Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972-73)

- Roland Arnould -- vocals

- Wim Reiling (RIP) -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Toni Reymaers -- drums, percussion

- Jan Wellens -- guitar


  line up 2 (1973-75)

- Roland Arnould -- vocals

NEW - Jozef "Jef" Boudry -- bass

- Wim Reiling (RIP) -- keyboards, synthesizers

NEW - Marc Segal -- drums, percussion (replaced Toni Reymaers)

- Jan Wellens -- guitar


  line up 3 (1975-78)

- Roland Arnould -- vocals

- Jozef "Jef" Boudry -- bass

NEW - Willy Heyman (RIP) -- guitar (replaced Jan Wellens)

- Wim Reiling (RIP) -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Marc Segal -- drums, percussion 


  supporting musicians: (1977)

- Cois Maes ((RIP) -- sax


  line up 4 (1978-80)

- Roland Arnould -- vocals

- Jozef "Jef" Boudry -- bass

- Wim Reiling (RIP) -- keyboards, synthesizers

NEW - Romain Schoonis -- guitar (replaced Willy Heynen)

- Marc Segal -- drums, percussion 





Davy Jr. & Guess Who? (Wim Reiling)

- Soul Affair Orchestra (Wim Reiling)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Magenta

Company: Philips

Catalog: 6451 016

Country/State: Antwerp, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: includes lyric insert; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1569

Price: $110.00


The moment I saw the cover that graces "Magenta" I had to buy it.   I knew nothing about the band; had never heard a note of their music, but the cover ...


In the late-'70s my family lived in Belgium. My father worked for the Department of Defense and was on assignment to NATO for a couple of years.  At the time I was a junior in high school and not too happy to be leaving my friends to live overseas (for the third time in my brief life).  My brother and I were enrolled in the local American school and I somehow got convinced to join the cross country team.  As a member of the cross country team I quickly discovered their was a "school bar".  Turns out Belgium wasn't such a bad place after all.  You couldn't drive until you were 18, but there was no minimum drinking age.  Add to that, one of the cross country running paths went right by a local bar and some of my fellow team members were not above stopping off during practice to have a beer.  Not only that, but after school, during school dances, cutting class, etc.  The school bar was seemingly always open.  Anyhow, right across the street from the bar was a standalone building.  As it turned out, the building was a house of ill repute. Turns out this form of employment was also legal in Belgium.  Turning out to be a pretty cool country !!!    Well, you can only imagine how nifty that concept was to a bunch of drunk high school boys.  In fact I can remember one night when five, or six of us decided we had to see what went on inside this establishment.  We got our drunken courage up, strolled across the street, followed a customer in and spent a couple of minutes exploring the place until we were unceremoniously thrown out.  In a fit of anger we decided we would show those folks a thing,, or two.  We lined up in front of the house, turned our backs, dropped our drawers, waved our think white butts at the building, and then ran back across the street to the safety of the bar.  Well most of us did.  One of our drunken party started running before he'd bothered to pull up his pants.  I can remember two of us having to go back outside to pick him up, help him with his pants, and cart him across the street back to the bar.


So why tell this stupid story?  Well, the building on the cover of 1974's "Magenta" was a dead ringer for that house of ill repute.   


promo photo left to right: Wim Reiling - Jan Wellens - Marc Segal - Roland Arnould - Jeff Boudry 


Formed in Antwerp, Magenta came together in 1972.  The original line-up featured singer Roland Arnould, former Davy Jr. & Guess Who? keyboardist Wim Reiling, drummer Toni Reymaers, and guitarist Jan Wellens.  By the time they signed a contract with Philips, the lineup had expanded to include bassist Josef Boudry, while drummer Reymaers and been replaced by Marc Segal.  Produced by Pols Moens, 1973's "Magenta" featured a collection of original tunes (largely written by Arnould and Wellens), that straddled the fence between light progressive moves and radio-friendly pop-rock.  Arnould had a likable voice that was quite radio-friendly.  Virtually all eleven tunes were worth hearing; the only missteps being the campy 'De Psychiater'.  Probably the album's biggest drawback stemming from the fact the band performed in Flemish which meant they were going to have a limited international audience.  Interestingly, most of the eleven songs showcased keyboardist Reiling whose organ fills gave some of the material a mild resemblance to Procol Harum (check out the opener 'Vroeger'), or perhaps early ELP ('Als Je Iest Wil Doen, Dat Je Echt Doen Wil (Doe Hit Dan)').  


"Magenta" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Vroeger  (Roland Arnould - Wim Reiling) - 2:40  rating: **** stars

I think the title translates roughly as "Before".   Regardless, 'Vroeger' was a beautiful acoustic guitar and keyboard propelled ballad that, thanks to Wim Reliing's organ, actually sounded a bit like a Procol Harum-mash-up with Focus.   Haunting melody and a nice way to start the album off.

2.) De Business  (Roland Arnould - Wim Reiling) - 3:02  rating: **** stars

Opening up with some bouncy Reeling keyboards, 'De Business' was a completely unexpected pop-flavored tune.  Would not have sounded bad on top-40 radio ...  well I guess Arnold's Flemish lyrics would have sounded a little strange, but nice tune with a killer refrain.   rating: **** stars

3.) De Laaste Dag  (Roland Arnould - Jans Wellens) - 3:04   rating: *** stars

'De Laaste Dag' (which I'm guessing  translated as 'The Last Day'), found the band dipping their collective toes into a more progressive oriented sound.

4.) Illusie   (Roland Arnould - Jans Wellens) - 5:00  rating: **** stars

A "heavy" keyboard and guitar powered  ballad, 'Illusion' was probably the album's most impressive performance.  Dark and troubled, Arnold never sound as good as on this one, while Jan Wellens chimed in with some tasty fuzz guitar moves. Great tune.    

