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Period : November 19-27, 2000
In this issue : Kloot Per W, Kim'Kay, Beverly Jo Scott, TC Matic, Arno, Blue Blot, Belpop, Jacques Brel, Guy Swinnen, Tom Helsen, Milk Inc., Mozaïek.

November 27, 2000

With each year's first sign of cold weather, record companies start displaying unusual amount of activity on the release-front to bring you and me, will-less customers, stuff to put under our X-mas trees. This yearly phenomenon has also been called "The Best Of" or "Compilation". Except for "1" by an unknown band called "The Beatles", much of the compilations this year are of Belgian origin:

Kloot Per W comes in a box this season, and the full title of it is "Moon, A casette anthology 1979-1986". It features 47 songs on 3 CD's from the meandering brain and able hands of Kloot Per W, in a neat cardboard box, with a handpainted little work of art of the artist himself.
All songs date back from the time when he was experimenting with a thing that hard-disk-recording, Protools and have made very easy to do today: to be your own composer, musician, producer, publisher, record company ànd distributor at the same time, or in short DIY-music. The medium in those days was the K7 (or audio-tape, if you prefer), the mood experimental, the creativity unlimited, the styles diverse (from reggae to noise to electro to rawk. Different from all the "Best of's" below, is also that much work has gone into a extensive booklet, with an extensive bio written by Jan Hautekiet and explanations on the how and when of all the songs, obscure as some may be.
Don't look for it in the shops (yet), but order it via the personal website of Kloot Per W himself, where you can also catch up on the latest contributions to his Ramones-tribute, which is now scheduled to appear on CD as well, somewher in the beginning of next year.

The reason for a compilation at this stage of the career is a little bit unclear, as Kim 'Kay has only released one album and a string of singles as of yet, but nonetheless, there it is : Kim 'Kay "The Hits", and it features 12 good-humoured dance-songs, mostly new versions of well-known french originals : the Serge Gainsbourg songs "Les Sucettes" & "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", the Plastic Bertrand songs "ça plane pour moi" (her latest single) and "Hula Hop", or even the Lio song "Le banana split", as well as the hits written by her producer's team, such as "Oui oh Oui", "La Dah Li Danse" and "Lilali".
As an extra, there are four remixes on the album of the same songs.
Out on II, EMI. Buy it at .

Beverly Jo Scott, the American bluesrockmama with a base in Brussels, is seriously concentrating on the French market these days, with an extensive tour that takes her from North to South and back. During the Christmas Holidays, she'll be briefly hopping over to another continent, to perform on a tour in Sénégal.
As an extra, there's now a compilation for the French market entitled "Selective Passion 1990-2000". It features songs from the CD's Honey & Hurricanes (such as "C'est extra", "Crazy Lazy") and Mudcakes (such as "Magalie", "She's Your Woman"). There are a number of unreleased tracks as well, such as a new version of "O'Desire" and "Heavenly Lover" and a few live tracks ("Cockeliquot", "take me home").
The Cd is released on the label Visuel.

TC Matic, the scorching rock-outfit of Arno & Jean-Marie Aerts and friends in the early eighties, was compiled on "Compil Complèt". EMI has release a double compilation CD of the band, which features all the "hits", but is even more interesting by the impressive number of "unreleased" tracks. Almost all the tracks come with a "live in Sweden", "demo version", "Insider remix", "alternate take" or "never released on CD before"-label.
Meanwhile, Arno also has a compilation of the impressive array of song that he has penned together and performed after the TC Matic period, resulting in a truly impeccable collection of 20 songs entitled "Le Best Of". Strange exceptions "Putain Putain" (from the TC Matic album Choco) and "Ils ont Changé ma chanson" (a new duet with Stephan Eicher of the Melanie song). Other interesting extra's include "Les Yeux de ma mère" in a chilling live piano version and "Jean Baltazaar", the duet he did with Beverly Jo Scott in 1998, mixing a Dutronc and Bowie song.
A must for Arno fans is certainly the news that TMF has recorded a private concert, in the Jet Studio's in Brussels, where Arno sings songs from this "Best Of". They will air the concert on December 17 (although this date may change, as we've learned from earlier TMF-experiences).
Buy Arno's "Le Best Of", or TC Matic's "Compil Complèt" at .

Quite close to the subject of this website, and even to name most people use to refer to my website (the belpop-archive), is a compilaiton by that same TMF with nothing but Belgian songs from the nineties.
No unreleased track on this one. The tracklist does not feature any surprises but doesn't feature many flaws either: dEUS - Sister Dew / Moondog Jr. - Tv Song / Novastar - Wrong / Axelle Red - Dejame Ser Mujer / Noordkaap - Een Heel Klein Beetje Oorlog / K's Choice - Not An Addict / Gorki - Lieve Kleine Piranha / De Mens - Irene / Arid - Too Late Tonight / Laïs - 't Smidje / Evil Superstars - Sad, Sad Planet / Zita Swoon - Disco / Praga Khan - Breakfast In Vegas / Hooverphonic - Mad About You / El Fish - Strange Situation / Soapstone - Why Should We Wait / Scabs - Hard Times / An Pierlé - Mud Stories.
Buy "belpop" at .

