mf] or [mg]
TDATS 61 is a Collection of Belgian bands. Firstly I must thank the invaluable resource at www.belgianmetalhistory.be which assisted this fine collection, along with suggestions from members of the TDATS fb group. I shall take a quote from the afore-mentioned 'Belgian Metal History' site: "Being in a band wasn’t (isn’t?) mostly an easy thing to do over here. Those who managed to release something on vinyl had often made a lot of sacrifices to chase/reach that goal."
It would appear, as it has done for most of the regional comps I've made, that this was the case for all countries except the UK and America. The most obvious comparison I can make to this volume is the French one I made a few months back, and I would say that this one's sound has a lot less of it's country's individuality stamped upon it, for a start every track is sung in English. This of course could be partly explained by my own taste and selection process, as I have read that Belgium had very strong jazz And progressive rock scenes (the saxophone was invented in Belgium).
We start with Brussel's Waterloo, named after the site of Napoleon's final defeat in 1815, the band was also defeated after this debut album and made no more. They had a very confident proto-prog sound with strong hammond organ. Waterloo leads us nicely to the next track; who's Bass-player Jean-Paul Janssens and drummer Jacky Mauer had been members of the Brussels-based blues-rock power trio Adam's Recital, and here is their only release, the great fuzzy psych of "There's No Place For Lonely People". Aalst's Irish Coffee (see also vol8) started out as a covers band called The Voodoos who cut their teeth with a residency at a dance hall called “El Gringo” in Hekelgem. Brussels' Carriage Company had their first recognition as a very early example of Belgian hard rock band with this b-side "In Your Room". Unfortunately they courted success by becoming less heavy later on and broke up before an album was released. On to Jenghiz Khan which included Pierre Rapsat (bass guitar/vocalist) who started out in a band which also appears later, Liege's "Tenderfoot Kids". Jenghiz Khan's only album came out of the traps sounding extremely confident, with complex multi-instrument arrangements that featured equal amounts of heavy organs and guitar.
Vacation, from Charleroi, were a heavy blues power-trio who's self-financed 1971 LP “Resurrection Of Vacation” was made with tapes from a Belgian national radio (RTB) broadcast, the tracks are very raw but convey their energetic live reputation. Tenderfoot Kids, from Liege, released a string of singles in the 70s before bass player Pierre Rapsat went on to join Jenghiz Khan, mostly pop styles, they had a few rockers too, like this b-side from their final single 'Choo-choo'. Brussels band Kleptomania (meaning: "an irresistible urge to steal items of trivial value") were another example of very early Belgian hard rock, Dany Lademacher's guitar skills being especially prominent in their sound, but alas they too softened their sound later and their only album release was posthumous in 1979, three years after breaking up. From the town of Ath, Dragon stand out in this comp as purveyors of a more polished sounding later-70s sound, changing their name from Burning Light in 1976 at the point of recording their first album, in the UK. They were all multi instrumentalists and delighted in long, considered progressive Floydish compositions like "Crystal Ball" included here.
There is little information on Georgia Brown, but it's some great power-chorded heavy fuzz like The Snap Shots, and we move on to Esperanto. Raymond Vincent was Violinist leader of the London-based Belgian pop group 'Wallace Collection' and embarked on a harder-rocking career after WC split. He played for a short period with Dany Lademacher and Roger Wollaert (who had both left Kleptomania), then with Waterloo's Dirk Bogaert. He used his solo album 'Metronomics' to demo his orchestral-rock inclinations which helped him eventually to get together with like-minded musicians and make three unique sounding albums between 73 and 75, 'On Down The Road' is the first track from the 73 debut 'Rock Orchestra'. Brussel's Doctor Downtrip (later just 'Downtrip'), previously appearing on vol46, made three albums between 73 and 79. In 1970 They gained the guitarist from another Brussels band, Michael Heslop of Burning plague, and all their albums displayed pedestrian blues numbers with flashes of hard rock brilliance, but unfortunately not really enough to credit their instrumental talents. 'Truck Driver' from their 2nd album "If You Don't Rock Now" (1976) is some relentless grinding Southern-rock.
Antwerp's 'Mothers of Track' peddled a Status Quo-style boogie rock with nice grunty guitar, albeit 5 years behind the times, and finished in 1980 when half the band split to form heavy metal band, 'Killer'. I found the 'Creative Craniums' track on a funk rock comp called "Sherm Sticks And Other Nasty Joints" (highly recommended) and there is next to no information available on this one-single band. The comp ends with Mustang, a band who's roots go back to 1966 but did not release an album until 1976's “Born And Still Alive”, while being great energetic hard rock, it was a few years behind the times, though they did build up a following over those years and played their last show on October 21st, 1995 at the Parochiezaal in Rijkevorsel.
01. Waterloo - Lonesome Road (1970)
from album "first battle"
02. Adam's Recital - There's No Place For Lonely People (1967)
03. Irish Coffee - Masterpiece / Down Down Down (1971)
from album "irish coffee"
04. The Snap Shots - Hip Hip Hurray (1969)
05. Carriage Company - In Your Room (1970)
06. Jenghiz Khan - The Moderate (1971)
from album "well cut"
07. Vacation - No War Any More (1971)
from album "resurrection of vacation"
08. Tenderfoot Kids - Man In Black (1970)
09. Mothers of Track - Motorcycle Rock (1976)
10. Kleptomania - Moonchild (1971)
from album "elephants lost"
11. Dragon - Crystal Ball (1976)
from album "dragon"
12. Georgia Brown - Pollution (1973)
13. Esperanto - On Down The Road (1973)
from album "rock orchestra"
14. Doctor Downtrip (aka Downtrip) - Truck Driver (1976)
from album "if you don't rock now"
15. Creative Craniums - C.C.K.54 (1973)
16. Mustang - Kickin' In Blind Doors (1976)
from album "born and still alive"
Thanks for listening! Rich