After Tea were formed by several ex-members of Tee-Set, which explains the name! Their first two albums contained nothing of special interest - only fairly good beat-pop and ballads much like the earlier group. However, their final album was an enormous improvement, filled with powerful, guitar-driven heavy progressive rock. As with Ray Fenwick's superb solo album (albeit with the non-indicative and probably ironic title Keep America Beautiful, Get A Haircut) this is an underrated album which deserves more recognition among collectors.
|1||NATIONAL DISASTER||1968||DECCA XBY 846 504|
|2||AFTER TEA||1969||DECCA DQY 862 534|
|3||AFTER TEA||1970||NEGRAM NELP076|
|A1||NEP OP TIJD||1976||POLYDOR|
They named themselves after ancient Persian gods (which was quite apt for their loose hippie rock). Their only album is a precious item for those who still wear their kaftans and stay awake until sunrise! "Spacy Tracy" starts as a slow Barrett-esque girl story, but soon enters a free-form freakout zone with rambling percussion, strummed piano strings and disjointed guitars. You'll also note the unusually free-roaming flute notes (the rat catcher spell-binding the innocent children to follow him into the suspicious regions of Amsterdam's red-light district) on each-and-every track. The excellent "Timeless Dream" is a more mellow number with mysterious flutes and gurgling voices treated with Leslie effects. "Oranje Vrijstaat" re-visits free-form territories, perhaps overdoing it this time. "Fallen Tree" is the obvious highlight, an irresistible song featuring a long, psychedelic guitar-solo (followed by a flute solo). "Power" delves into deranged thoughts of supernatural powers, while "Fantasio" is a mad procession of tablas, percussion, trumpet, sax, mouth harp and, at the very end, that flute-playing rat catcher. This is an example of how uncompromising and uncommercial the the Dutch underground bands tended to be, diving into Eastern mysticism and psycho-active, spiritual improvisations. Probably the group described it best themselves: 'The mirror which is held by Ahora Mazda is partly shady, but look into it and you may see, as many travellers before you did, something of your own mind". A classic piece of strange psychedelia!
|1||AHORA MAZDA||1970||CATFISH 5C-054-24184|
Realising the commercial potential of Focus, Poydor signed a couple of other 'progressive' groups, including Alquin. They were always in the second league, but many of those bands also deserve some attention. Alquin's versatile style ranged from pop-rock to classical derivatives and from brass jazz to folk, often within the same tracks. A rich array of instruments were used, most notably violin, organ, flute and sax. Their treatments of themes were related to the British progressive sound of the instrumental Caravan and Traffic (circa John Barleycorn). What Alquin lacked was musical depth and a sense of urgency. Their albums are fair, sometimes even good, but never timeless. Check out Marks and Mountain Queen if tempted.
|1||MARKS||1972||POLYDOR 2925 012|
|2||THE MOUNTAIN QUEEN||1973||POLYDOR 2925 019|
|3||NOBODY CAN WAIT FOREVER||1974||POLYDOR 2925 030|
|4||BEST KEPT SECRET||1976||POLYDOR 2925 045|
|5||ON TOUR||1976||POLYDOR 2442 067|
|S1||CRASH (2LP)||1977||POLYDOR 2646 101|
Although the record cover of this energetic album gives no credits to individual musicians, at least three players from what later became O.P.M.C. are amongst the songwriters: Robbie Dale, Onny Lopulalan and Peter van der Sande. Musically it could hardly be more different. Driving progressive rock with a tendency to short tracks is what we're presented with here (only one track is longer than 4 minutes!). Lots of tricky keyboards, though never in "classical" style, howling guitars with heaps of echo and a few bluesy leanings establish the style of the music. The playing is competent or even excellent and this would have been a great LP with better songs and less ham-fisted production. The main problem lies in the composition department, as almost none of the tracks leave a lasting effect. The first and last cuts are the best: "Step Inside", an interesting effort in opposing contrasts, and "What's Going On", a sensitive mid-tempo song which is better-produced. The idea of the cover design is stolen from René Magritte, or maybe it's only borrowed... (Marcel Koopman)
|1||OPEN HOUSE||1970||PINK ELEPHANT PE877.013G|
He came from a large family of Dutch composers and continued this family tradition on several albums devoted to classical music. The album listed here was a venture into electronic music and may be compared to Ralph Lundsteen and Klaus Schulze.
|1||THE AWAKENING DREAM||1977||PARK DLBP 4004|
A beatnik protest singer whose Bob Dylan-influenced albums are a marginal case for inclusion here. The provocative lyrics prevented his songs from being played on the national Dutch radio stations.
|2||BEN IK TE MIN||1969||FONTANA|
|3||RUE DE LA PAIX||197?||KILLROY|
|4||EEN BET JE VRIEDELJIKHEID||1974||KILLROY|
|5||TERUG NAAR DE AARDE||1976||KILLROY|
Their album contained a predominantly instrumental mixture of heavy rock and folk-rock. Only 500 copies were pressed, but the group failed to sell them all and gave away several copies for free. Many years later it has become one of the most sought-after Dutch private pressings.
|1||PERSEVERANCE KILLS OUR OWN GAME||1979||STARLET 10036|
A rare garage beat album whose tracks would fit in on the Pebbles compilation series.
They started as a school band in Landgraaf in 1964. Their album Filthy Sky (1970) wasn't consistent throughout, but at their best they played a highly vital heavy garage rock with cooking fuzz guitars and raunchy female vocals, comparable to the German group Arktis or a much tougher version of Shocking Blue. The environmental theme of some of the lyrics on the album is also worth mentioning. The album was manu-factured in Aachen, just across the border to Germany. A part of the profit made from the record went to welfare for handicapped people. John Theunissen and the "bassman" Theo Wetzeis later joined Pussycat, who enjoyed the worldwide hit "Mississippi" in 1975.
|1||FILTHY SKY||1970||ASP F60.600 (D)|
The bass player of Wallenstein was of Dutch origin. Unterwegs (1972) was recorded in Germany with a lot of German friends. Berkers lacked a good singing voice and the album is not recommended.
|1||UNTERWEGS||1972||PILZ 20 29131-6 (D)|
Along with Cuby & The Blizzards and Livin' Blues, they were legends of the Dutch blues-rock scene with a large following in their homeland. The first two albums are indispensable for fans of the genre.
|1||BLUES ON THE CEILING||1969||DECCA 6440 676|
|2||TRAVELLING IN THE USA||1970||DECCA|
|3||GENUINE BULL||1975||RCA 10982|
Another group from the Dutch blues boom.
|1||YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND||1968||HAVOC|
|3||BLUES DIMENSION IS DEAD - LONG LIVE THE BLUES DIMENSION||1969||DECCA|
A female pop singer with a voice resembling that of Mary Hopkins, meaning late sixties "sweet innocence. On Night Flight, Night Sight Golden Earrings provided the backing tracks, augmented by strings and brass. Kooymans-Gerritsen also wrote eight original compositions (the rest being covers of contemporary pop numbers such as "That's How Strong My Love Is"). Viewed as pop music, this is quite good and the strings and brass arrangements were never completely banal (although on the edges occasionally). Thijs van Leer of Focus contributed to The Beauty Of Bojoura. Bojoura later made albums of limited interest for CBS.
|1||NIGHT FLIGHT, NIGHT SIGHT||1968||POLYDOR 236 169|
|2||THE BEAUTY OF BOJOURA||1970||POLYDOR|
A rare album containing folk-rock.
|1||THE MORE YOU BOOZE||1978||CROSSROAD CR 477 401|
Jan Akkerman had previously recorded four singles with the Amsterdam band The Hunters before forming Brainbox with Kaz Lux in late 1968. Their album was characterized by Akkerman's hyperfast guitar technique and Lux's heavy metal throat (similar to Glenn Hughes in his Trapeze days). They aren't too far from Vanilla Fudge and Led Zeppelin on the heavy syrup treatments of Scarborough Fair" and "Summertime". The 17-minute show-off "Sea Of Delight" is a bit long-winded with its immature progressive development and an horrendous drums solo, but "Dark Rose" pointed the way forward with a captivating melody and more inspired guitar and flute riffing (which indeed predated the heavier aspect of Akkerman's next group). This was an album of great promise which failed to deliver completely satisfying results. In November 1969 Akkerman accepted van Leer's invitation to join Focus and a lucrative career. Brainbox struggled on but the successive departures of van der Linden and Lux finally killed them off in 1972. Buying one of the collections with tracks only released as singles will give you a better overview of Brainbox than their only proper album (the CD re-issue will do fine, though!).
|S1||BEST OF||1972||EMI 054-24327|
They started out under the name September and released three singles on Imperial in 1970 and 1971, then changed their name to Cargo in 1972. Their album is a true classic of melodic heavy progressive rock with some of the best twin electric guitar interplay I've ever heard. They beat Wishbone Ash by miles! Tracks such as "Sail Inside" (10:54) may seem like cliched motorcycle rock on the first listening, only to reveal myriads of nuances behind the raw edges later on. This powerful guitar-driven music also has a more vulnerable side, alternating between aggression and a hidden sorrow. "Summerfair" (15:35) is another winner full of emotion and dynamics. Strongly recommended to all fans of intelligent guitar-rock! The cover motif was a reference to the first album by The Outsiders.
|1||CARGO||1972||HARVEST 1C 052-24582|
They recorded a largely forgotten album of heavy rock with progressive tendencies - slightly comparable to the Golden Earring of the mid-seventies.
They played subtle beat similar to The Zombies and Left Handed Marriage.
|1||PAGE 1||1966||PHILIPS 655 023 XPL|
Folk music (the word "rock" doesn't really relate to their music) of the usual kind for the Stoof label.
|1||DES DUIVELS OORKUSSEN||1979||STOOF MU 7463|
|2||OBSTAKEL||1980||STOOF MU 7483|
Folk-rock reputed to sound vaguely similar to Fairport Convention.
Overlooked by many collectors, the long-haired post-hippies named Cosmic Dealer are surely worth some investigation. Several members had been in the legendary late sixties group The Zipps (a compilation including their singles and unreleased material is now available). On their album they displayed a mixture of loud hard rock ("The Scene") and more lazy rural songs ("1 Had A Friend") with vocal harmonies. Imagine a cross between Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath and Golden Earring (circa 1970) and you get close to Cosmic Dealer's sound. Some of the guitar work is really sparkling!
|1||CRYSTALLIZATION||1971||NEGRAM NQ 20.015|
This sextet played only British traditional music on their albums: "a bit of Scots and Irish, some English ballads, a bit of Northumbrian music, and so on", to quote the liner notes of their second album. This material gets nice treatment with multi-voice arrangements, flute, whistles, violin, mandolin, bodhran and acoustic guitars. They might be compared to the many British and Irish folk artists recording for Transatlantic from the late sixtites onwards.
|1||THE ELFIN KNIGHT||1976||UNIVERSE|
|2||NAPOLEON CROSSING THE RHINE||1978||UNIVERSE LS-3|
Cuby & The Blizzards from Grollo demonstrated that the Dutch blues-boom wasn't far behind the British, in either chronological development or quality. Their first single appeared in 1965 and a bunch of albums followed well into the eighties. Their golden age in commercial and artistic terms lasted from 1968 to 1972, when their self-written compositions thrilled the blues audiences in the Netherlands and Germany. Band leaders Harry Muskee and Eelco Gelling cultivated a straight-forward, powerful blues-rock that surpassed most of Fletwood Mac's output (save for Peter Green's most gripping movements). They never changed the basic formula very much.
