The New Inspiration


Band members                         Related acts

  line up 1 (1966-69)

- Danny Sinclair -- lead vocals

- Eddy Vanderlinden -- guitar

- Daniel Provo -- lead guitar

- Gilbert Remue -- bass

- Yves De Vriendt-- lead guitar

 

  line up 2 (1969)

- Danny Sinclair -- lead vocals

- Eddy Vanderlinden -- guitar

- Daniel Provo -- lead guitar

- Gilbert Remue -- bass

- Marc Claeys -- lead guitar

 

  line up 3 (1969-73)

- Marc Maleyster --  keyboard

- Gus Roan -- guitar

- Eddy Vanderlinden -- lead guitar 

- Guido Wolfaert (RIP 2008) -- lead singer (replaced 

  Danny Sinclair)

 

 

 

 

- The Act (Marc Maleyster and Gus Roan)

- The Black Fellows (Danny Sinclair)

- The Fellows (Danny Sinclair)

- Little Jimmy (Marc Claeys)

- Love, Sex & Disco (Gus Roan)

- Nie Neute

- Petra (Gus Roan)

- The Sharks (Marc Claeys)

- Danny Sinclair (solo efforts)

- Today's Version (Marc Maleyster and Gus Roan)

- The Veterans (Marc Malyster and Gus Roan)

- The Vipers (Marc Maleyster)

- Waterloo (Gus Roan)

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Inspirated

Company: Decca

Catalog: SSS 515
Year:
 1968

Country/State: Ghent, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5742

Price: $125.00

 

Best time to play:  Sunny Spring day when you feel like a cold Stella Artois

 

 

I'll readily admit that I'm not a great writer - my narratives tend to ramble on and are littered with typos, but this isn't one of them ...  This album title really is "Inspirated". 

 

This is another outfit I stumbled while living in Belgium during the mid-1970s. I actually discovered them one day when I was sick at home and saw them doing a hysterical lip synched performance on a local television talent program.  (Sounds hard to believe, but up until the late 1970s Belgian television didn't come on the air until around noon and went off the air shortly after midnight.)

 

The group apparently started playing together in 1966 getting a big break when British pop star Dave Berry spotted them playing at the Ghent sports stadium.  With Berry's sponsorship they began working as a backup band, supporting a steady stream of English stars touring the Benelux.  

 

 

 

 

Berry also helped the band score a contract with Decca, making their debut with the 1967 Berry-penned 'You Made a Fool of Me' b/w 'M. T.' (Decca catalog number 105 23.720)

 

 

 

 

 

Released in 1968, "Inspirated" served to compile both sides of the earlier single with a bunch of new studio material; most of the new material penned by mentor Berry.  Lots of folks probably won't find this one particularly appealing, but the quirky blend of English pop moves ('Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin'), blue-eyed soul ('Party 68') and Danny Sinclair's heavily accented vocals have always held a quirky appeal to my ears. True, much of the album sounded like it had been recorded a couple of years earlier, but that 'old school' feel was also part of the appeal to my ears. Perhaps a mistake to assume they played their own instruments, but I'll tell you that these guys came off as quite accomplished musicians and could have easily competed with many of their better know American and British competitors.  

 

"Inspirated" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You Made a Fool of Me   (Dave Berry) - 2:31  rating; *** stars

As mentioned, the Berry-penned ballad 'You Made a Fool of Me' had previously been released as a single and served as the most outright commercial track on the album.  With Siclair's labored vocal, that's not to say it was the best effort.  While catchy it also had kind of a dated mid-1960s sound.  Likeable, but certainly not great.

2.) Party 68   (Lean - Dave Berry) - 2:49   rating: **** stars

In contrast  to the debut single, the organ-propelled 'Party 68' was a killer performance.  Boasting a fantastic Memphis-soul inflected feel the song wasn't hurt by the irritatingly catchy melody, the nice touch of feedback drenched guitar, and the down and dirty growling vocal which made it easy to overlook the heavy accent.  Might be the album's standout performance.

