OK, if you've ever entertained the idea of exploring the phenomenon that was Dutch rock n' roll in the mid-sixties, here's your chance to do it in one fell swoop.Just dive right in--because what we have here is a 5-CD box set of music recorded in the Netherlands between 1963 and 1969.
Maybe you've heard wonderful things over the years about such legendary Dutch bands as The Outsiders, Q65, and Cuby & the Blizzards, but for one reason or another never got around to getting your hands on any of their records. Well, not to worry--those bands are all represented here, as are many other more obscure bands, and even the few Dutch bands that actually had big hits in America (The Shocking Blue, The George Baker Selection, The Tee Set).
Each CD contains exactly 25 songs, with the fifth CD being devoted to rarities, so what i'll do is talk about each CD one at a time, and pick my favorite songs from each.
CD#1 highlights include 'Send Me a Postcard' by The Shocking Blue, which to me is one of the two best songs the group ever recorded (along with 'Love Buzz' --- which is sadly missing from this box set), 'Na Na Na' by The Shoes (this band was quite a happy revelation for me, as the only band i'd ever heard of before called the shoes was the American power-pop band---so this Dutch Shoes completely took me by surprise--they have four songs on this set--all KILLER!), The Dukes' version of 'Friday on My Mind' which I think is even better than the original. It has a more menacing sound, and the singer sounds genuinely ticked-off and fed up, which is lacking in the original.
CD#2 highlights include 'Ridin' on the L&N' by The Bintangs, which contains some Jethro Tull-like flute! (one of two songs on CD#2 which has flute!!--the other being the song 'Dark Rose' by Brainbox), the snarling 'Cry in the Night' by Q65, and the awesome 'In Your Life' by The Tower, who are unfortunately only represented by this one song.
CD#3 highlights include 'In My House' by the Golden Earrings (who later dropped the 's' from their name and had a big hit in the U.S. with 'Radar Love' in the '70s and another with 'Twilight Zone' in the '80s!
'Everything (That's Mine)' by the Motions, who were THE mod band of Holland and had as their guitarist, songwriter, and effective leader Robbie van Leeuween, who later held a similar position in The Shocking Blue. The Motions were the only Dutch band at the time that was truly capturing the style and energy of the British mod groups.
CD#4 highlights include the bluesy 'Oh Baby Please' by Rob Hoeke and the driving yet wistful 'From Above' by Q65.
CD#5 is the 'rarities' cd, and as is often the case with rarities, the quality isn't always there (just because it's rare doesn't mean it's good!).
Highlights on this one include a great cover of The Rokes' song 'Let's Live for Today' by The Skope. For reasons unknown to me, they changed the lyrics and retitled the song 'Be Mine Again'. The Falcons do a really good version of 'Louie, Louie' and last but not least, James Mean does a song called 'Seeing Her' which rolls along in a very pleasing way and features incredible vocals.