Last (as far as I'm aware of), but certainly not least is the news that there's also at long last a Blue Blot compilation on the market. The collection "Blunk, the Best of Blue Blot" features songs from the entire career of the band, even including some songs of the solo album Luke Walter Jr. recorded after his short recovery from his struggle with leukemia in 1996. The CD is a cooperation between RCA and BMG.
Buy "Blunk" at .

November 20, 2000

France Brel, the daughter of the legendary Belgian singer Jacques Brel and the keeper of the estate with the "Fondation Jacques Brel", has yet again caused some bad blood by her strict policy on the legacy of her father.
This time, the conflict is with a French publishing company, Mango Jeunesse, who were trying to put a book together in their series "Albums Dada". In this series, they put an artist (Serge Gainsbourg, Charles Trenet, Brassens) in confrontation with illustrations (Natali, Gérara Mathie, Sophie Dutertre). For the Brel-book, they wanted to confront drawings of Tony Soulié with 19 songs of the late singer. When France Brel saw the drawings, however, she refused the authorisation to publish the lyrics. This fell bad with the publishing company who issued a statement they thought "Madame Brel has a certain power, but we want the power that is ours: the freedom of speech to put in evidence that art is free". So, Mango has gone ahead with the plans for the book, and has used the originally planned illustrations in conjunction with texts of admirers of and witnesses to the life of Brel, such as Jean Guidoni, Juliette Gréco, Marc Robine, Magid (of Zebda) or Jean-François Bernardini (of the Corsican formation I Muvrini). The book "Brel Interdit" will be presented on November 30 in Brussels, with a debate on "Brel and the liberty of expression".

Sic transeat gloria mundi. Yes, Guy Swinnen, longtime one of the strongholds of everything that was rock in this country with the fabulous Scabs, no longer has a record contract. After the split of the Scabs in 1996, Guy recorded a solo-album "Hazy" in 1997, which was released on the PIAS-label (also Das Pop, Soulwax, Thou), which couldn't quite live up to the sales of the Scabs-period. There were advanced plans for a second album but these kept on being postponed and postponed, until now the reason has come in the clear: Guy no longer has a record deal with PIAS.
There's also some good news to report, as Guy Swinnen is now planning on releasing a low-budget, solo-acoustic cd, which he would publish all by himself, and which would be sold at gigs. To test the ground of the demand for such a CD, you can "sign in" on this page of his unofficial website.

This Thursday, November 23, Hooverphonic is beginning the European leg of their "Magnificent Tree" tour, after a rather succesful tour in the States with BT and no less than three marriages in Las Vegas (see footage of this weird ceremony at the site of Surf-Inn with Stijn Meuris - who has left the building for Woestijnvis by now - as the reporter). The tour is not completely defined yet, but gigs in Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Greece are already certain. In Belgium, the initial three gigs that were planned (28/nov in ghent, and 29+30/nov in Brussels) are sold out completely, but there are now two extra gigs scheduled : on December 5 at Hof Ter Lo in Borgerhout, and on December 6 at le centre Culturel in Liège.
Today, it was announced that Tom Helsen, the singer with the great album "Tom is doing Great" under his belt, has been asked to open for Hooverphonic during this tour (a second Universal/Sony teaming, with Novastar/K's Choice already touring Europe together at the moment). Abroad, Tom Helsen will be doing solo-gigs, for the gigs in Belgium and Holland he'll be able to bring his band with him.

November 19, 2000

Release-mania over here. I'm having a hard time to keep up with all the Belgian records hitting the shops in November. So expect a lot more message like these two in the next days:

The pop/dance band Milk Inc., with their new singer Linda Mertens as the replacement for the foxy An Vervoort, are well on the way of repeating their hit-success in Belgium with our neighbours in the North. The single "Walk on Water" has been sitting on the verge of being n°1 in the Dutch singles charts for a number of weeks now.
In Belgium, the single "Land of the Living" , is already scoring equally well in the charts and now has a videoclip shot at exotic locations. To top it all off, there's now also a full-CD (the second of Milk Inc.), featuring 13 songs, also entitled "Land of the Living".
Another recent deed by Regi Pinxten (who writes the Milk Inc. songs together with Filip Vandueren), the song "Will U Take Me" with vocals by the former Spandau Ballet singer Tony Hadley, meanwhile seems to have a harder time climbing up the charts.
Buy Milk Inc "Land of the Living" at.

While the "Big Brother"-single "Leef" (the theme of Big Brother, as sung for the Flemish edition by Walter Grootaers and the flemish popband Mozaïek) is topping about every available chart here in Belgium - over 70,000 copies sold already! - Mozaïek have released a full-cd with the same name.
The cd was presented last Tuesday by the duo Stef Nys & Kristof Lazure, and is Mozaïek's second, after "Geef Kleur" of two years ago, containing their first hit "Wat zie ik je graag". Producer for this second album has become Hans Francken (keyboardplayer of Clouseau, the previous was done by Marc Vanhie, formerly of The Bet). It contains 15 tracks, of which the Big Brother-tune is one. To make it even more appealing to the buyer, they've also included a new version of "Wat zie ik je graag".

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