Their 1968 live album was recorded in Dusseldorf with Alexis Korner. Too Blind To See (1969) was their first attempt to expand their musical range, introducing sax, flute and French horn. The impressive track "Thursday Night" could be taken for Procol Harum!
|1||DESOLATION||1966||PHILIPS 655 022 XPL|
|2||GROETEN UIT GROLLO||1967||PHILIPS 855 040 XPY|
|3||PRAISE THE BLUES||1968||PHILIPS XPL 665 033|
|4||TRIPPIN' THRU' A MIDNIGHT BLUES||1968||PHILIPS 844 060 PY|
|5||LIVE AT THE RHEINHALLE||1968||PHILIPS 844 087 PY|
|6||APPLEKNOCKERS FLOPHOUSE||1969||PHILIPS XPU 849 016|
|7||TOO BLIND TO SEE||1969||PHILIPS 6413 002|
|8||KING OF THE WORLD||1970||PHILIPS 6413 007|
|9||SIMPLE MAN||1971||PHILIPS 6413 014|
|10||SOMETIMES||1972||PHILIPS 6413 026|
|11||AFSCHEIDSKONCERT||1974||VARA GRAM 0028|
|12||RED WHITE BLUE||1975||POLYDOR 2925 034|
|13||KID BLUE||1976||CNR 660 002|
|14||OLD TIMES GOOD TIMES||1977||PHILIPS 6416 111|
|15||FORGOTTEN TAPES||1977||PHILIPS 6401 107|
|16||LIVE FEATURING HERMAN BROOD||1979||MELODY EXPRESS ME1|
This group from Southern Holland played pleasant acoustic folk with Dutch lyrics. Their music comprised jolly and high-spirited adaptions of traditional material, but adding some less common touches with clarinet and sax on some tracks. The vocals are mainly female and generally give a good impression of what you (still) might be confronted with in a cosy music pub in the Dutch countryside. No year of issue is stated on the cover, but it was probably released circa 1982.
Their album (a very rare private release) contained two long tracks of improvised experimental jazz-rock influenced by Soft Machine.
|1||DANGER||1973||COW RCS 315|
Their very rare album is reputed to contain progressive rock fronted by guitars and organ.
|1||SONG OF THE SAD TIMES||1974||PANDORA NR 501|
Folk-rock in the same style as The Trees and Fairport Convention, which like these featured high-quality female vocals. One of the most sought after European folk-rock albums released on a major label (copies now sell for more than 100 Euro).
This group played mainly traditional folk music.
|1||PTAZZIE||1979||UNIVERSE DLS 77|
|2||NR. 100||1981||ST. ANNA PROD. 0100|
A short-lived group formed by experienced musicians who'd previously played in After Tea, with the young and great guitar player Frank van der Kloot added. Their only album ranged from hard-rock via blues through to folky ballads, and it's fairly good.
|1||DRAMA||1972||PHILIPS 6413 021|
A great traditional folk-rock album (thought by some to be "acid folk") from this talented guy who had previously recorded a fine album with Tail Doddle on the Stoof-label. In the eighties he recorded a beautiful album with his new group Interweave.
Janko Barut had in the late sixties played in the legendary underground beat-band The Zipps. Duty Cycle played melodious progressive rock with some great guitar work at times. Their album contained as many as 11 tracks veering off in contrasting styles.
This band emerged in the wake of Shocking Blue's and Golden Earring's initial success. Both versions of Earth & Fire's first album had ambitious sleeve designs, the Dutch original came in a matchstick box cover (folding it open would display a row of matches) while the UK issue (on Nepentha with a different cover design by Roger Dean). Basically, this is a pop-rock album that has been somewhat overrated by collectors. The nine tracks are pleasant but lack variety and depth. The attempted heavy rock leanings on some tracks don't sound entirely convincing.
All subsequent albums would show that Earth & Fire's musical scope lay elsewhere. However, treated entirely as a pop-rock album (as opposed to progressive), you will find much to enjoy here. Tracks such as "Twilight Dreamer" and "You Know The Way" indicated what would soon follow.
Song Of The Marching Children (1971) was a more individual and dynamic album. "Carnaval Of The Animals" threads the backward path from Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit", not daring to enter Wonderland but retreating back to early childhood's innocent world of fables and stories. Earth & Fire had become the Saint-Saens of the progressive rock world with their ad hoc approach and sweet melodies. Jerney Kaagman's voice had developed a feeble feminine charm serving the music well. The instrumental work may be compared to the prototype Focus (first heard on their track of the same name in 1970), with organ, flute and electric guitar (but also adding mellotrons) in dynamic arrangements. "Ebbtide" and "Storm And Thunder" display soft progressive rock at its most melodious and beautiful. The 18-minute title track was a more ambitious suite of smaller pieces. Atlantis (1973) followed the same path and was another great album.
Gradually the ambitions of Earth & Fire veered towards commercial pop music. To The World A Future (1975) was a disappointment and the subsequent albums were forgettable.
|1||EARTH & FIRE||1970||POLYDOR 2441 011|
|2||SONG OF THE MARCHING CHILDREN||1971||POLYDOR 2925 003|
|3||ATLANTIS||1973||POLYDOR 2419 059|
|4||TO THE WORLD A FUTURE||1975||POLYDOR 2925 033|
|5||GATE TO INFINITY||1977||POLYDOR 2925 065|
|6||REALITY FILLS FANTASY||1979||VERTIGO 6413 501|
|7||ANDROMEDA GIRL||1981||VERTIGO 6399 271|
|1||EARTH & FIRE||1971||NEPENTHA 6437 004|
Known for their pop-rock adaptations of classical music, this dodgy outfit sold a lot of records all over the world. Their idea was to turn well-known classical pieces into up-beat pop-rock instrumentals. The result is closer to the James Last Orchestra (sharing the same awkward brass arrangements) than anything resembling progressive rock. On offer are mechanical renditions of orchestral favourites, lacking the power of rock music as well as the originally intended dynamic range and variety of instruments. This is as harmful to rock's reputation in classical music circles as vice versa. Keyboard-player Rick van der Linden's later albums are admittedly much better.
|1||EKSEPTION||1969||PHILIPS 873 003|
|2||BEGGAR JULIE'S TIME TRIP||1969||PHILIPS 861 821|
|3||EKSEPTION 3||1971||PHILIPS 6423 005|
|4||00.04||1972||PHILIPS 6423 019|
|5||EKSEPTION 5||1972||PHILIPS 6423 042|
|6||TRINITY||1973||PHILIPS 6423 056|
|7||BINGO - NEW FORMULA||1974||PHILIPS 6413 501|
|8||MIND MIRROR||1975||PHILIPS 6423 082|
|9||BACK TO THE CLASSICS||1976||PHILIPS 6410 129|
|10||EKSEPTION 78||1978||MERCURY 665 081|
A little known private pressing which was a throwback to the blues boom of the late sixties. A synth-free album!
|1||STILL GOING STRONG||1979||PRIVATE PRESS|
The Dutch equivalent of Hardin & York or Sixty Nine, this was an organ-and-drums duo. 150 copies of their album were issued and sold at gigs in order to support an organisation helping drug addicts. Included were two tracks of long live improvisations with good use of wah-wah and other pedals, resulting in a sound resembling early Mike Ratledge. Listening to the album will transport you back to the heyday of the Dutch underground. It's quite a good live performance. The album is better than you might expect in the circumstances.
|1||RELEASE CONCERT||1972||PRIVATE PRESS|
Elly Nieman was guest vocalist on one track on Boudewijn De Groot's Picknick in 1967.
The album De Draad van Ariadne will be a revelation for those who enjoy the 1967-68 albums of Incredible String Band and can tolerate Dutch lyrics (which I think you should). This is exotic hippie folk music of the highest echelon with playful use of every acoustic instrument within reach. Elly and Rikkert's vocals were often arranged in call and response patterns and the resulting tracks radiate love, happiness and innocence (added incense). The lyrics dealt with subjects such as Babylon, Aladin and witches. A brilliant period piece full of irresistible charm!
Later albums gradually lost the youthful magic, heading towards Christian folk music of fairly good quality.
|1||DE DRAAD VAN ARIADNE||1971||COLUMBIA 24347|
|3||MAARTEN E/H WITTE PAARD||1973||IMPERIAL 5C064-24901|
|4||STA OP EN WANDEL||1974||EMI|
|5||ALJE HAREN ZUN GETELD||1977||EMI 1A062-25703|
Symphonic progressive rock with a folky touch. The record came in a cool black/silver cover.
The group united previous members of Tee-Set and The Nicols, two well-known beat-pop bands (the former even had some degree of success abroad). Fairy-Tale brought no great changes to those bands musically. In fact, Once Upon A Time is not a bad album, being at its' best when they played melancholic, sweeping ballads in the tradition of Procol Harum (with strong organ textures showing some influences from classical music). "Doddering Wailings" and "Everybody's Goin' Down To The Scene" are prime examples of crafty songwriting that has stood the test of time well.
|1||ONCE UPON A TIME||1969||BLOSSOM 17001|
Vink and Klaasse had previously played in Q65, a very different group to Finch. All three albums were full of complex instrumental progressive rock, living up to your best or worst expectations of this genre. Obviously Focus influenced them a lot, but Finch were more powerful with greater emphasis on heavy guitars and synthesizers. You'll find an abundance of pompous melodic arrangements but few coherent melodies.
|1||GLORY OF THE INNER FORCE||1975||NEGRAM NR 107|
|2||BEYOND EXPRESSION||1976||NEGRAM NK-203|
|3||GALLEONS OF PASSION||1977||BUBBLE 25690|
An off-the-wall album containing experimental psych-rock. The album was only distributed through sex shops!
