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After the split-up of the group "Jo Lemaire & Flouze" and the split-up with her husband Philippe Depireux, Jo Lemaire traveled to new paths in her love life and in her musical career. Again, both coincided.


"Parfum de rêve"
39,0 sec. - 77 Kb.
song : Lemaire, Vanham.
Produced : J-M. Aerts.
Year : 1983.
Record co.: Vertigo

"Le mémoire en exil"
42,6 sec. - 84 Kb.
song : Fa Vanham, Jo Lemaire
Year : 1983.
Record co.: Vertigo

30,6 sec. - 60 Kb.
song : Vanham, Lemaire
Produced : J-M Aerts.
Year : 1984.
Record co.: Vertigo

"La nuit te ressemble"
32,4 sec. - 64 Kb.
song : T. Linder, R. Debouvier, J. Lemaire
Produced : R. Verlooven
Year : 1990.
Record co.: WEA

"Façonne moi"
34,9 sec. - 69 Kb.
song : Ph. Amar, J. Falissard
Produced : B. Brault.
Year : 1992.
Record co.: WEA


She left Wallonia in 1982 and came to the tiny town of Bilzen in Limburg, where she locked herself up with her new boyfriend Fa Vanham, someone who boasted that no day passes without him writing a complete song.


A few months later, both came to the outside world, with under their arm not a baby, but a brilliant record, which would soon be released under the name "Concorde". With a French- and an English-sung side, this record is - in your webmaster's opinion - the best record ever released by a Belgian artist. With a dozen of really good songs, centered around the mature voice and poignant lyrics of Jo Lemaire, the record got a triumphant reception in the press. The public on both sides of the language barrier in Belgium also welcomes her and makes Concorde gold.

Another record with Fa Vanham, the titleless "Jo Lemaire" and also produced by Jean-Marie Aerts (see TC Matic, JMX, ...) , follows one year later. It is again of great quality, but surprises less.


The third album, "Stand Up", however, turns out to be a disaster. This story is narrated in "Wit-lof from Belgium" : "Stand up" certainly wasn't an ordinary album. After years with Phonogram Belgium, she got a contract from Polygram International and loads of logistical and financial support. The British producer John Brand (Aztec Camera, The Waterboys) did the production. Some millions and a lot of bruised noses (Fa Vanham is a very choleric figure) later the thing turned out to be a disaster. "The demo's were OK", Jo recalls. "Brand is a very good producer, but he didn't know our music. Maybe he had been given orders to make the sound very commercial, I don't know. It certainly wasn't what we had been expecting. There have been numerous fights, but I still think too many compromises were made".

From then on, the career of Jo Lemaire has followed a steady path, without big ups or downs. Her music leans more towards French chanson (e.g. "La nuit te ressemble", "Façonne moi" ...) then to full-blooded rock (like e.g. "Stand up"). As is pointed out in Oor's popencyclopedia "with all the topsongs which were release by Jo after "Concorde", you could easily compile another masterpiece".

Jo Lemaire goes on tour on numerous occasions and can count on a faithful group of followers in Belgium, Holland, Germany and France. She participates in the "Transmusicales de Rennes", the "Printemps de Bourges" and the tour "Rock en France". She also gets a foothold in Canada, where she participates in the summer festival of Quebec, and thus builds herself a solid reputation as a live performer.


In 1994 she records an album in Liverpool, surprisingly enough entitled "Liverpool", with English soul-singer Carmel ("Sally", "Every little bit", "More more more" ...) as producer and co-singer. Together they sing "Complainte pour Sainte Cathérine", an old folk song by Kate & Anne McCarrigle.

In 1996 she tours the theater halls of  Belgium and the neighbouring countries with the show "Tranches de vie" (slices of life). With the songs she tries out in these more intimate environment she records the CD "Jour et nuit". Next year, she can celebrate her twentieth anniversary as a singer.

In 1998 she performed in the musical "Brel Blues", a tribute in honor of the Belgian singer Jacques Brel. During the year, she recorded an new album, strangely enough in Dutch. "Enkelvoud" consisted of translations of her best known songs in a translation by Flemish musicians (e.g. Wigbert) and writers (e.g. Geert van Istendael).

In 1999, Jo Lemaire landed in the arms of the legendary Parisian singer Edith Piaf. Together with pianist Michel Biscegila, she adapted the songs of "la môme". This became a very successful concert series and also landed on a CD "Une Vie" (a concert she gave on May 8th at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels). There also was a television-documentary on the Piaf Project that contains images and sounds from the concert, as well as an impression of a voyage from Jo to Paris in search of the Piaf legacy (she visits the birthplace, le Bar Bidou, le Moulin Rouge ... and meets people who worked with Piaf such as her orchestrator Michel Rivegauche and the manager of l'Olympia).


In 2001, Jo crept out of the skin of Edith Piaf, and re-took off where she left it in 1997, or as she announced in her bio as : "Done with the ‘fin de siècle’ feeling, now she goes into a joyful and optimistic swing, à la française". With the help of producer Frank Duchêne (ex-Hooverphonic, and producer for such diverse acts as Groove Cartel, Gorki, Kolk ...), and songsmiths Michel Bisceglia (see Kris de Bruyne) and Ronny Mosuse (see The Radio's) she recorded the album "Flagrants Délices". Preceded by the single "La saison des amours", this album contained two types of songs: on the one hand acoustic french popsongs, and on the other hand some big band tunes. On the tour that followed this CD in september 2001, she was also backed up by a big band (not so big, in fact, just the musicians from the Piaf-tour with some extra brass and two backing vocalists) - with a scenic setting by Kurt Van Eeghem. The repertoire included a few remakes of her own songs, a few covers, and of course the songs from the new CD.

Buy CD's of this band at proxis

Albums :
- Concorde (Vertigo - 1983)
- Jo Lemaire (Vertigo - 1984)
- Stand up (Mercury - 1987)
- Duelle (WEA - 1990)
- Aujourd'hui (WEA - 1992)
- Liverpool (WEA - 1994)
- Jour et nuit (WEA - 1997)
- Enkelvoud (WEA - 1998)
- Une Vie (Universal - 1999)
- Tranches de vie (WEA - 1996)

Websites :
- Introduction to the theater-tour of 1997 by het Nieuwsblad (Dutch)
- Buy Jo Lemaire's music at Frontstage.
- Interview with Jo after the release of "Jour et Nuit" (Dutch).
- Jo Lemaire Homepage at the Concertband Hever (Dutch)
- Presentation of the musical "Brel Blues" (Dutch)

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Jo Lemaire
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Jo Lemaire


Jo Lemaire

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Dirk Houbrechts stopped working at The Belgian Pop & Rock Archives (you can read his personal statement here). The website is now entrusted to the Flanders Music Centre ( Contact:

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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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