5.) De Heer Des Huizes   (Rouand Arnould - Jans Wellens) - 2:45   rating: *** stars

Hum, English folk-rock/progressive moves from a Belgian band ?   Well, it wasn't half bad, picking up some energy with the bouncy melody.  

6.) De Psychiater   (Roland Arnould - Jans Wellens) - 2:00   rating: ** stars

With a bouncy, old-timey sounding melody 'The Psychiatrist' was the album's first disappointment.  Way too cute for the band's own good.   


(side 2)
1.) Als Je Iest Wil Doen, Dat Je Echt Doen Wil (Doe Hit Dan)  (Roland Arnould
- Wim Reilng) - 5:00  rating: **** stars

Back to a conventional rock format with lots of Reiling Hammond B3.   They really were at their best when playing it in a straightforward rock format.    

2.) M'n Goeie Vriend  (Roland Arnould - Wim Reilng) - 2:30  rating: **** stars

'M'n Goeie Vriend' (I think it translates roughly as 'My Good friend'), was a pretty, almost Baroque sounding ballad with Reiling) pounding away on what sounded like a harpsichord.  

3.) Exit  (Roland Arnould - Jans Wellens) - 4:25  rating: **** stars

'Exit' started out as a sizzling rocker and 40 seconds in started switching back and forth between the rock motiff and a more of a blues-rock melody (complete with some blazing Wellens lead guitar)   Nice and one of my favorite performances. 

4.) Ballade van den Dubbel Inkome   (Roland Arnould - Wim Reilng) - 4:40 rating: *** stars

Hum, while the title was certain interesting ('Ballad of the Double Income'), the tune was probably the album's most pop-oriented track.  Welens' fuzz guitar helped, but overall it sounded a bit old-timey.  

5.) Het Onzichtbare Oog    (Roland Arnould - Wim Reilng) - 5:25  rating: **** stars

'Het Onzichtbare Oog' was another tune that started out with a bouncy pop tune, before shifting to a lysergic mid-section and then back to the pop sound.   Actually like this one a lot.   

6.) Clementine 17 (instrumental)  (Wim Reilng - Jans Wellens) - 1:17 rating: *** stars

The only tune that Arnould didn't co-write, 'Clementine 17' was also the album's only instrumental.  Nice showcase for co-writers Reiling and Wellens, though I wish they hadn't faded it so quickly. 



For anyone interested in hearing the band, bassist Boudry (still active in music), loaded most of the album up on YouTube.





Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  De Lifter

Company: Omega

Catalog: # 163.046

Country/State: Antwerp, Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD$50.00


Magenta's 1973 debut album was certainly obscure, but nowhere near as rare as their 1977 follow-on "De Lifter".  Recorded after being dropped by Philips, the line-up remained largely intact; the one change being guitarist Willy Heyman stepping in for Jan Wellens.   Produced by Evert Verhees, the sophomore album wasn't anywhere near as good as the debut.  Hard to put your finger on it, but for the most part the band seemed to have shed their rock-progressive sound for a more commercial and mainstream sound.  You certainly couldn't blame them for wanting to sell records, but the result found them sucumbing to a lowest-common denominator approach that included way too much anonymous adult contemporary cocktail jazz (Marion''), a stab at country ('Mens, What Wil Je Meer?'), a reggae tune ('Liefde Is'), and even a synsthezier powered mild-dance tune (''Zonder Geld, Zonder Vrouw, Zonder Baan).  Go for the debut.


promo photo left to right: Jeff Boudry - Ronald Arnould - Wim Reiling - Willy Heynen - Marc Segal 


"Fe Liter" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) De Lifter    rating: ** stars

The title track found the band leaning towards a fairly AOR sound with lots of Reiling's keyboards and synthesizsers. Certainly radio friendly, but not particularly.  In fact, the results were professional, but pretty anonymous.  Imagine Pablo Cruise singing in Flemish.

2.) Marion   rating: *** stars

Pretty AOR-ish ballad.  The Cois Maes sax pushed it towards Steely Dan cocktail-jazz territory.  

3.) Het Benedenhuis    rating: ** stars

Opening up with some jazzy Wim Reiling electric piano, 'Het Benedenhuis' (I think the title translated along the lines of the lower house), was a bland and forgettable adult contemporary pop tune.  

4.) Liefde Is    rating: ** stars

'Love Is' found the band making an ill-advised stab into reggae.  Flemish just doesn't seem to go too well with a reggae rhythm. 

5.) Zaterdagavond

'Saturday Evening' 

6.) Zonder Geld, Zonder Vrouw, Zonder Baan    rating: *** stars

Kicked along by Reiling chirpy synthesizers 'Without Money, Women, or a Job' was almost a dance tune.  Fascinating, even though it wasn't particularly good.  What was with the sudden interest in sax solos?


(side 2)

1.) Mens, What Wil Je Meer?  rating: * star

Just when you thinking it couldn't get much worse, along came the country-tinged 'Mens, What Wil Je Meer?'   Why the European interest in American country?  Horrible.  I doubt three Chimays would be enough to make this one listenable.   

2.) Somer   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some classiically-inspired Reiling piano, 'Somer' (Summer) was the album's prettiest tune and probably the one tune that would have sounded at home on the debut album.  

3.) Zielen A/D Zaen

4) Als Ik De Keuze Had

5.) M'n 1e Miljoen


Wim Reiling and Willy Heyman have both passed-on.

Arnould moved into advertising, but is still active in music, as are Boudry and drummer Segal.