Debuted strongly with sharp & intelligent lyrics and a potent sound and
singles like "Dit is mijn huis" (This is my house), "Irene"
and "Jeroen Brouwers schrijft een boek" (Jeroen Brouwers writes a book)
on the self-titled debut album.
Or as Humo (the magazine for which he had been working) wrote later : "In
1992 Frank Vander linden held his door open for the first time with "Dit
is mijn huis". Luckily enough it didn't turn out to be a farmhouse, but exiting
dutch-language rock like very few was/is produced in Flanders."
After a second album, things get a little bit more quiet around the group,
although "Zij zit daar en ik zit hier" (she sits over there, and I sit
over here) and "Nederland" (Netherlands) are strong and well-written
FvdL goes on a solo tour with the name : "Solo bij u thuis" (solo
in your home), an intimate and acoustic set in the smallest clubs and pubs. An
album is made of this tour, which uncovers yet another brilliant single : "Patti
Blues" with FvdL going beserk on his harmonica.
1996 sees the release of "Wil je beroemd zijn ?" (Ya wanna be famous?)
but apart from the hit-single "Sheryl Crow I need you so", the album
lacks direction. Or as critic Jacky Huys said "too much ram-bam songs
with ram-bam guitars and ram-bam lyrics." Still, two of these "ram-bam
song" are the biggest crowdlifters at De Mens gigs : "En in Gent"
At the end of February 1998, a new single was released : "Val niet
in liefde 1", a new version of the song that was already included on
"De Mens Deluxe", the compilation album of 1998, closing the "Play
that beat!" period.. According to Frank Vander linden, the remix contains
more "twiets and pluffs", a characteristic that supposedly
would make the song more radio-friendly. "Twiets and pluffs.",
said The Mix "According to our sources, De Mens desperately needs a good
and long holiday".
Also in 1998, Vander linden was active "voice-coaching" and mixing
the record of Nemo. Drummer Dirk Jans even became so desperate
he joined de Kreuners to play the drums for them on
their reunion tour. De Mens also has changed record companies (leaving Play That
Beat! to concentrate on the new Isabelle A and Get Ready's of this world) to big
independent Play it Again Sam (PIAS).
In 1999 the new record of De Mens "Sex verandert alles" (sex
changes everything) hit the shops : according to the record firm, the cd is "the
best De Mens has ever produced", with not only firm rocking songs such
as the first single "Het Einde van de Eeuw",
but also the triphop-ish "Sex verandert alles"
, or the "John Spencer Blues Explosion"-like "Mijn Bloem".
In 2000 Vander Linden went on tour with Jan Leyers
(with whom he also shares a passion for the trade of "songwriter" by
doing songs for eg Clouseau or Laïs
(Vergeten Straat), In March 2000, De Mens did a contribution to the "Glittering
2000" project, on which belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock
era, by doing a version of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me?".
This meant that in 2001, the batteries were full for a new De Mens album again.
First up was the single "Ergens onderweg"
(somewhere on the road) in February, the precursor to the full-CD "Liefde"
(love). This was a rather varied album, with song ranging from the Nirvana-like
"Moddersmoel" or "Ze komt, ze komt, ze komt",
to folky and sensitive songs such as "Kruimeldief", "Winterlief"....
The album was announced as "No Big Story to tell this time. "Liefde"
was not recorded in Los Angeles, but just in Brussels. Not in a high-tech barn
or former whorehouse, but just in the best studio of Belgium: ICP. There is nó
story, except that of the songs. And the story of three gentlemen that - knowing
theirselves as persons - are also musically ever closer to each other."
Guest appearances on the cd came from Tine Reymer (of Flowers
for Breakfast, who sung a duet "Denk je nog aan mij" - do you still
think of me) and Steven de Bruyn (of El Fish).
"Denk Je Nog aan Mij"
was released as the 2nd single in May, and there was even a videoclip shot for
it (a Mens-première) in a home for old people. Both of these guest also
appeared on stage with De Mens during their most important gigs of the year :
the cd-presentation in the AB Club in February and on the main stage of Werchter
- Frank Vander linden (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
- Michel Decoster (bass, vocals)
- Frank Saenen / Thor De Boos / Joost Van den Broeck / Dirk Jans (drums)
occasionally : Frank Zaman / Jean Blaute / Paul Despieghelaere (guitar)
Buy CD's of this band at
- De Mens (Play that Beat! - 1992 )
- Ik wil meer (Play that Beat! - 1994)
- Frank Vander Linden solo bij u thuis (Play that Beat! - 1995)
- Wil je beroemd zijn ? (Play that Beat! - 1996)
- Sex verandert alles (PIAS, 1999)
- Liefde (PIAS, 2001) Compilations :
- De Mens Deluxe (Play that Beat! - 1997)
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