Belgian singers with an Alarm disc

Belgian singers with an Alarm disc
Belgian singers with an Alarm disc
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Angel Face by Oscar and The Wolf, the solo project of Belgian singer Max Colombie, is this week’s Alarm disc on Qmusic. That is quite special, because it is the first time since 1980 that the Alarm Disc has gone to a Belgian singer. Well-known compatriots such as Stromae, Milow and Metejoor have never received that honor. Which Belgian singers? We list them below.

1. Sharif Dean – Do You Love Me?

We start with the biggest hit of 1973. It came from Belgium and was sung by a singer. Although Sharif Dean probably never had a Belgian passport, the originally North African singer – who grew up in Paris – had lived in Belgium for a few years before his breakthrough with Do You Love Me? He studied philosophy and literature in Brussels. Remarkably, Sharif did not score a number 1 hit in his own country. Do You Love Me? ended in third place in the then BRT Top 30. He scored a hit in Belgium with successor No More Troubles, while he remained a one-hit wonder in the Netherlands. Sharif died in Algeria in 2019 at the age of 71.

2. Ricky Gordon – Such A Night

After Do You Love Me? In 1974 the second Belgian Alarm disc went to Such A Night by Ricky Gordon. Eric De Clerck from Bruges is behind this name. In the early 1970s he had success with Flemish hits and, like most of his contemporaries, he had adopted an English-sounding stage name. After his songs Heimwee Naar Jou and Morgen became modest hits in the BRT Top 30, he switched to the English-language rock ‘n’ roll repertoire. Such A Night was a cover of the song of the same name by The Drifters, which later became a hit in England and America in performances by Johnnie Ray and Elvis Presley. In the summer of 1974, Ricky’s cover reached 4th place in the BRT Top 30 and in the autumn the single reached number 5 in our country. After a few more modest hits in Belgium and a participation in the German preliminary round for the Eurovision Song Contest, Ricky disappeared. into oblivion.

3. Art Sullivan – Et Si Tu Pars (with Kiki)

Art Sullivan was born in Brussels in 1950 as Marc Liénart. He is distantly related to the Belgian Queen Mathilde. In the early 1970s he broke through with French-language repertoire in Belgium and France. His songs Ensemble and Adieu, Sois Heureuse reached the BRT Top 30. After a few years without hits, his producer Jack Verdonck came up with the idea to pair Art with the Dutch singer Kiki, who had scored a Dutch top 10 hit in 1976 with Patrick, Mon Cheri. Together, Art and Kiki made a new, bilingual version of Art’s single Et Si Tu Pars from 1976, in which Kiki responds in Dutch to every line sung by Art with her sultry voice. The song caught on and became a hit in both the Netherlands and Flanders. Et Si Tu Pars reached number 6 in the BRT Top 30 and number 13 in the Dutch Top 40. After this bilingual adventure, Art Sullivan continued his career as a solo singer until he died of pancreatic cancer on December 27, 2019.

4. Raymond Van Het Groenewoud & The Centimeters – J’veux De L’amour

Only once has the Alarm Disk gone to a Belgian singer who sings in Dutch. That happened in 1980 with J’veux De L’amour by Raymond Van Het Groenewoud, which, despite the title, has almost entirely Dutch lyrics. He had already released a few albums in the 1970s, but his final breakthrough only came after Pinkpop, where he made a big impression with J’veux De L’amour. Only after this performance did he make his debut in the BRT Top 30 and in the Dutch Top 40. In his own country J’veux De L’amour reached 10th place and with us he reached number 18. Raymond is the only singer from this list that scored even more hits after his Alarm disc. Moreover, those hits kept getting bigger. Chachacha reached number 13 in 1981 and Liefde Voor Muziek even became a number 1 hit in 1991.

5. Ruth McKenny and Banny Bright Orchestra – Rocking In The Street

Rudy Van Laer was born in Lier in 1954. In the 1970s, the left-handed Rudy became bassist for The Banny Bright Orchestra. Not much later he was also put forward as a singer. The group was then called the Ruth McKenny and Banny Bright Orchestra. In early October 1978, the group made its debut in the BRT Top 30 with the rock ‘n’ roll song Rocking In The Street. In the Netherlands, Ruth McKenny owed his breakthrough to the television program Rock Planet, in which the Tros Top 50 was broadcast. In the October 28 episode, Ruth McKenny and Banny Bright Orchestra were guests in the program as the house orchestra. During presenter Ferry Maat’s talks, the company played their single Rocking In The Street in the background. The Dutch public was enthusiastic about the song and it became a hit here too. In the Dutch Top 40 the song reached 15th place and in the BRT Top 30 it even rose to number 3 after all the Dutch attention. Ruth then scored 9 more hits in his own country, but with us he remained a one-hit wonder.

6. Oscar and The Wolf – Angel Face

Oscar And The Wolf may seem more like the name of a band, but it is in fact a solo project of the Flemish singer Max Colombie, who was born in Jette in 1991. As a 14-year-old boy, he finished second in the Belgian preliminary round for the 2005 Junior Eurovision Song Contest. From 2010 he has performed under the name Oscar And The Wolf. This name refers to the two entities that hide within him, where Oscar represents the light and the day and The Wolf represents the darkness and the night. Between 2014 and 2022, Oscar And The Wolf already scored 15 hits in the Flemish Ultratop 50, with the World Cup single Warrior as the highlight. That song topped the list for two weeks at the end of 2022. In that song he sang about overcoming mental problems. In recent days, many fans have been concerned about Max’s mental health after he cleared out his entire Instagram and homepage and posted videos of himself partying and drinking wildly without much explanation. Last Thursday he was a guest in the VTM News together with his mother. There he explained that the videos were from a year or two ago and that his dark thoughts had caused him to fall into alcohol and drug abuse. He wants to make these issues open for discussion, so that people dealing with the same problems are more likely to seek help. Max also reflects on this difficult period in his comeback song Angel Face, which is the Alarm disc on Qmusic this week.

(02/02/2024)

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Belgian singers Alarm disc

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