Produced : dirk Blanchart
Year : 1998
Record Co : Oorwoud / Via
Inventive Belgian singer-songwriter. Always on the brink of making it big-time.
Never breaking through.
In the early eighties, dirk Blanchart was part of the groups Once More, which
later went on in the quite popular Luna Twist. He
started a solo career immediately after this group split up in 1984.
His real name is Dirk Blanchaert, which he anglifies to dirk Blanchart in the
impression this would make it easier to get accepted in the States and England.
Unfortunately, he never got that far.
He made his debut as a solo-artist with three impressive singles "I don't
mind ..", "Drop me in the city" and "Cockpit" as openers
for the exciting album "Europe Blue", full of melodic pop of international
An international break never happens though, because his British record company
Statik goes broke and legal obligations forbid him to produce any new material
for several years. In these years he becomes a producer for other - mostly Belgian
- bands, among which Elisa Waut, Kloot
Per W, Ivan's Land, Blanc de Blanc etc....
He has a soft, almost crooning voice, which contrasted nicely with new-wave
influences in his music in the early eighties. His voice, however, isn't his strongest
asset : a song like "Fool yourself forever" in a version by Paul Young
would have been a worldwide hit.
His most successful album so far is Mama Luba of 1990-91, a very consistent
and well-written album on which he performs with a backing group called the Groove
Quartet, consisting of Patrick Riguelle (see Riguelle
& Hautekiet, Kadril ...), Piet van den Heuvel
and Michke Vanhoutem. This backing seem to have managed to cheer the always gloomful
Dirk up a bit during the sessions, because it is his most positive and danceable
record thus far.
As Humo wrote in a review of his "Best of"-album in 1993 : "That
Dirk Blanchart has managed to build something like a career in music, is a miracle
in itself. That Blanchart hasn't produced one single record which was less than
good in all his career (18 years since his first paid concert, 10 from the start
of his solo career) is unique not only by Belgian standards ... The arrangements
to all these songs are the legacy of Blanchart : layered, inventive and in spite
of tight budgets very luxurious productions like Thomas Dolby and Prefab Sprout
make them for hundred times the price ..."
In 1998, dirk surprises many by taking a new turn : he has decided to record
an album in Dutch. In the announcement before his gig at Nekka, he said : "I've
been walking around with the idea of a record in Dutch for some time now. Since
I wrote some songs in dutch for others, such as Clouseau,
I've noticed that I can do it. I always found that I couldn't mould it to my liking,
but now that I'm a bit older, I think differently about it. Still, I've asked
some help of others, such as Bart Peeters & Hugo
Still "Schietstoel" (ejector seat) didn't become an obvious "translated
Best of". Apart from interesting covers (ELO, Lou Reed, Zjef
Vanuytsel) en adaptations beyond recognition of older material, there are
also some new songs on the cd (e.g. "Loftrompet" - about rockjournalists
- and "Balalaïka - about Flemish singers). The record was hailed in
the press as a "courageous move", because strangely enough this is perhaps
his least commercial album to date.
Buy CD's of this band at
- Europe Blue (Megadisc - 1985)
- About the rain (BMG Ariola - 1989)
- Mama Luba (BMG Ariola - 1991)
- Blow (EMI - 1992)
- Mindsurfin' (EMI - 1995)
- Schietstoel (Oorwoud / Via - 1998) Compilations :
- the Best of Blanchart (EMI - 1993) Singles & 12'': - Don't mind if the Sputnik lands / Dead pan (Statik, 1984)
- Drop me in the city / Cancer (Statik, 1984)
- Cockpit / The King Groove (Statik, 1984)
- Fool yourself forever / Babylon (Statik, 1985)
- It's only love that you fear / Cockpit (Megadisc, 1986)
- Drive my car / The Garbage Man (Megadisc, 1987)
- Railway Tracks / Love Life (Ariola, 1988)
- Talkin' bout the rain / Isn't it Love (Ariola, 1989)
- Magical Moon / Railway Boat (Ariola, 1989)
- Nothing but the Riddem / Love Life part II (Ariola, 1989)
- No regrets / We got to believe (Ariola, 1990)
- A wholelotoflove / Lolita (Ariola, 1991)
- Balalaïka (VIA, 1998)
- Ik krijg je maar niet uit mijn hoofd (VIA, 1998)
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