In the late seventies when progressive rock had long been unfashionable, Flairck brought in quite a fresh approach. They merged elements from classical chamber music with quiet folk music producing a most delicate and evocative instrumental sound, emphasising acoustic guitar, flute and violin. Sometimes this music feels more tranquil than total silence! The sophisticated sound, far away from rock'n'roll, is one reason for Flairck's prolonged popularity in Japan. Check out the gorgeous "Variations On A Lady" 20-minute suite on their first album.
|1||VARIATIONS ON A LADY||1978||POLYDOR 2480 508|
|2||GEVECHT MED DE ENGEL||1980||POLYDOR 2925 097|
|3||LIVE IN AMSTERDAM (2LP)||1980||POLYDOR 2646 103|
The most internationally known Dutch group of the seventies was formed as a trio by van Leer with Martin Dresden and Hans Cleuver in early 1969. Much of the material for their first album was already written when Jan Akkerman joined in November 1969. In And Out Of Focus displayed the basic idea of the group on the tracks "Focus" and "Anonymous" - combining jazz, heavy rock and classical rock in an approachable style, which tempted mainstream listeners into their camp. The rest of the album didn't follow suit, though, being quite sub-standard. Moving Waves (recorded in London in 1971 with bluesman Mike Vernon, their producer for the next few years) could rightfully be viewed as the first true Focus album, where Akkerman and van Leer fused their talents. "Hocus Pocus" became a live favourite with van Leer's tongue-in-cheek yodelling and organ complementing Akkerman's heavy guitar-riffs. In contrast, the 22-minute "Eruption" suite was more serious and moody, typifying their brand of romantic, instrumental classical rock, designed for adult listeners too old to rock'n'roll (but too young to die). These two aspects combined to create a commercial potential which would spellbind large audiences all over the world in the years to follow.
"Focus 3 (1972) was more or less their creative peak, with the 26-minute revamped and elongated "Anonymous II" the ultimate showcase of their instrumental abilities with solo improvisations by flute (a crushing battle with Ian Anderson for the throne), organ, bass, electric guitar and drums (in this order). Focus were always better musicians than composers. For those in a hurry, "Sylvia" saved the day, summing up much of what easily approachable progressive rock is about in three minutes. This also gave them a much deserved international hit when issued as a single. Listening to the album, you will notice the contrast between the long tracks (filling up 2½ sides) and the short pieces. This disrupted the sense of wholeness and it would have been better to split the project into separate albums (for instance, replacing the short tracks with Akkerman's superb 20-minute opus "Fresh Air", issued on his first solo album Profile the same year). At The Rainbow (1973) presented good live versions of their favourites but is not essential. Hamburger Concerto (1974) turned out to be the last in a triology of classic albums (omitting the live one). It benefited from a larger recording budget, improved sound quality and a wider instrumental array. Akkerman's contributions surpassed his sidekick this time. He wrote the majority of the title track suite and "Birth" (the highlights). In some respects, this is Focus' most satisfying album, due to the more integrated and rich sound. The slow and majestic Leslie-treated guitar lines on the "Concerto" are matchless! Mother Focus (1975) was the first major disappointment where van Leer's yodelling can only be responded to by yawns from the listeners. The short tracks could best be described as muzak, and only traces of their old inspiration are still present. Ship Of Memories was much better, due to the fact that it was recorded back in 1973. At that time, they weren't satisfied with it, but these tapes (recorded in the famous Chipping Norton Studios in England) are quite good. Buy this one and forget about the embarassing Focus Con Proby (with ageing pop singer PJ Proby) finale. Focus had enormous significance in the marketing of progressive rock to mainstream record buyers in the rest of Europe and the USA. Seen in retrospect, their music was shallower than that of many struggling contemporaries.
Although their technical abilities were awesome, their ability to create convincing material was questionable. Focus had clever brains and crafty hands but lacked a bit of heart and soul. The contrast to many Italian groups is striking. Focus certainly knew how to play with both humour and rock power, but when dealing with more complex structures (as in classical music) they became too serious and lacked passion. Still many of their albums have moments of excellence.
|1||IN AND OUT OF FOCUS||1970||IMPERIAL|
|2||MOVING WAVES||1971||EMI 5C038-24385|
|3||FOCUS 3||1972||EMI 5C|
|4||FOCUS AT THE RAINBOW||1973||EMI 5C038-24939|
|7||SHIP OF MEMORIES||1976||EMI 054-25610|
|8||FOCUS CON PROBY||1978||EMI 064-25713|
|A2||INTROSPECTION 2||1975||CBS 65915|
|A3||O MY LOVE||1975||PHILIPS 6303 143|
|A4||MUSICA PER LA NOTTE DI NATALE||1976||CBS 69239|
|A5||INTROSPECTION 3||1978||CBS 86034|
|A5||NICE TO HAVE MET YOU||1978||CBS 86059|
|A6||INTROSPECTION IV||1979||CBS 83669|
|B2||GUITAR FOR SALE||1973||EMI 5C038-51105|
|B3||TABERNAKEL||1973||ATLANTIC K40522 (UK)|
|B4||ELI||1977||ATLANTIC K50320 (UK)|
|B5||JAN AKKERMAN 3||1977||ATLANTIC K50420 (UK)|
|B7||LIVE||1979||ATLANTIC K 50560|
A folk trio singing songs in the Dutch language (presumably traditiontal songs).
|1||WE KOM GESELLEN||1976||STOOF MU 7436|
|2||GOEDENAVOND SPEELMAND||1977||STOOF MU 7450|
|3||AL VOL||1978||STOOF MU 7476|
Melodic heavy rock vaguely comparable to Wishbone Ash. Their guitar player Frank van der Kloot was one of the leading players in Holland at the time. Before Fontessa he had played with Drama and on Barry Hay's solo album.
|1||FONTESSA||1973||PINK ELEPHANT 877055|
|2||FONTESSA II||1976||POKER PO10005|
Another of those obscure groups responsible for an impossible-to-get private pressing (only 500 were manufactured!). Fragile had a guitar-oriented heavy rock sound comparable to Cargo, Wishbone Ash, Night Sun and Epitaph. Their album was recorded in 1974, two years before it was finally released.
Line-up on (3):
Full Moon was the product of Lucas Amor. His first recording has a lot of acoustic guitar, slightly eccentric violin playing and an overall eastern touch. A good example is the delightful, contemplative track "Morning Is Born" with sitar and birdsong. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained continued in the same trend but had more elaborate tracks with an underlying jazzy feel to them. What's Going On marked a considerable change away from the psych-folk formula, heading into Santana territory.
|1||MOON FOOLS||1976||PRIVATE PRESS|
|2||NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED||1977||PRIVATE PRESS|
|3||WHAT'S GOING ON||1978||PRIV. PRESS FM 004|
A group from The Hague that formed in the mid-sixties. After releasing several singles, Pun Of It became one of the last beat groups in The Netherlands to record on vinyl when Meditation was released in 1970. The music on it is vary variable, ranging from silly good time music to a couple of good tracks with a underground sound reminiscent of Fairy-Tale, After Tea, Blossom Toes or even The Doors.
One of the leading Dutch folk-rock groups of the seventies. According to Marcel Koopman (a record dealer and progressive folk-rock musician), Fungus were to The Netherlands what Malicorne were to France. Their albums contain well crafted original compositions as well as adaptations of traditional folk songs. Most tracks had a "rock" backing of electric bass and drums. Anyone unfamiliar with the Dutch language should start with Mushrooms (1977), unlike the other albums its songs had English lyrics and aren't too far removed from Fairport Convention's output post Sandy Denny.
Sido Martens' first solo album Land And Water (1975) is also certainly worth a spin - it was based on his own original songs and also featured Dekenga and Debij from Fungus.
Jan Hollestelle was more into heavy rock and quit to play such music in the group Spin. Holtestelle and Louis Debij were versatile musicians who had previously played with Wally Tax, Barry Hay and George Kooymans.
|1||FUNGUS||1974||NEGRAM NR 102|
|2||LIEF ENDE LEID||1975||NEGRAM NR 115|
|3||VAN DER KIEL NAAR VLARING||1976||NEGRAM NK 211|
|4||MUSHROOMS||1977||NEGRAM 5N064 25739|
|5||DE KAARTEN ZIJN GESCHUD||1979||UNIVERSE DLS 25|
|1||ONE WAY STREET||1975||UNIVERSE|
|1||LAND AND WATER||1975||BEST SELLER 4C062-97484|
|3||1,2,3||1978||PHILIPS 6410 760|
This was a British group and are only included because their album was only released in the Netherlands on the collectable Stoof-label. This is nice folk-rock comparable to Tickawinda.
|1||JOKE AND PUSH ABOUT THE PITCHER||1975||STOOF MU 7421|
This was van Leeuwen's short-lived group after Shocking Blue, now attempting to conquer the world with electric mandolins in a dubious blend of pop, prog and electric folk-rock on two rather weak albums.
|1||GALAXY-LIN||1974||POLYDOR 2925 025|
|2||"G"||1975||POLYDOR 2925 037|
Gamma was the brainchild of keyboards player Paulus Poulissen. The two different formations of the group both played highly competent jazz-rock, stylistically typical of the mid-seventies and with the emphasis on keyboards. Gamma (1973) was a powerful effort with several parts bordering on "progressive rock" vaguely similar to Focus. Four of the eight tracks had unusual vocals by Frans Michel. Darts (1974) ranged from Canterbury jazz-rock and graceful Latin-jazz to easy listening, only changing mood when interrupted by Lex Bolderdijk's really powerful electric guitar statements (on three tracks only).
No revolutionary items but both albums offer good quality compostions and impressive musicianship throughout. The Gamma albums are among the earliest private pressings to be released in The Netherlands (along with the albums by Danger and Ellufant). Needless to say, they are very hard to find on the secondhand market.
|1||ALPHA||1973||GAMMA GA 7206|
|2||DARTS||1974||PANDORA NR 502|
Acoustic, lively folk music of the usual style associated with the Stoof label.
|1||GET PARAAT||1978||STOOF MU 7442|
|2||GET PARAAT (II)||197?||STOOF MU 7452|
|3||UMMER GET||1981||STOOF MU 7472|
The longest running Dutch band released their first single in 1965. In their early years the influences from British mod, pop, beat and R&B were strong in Golden Earrings' music, which was mostly written by the prolific team of George Kooymans and Marinus Gerritsen. Their songs were usually more workmanlike than original, bridging sixties mainstream pop with R&B. Compared to Q65 and The Outsiders, The Golden Earrings were nothing more than a competent pop group, although they grew better with each album. Their album Winter Harvest included an uncredited version of "You Broke My Heart'' (surviving as a 1966 acetate version) by The Talismen. On The Double was the peak of their achievements as pop writers, ranging from orchestrated tear dripping ballads to rudimentary heavy rock via harmony pop and Bob Dylan pastiches. The album sounds, at least in parts, unfashionable for 1969, owing much to traditional pop-rock songwriting.