3.) For What It's Worth   (Stephen Stillls) - 2:48  rating; *** stars

The band certainly had good taste in deciding to cover The Buffalo Springfield's 'For What It's Worth', though the concept was better than the actual performance.  Musically their cover stayed fairly close to the original, though it sounded like they'd learned the lyrics phonetically.  Nice harmony vocals and there was a tasty guitar solo on this one.

4.) Hurry Hup and Tell Me  (Lean - Dave Berry) - 2:24   rating: **** stars

'Hurry Hup and Tell Me' (nope, not a typo - that's how it showed on the track listing), sported a nifty summer-of-love folk-rock feel.  Complete with acid tinged vocals and chiming guitars this one was loads of fun.  Great one to slap on a 'guess who this is' psych list.

5.) I Got a Feeling   (Dave Berry) - 2:21   rating: **** stars

Even with a flute solo, 'I Got a Feeling' was wonderful.  Propelled by a great garagy organ this one actually got kind of down and dirty.  The only complaint was that they faded it out just as it was starting to kick-in.

6.) M. T.   (Dave Berry) - 1:59   rating: **** stars

The horn-propelled 'M. T.' sported a harder-edged feel which had the advantage of making you forget about the heavily accented vocals.  Another great track.  With a bit of promotion this one could have gotten some airplay.  Made you wonder why it had been tagged as the leadoff single's "B" side since it was so much better than 'You Made a Fool of Me'. 

 

(side 2)
1.)  I Will Find Her   (Dave Berry) - 2:24
   rating: **** stars

Even though 'I Will Find Her' was a mid-tempo ballad, the track opened up with a nice slug of fuzz guitar and never let up.  Excellent.

2.) That'll Be the Day   (Buddy Holly - Petty) - 2:15   rating: ** stars

Yeah, I guess it was nice of them to pay homage to Buddy Holly, but other than a nice fuzz solo, their cover of 'That'll Be the Day' was imminently forgettable.  Maybe if you'd had enough Stella Artois it would have made more of an impression.

3.) I Got Nothing   (Dave Berry) - 2:58   rating: ** stars

Another Berry composition, 'I Got Nothing' was actually a strong tune, but suffered under the heavily accented vocals; SInclair apparently deciding this time out he wanted to channel mid-1960s Tom Jones.  I actually love the way he sings the word 'things' and 'zings'.

4.) Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin   (Dave Berry) - 1:43   rating: ** stars

Time for one of those sensitive singer/songwriter numbers via 'Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin'.  This one sounded like a Bobby Goldsboro outtake.  Yech.

5.) Lazy Life   (Haskell) - 1:51   rating: *** stars

'Lazy Life' found the band moving back to a more pop-orientation.  Good decision since it was quite catchy and commercial.  Unfortunately, for some reason they decided to end the song with an Alvin and the Chipmunks-styled helium overdose.  What the hell ...

6.) I Found a Love   (Cat Stevens) - 2:34   rating: *** stars

These guys had apparently backed Cat Stevens during a brief Benelux tour and so it made sense they do a Stevens cover.  It won't make you forget the original (which I think was on "Matthew and Son"), but their cover wasn't half bad.  Nice organ and acoustic guitar interface throughout.

 

 

Not the most original rock album you've ever heard, but still thoroughly enjoyable and actually far better than some of the big ticket Belgian items you see listed by dealers.  By the way, the haphazard English liner notes were hysterical - "Together with the New Inspiration a new pop-period of fashion became a reality in Belgium.'"   Of course I wouldn't do any better if I had to write something in French, or Flemish.

 

 

For those of you swayed by such things, this one appeared in Hans Pokora's 1,001 Record Collector's Dreams book.

 

 

I haven't tracked down a copy, but the album was reissued in CD format with 13 bonus tracks pulled from various singles.

