At two stages in his career, Jan De Wilde came to the forefront :
In 1970-1972, when he released a couple of interesting folk-tinted singles
"Ik kan het, Ma" (I can do it, Mom), "Joke" and "Een
vrolijk lentelied" (a cheerful spring song). This last song also became a
hit in the version by the folk-band Rum. Some of these songs
caused quite a scandal within conservative Flemish ranks, with lyric-lines such
as "The Fallus Impudicus is blooming already". Dewilde replied it was
a form of humor named "sarcasm" he was using.
At this time, he also cooperated to the debut album of his friend Kris de Bruyne,
and helped to launch the musical career of comedian Urbanus,
of whom he has produced 3 albums.
In 1988-1992, when he suddenly came out of his lethargy (on instigation of
Urbanus) and released two very well received albums.
"De Bende van Jan de Lichte" (with songs as "Zussen", "Anneke
Weemaes") was released in 1988 and introduced Wigbert
van Lierde to general public.
In 1990 he produced a beautiful album called "Hé Hé" in Holland.
The album was produced by Henny Vrienten (ex Doe Maar) and was backed up by a
group of Dutch musicians (Fay Lovski, Henny Vrienten, Jan Pijnenburg and even
the legendary Boudewijn De Groot).
With songs as "Pik het en slik het" (a John Prine-cover), "Naakte
man" (a Randy Newman-cover), "De eerste sneeuw" and "De fanfare
van honger en dorst" (both compositions by his soulmate Lieven
Tavernier), some re-recordings of older songs ("Walter, Ballade van een
goudvis" and "Een vrolijk lentelied") and a few inventive and funny
new songs of his own ("Golden retriever", "Hé, hé"), this
surely is the best material he ever released.
After that he toured the country extensively, also with the classic ensemble Prima
Of Jan De Wilde it has been said "would he not have been plagued by his
legendary laziness, his small, simple mosaics would surely have appealed a larger
audience." In 1976 Paul Van Mosselvelde wrote in his book "Het chanson
in Vlaanderen" : "With Jan De Wilde, a new type of Flemish singer
appeared : the smiling, eye-winking beard-and-pipe-artist had to make way for
a timid, head-scratching figure. ... For him, this bizarre way of being was not
a consequence of his incompetence or foolishness, but because of his fundamental
shyness and uncertainty." Moreover, he has told repeatedly that he is
quite happy with his lack of success : "I've always found that a comfortable
position to be in", he once told, "With Raymond,
Willem Vermandere or Urbanus, I've seen that success
is more often a burden than something to enjoy. Perhaps they can handle that,
but I can't."
In 2000, Jan de Wilde rose back to the surface with a sudden blurt of activity:
the man was monopolising the media in the beginning of November, with an appearance
in about every Radio1 and VRT-programme available. But with good reason, because
more than 10 years after the release of his latest and most succesful studio album
Hé Hé, he had finally put together a bunch of new songs which
EMI is releasing as "Oude Maan"
The man who has always defended the "right to being lazy", has chosen
11 simple songs, 3 of which written by others ("Wij houden stand"
was written by Luc De Vos of Gorki, "Pauvre Ruteboeuf"
was a originally a french song, in a translation by writer Johan Daisne). Raymond
van het Groenewoud joined the singer on two songs, and the album was produced
by Jo Bogaert (yes, the Technotronic guy).
A second activity was the news that he has compiled a book with (a selection of
the) lyrics from his entire career. It's entitled "Niks aan dan vel"
(nothin on but skin) and is published by Houtekiet.
Buy CD's of this band at
- ZZrroo (Philips, 1970)
- Vogelzang 5 (Philips, 1972)
- Knikkerterrorist (Philips, 1974)
- PVBA Koekejoe en Cie (Philips, 1980)
- De Bende van Jan De Wilde (EMI, 1988)
- Hé hé (EMI, 1990)
- Jan De Wilde & Prima La Musica (EMI, 1992)
- Oude Maan (EMI, 2000) Compilations :
- Portret (Philips, 1980)
- Het beste van Jan De Wilde (Philips, 1991) Singles :
- Ik kan het, Ma (Philips, 1970)
- Joke (Philips, 1970)
- Een vrolijk lentelied / Voor de rest (Philips, 1972)
- Pillen en poeders (EMI, 1977)
- Ballade in lange A / Abadje (DK, 1979)
- Zussen / Bij het gebulder (EMI, 1987)
- Anneke Weemaes (EMI, 1987)
- Poolijskap + Prima La Musica (EMI, 1992)
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