Eight Miles High (1969) was a transitional album with slightly insecure progressive rock leanings and the first signs of their patented heavy rock. This would dominate their subsequent albums and Golden Earring (1970) was indeed among the best international heavy rock albums of the era, showing some influences from the earliest albums by Led Zeppelin and Jethro Tull. They were rewarded by steadily increasing sales, not least due to the phenomenally successful single "Radar Love" in 1973. Subsequent early 70's albums stuck to this melodic hard rock style and are quite good, but did not surpass their 1970 effort. The solo albums of George Kooymans and Barry Hay displayed some interesting tendencies that didn't fit entirely with the group sound. Kooymans' offered plain early seventies rock (varying between ballads and rock'n'roll a la Creedence Clearwater Revival) whereas Hay's material was more adventurous and progressive (such as the 8-minute track "Xena").
With the addition of Robert Jan Stips on keyboards, Golden Earring temporarily moved in a more progresive direction on Switch and To The Hilt, but this was abandoned when sales dropped. Later albums turned towards traditional stadium rock and are of little interest.
ALBUMS AS GOLDEN EARRINGS:
|1||JUST EARRINGS||1966||POLYDOR 007|
|2||WINTER HARVEST||1967||POLYDOR 736 068|
|3||MIRACLE MIRROR||1968||POLYDOR 184 120|
|S1||GREATEST HITS||1968||POLYDOR 1236 228|
|4||ON THE DOUBLE (2LP)||1969||POLYDOR 2236 823/4|
|5||EIGHT MILES HIGH||1969||POLYDOR 656 019|
|6||GOLDEN EARRING||1970||POLYDOR 2340 003|
|7||SEVEN TEARS||1971||POLYDOR 2344 008|
|8||TOGETHER||1972||POLYDOR 2925 009|
|9||MOONTAN||1973||POLYDOR 2925 017|
|10||SWITCH||1975||POLYDOR 2310 381 (D)|
|11||TO THE HILT||1976||POLYDOR 2430 330|
|12||CONTRABAND||1976||POLYDOR 2310 491 (D)|
|13||LIVE (2LP)||1977||POLYDOR 2625 034|
|14||GRAB IT FOR A SECOND||1979||POLYDOR 2310 639 (D)|
|A1||JOJO||1971||POLYDOR 2925 004|
|B1||ONLY PARROTS, FROGS AND ANGELS||1972||POLYDOR 2925 006|
This group was active from 1963 to 1971. A private pressing in an edition of 270 copies was prepared for their final concerts (not all were sold). The content varied from beat to pop and heavy rock.
|1||LES GOSSES||1971||PRIVATE PRESS|
A jazz trio with a slightly freaky attitude, whose music is comparable to the first LP (1971) by the German group Xhol.
Boudewijn was bora during World War II in Indonesia in a Japanese concentration camp. He started his musical career at high school in the ancient and respectable city of Haarlem. Together with his gifted partner, text-writer Lennaert Nijgh, he interpreted the songs of, among others, Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour. He also attempted to write his own songs.
After visiting the film academy in Amsterdam, he secured a recording contract with Phonogram for a few-singles. He achieved a first minor hit with his version of Aznavour's "Une Enfant" in Dutch translation by Nijgh (Een meisje van zestien). This success tempted him into being a professional musician. His next hit "Welterusten Mijnheer de President", was a biting anti-warfare song and his first self-penned composition to gain recognition. It established him as the next protest singer, a label he later had difficulties rubbing off. His first LP was still strongly in the singer/songwriter mould, with quite a lot of protest songs as well as covers of the Kinks and Donovan songs (all in Dutch, of course). He changed direction on Voor de Overlevenden (For The Survivors), a much more mature effort, especially notable for its abundant use of surrealistic lyrics and excellent, at times truly psychedelic, orchestration by Bert Paige. It also contained a no. 1 hit in Holland, the totally freaky "Het Land van Maas ern Waal", a lyrical and musical attempt to describe a painting by Hieronymus Bosch.
In 1967 he issued a third LP, Picknick, one of the best albums ever to emerge from Holland. Readers of the Dutch collectors magazine still rank this among the 20 worldwide best ever albums of 1967 (a year with ample competition) thirty years later. It is a swirling collection of highly personal songs evoking images of a world apart. Although usually playful and whimsical, the song "Megaton" revealed a darker edge, depicting the end of the world as we know it. "Prikkebeen", another Top 10 hit when issued as a single, featured a duet with the female singer Elly Nieman (a well-known character from the Dutch hippie scene). The orchestrations were by now unsurpassable in their richness and resourcefulness, the melodies soar and the lyrics are among to the best ever written in Dutch. On the other hand it is a rock album with strong playing, much more so than on the previous LP's. The archetypical psychedelic cover was designed by Seemon & Marijke (also known from the group The Fool and for designing the front sleeve of the Incredible String Band's 5000 Spirits and the Beatles' Apple Shop logo).
Boudewijn attempted to write his own lyrics on the sprawling Nacht en Untij (Night and Bad Times). Apart from the short track "Babylon", the whole album was a continuous work including sections of spoken word and unusual backing. The theme of the album was witchcraft and wizardry, taking Dutch speaking hippies on a frightening trip through occult zones. Original copies with a book cover and single with picture sleeve are now very rare.
Tired of the fact that his Dutch lyrics prevented any notoriety abroad, he started a new band called Tower to sing in English and play more in a prog-psych rock style. Two splendid singles were issued, which sank without leaving a trace.
After a considerable gap he once more embraced his own native tongue and scored another hit with "Jimmy", taken from the successful Hoe Sterk Is De Eenzame Fietser, an album which steered away from any experimentation towards common mainstream rock. The collaboration with Nijgh was reconsidered and led to more articulate lyrics than his solo endeavours. De Groot's sixth album Waar Ik Woon En Wie Ik Ben had a strong touch of autobiography, but due to its mainstream content falls beyond the scope of this book.
All in all Boudewijn de Groot can be considered instrumental in the process of creating psychedelic and experimental music, thus stretching the singer/songwriter format far beyond its usual limits, with Dutch lyrics. His best work is second to none in Europe, and characterized by a strongly individual and ornate style.
(Marcel Koopman / DEA)
|1||BOUDEWIJN DE GROOT||1966||DECCA DU 170 011|
|2||VOOR DE OVERLEVENDEN||1967||DECCA DU 170 014|
|3||PICKNICK||1968||DECCA NU 370 016|
|4||NACHT EN ONTIJ||1969||DECCA NU 370 021|
|5||HOE STERK IS DE EENZAME FIETSER||1973 DECCA|
|6||WAAR IK WOON EN WIE IK BEN||1974 DECCA|
Holland's prime exponent of psychedelic music was formed in The Hague in November 1964 and released their first single "Misty Night" on the independent Yep-label in 1966. This aroused the interest of Hans van Hemert (then producer at Philips) who soon signed them up.
Group 1850 had started with influences from the ugliest and most raw-edged rhythm'n'blues (Pretty Things and Q65). This, combined with The Mothers' Freak Out, Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows", Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, The Rolling Stones's Their Satanic Majesties Request, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and a whole summer of love, made Group 1850 eight miles higher than most. The four Philips singles saw them leaping from strength to strength, starting with the rather usual freakbeat psych of "I Want More", expanding their visions into the absurd and surrealistic with "Mother No-Head" (their first masterwork), entering 1968 with the ghostly hallucinogenic "Zero" and previewed their LP with their confident statement "We Love Live (Like We Love You)".
In late 1968 their first major opus Agemo's Trip To Mother Earth appeared, possibly the best psychedelic album from the whole continent! For those wanting to explore the ultimate hippie lore, I recommend you to read the story of Agemo, son of Dog, from Irotas visiting Earth to experience imperfection. The album deals with Agemo's experiences on
Earth, discovering the urban paranoia and depravity of modern life in "Steel Sings", astonishingly scored with harsh guitars so brutal you hardly would believe it was created in the sixties. Daniel van Bergen's omnipresent electric guitars hit you directly in your face, they sound derived from early Hendrix, but are more directly psychedelic with frequent use of tone bending, compressor and phasing. The album's central piece is Hans Wesseling's (from the group Woorden) proclamation of his "Mother Earth" poem, expressing the need for "more humanity and fellowfeeling". This is set to the strangest music imaginable, with phased, rambling drums and electronic noises. "You Did It Too Hard" predates the sound of "Radio Gnome"-period Gong. The album ends with Agemo revealing his secret, leading those who rediscover the truth to their own paradise with angelic female chanting. The album is more extreme than almost any Anglo-American album of this era with The Satanic Majesties Request the only one slightly comparable to it (but inferior). Doors open and close, thunderstorms pass away, men are blowing glass bottles in place of pan flutes! Many will find it too strange, as so many different ideas are compressed into only 37 minutes. After this, the group disintegrated with Beer Klaasse joining Q65 and Ruud van Buuren the unknown Long Tall Ernie. Sjardin and van Bergen soon started all over again with a new record deal and a revamped Group 1850 with a second guitar player, Dave Duba, along with Dolf Geldof and the jazz drummer Martin van Duynhoven. Their new effort Paradise Now (1969) was bleak, heavy, slow and stark, on the whole remarkably different from its predecessor. With their universal message already proclaimed, Group 1850 now concentrated on long instrumental passages highlighting Sjardin's eerie, hypnotic organ tones contrasting with the biting lead guitarists (van Bergen versus Duba fighting their most powerful battle on "Hunger"). Obviously they were strongly influenced by the less experimental parts of A Saucerful Of Secrets and (the hugely underrated) More by Pink Floyd, even down to the imitation of "Party Sequence" on the tablas-and-flute meditation "Martin En Peter". This inevitably leads into the spell-binding trance of "?!", with Sjardin overdoing Richard Wright's "turkish delight" organ style of 1968-69. Contrasting these instrumentals, the Hendrix influence was strong on the extremely slow and heavy blues number "Purple Sky". On the whole, one feels that paradise is lost, rather than just found. The mumblings on "Lonelyness" and "Friday I'm Free" are not so far away from the secluded Barrett's dark world. This is another utterly brilliant album and timeless classic that will be coveted by any fan of the vintage Pink Floyd.