 

"Inspirated" track listing:
1.) You Made A Fool Of Me - 2:31
2.) Party 68 - 2:49
3.) For What It's Worth - 2:48
4.) Hurry Up And Tell Me - 2:24
5.) I Got A Feeling - 2:21
6.) M.T. - 1:59
7.) I Will Find Her - 2:24
8.) That'll Be The Day  - 2:15
9.) I Got Nothing - 2:58
10.) Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin - 1:43
11.) Lazy Life - 1:51
12.) I Found A Love - 2:34

 

bonus material
13.) Come Let's Sing Us Hallelujah - 3:10
14.) From Chicago To L.A. - 3:42
15.) Mr Moody - 2:36
16.) The Memory - 2:16
17.) Thinking About The Good Times - 2:29
18.) There You Go My Friend - 2:34
19.) Rainbow I Love You - 2:39
20.) Rudy The Marsman - 3:14
21.) Song For Everybody - 2:52
22.) Do You Know What I Mean - 2:20
23.) Medicine Man - 2:46
24.) Is It Really Hard To Understand - 2:33
25.) Judy Please - 2:52
26.) Hitchin' A Ride - 3:06

 

 

 

 



Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Vol. 2

Company: Decca

Catalog: SSS 538
Year:
 1968

Country/State: Ghent, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5743

Price: $100.00

 

It's hard to imagine that The New Inspiration's 1968 debut album "Inspirated" sold all that well, but within a matter of months their label Decca pushed a sophomore New Inspiration set on the market - 1968's cleverly-titled "Vol 2".   Just speculation on my part, but part of the decision to release the album may have stemmed from the unexpected successes the band enjoyed with a pair of earlier Dave Berry-penned singles:

 

    

 

-  'I See No Reason Why' b/w ' Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin' (Decca catalog number 105 23.762)

-  'Mr. Moody' b/w 'The Memory' (Decca catalog number 105 23.796)

 

Produced by Jack Verdonck, this time out the band seemed content to pursue a more commercial and mainstream sound.   'I See No Reason Why' was probably the most accessible track, explaining why it had been released as a single.  'Mr. Moody' was kind of a strange pop-psych effort that sounded like it should have been released two or three years earlier.   With Berry responsible for writing all twelve numbers, tracks like 'Looking for My Baby', 'You Won't Come Tomorrow' and 'Memory' offered up rather MOR pop moves that were clearly geared to radio play. Smothered in saccharine string arrangements, imagine a Flemish version of Tom Jones and you'd get a feel for what most of this sounded like.  While the whole album was never less than pleasant, the debut's eclectic edge was sadly missed.  So was there anything worth hearing on the album?   Overlooking the oddball title, the big ballad 'They're Drowning My Town' (their spelling, not mine) was kind of cool.  Unlike most of the album this one featured a bit of fuzz guitar and it was kind of fun to hear the singer muddy the lyrics to a point where it sounded like he was saying 'they're drowning my guitar'.  Kicked along by a nice fuzz guitar and a droning melody, 'See My Car ' was an atypical stab at psych and easily the best song on the album.  Would've made a great single. True, the lyrics sounded like they'd been penned by a 1st grader, but given it was stripped of heavy orchestration, the garagy 'I'm Going Nowhere' wasn't half bad.  True, the lyrics sounded like they'd been penned by a 1st grader.  Finally complete with cheesy sound effects 'Rudy the Marsman' (aka mars man) was simply too weird to aptly describe.  Yeah, I could try to hype it, but compared to the debut this one was a major disappointment. 

