aforementioned songs. Haren Scarem was their last hit, and with the highest position at 26, their least successful one - but I like it.

Rock 'n' Roll by The Cats (1974)

The Cats were one of the most successful pop groups from the Netherlands. They hail from the tiny fishing village of Volendam near Amsterdam, and inspired so many others from there to start a band, that the name Palingsound (Eel Sound) was coined for this particular style of radio-friendly music by groups from Volendam. From 1966 until 1985 they scored 36 hits in the Dutch top40, five of them reaching #1. Rock & Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life), to give it the full official title, is a cover of a Kevin Johnson song, and is one of my favourites in their repertoire. It peaked at #3.

Bridges Are Burning by Wally Tax (1975)

Wally Tax was a Dutch singer and songwriter. He was founder and frontman of the Nederbeat group The Outsiders (1959–1969), and embarked on a solo career in the seventies.He scored five top40 hits in the period 1974-1977. Bridges Are Burning was not his biggest success (it reached #2), but for me it was his best song.

Scarlet Lady by Lucifer (1976)

Lucifer were a pop group from Zaandam, led by singer/keyboard player Margriet Eshuijs. They had four top40 hits between 1975 and 1977. Scarlet Lady, which was composed by the American duo Gloria Sklerov and Harry Lloyd who also wrote their first hit House For Sale, did not do as well as its predecessor, reaching #21 at its top.

Upside Down by Teach-In (1977)

Teach In were a pop group from Enschede (the city I was born). They scored 12 top40 hits between 1974 and 1979, half of them reaching the top ten. Internationally they are best known for winning the Eurovision Song Festival in 1975. Upside Down was the first single after lead singer Getty was replaced by two new girls. It was their biggest hit, peaking at #2.

Valentino by Champagne (1977)

Champagne were a pop group from the Rotterdam region. With a sound (and line-up) inspired by ABBA, and a twenties' style presence, they scored eight top40 hits between 1976 and 1980. Their first three singles made the top10, including Valentino, peaking at #5. My personal favourite of their songs.

Ruthless Queen by Kayak (1979)

Kayak are a progressive rock band, who in addition to their albums (which are of general high quality) scored nine top40 hits in the period 1973-1980, including one top 10 hit: Ruthless Queen, which reached #6. To my taste they made much better singles, but as they say, don't argue with success.

Copyright statement: posting lower quality single covers is deemed fair use.