If this line-up had any further potential, then it was lost in the haze of the early 70's. Group 1850 played a lot of festivals, but didn't get another studio album out before 1974. Polyandri is another ace album and again almost totally changed. This was in reality a Peter Sjardin solo album recorded with his various friends. Now elements from progressive jazz-rock had flown in, most audibly on "Russian Gossip" and "Avant Les Pericles" (most beautiful!), with contributions from the well-known sax player Hans Dulfer. There are only vocals on three of the eleven tracks, if one ignores the crazy Russian gossip! With this brightened, freaky jazz-mood, Group 1850 suddenly sound similar to Daevid Allen's Gong. The live albums are looser and rather less professional in sound. They were recorded on Revox machines at various locations. For some reason they lack the exciting magic of the studio albums and often come up as quite dull. Live (1974) includes the 16-minute "Verandering - music for body and mind", recorded in 1969. This was the core of Sjardin's work with spellbinding sound effects, which would eventually result in a private solo release (about 200 copies were made).
|1||AGEMO'S TRIP TO MOTHER EARTH||1968 PHILIPS 844 083|
|2||PARADISE NOW||1969||DISCOFOON VD 7063|
|3||1850 LIVE||1974||ORANGE OP 1|
|5||LIVE ON TOUR||1975||RUBBER RR-18-52|
|S1||GROUP 1850 1967-1968||1993||MERCURY 518 487-2|
|A2||SJARDIN'S TERRIBLE SURPRISE LIVE 1981||1981||BLACK HOLE|
A folk group presumably focusing on Scottish influences.
|1||LIVE||1977||UNIVERSE OP 6|
A one-man project. Only 300 copies were pressed of the album, which contained very pleasant acoustic folk. Some tracks were longer than usual for this type of music. The album had a beautifully designed cover and a booklet was also enclosed.
|1||IN THE BALANCING OF NIGHT AND DAY||1970||GOLDFISH LP0001|
A boogie woogie, beat and blues keyboard-player who made serious albums that should appeal to fans of both the English and Dutch white blues revivals of the late sixties.
ALBUMS BY ROB HOEKE GROUP:
|1||BOOGIE WOOGIE||1964||PHILIPS 655 008|
|2||SAVE OUR SOUL||1967||PHILIPS 844 053 (D)|
|3||ROBBIE'S SALOON||1968||PHILIPS 855 084|
|4||CELSIUS 2328||1968||DECCA 232-8|
|5||BOOGIE AND SOUL (2LP)||1969||PHILIPS 4872BG 219|
|6||RACING THE BOOGIE||1970||PHILIPS|
|7||THAT'S BOOGIE WOOGIE||1970||FONTANA|
Their album contained quiet and moody acoustic folk songs, most of which were original compositions by the group. Interlude made another album in 1982 named Dunskey Castle.
They were one of the better known Dutch folk groups, fronted by the female vocalist Inez Timmer. Their approach was rather serious - on their first album one side was occupied by a song cycle based on the heroic legend about Gudrun from the 14th Century. Their music reminds me of the German band Ougenweide, although Irolt wrote their own music instead of adapting traditional tunes. Those interested in linguistic subjects may want to delve into all Irolt albums, as their lyrics were in Frisian (a language related mostiy to Dutch, but also to archaic English). Their albums are well-crafted, classical and beautiful, though not sparkling or emotionally exciting.
|1A||DE GUDRUN SÊGE||1975||UNIVERSE|
|1B||DE GUDRUN SÊGE||1975||PHILIPS 6416 112|
|2||KATTEKWEA||1977||PHILIPS 6416 113|
|3||DE SMID VAN EARNEWÂLD||1979||PHILIPS/UNIVERSE|
|4||BUTER TSJERNE||1981||UNIVERSE DLS 89|
|6||WER SILLE WY US NEIWENJEN SETTE?||198?||UNIVERSE DLS 92|
|A1||JOIN THE DUCKS||1979||PHILIPS|
Iven played traditional folk with long spoken word sections between the five tracks. This is one of the rarest Stoof albums. It is underestimated due to the spoken parts but the music is reputed to be excellent. Willem Iven was helped by Gerard van Maasakkers and Jan Elbers.
|1||'K LIEJG VEUL||1978||STOOF MU 7451|
500 copies were pressed of their album, which contains music the French-English busker duo performed at various train stations et cetera in Europe.
|1||FROM THE ROAD||1976||PRIVATE PRESS|
The group played rough r&b and beat music comparable to The Kinks, The Pretty Things and the typical Pebbles garage rock sound.
|1||JAY JAYS||1966||PHILIPS 625 819|
Both the listed albums are very rare and eagerly hunted by hard-core collectors. Wild Blues was a typical blues boom record, heavily influenced by John Mayall (he was undoubtedly the revelator in question here!). Their second album, released more than ten years later, was only sold at gigs.
|1||WILD BLUES||1970||DECCA 6410 002|
|2||EMPTY ROAD||1981||PRIVATE PRESS|
Kayak followed on the heels of Genesis, aiming to play easily accessible progressive rock. Their leader Ton Scherpenzeel had the ability to write haunting tunes that sounded simple but weren't. The three albums up to 1975 are essential for all who enjoy easy-going, melodious progressive rock rather than the exceedingly complex brand of it. Kayak were among the leading exponents of the characteristic Dutch, keyboard-based progressive rock sound (in company with Focus, Trace and Ekseption).
|1||SEE SEE THE SUN||1973||EMI 5C056-24933|
|3||ROYAL BED BOUNCER||1975||EMI 5C064-25271|
|4||THE LAST ENCORE||1976||VERTIGO 6360 854|
|5||STARLIGHT DANCER||1977||VERTIGO 6360 856|
|S1||THE BEST OF||1978||EMI 5C050-25828|
|6||PHANTOM OF THE NIGHT||1978||VERTIGO 6413 507|
|7||PERISCOPE LIFE||1980||VERTIGO 6413 960|
|8||MERLIN||1981||VERTIGO 6399 115|
|9||EYEWITNESS||1982||VERTIGO 6399 312|
|1||SEE THE SUN||1973||HARVEST SHSP 4033|
|2||KAYAK||1974||HARVEST SHSP 4036|
|3||ROYAL BED BOUNCER||1975||HARVEST SHSP 4050|
|.||LE CARNAVAL DES ANIMAUX||1978||ARIOLA|
Unidentified Artist Productions (UAP) was the short-lived record label of "de Stichting Pop Promotie" (the pop promotion foundation) Four albums were released with pressings of 500 copies each in 1978-1979 and Circumvision was the first one. Kracq played a rich blend of musical styles, ranging from symphonic progressive rock to pop and spacey jazz.
Various formations of Lady Lake existed from 1972 to 1993. The only one to have vinyl output was the 1977 line-up listed above. They played polished symphonic progressive rock.
|1||NO PICTURES||1978||Q RECORDS|
A marginal case for inclusion. Their private pressing contained rock'n'roll tracks! Approach with caution!
|1||LONG TALL SALLY||1973||NORTHERN|
Their concept album dealt with Moses and other subjects from the Old Testament. The spoken and sung parts are directiy connected to the scripture. Musically this is in the tradition of Focus and Emerson, Lake & Palmer with high-flown instrumental passages (highlighting the organ of main composer Adri Vergeer) derived from classical music and (to a lesser extent) jazz-rock. This works most purposefully in the opening overture but is at odds with the surprisingly shallow pop attitude of the vocal parts. For this reason the album doesn't hang together in its entirety, even if certain instrumental parts are enjoyable. The album was recorded in Holland but only released in Germay on the legendary Brain label.
|1||THE STORY OF MOSES||1972||BRAIN 1013 (D)|
One of the best groups that came out of the Dutch blues-rock boom! The group was formed in 1967 by John Lagrand and Nicko Christiansen. The three first LPs of Livin' Blues are all classics of the genre, showcasing power and attitude similar to Groundhogs at their best (snotty vocals, powerful lead guitars and harmonica). Although inspired by American urban blues, Livin' Blues wrote a lot of original material.
Unfortunately, Rockin' At The Tweedmill and Ram Jam Josey weren't up to this standard, as the group attempted to play plain heavy rock. The last two albums show some improvement again, but lack the enthusiasm Livin' Blues had in their early years.
|1||HELL'S SESSION||1969||PHILIPS 6440 090|
|2||WANG DANG DOODLE||1970||PHILIPS 6440 6413 009|
|3||BAMBOOZLE||1972||PHILIPS 6413 024|
|4||ROCKIN' AT THE TWEEDMILL||1972||PHILIPS 6423 052|
|5||RAM JAM JOSEY||1973||ARIOLA 88525 XOT|
|6||LIVE 75||1975||ARIOLA 89243 XOT|
|7||BLUE BREEZE||1977||ARIOLA 28420 XOT|
A folk artist whose albums haven't come my way. The year of release is not known for two of these albums - Stoof rarely stated the year of issue on their releases.
|1||KOMT ER MERLIN||197?||STOOF MU 7441|
|2||VUR DE VIND||1980||STOOF MU 7461|
|3||UNDERWEGE||198?||STOOF MU 7481|
Their album is reputed to contain progressive rock.
|1||MACHINE||1970||DWARF PDLP 2002|
One of the little known groups that recorded for Stoof, Mangrove played acoustic folk music.
|1||ALS DE WIND WAAIT||1976||STOOF MU 7427|
Their album had a pressing of 600 copies and contained delicate symphonic rock in long tracks. It was among the better Dutch private pressings
This group made one of the best Dutch progressive folk albums in a poetical style similar to several British groups (Spirogyra, Fuchsia, Beatles) or even the first album by the German group Hoelderlin. What makes it so strong are the expressive vocals of Maarten Min, enchanting melodies, a reflective or sorrowful mood and good English lyrics. This is typified by tracks such as "Dawn Of An Old Man's Life" and "Lemoncake", although a few tracks are lighter in mood and more influenced by the folk-style of late 60's Beatles or Honeybus. An album that easily stands out of the crowd and therefore strongly recommended.
|1||MAYFLY||1973||ARIOLA 86 952|
They played sophisticated beat music comparable to The Zombies and The Kinks.
|1||MEGANIQUE||1968||DANKERS DL 1002|
Their album had a pressing of 500 copies and contained tasteful progressive rock with folk and classical influences. It contained only four long tracks in total. Some members later played in the group Lethe.
|1||DAYBREAK||1976||PRIVATE PRESS (TLP)|
Hailing from Tiel, this group became underground heroes in 1967 with their performances at Paradiso, Fantasio and Milky Way. In addition to their two singles, Mother Love was also one of the first real underground acts to release an album. 1968 saw a change of name into The Dream, who released the singles "The Dotking" in 1968 and "Rebellion" in 1969.