 

"Vol. 2" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I See No Reason Why   (Dave Berry) 

2.) Mr. Moody   (Dave Berry) 

3.) Looking for My Baby   (Dave Berry) 

4.) You Won't Come Tomorrow   (Dave Berry) 

5.) They're Drowning My Town   (Dave Berry) 

6.) Memory    (Dave Berry) 

 

(side 2)
1.) Nobody   (Dave Berry) 

2.) See My Car   (Dave Berry) 

3.) Nighttime Story   (Dave Berry) 

4.) I Know We'll Stay   (Dave Berry) 

5.) I'm Going Nowhere   (Dave Berry) 

6.) Rudy the Massman   (Dave Berry) 

 

YouTube also had a clip from a 1988 reunion concert in Ghent.  Sound and picture quality aren't great, but you have to take what you can get.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YPbfl8zzTk   'Mr. Moody'

 

   

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  New Inspiration

Company: Decca

Catalog: SSS 594-X
Year:
 1971

Country/State: Ghent, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 174

Price: SOLD $125.00

 

 

Released in 1971, the cleverly-titled "New Inspiration" marked the band's fifth and final album (I'm still looking for copies of 1968's "Vol 3" and 1970's "Rainbow").   Once again produced by longstanding manager Jack Verdonick, the album was somewhat of an odd effort given it featured a mixture of five previously released tunes ('Rainbow' had  been released as a single and was the title of their fourth album) and seven newer tracks.  In contrast to their earlier pop-oriented catalog, numbers like the instrumental 'Ode To Linda', 'From Chicago To L.A.' and 'Hustler'  found the band going in a heavier rock direction.  Clearly reflecting the influences of keyboardist Marc Maleyster and guitarist Gus Roan (both had been members of Waterloo), you weren't going to mistake these guys for Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, but the revamped, tougher sound wasn't half bad and should have given their Belgian and UK contemporaries a run for the commercial marketplace. Well produced and full of energetic performances, it made for a nice way to end the band's recording career.

 

"New Inspiration" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Come Let's Sing Us Hallelujah   (Jacques Velt - Gus Roan - Guido Wolfaert) -   rating: *** stars

Yeah even though Guido Wolfaert had a heavily accented voice, I've always liked his delivery and it seldom sounded as pretty as on the big, church-flavored  ballad 'Come Let's Sing Us Hallelujah'.  The track sounded a bit too much like a Hollies number for its own good, but it was still hummable and quite commercial and was released as the album's third single.    

- 1972's 'Come Let's Sing Hallelujah' b/w 'From Chicago To L.A.' (Pink Elephant catalog number PE 22.621)

2.) Rainbow   (Jacques Velt)   rating: *** stars

The title of their previous album, 'Rainbow' sounded a bit like a Shocking Blues number (obvious without Mariska Veres' sexy vocals).  With a slightly acid tinged melody, this one had a distinctive mid-60s flavor.   Quite enjoyable, if the na-na-na chorus quickly wore out its welcome.    

3.) Intro for Linda (instrumental)  (Marc Maleyster)  rating: **** stars  

Buoyed by some interesting, Focus-styled keyboards, the instrumental ' Intro for Linda' was really good, though far too short.   

4.) Ode To Linda (instrumental)  (Marc Maleyster)  rating: **** stars  

Also an instrumental, 'Ode To Linda' continued to spotlight keyboards, but this time around the song  exhibited a breezy, almost Santana-styled feel.  Very unexpected and very funky (well at least as funky as a group of Belgians can get).   

5.) Judy Please   (Jacques Velt)  rating: *** stars

Penned by manager/producer Jacques Velt, 'Judy Please' was one of the album's most straightforward commercial efforts (perhaps explaining why it was released as a single).  Kicked along by pounding piano and some stinging Eddy Vanderlinden slide guitar, the track had a bouncy, top-40ish feel, probably explaining why it was tapped as the second single. .  It would have been even better without the acidic female backing vocals.   

 - 1971's 'Judy Please' b/w 'Lonesome Me' (Decca catalog number 105 26.275)

6.) Bottle of Whiskey    (Jacques Velt - Gus Roan - Guido Wolfaert) -  rating: **** stars  

Well, the female backing singers were back for 'Bottle of Whiskey' but this one had such a strong Western-tinged melody (I'm talking cowboys and Indians Western),  that it didn't matter.  Easily one of the best songs they ever recorded.  It was also released as another  single.    

- 1972's 'Bottle of Whiskey' b/w 'Something's Burning' (Pink Elephant catalog number PE 22.)

