Born in Mol in 1945, Zjef Vanuytsel started singing and composing as a student
at the Sint-Lucas School for Architecture in Brussels. This was around the year
1966. From then on, he slowly gathered attention, until he made his record debut
in 1970. Together with a new generation of Flemish artists (Kris
de Bruyne, Jan De Wilde, Rum,
Raymond van het Groenewoud, Johan
Verminnen), he came to the forefront.
The album "De Zotte Morgen" (The foolish morning) is still considered
to be one of the finest Dutch-sung albums of all time, a real classic with songs
as "De zotte morgen", "Houten kop" (wooden head - the term
used for a hangover over here), "Ik weet wel mijn lief" (I know my darling)
and the joyful hit "Hop Marlène" (Go Marlene). It sold over 100.000
copies (platinum status), an impressive number for a record with simple and direct
All through the seventies, he continued to record and to play live with a backing
group. He released three more albums in this decade, with songs on it like "De
massa" (the masses), "Tussen Antwerpen en Rotterdam" (Between Antwerp
and Rotterdam), "Mijn beste vriendin" (My best girlfriend).
In the eighties, the market for Dutch-sung music was getting smaller and smaller
(as a new generation had taken over control in the Belpop-years). After one last
record in 1983 ("Tederheid" - Tenderness), he finally decided to call
it a day and devote his life to his first love : architecture. On this farewell
: "I quitted in 1985 because I had always wanted to do my job as an architect.
You can't wait till you're 50 to do that. And when I was still singing, I always
had the feeling I couldn't do that 'till I was 60. However, if you look at Clapton
and Joe Cocker ... they're still doing well."
Zjef Vanuytsel takes to the stage on some occasions though. In 1998, he did
a series of shows for Vlaanderen-Europa 2002 (a project of the Flemish regional
government around July 11th, the regional holiday). He insisted this is not a
"comeback" to Het Nieuwsblad : "I like living in the anonymity.
I've had my share of success in my life. I just want something to remain of the
songs I wrote back then. 'Cause if you do nothing, chances are that history will
forget you altogether".
The singer has some plans to write a few songs and put them on an album with
a selection of his earlier works.
Buy CD's of this band at
- De Zotte Morgen (Philips, 1970 - LP)
- Er is geen weg terug (Philips, 1973 - LP)
- De zanger (Philips, 1976 - LP)
- De Stilte van het land (Philips, 1978 - LP)
- Tederheid (Philips, 1983 - LP)
- Portret (Philips, 1981 - Dubbel LP)
- Het Beste van Zjef Vanuytsel (Philips, 1989 - CD)
Watch it : This site pays royalties, and was built and maintained in
accordance with the terms and conditions negotiated with SABAM,
the Belgian society of copyright-holders. Consultation of this site is free, but
this exludes downloading, reproducing or public performance of any part of this
site. Please do not copy. Link!