Material for an album (to be released on Pink Elephant) was recorded around 1970 but only one further single came out of the sessions at the time. Almost 25 years later, Pseudonym finally put it out (adding some singles). Most of the songs lacked conviction, although the 11-minute suite "The Netherlands" is quite entertaining (the lyrics in particular). The Dream came to an end in 1972.
|1||TAKE ONE||1967||HAVOC LHLP 3|
|2||THE DREAM ARCHIVES (1970)||1994||PSEUDONYM CDP 1014|
A beat-pop group mostly predating the era dealt with in this book. However, Wonderful Impressions (1967) captured the flower power movement at full bloom with its combination of cosy pop songs ("You're My Adee") and cautious ventures into the world of psychedelia ("Make It Legal" and "Green Chewing-Gum Machine"). This isn't far behind The Kinks, Skip Bifferty and Kaleidoscope.
|1||INTRODUCTION||1965||HAVOC HJH 2|
|2||THEIR OWN WAY||1966||HAVOC IHLP 2|
|3||WONDERFUL IMPRESSIONS||1967||HAVOC HALP021|
|?||TERUG IN DE TIJD||1973||NEGRAM|
|S2||SONGBOOK||1967||TEENBEAT APLP 101|
This large bunch with Bertus Borgers in charge made some very underrated albums. Mr. Albert Show (1971) is perhaps their best, a powerful collection of freaky, powerful jazz-rock tracks with psychedelic leanings. Their style was quite original, sometimes resembling a cross between early Collosseum and the German band Xhol with frenetic sax and fuzz-guitar riffing (also good use of organ, harmonica and electric piano). The male and female vocals are tough and full of dexterity. This is so well done that this music should have been heard by a much wider audience! Their first album is the greatest, although a high standard is maintained on consequent albums. Borgers also guested on several Golden Earring-albums (playing sax). In return, Rinus Gerritsen, Eelco Gelling and Cesar Zuiderwijk contributed to his solo album Demo '74, which also featured Robert Jan Stips from Supersister. Borgers and Stips later formed Sweet d'Buster.
|1||MR. ALBERT SHOW||1970||PHILIPS 6413 001|
|2||DUTCH TREAT||1971||RED BULLET PRBLP 3005|
|3||WARM MOTOR||1972||PHILIPS 6303 026|
In 1971, a lot of famous Dutch and British musicians came together in Amsterdam with a view to making a double album under the guidance of producers Ray Fenwick and Hans Vermeulen. Stylistically, the resulting album had an unusually wide range - embracing blues, folk, gospel, country, pop, rock'n'roll and even heavy rock. As a result, few people will enjoy all tracks (particularly not the half-serious medley of Elvis Presley's rock'n'roll hits) although some tracks are excellent. The best approach is to edit all your favourites on to a 40-minute tape or something.
|1||MUSICIANS' UNION BAND (2LP)||1971||POLYDOR 2675 009|
The group played folk-rock. Their songs had partly Dutch, partly English lyrics.
|1||GRANDE RANDONÉE||1980||PRIVATE PRESS|
Almost unknown among collectors, this was a duo playing quiet folk-rock with lyrics sung in Dutch.
This international underground association was centered around Barrie Webb (from Scotland) and Teun van der Slikke. They wrote friendly, rural hippie folk songs with strange lyrics, as illustrated by "I'll Just Sit Here And Dream". You may be able to detect a dim, drug-induced aura, vaguely reminiscent of Love's Forever Changes, although musically this is much more sparse. Amalgamation is indeed a very good album strong on haunting melodies and a delayed late sixties atmosphere.
|1||AMALGAMATION||1970||PINK ELEPHANT 877.001|
|2||PRODUCT OF PISCES AND CAPRICORN||1971||PINK ELEPHANT 877.006|
Their albums consisted of magnificent self-written folk tunes (with English lyrics) in the early 70's rural tradition. Both the male and female vocals are excellent and full of beauty and charm. Certainly among the best albums issued on the Stoof-label.
|1||FALLEN ASLEEP JUST LIKE PA...||1975||STOOF MU 7416|
|2||OPO 2||1977||STOOF MU 7435|
Their album is rumoured to contain typical mid-seventies jazz-rock. The bass player of Focus is rumoured to be involved.
|1||GARDEN OF PLEASURE||197?||TRIANGLE (B)|
After their formation in 1965 they soon became the top rhythm and blues group in Amsterdam, always competing to be the best in the country with Q65 from The Hague. The Outsiders weren't that rough, but still very effective with Wladimir 'Wally' Tax's instantly recognisable vocals (comparable to Bowie in his Lover Third years) and the scorching fuzz guitar of main composer Ronny Splinter. Half of their first album was recorded live and you can almost feel the heat and smell the sweat and smoke! This concludes in a hilarious frenzy on "Afraid Of The Dark". Many tracks are comparable to the Yardbirds 1965 style with harmonica, vocals and fast guitar breaks, but also grinding off the roughest edges of r&b. Tracks such as "Don't You Cry" and "Won't You Listen" really caught the essence of freakbeat. The Outsiders reached the Top 10 with the period piece "Summer Is Here" in 1967, which caused discussions about their future direction. Songbook was quickly issued and collected various singles tracks. Wally Tax also attempted a solo career besides his main group, sounding very much like a Scott Walker from the lowlands. Luckily The Outsiders decided to be adventurous and on CQ (meaning 'seek you") presented an explosion of psychedelia . Almost every track is a winner, ranging from the raucous "Misfit" and "The Man On The Dune" to other levels of consciousness on "Zsarrahh" (with balalaika, congas, flute and strange, partly spoken vocals and even Nick Mason-styled drum fills with echo-effects) and "CQ", a perverted successor of the surf instrumentals augmented by airwave noises and despairing screams of "do you receive me?". The guitar work is nothing short of superb throughout, going far over the top on "Doctor Doctor". This is without doubt one of the best ever Dutch albums! Sadly its commercial failure caused the demise of The Outsiders in the longer term, with Wally Tax attempting to keep going with Tax Free in 1970/71 but this eventually came to nothing.
|1||THE OUTSIDERS||1967||RELAX 30007|
|S1||SONGBOOK||1967||TEENBEAT APLP 102|
|2||CQ||1968||POLYDOR 236 803|
|A1||LOVE IN||1967||PHILIPS XPU 855 038|
|A2||TAX FREE||1971||POLYDOR 2425 056 (D)|
|A3||WALLY TAX||1974||ARIOLA 87.762|
Their album offers good folk-rock comparable to Deirdre or Pegasus.
|1||BONTEBRUG||1979||UNIVERSE DLS 30|
Instrumental progressive rock centered around guitars and inspired by King Crimson, Supersister and Soft Machine. Their album contains five long tracks. Reliable sources tell me it's one of the best private releases from The Netherlands! Curiously enough, this, their only album, was entitled III.
|A1||DO ZE FUNKIE WIZ ME||1979||PRIV. PRESS|
Their album was the only Dutch 'Swirl' Vertigo release and it fits in quite well on the label profile. This is melodious, progressive, mostly instrumental jazz-rock strong on melodic themes. Ruud Wouterson wrote all tracks, including the quite nice 19-minute title track. The abundance of keyboards, sax and flute are comparable to the British Canterbury-sound. Competition is stiff in this genre and Pantheon doesn't surpass many others. The album was produced by Tony Vos.
|1||ORION||1973||VERTIGO 6360 850|
Their only album consisted of what might be dubbed art rock - clever long tracks with relaxed, predominant vocals recalling Scott Walker or some nightclub jazz-crooner. These vocal parts are quite unusual, with sympathetic organ and electric piano receding into the background.
|1||DAYBREAK||1973||DELTA DF 9002|
Pegasus developed out of another folk-rock group named Deirdre. They played traditional ballads, dances, jigs and reels mainly from the British isles, apart from a Swedish dance and a version of Donovan's "Jabberwocky". This is well executed but too traditional in approach to warrant prolonged interest. The album was probably released in an attempt to secure live engagements at pubs and schools.
|1||PEGASUS||1979||UNIVERSE LS 12|
Only 500 individually numbered copies were made of their album, which offered a detailed outline of the session musicians but didn't even reveal the name of the two gentlemen known as Persephony (after all, this was "a 1979 unidentified artists production" according to the cover notes). To Those Who Loved Us contained 15 short songs with vocals in accented English occasionally supplemented by a couple of Dutch words! Most of these tracks were satirical electric folk-rock with a bit of cabaret music and jazzy saxophones and clarinets thrown in for good measure. Certainly an unusual and artistic album - always showcasing a strange sense of humour. It will probably appeal to fans of uncommon music.
|1||TO THOSE WHO LOVED US||1979||POLUMNIA UAP 001|
Their album is rumoured to contain folk-rock with strong psychedelic and progressive undertones, but record dealers aren't always very honest people...
Strictly speaking, this doesn't belong here, but as it is akin to similar releases that are heavily collectable, I've included it anyway. Pleasure is an experimental jazz combo, playing a wild brand of improvised music that evokes the spirit of Archie Shepp and even Sun Ra. Some sections sound comparable to Lol Coxhill at his most daring, making this a release that could appeal to admirers of his music. Its status as one of the rarest Dutch private pressings makes it unlikely that you'd be able to find it soon, though. (Marcel Koopman)
A power trio (guitar, bass & drums) playing rough hard rock.
|1||BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS||1979||UNIVERSE|
A group mostly playing traditional material (from Ireland).
|1||LARK IN THE MORNING||1977||UNIVERSE|
This outfit had a powerful sound that crossed Deep Purple with Jethro Tull. Opinions are strongly divided among collectors, regarding the quality of their music (my opinion is that the group is overshadowed by countless others). Several members later played folk-rock with Inez Timmer in Irolt.
|1||WEST ONE||1971||DECCA 6419 004|
|2||LIVE AT THE PARADISO||1972||UNIVERSE 107|
|3||CHILD IN TIME||1972||UNIVERSE 108|
They made a little known jazz-rock album in a style similar to Solution.
Along with The Outsiders, Q65 were the dirtiest and best rhythm and blues performers on the European continent. Jay Baar and Peter Fink had previously played in Leadbelly's Unlimited but accepted an offer from Willem Beiler and Joop Roelofs to create a new group in 1965.
Their first album Revolution (1966) was aptly titled, because this triumphant work equalled early Pretty Things or Brian Jones's aspirations for the early Rolling Stones. Q65 arguably even had a better vocalist than Brian May or Mick Jagger (at this stage) in Willem Bieler, screaming out his heartfelt blues on "I Got Nightmares" and "Summer Thoughts In A Field Of Weed". Some strong cover versions were also included, most notably the extended finale "Bring It On Home". Their arrangements were inventive for the period, already experimenting with harmonium and bulgarin alongside the fuzz guitar and crashing drums. Besides their five singles (reaching the Top 40) in 1966/67, Q65 also released their "Kjoe Blues" EP in 1967, it was the ultimate Dutch r&b tribute with striking versions of standards by Jimmy Reed, Chester Burnett, Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf. What happened at the end of 1967 was the destruction of a prosperous future when Willem Bieler was drafted into the army and Peter Vink got busted. The remaining members added Frank Verhoef for a new group named Circus and delved into psychedelia and confusion. They never got further than a promo single before disbanding, although much more was recorded.