 

(side 2)

1.) Song for Everybody   (Gus Roan - Jacques Velt) -  rating: ** stars  

Showcasing more of Vanderlinden's excellent slide guitar, 'Song for Everybody' started out sounded like the band was dipping their collective toes in hard rock, but then morphed into a socially conscious slice of pop (and yes the shrill female backing singers had an even bigger role this one, repeating the title what sounded like hundreds of times).  The song was tapped as a single:

- 1971's 'Song for Everybody' b/w 'Do You Know What I Mean' (Decca catalog number 105 26.305)    

2.) Intro from Chicago (instrumental)  (Marc Maleyster)   rating: *** stars

The epic instrumental  'Intro from Chicago' found the band trying on a harder blues-rock vibe that sounded a bit like Focus on a good day.  Nice, but way too brief.     

3.) From Chicago To L.A.   (Jacques Velt - Gun Roan) -  rating: **** stars  

Even better, 'From Chicago To L.A. 'sounded like something that Crosby and Nash might have recorded in the early-'70s (the chorus would have sounded perfect on one the Crosby & Nash LPs).  Full of  fuzz guitar and frenetic drums, the song may have had some bizarre lyrics (blame it on the English translation), but this one was a keeper and deserves to go on some sort of hard rock compilation album.    

4.) When You're Gone   (Gus Roan) -   rating: ***** stars  

Sporting what was probably the album's best melody, the organ and guitar-powered 'When You're Gone' could have been mistaken for a really good Spooky Tooth track.  Complete with glorious harmony vocals, it's one of my all-time favorite New Inspiration performances.    

5.) Hustler   (Eddy Vanderlinden)    rating: **** stars  

Guitarist Vanderlinden's only contribution to the album was also one of the standout  performances.  Kicked along by some barrelhouse piano, a galloping blues-rock melody, and one of the 'dirtiest' guitar solos you've ever heard, this was great stuff.   

6.) Die In Ordinary Way   (Gus Roan) -    rating: **** stars  

'Die In Ordinary Way' (I think it was actually entitled 'Die In An Ordinary Way'), continued the Spooky Tooth styled blues-rock formula with even better results.  Quality driving '70s blues-rock that would have made far better known bands envious of Gus Roan's songwriting skills.   

 

The best of the three New Inspiration albums I've heard and would have been even stronger had they cut back on the female backing singers.

 

 

 

The band seems to have continued recording through 1973, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive discography.  So here's a halfhearted attempt to pull together a list of their releases:

 

 

- 1969's 'All My Life' b/w 'Happy Charly Madman' (Decca catalog number 105 23.822)

- 1970's 'My World's Beginning' b/w 'You Ain't Got the Feeling' (Decca catalog 105 23.854)

- 1970's 'Hitchin' a Ride' b/w 'Over You' (Decca catalog number 105 23.875)

- 1970's 'Thinking About the Good Times' b/w 'There You Go My Friend' (Decca catalog number 105 23.880)

- 1970's 'Rainbow' b/w 'But Anything' (Decca catalog number 105 23.909)

- Medicine Man' b/w 'Is It Really Hard To Understand' (Bellaphon catalog number 18159) German picture sleeve

- 1973's 'On My Horse' b/w 'Symphony for a Rose' (Pink Elephant catalog number PE 22.707)

- 1973's 'I Guess' b/w 'Little Darling' (Philips catalog number ?)

 

While most of the band's successes were on the continent, at least two of their singles were released in the UK:

 

 

- 1969' 'My Worlds Beginning' b/w ' You Ain't Got The Feeling' (Penny Farthing catalog number PEN 704)

- 1969's 'Thinking About the Good Times' b/w 'There You Go My Friend' (Penny Farthing catalog number PEN- 719)

 

Even more surprising, at least one of their singles saw an American release:

 

 

 

- 1969's 'I See No Reason Why' b/w 'Grey Hair, Wrinkled Skin' (Parrot catalog number PAR-45-3022)

 

 

 

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