Limousine


Band members                         Related acts

  line up 1 (1975-76)

- Okkie Huysdens -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Mac Sell -- guitars

- Paul Vink -- keyboards 

- Ton op 't Hof --  drums, percussion

  line up 1 (1976-78)

- Jan Bliek -- percussion

- Mac Sell -- guitars

- Paul Vink -- keyboards 

- Wim de Vries -- vocals, bass (replaced Okkie Huysdens)

- Ton op 't Hof --  drums, percussion

 

- Attraction and Train (Ton op 't Hof)

- Bruno Basta (Mac Sell)

- Fab (Okkie Huysdens)

- Flashback (Okkie Huysdens)

- Geo (Mac Sell, Paul Vink, and Ton op 't Hof)

- Health Band (Paul Vink)

- Heart (Okkie Huysdens, Mac Sell, and Ton op 't Hof)

- Himalaya ( (Okkie Huysdens)

- Livin' Blues (Paul Vink)

- Love and Devotion (Wim de Vries)

- Machine (Jan Bliek and Paul Vink)

- Mayflower (Wim de Vries)

- Megas (Okkie Huysdens)

- Hank Peterson & Four Stranger (Okkie Huysdens)

- The President (Okkie Huysdens)

- Red Sky Scraper (Ton op 't Hof)

- Rockin Jesters (Okkie Huysdens)

- Sandy Coast (Ton op 't Hof)

- Spitfire (Okkie Huysdens)

- Stars On 45 ( (Okkie Huysdens)

- Swinging Soul Machine (Mac Sell and Paul Vink)

- Xanda (Ton op 't Hof)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Limousine

Company: Pye

Catalog: 12140
Year: 1976

Country/State: Rotterdam, Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; UK pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6289

Price: $15.00

 

This short-lived Dutch outfit featured the talents of journeymen players Okkie Huysdens, Mac Sell, Paul Vink, and Ton op 't Hof.   Each of the four (particularly Huysdens), had an extensive background playing in Dutch bands.  Huysdens, Sell, and t' Hof had previously backed up singer Patrician Paay in the band Heart (not the US band featuring the Wilson sisters).  Vink's discography included stints with Livin' Blues, Swinging Soul Machine (along with Sell) and Machine.

 

As Limousine (not to be confused with a similarly named US band), in 1975 the group scored a contract with Ariola (Pye acquiring UK distribution rights) debuting with the single:

 

 

 

- 'Seventy Five' b/w 'Streetwalker Adventures' (Ariola catalog number 16079 AT)

 

The single did well in Holland and Germany, leading Ariola to finance an album.  Produced by Martin Dulser, the cleverly titled "Limousine" was one of those mid-1970s albums that never had a chance.  It wasn't that Huysdens and company lacked talent.  They were all quite talented players, capable of writing decent pop and rock material and to be honest I've always been fascinated by Huysdens' voice.  From a technical standpoint he was definitely an acquired taste with a narrow, snarling, brittle, and heavily accented voice ...  imagine a Dutch Joe Walsh and you'd be in the right aural neighborhood.  Regardless, his performances were always interesting.   The downside was that as a band they simply didn't have a great deal of originality and sounded like they were collectively torn between trying to carve out an audience as a dance outfit ('Holy Spirit' and 'Daddy Grandpa'), or hanging on to a more rock oriented personality.  In the end they seem to have decided to split the difference with the result being that they lost any semblance of a unique identity.  They'd clearly been listening to lots of dance groups (hum, was that a touch of Boney M ?), as well as English and US rock bands and it was kind of fun to play spot-the-influences, but if you were looking for some cutting edge moves, this wasn't the place to invest your time.  

 

- Kicked along by some bubbly moog and some slashing guitar, 'America' was a surprisingly commercial slice of AOR.  The lyric was a bit rough in places (not that I would do any better writing in Dutch), but the overall result struck me a bit like a nice Mott the Hoople effort, or maybe Supertramp actually trying to rock out.   The track also included one of the subtler voice box guitar solos I've heard.   Nice way to start the album, though the song ended a bit unexpectedly.   rating; **** stars

- With Huysdens seemingly doing his best to shred his already limited voice, 'Goodbye And Thank You' was a pretty, but largely forgettable AOR ballad - think of something John Waite and the Babys might have recorded.  Ariola tapped it as the album's third 45.   rating: ** stars

- The goofy title and accompanying lyric was lost to my American ears, but 'The Impossible Story Of Henry Tricot ' offered up a highly commercial slice of pop-rock.  With a very catchy melody, one of Huysdens best vocals, and some nice harmony vocals from the rest of the band, this one had considerable radio potential.  Very high hum quotient.   rating: *** stars

- Hum, Dutch rockers decide to get funky ...   yeah I'm using the term loosely.  'Holy Spirit' was funky, but in the same way you might say a band like Wild Cherry was funky.   Nice bass work from Huysdens.  rating: ** stars

- 'I Got A Friend For Life ' was a formulaic and thoroughly anonymous AOR rocker.  Thirty seconds after it was over I'd be hard pressed to remember one redeeming quality ...  okay I remembered Vink's barrelhouse piano.  rating: ** stars

- Tapped as the album's second single, 'Don't Let Love Bring You Down' was another horn-powered, disco-tinged effort.  Personally I'm not a big fan on the genes ...  this one actually reminded me a bit of a Dutch version of K.C. and the Sunshine Band.   No, that's not a good thing.   rating: ** stars

- 'Why' was another plodding ballad.   The only thing this one had going for it was an instrumental section where Huysdens got to showcase a bit of his guitar skills.   rating: ** stars

- Opening up with an extended instrumental segment, 'Hey Mama' found the band returning to a dance groove, but this time around kept things in check with a catchy pop edge.   rating: *** stars

- The album's leadoff single, 'Daddy Grandpa' was a synthesizer-powered number that tried to find a niche between dance track and more conventional rock.  At least to my ears the results were nearly unlistenable with a distinctive European flavor ...   No way you were going to mistake this for a UK or US band.     rating: ** stars

 

The album was also tapped for a series of singles in the form of:

 

- 1975's 'Daddy Grandpa' b/w 'She's a Bit of Allright' (Ariola catalog number AT 16386)
- 1976's 'Don't Let Love Bring You Down' b/w 'It's So Hard To See' (Ariola catalog number AT 16815)

- 1976's 'Goodbye and Thank You' b/w 'Hey Mama' (Ariola catalog number AT 17032)

"Limousine" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) America 

2.) Goodbye And Thank You 

3.) The Impossible Story Of Henry Tricot 

4.) Holy Spirit 

5.) I Got A Friend For Life 

 

(side 2)
1.) 
Don't Let Love Bring You Down 

2.) Why 

3.) Hey Mama (instrumental)

4.) Daddy Grandpa

 

Shortly after the album was released Huysdens quit.  He was replaced by former Machine percussionist Jan Bliek and ex-Mayflower singer/bassist Wim de Vries.  The revamped band stuck together for another two years, recording one final non-LP single before calling it quits in 1978.  

 

  

- 1977's 'Fancy Dancer' b/w 'She's a High Time Baby' (Ariola catalog number AT 17808)

 

At that point de Vries joined Love and Devotion.

 

Sell, Vink, and op 't Hof formed Geo.

 

Hyusdens turned his attention to production work earning quite a bit of attention as part of Stars On 45 and as part of the band The President.  

 

 


 

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