As Q65 still had a recording contract with Decca, their producer Hans van Hemert compiled the album Revival in 1969. One side draws the best from previous singles and the EP, the other pieced together Circus-tracks and new material (with vocals by Jay Baar and Hans van Hemert). The mixture is confusing although the individual tracks are certainly strong, be it the weird "Sundance" (which sounds like a hippie freakout where people are dancing around on the studio console) recorded in 1968 or "Cry In The Night", possibly their ultimate r&b blast-off recorded in 1966. Indeed Q65 was revived in 1970 with the original line-up apart from Jay Baar (replaced by Beer Klaasse of Group 1850). Afghanistan (1970) headed towards tough hard rock in an attempt to regain their original energy level. The result was rather dark-hearted, being close to the mood Pretty Things created on their Parachute album. The ironically titled We're Gonna Make It (1971) contained their latest singles and a live track (not a good one). Both these albums have their moments but newcomers should certainly start elsewhere. Frank Nuyens left the band and recorded Rainman (1971) with Jay Baar and Piet Kuiters. This was a total departure from the usual Q65 style, a slightly disappointing album of rural folk-rock more related to -Tim Hardin (including a version of his "Don't Make Promises") and Stephen Stills than to raw garage rock. Meanwhile Q65 soldiered on with new vocalist John Frederikz (Bieler had left to form the short-lived group Dambuster), until giving up the ghost in 1974. They later reformed on several occasions but they never surpassed their material from the sixties.
|1||REVOLUTION||1966||DECCA QL 625 363|
|2||REVIVAL||1969||DECCA XBY 846 515|
|3||AFGHANISTAN||1970||NEGRAM NELP 075|
|4||WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT||1971||NEGRAM ELS 914|
|S1||GREATEST HITS||1972||DECCA 6454 409|
Reputedly a typical, good folk release on Stoof, but I have no further information.
|1||BRABANTSE FOLK||1975||STOOF MU 7444|
According to Marcel Koopman, their album contained fairly good beat music comparable to The Kinks.
|1||JUST FANCY||1967||PHILIPS 855 034 XPY|
This was the last release on UAP. It comprised low budget symphonic rock strongly inspired by Genesis. Saga's long tracks had nice mellotron and organ embellishments that might be attractive to several fans of the symphonic rock genre.
|1||TO WHOM IT CONCERNS||1979||UAP 4|
1,000 copies were made of their album, containing unimpressive bluesy hard-rock.
|1||DUTCH DISEASE||1978||IVORY TOWER|
Jan and Hans Vermeulen formed The Sandy Coast Skiffle Group way back in 1961. The name Sandy Coast was used by the listed quartet in 1964 and one year later their first single came out. Then-first album contained standard beat pop but From The Stereo Workshop was a minor masterpiece of reflective pop art - not "psychedelic" but it did contain well-written songs.
In 1969 Sandy Coast enjoyed their biggest single success with "Capital Punisher". This good fortune gave the group increased dreams of international success. A deal with Larry Page was signed and they set off to record an ambitious work inspired by the recent British rock operas (SF Sorrow and Tommy). Public reactions to Sandy Coast's Shipwreck (1969) were mixed. Even today collectors disagree about its musical merits. It's fair to say it was over-ambitious and variable in quality (although some parts are really good), as the group never mastered the writing of extended numbers.
|1||AND THEIR NAME IS||1966||MARBLE ARCH 202|
|2||FROM THE STEREO WORKSHOP||1969||RELAX 31.631|
An album of middle-of-the-road fusion that might interest the most ardent collectors of the genre.
In fact, this was Apartment One under a different name. Please refer to their entry.
|1||IN THE GRASS||1971||PINK ELEPHANT|
Shaffy came to fame in Amsterdam during the mid-sixties by staging a cabaret show under the name of "Shaffy Cantant", which became immensely popular within the city. The lyrics (in both English and Dutch) are poignant and inventive. His artful use of classical and baroque music, adapted to his narrative style, makes for uncomplicated but compelling listening for a wide audience.
The combination of charm and biting lyrics is pleasing to the ear. His next effort Ramses U contained the hit "Sammy" and was completely different. On this Shaffy tried to sound a Dutch equivalent of great French troubadours like Charles Aznavour in employing an immense orchestra and singing strongly emotional material, all with Dutch lyrics. The songs here range from majestic to dire - a very uneven effort, albeit one with passion and honesty. By now, Shaffy had become a well-known figure in the night-life of the city. He was always willing to elaborate on philosophical subjects and always taking the people he met at face value. Hanging out with Ramses became something of an attraction. His most well-known album among collectors is surely Sunset Sunkiss, a highly experimental project, reflecting the changing times and styles of the late sixties. Musicians from Focus and also some well-known Dutch jazz heroes improvise in an unstable, but at times highly engaging, backing for the spoken words of Shaffy. He ploughs his way through a long poetic text by Ad Femhout, surrounded by avalanches of electronic effects, snippets of musique trouvé and unclassifiable sonic devices. At times jazz takes over, at other times sheer chaos. Definitely an unusual record.
Shaffy returned to normal practice on Zonder Bagage, another orchestrated LP with concentrated emotional content, but in the end probably only interesting for people who understand Dutch. Musically it's much more mature than any of his previous output.
Dating his records can prove difficult, as no Dutch Philips pressings ever give a clue as to their year of release.
|1||SHAFFY CHANTANT||196?||PHILIPS 861 802 LCY|
|2||RAMSES II||196?||PHILIPS 844 012 PY|
|3||SUNSET SUNKISS||1968||PHILIPS 849 024 PY|
|4||ZONDER BAGAGE||19??||PHILIPS 6423 008|
A British folk-rock duo whose rare album was only released in the Netherlands and the USA.
|1||SHEPSTONE & DlBBENS||1973||PINK ELEPHANT|
Robby van Leeuwen formed Shocking Blue after he left The Motions at the beginning of 1967. Soon after Mariska Veres joined as their charismatic female vocalist, they had their first international million seller "Venus" in 1969. In the following years they had a number of other hits, including "Never Marry A Railroad Man", "Hello Darkness" and "Picking Tomatoes". As a result, a large amount of albums were released by Pink Elephant. Some of the albums were merely collections. Their first (before Veres joined) was a decent beat album continuing in the style of The Motions. Of the remaining albums, only Scorpio's Dance and, marginally, At Home contained interesting songs.
|2||AT HOME||1969||PINK ELEPHANT 888.001|
|3||SCORPIO'S DANCE||1970||PINK ELEPHANT 877.002|
|.||HELLO DARKNESS||1970||PINK ELEPHANT 888.007|
|.||SHOCKING BLUE||1970||PINK ELEPHANT 877.010|
|.||LIVE IN JAPAN||1971||PINK ELEPHANT 888.014|
|.||INK POT||1971||PINK ELEPHANT 877.018|
|.||ATTILA (2LP)||1972||PINK EL. 877.025/26|
|.||EVE AND THE APPLE||1972||POLYDOR 2310 260 (D)|
|.||DREAM ON DREAMER||1973||POLYDOR 2459 317|
|.||HAM||1973||PINK ELEPHANT 877.038|
|.||GOOD TIMES||1974||PINK ELEPHANT 877 069|
A folk-rock album similar to Christy Moore.
|1||SILVER SPEAR||1979||UNIVERSE UP-142|
They recorded an album in rather bad taste, crossing Bonzo Dog-like folly with country rock.
A jazz-rock group whose first two albums might be of interest to some collectors of this genre.
The title of their album was appropriate, as they played blues-rock with harmonica and guitars, partly backed by bass and drums. The band is reputed to be connected to Outsiders.
|1||FOLK AND BLUES||1968||POLYDOR|
Their album comprised quite good acoustic folk-rock with female vocals.
|1||SUNDOWN||1977||NEGRAM NK 213|
Supersister were among the most talented bands to come out of the Netherlands in this era. They combined elements from Soft Machine's Second (1969) and The Mothers Of Invention's Uncle Meat, but also added their very own wit and innovation.
Present From Nancy (1970) was a rather sparse but highly effective album, diplaying the characteristic Supersister-sound with treated organ, fuzz-bass, flute, vibes and complex rhythm patterns. Most of it was instrumental and related to the so-called Canterbury jazz-rock sound. Among the highlights were the mini-suite "Memories Are New", combining a rather dramatic song with the Ratledge-brand of jazz-rock in 11/8 time and a meditative finale with mellow flute. "Donna Nobis Pacem" delved into the realms of ambient music (which was not yet invented) with its distant organ.
To The Highest Bidder (1971) surpassed their debut with its richer melodic content and Robert Jan Stips' increased arsenal of keyboards (though never adding synthesizers or mellotrons). The 15-minute "Energy (Out Of Future)" is particularly effective, with its disrespectful classical rock pastiches and mock vocals.
Pudding En Gisteren (1972) is many people's favourite. A couple of shorter tracks recalled the nonchalant charm of Caravan and Kevin Ayers. "Judy Goes On Holidays" was another showcase for Stips's organ play and melodic instinct. The title track was a 20-minute ballet suite ending with a 50's do-wop parody! The idea of recording a concept album about Alexander the Great caused a split in the group, with van Geest and Vrolijk replaced by Charlie Mariano and Herman van Booyen. The resulting Iskander (1973) was a step in the direction of serious, complex instrumental jazz-rock (but still featuring some vocals). Although it was their most accomplished musical work, one missed the clever pastiches of old.
Supersister's final album Spiral Staircase (1974) went in the opposite direction, letting loose the crazy humour of the returned Sacha van Gest in an infinite amusement park of strange sound effects and stories with speeded-up voices and a rich variety of musical styles. Personally I think this is their best album. However, you will also need Superstars hine Vol. 1 to complete the picture with its inclusion of several magnificent singles-only tracks. Supersister never put a foot wrong and their entire output is brilliant, childish, witty, clever and inventive in equal parts. Fans should also check out the lesser known Belgian group Kandahar. Robert Jan Stips later made albums with Bertus Borgers, Golden Earring, Stars & Stips, Sweet d'Buster and Transister.
|1||PRESENT FROM NANCY||1970||POLYDOR 2419 061|
|2||TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER||1971||POLYDOR 2925 002|
|3||PUDDING EN GISTEREN||1972||POLYDOR 2925 007|
|4||ISKANDER||1973||POLYDOR 2925 021|
|S1||SUPERSTARSHINE||1973||POLYDOR 2419 030|
|5||SPIRAL STAIRCASE||1974||POLYDOR 2441 002|
|A1||NEVERGREENS||1976||POLYDOR 2925 041|
A one-man project. The album contained noisy, disjointed psychedelia. Imagine a Dutch freak attempting to overdo Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray" (with copious amounts of distorted electric guitar) and you'll catch the drift. This will drive some of you insane, but will also please the right ears, due to its avant-garde touches.
|1||ZEER OUDE KLANKEN EN HEEL NIEUWE GELUIDEN||1973||PRIVATE PRESS|
Sustain played symphonic progressive rock. Their debut album features nine tracks layered with guitar, organ and sax. The second album contains pop music and is of no relevance here.
|2||TIME FOR A CHANGE||1981||PRIVATE PRESS|
After Robert Jan Stips (ex-Supersister) had been a member of Golden Earring for two albums and several tours, he decided to leave and team up with Bertus Borgers (ex-Mr. Albert Show). They had already played together on Borgers' solo album and in Stars and Stips. Although Sweet d'Buster included highly competent musicians, their albums are not entirely convincing, comprising jazz-rock (mostly) in a state of decline.
|1||FIRST ALBUM||1976||ARIOLA 25177|
|3||GIGS||1978||ARIOLA 200 337|
|4||SHOT INTO THE BLUE||1979||ARIOLA 200 651|
Judging by the accent of the singers, Sycamore hail from Limburg, in the very South of the Netherlands. Although blessed with two female singers, not much is made of this advantage on the first LP. Most of it consists of traditional British folk music, played with a moderate amount of understanding, but with too little fire to convince. The few vocal ballads show promise, but unfortunately not much more than that. Another let-down is the very amateurish violin playing, as well as a few distracting intonations that are starkly out of key. The second album is a lot better, the arrangements being more refined and the playing beyond reproach. Still, the bulk of these British standard folk tunes are pleasant but unexceptional. The vocal ballads are sung with slightly more conviction and certainly with more confidence and therefore make for fragile but sympathetic listening. Yet these kind of records were made by the shiploads in Britain and usually of a much higher quality, which renders ventures like this a bit superfluous. The main criticism must be the fact that Sycamore did not create a sound of its own, but simply copied a style already faintly stale by 1976.
|1||ONE NIGHT WITH VENUS||1976||STOOF MU 7423|
|2||WHAT'S IN A SONG||1977||STOOF MU 7438|
This large family played traditional Flemish folk-ballads with sympathetic arrangements emphasizing acoustic stringed instruments and multi-voices. Quiet and relaxing music. An insert provided very detailed information about the tunes.
|1||LEERINGHE ENDE VERMAECK||1977||STOOF MU 7424|
They played pleasant progressive rock with a folky edge, comparable to Jethro Tull and Gravy Train. Some members later played in the group Paragon (they recorded an album in 1982 on Delta Records).
|1||NEW ACRES||1979||CROSSROAD 279109|
A marginal case for inclusion, this beat pop outfit was one of the few Dutch groups to gain some recognition in the rest of Europe prior to Shocking Blue, mainly due to their hit "My Belle Amie". Several of the members went on to form the slightly more interesting After Tea with Ray Fenwick.
|1||EMOTIONS||1966||DELTA DEL 512|
|2||JOIN THE TEE SET||1967||T-SET TELP 023|
|3||MY BELLE AMIE||1968||HANSA (D)|
|4||T-FIVE SET||1971||NEGRAM NELS 921|
|6||DO IT BABY||1975||NEGRAM|
|S1||SONGBOOK||1967||TEENBEAT APLP 103|
|S1||IN THE MORNING OF MY DAYS||1973||NEGRAM ELS 963|
Rock with progressive ingredients. No further information available at this time.
|1||THINK TANK||1972||PINK ELEPHANT|
(LINE-UP ON FIRST ALBUM)
"Thomas Flinter was a troubadour who lived in the middle ages. He never failed to be inventive and showed his own character as for his musical ideas". So read the liner notes on their first album. The group played symphonic rock with medieval influences. Some parts were comparable to Gryphon but on the whole Thomas Flinter were neither as good nor as original.
|1||THOMAS FLINTER||1978||MUNICH BM 150222|
|2||FOR A FUGITIVE||1982||BONI|
A short-lived group. Little Heroes (1972) included 10 slow, rural rock songs, influenced by the US West Coast sound and Neil Young. The album might be attractive to those who enjoy the songwriting tradition of the time. No glimpses of progressive rock, though.
|1||LITTLE HEROES||1971||CATFISH 5C056-24381|
Rick van der Linden had previously played with Ekseption. With his own project Trace, he continued Ekseption's approach of milking the old masters (Bach, Grieg and the like). While I have never warmed to this concept personally, others have. Trace were much better than Ekseption for two reasons: firstly they used more self-written material (by van der Linden and van Eik), and, secondly, their adaptations actually sound much more purposeful this time around. This is classical rock muzak with pianos, organs and synthesizers in the main roles. Some (like me) feel that Procol Harum transposed Bach to a new era seven years earlier to much greater effect. Others will enjoy the keyboard pyrotechnics, particularly fans of Focus and Keith Emerson. Both Trace albums make for nice background listening, though! You will note that I haven't used the term "progressive rock" in this entry!
|1||TRACE||1974||PHILIPS 6423 075|
|2||BIRDS||1975||PHILIPS 6413 080|
|3||THE WHITE LADIES||1976||RCA 21815|
|5||NIGHT OF DOOM||1978|
This was an attempt by Robert Jan Stips (ex-Supersister) to make intelligent modern music that was easily accessible. It merged rock'n'roll, disco, avant-garde and progressive rock. His lyrics were as usual witty and full of small stories about the common man. Needless to say, Transister failed to attract the record buyers with this compromise.
|1||ZIG ZAG||1979||ARIOLA 201 163-320|
Symphonic progressive rock.
|1||CRIME OF PASSION||1980||ARIOLA|
Their albums were close to mainstream rock but in case you wondered, I've listed them!
|2||VITESSE II||1977||NEGRAM 37181|
|3||OUT OF THE COUNTRY||1978||EMI 26013|
|4||ROCK INVADER||1979||NEGRAM 26378|
|6||GOOD NEWS||1981||RCA 30086|
|S1||VITESSE||1979||UNITED ARTISTS UAS 30250|
This was new-age-like symphonic progressive music with female vocals.
This guy released a really weird and possibly drug-induced album. About half of it was busker folk in the Dylan direction, though the rest was eerie psychedelia with trance like organ tones and backwards tapes spread over a few long tracks. A highly original album recommended to fans of this genre.
|1||WHITE ROOM WITH DISINTEGRATING WALLS||1970||FLAME FLP 1|
A Christian group that formed in the mid-seventies. Their album contained a mixture of blues-rock and symphonic rock ballads. The album was only released in the UK on the Grapevine label.
Their rare album is rumoured to contain progressive rock similar to Titus Groan.
A folk group who played largely traditional material.
|1||MET STILLE TROM||1976||UNIVERSE|
Ron Westerbeek had previously played with Sandy Coast and John Lagrand with Livin' Blues. Water broke away from these beat and blues influences, instead opting for a lush symphonic sound similar to Yes and Genesis. Some tracks featured quite an original interplay between harmonica, slide guitar and string synthesizer. Apart from that, the albums contained just what you would expect of this genre.
|1||THE SECOND DAY||1975||VERTIGO 6410 081|
|2||DAMBURST||1976||VERTIGO 9286 575|
A short-lived studio formation, who recorded one album with Philips' staff producer Tony Vos. Hardly a "progressive" effort, the album contained folk-tinged underground rock songs (occasionally hinting at psychedelia). Most of them were written by Paul Andriaansens but it also included an 8-minute version of Donovan's "Season Of The Witch" (containing laid-back Hammond organ, an interesting, electronically manipulated electric guitar solo and soprano sax in the style of Jan Garbarek). The album has an underlying novelty touch.
|1||WAVE||1972||PHILIPS 6413 029|
A Christian folk-rock group who released their album on Grapevine, an English label specialising in such music. Some people rave about Whitsuntide Easter's album, which has been described by some as the Dutch Carol Of Harvest. Both groups at least had long tracks and beautiful female vocals in common.
|1||NEXT TIME YOU PLAY A WRONG NOTE... ...MAKE IT A SHORT ONE||1977||GRAPEVINE (UK)|
Their privately released album (recorded on a 4-track deck and supplemented by a drum machine) contained instrumental music, mainly funky jazz-rock with a hint of psychedelia.
Something of an enigma in the collector's circles, this quartet had 100 copies of The House At Windy Corner printed on the British Deroy label (known for releases by Complex). Their ambitious and intricate long instrumental passages remind me of the British underground group Sindelfingen (their Triangle) and the more understated and meditative improv-isations of the San Francisco-bands Mad River (first album) and Grateful Dead (1968-70). Windy Corner's home recordings were generally quite strange and highly rewarding for those seriously into the "more intellectual" underground sound. 56 minutes of unissued two-track recordings from 1970 to 1976 were recently issued.
|1||THE HOUSE AT WINDY CORNER||1973||DEROY (UK)|
|2||LOST GARDEN (1970-76)||1998||BUCKLY|
Wolverei made an album containing nice treatments of traditional Flemish folk. The arrangements are varied with frequent use of more exotic instruments, such as hurdy gurdy and psaltery. Their approach was quiet and beautiful rather than vivid. Certainly a useful album for those into folk music.
|1||WOLVEREI||1978||STOOF MU 7445|
Woorden were responsible for one of the true underground artifacts from the Dutch psychedelic scene. Under the leadership of Hans Wesseling, Woorden expose you to all the surrealistic visions, illusions and delusions of the flower-power generation through experimental soundscapes, weird poems, female sung hippie folk songs and loose jazz/blues jamming. This strangely potent and expressive music is pure art to those who have the ability to understand it. No commercial dross in sight, this is heartfelt, pure psychedelia attempting to lift you up to the 13th floor. The album also had psychedelic cover art to match the music.
Wesseling also guested on Group 1850's first album, reciting his "Mother Earth" poem for a frightening spiritual climax.
A pure hippie group which became quite famous in their home country when their version of "Aquarius" was included on their first album Hair (1969). This is a true period piece with lyrics full of usual hippie cliches.
Quite a different bunch of freaks came together two years later to record Again. The sounds of the sixties had now completely vanished, being replaced by half-parodic ventures into nostalgic jazz and rock'n'roll sounding much like a stoned version of Bonzo Dog Band. The album is not consistent throughout but has its moments, though rarely musical ones!
The group also released a total of 10 singles between 1966 and 1973.
|1||HAIR||1969||PHILIPS 855 821 XPY|
|2||AGAIN||1971||ARIOLA 86 756|
A little known quartet from Groningen whose album contained long, melodic progressive rock tracks (featuring guitars, organ and mellotron) comparable to the group Argent. The abstract cover art is arguably more impressive than their music, though a medley of interwoven Beatles songs really shines. Bert Veldkamp later became a member of Kayak.
|1||ZOO MUSIC||1973||CNR CNR 541645|
|.||BEAT MET EEN ZACHTE||1967||RELAX|
|.||BLUES IN AMSTERDAM||1966||CNR|
|.||FCU '69||1969||PRIVATE PRESS|
|.||FCU 1970||1970||PRIVATE PRESS|
|.||OUTSIDERS OR INSIDERS||1968||CNR GA5501|
|.||PEBBLES VOL. 15||1984||AIP 10018|
|.||PEBBLES VOL. 18||1985||AIP 10033|
|.||PEBBLES VOL. 23||1988||AIP 10040|
|.||PEBBLES VOL. 25||1988||AIP 10042|
|.||WATERPIPES & DYKES||1998||WATERPIPE|