Wallace Collection

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-71)

- Marc Herouet -- keyboards

- Christian Janssens -- bass

- Jacques Namotte (RIP 2012) -- cello

- Freddy Nielaund (RIP 2008) -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Sylvain Van Holme (aka Cil Vert) -- vocals, lead guitar, flute

- Raymond Vincent (RIP 2018) -- violin


  line up 2 (1971)

- Scott Bradford -- vocals, keyboards

- Roland "Nick" Ceunick -- 

- Freddie Deronde --

- Serge Ghazarian -- violin

- Jan Kuba --

- Freddy Nielaund (RIP 2003) -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Jan Szczepanski


  line up 3 (1988-90)

- Marc Herouet -- keyboards

- Christian Janssens -- bass

- Freddy Nielaund (RIP 2003) -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Sylvain Van Holme (aka Cil Vert) -- vocals,  lead guitar, flute

- Raymond Vincent (RIP 2018) -- violin


  line up 4 (2005-2008)

-  Marc Herouet -- keyboards

- Christian Janssens -- bass

NEW - Cedric Murrath -- violin (replaced Raymond Vincent)

- Freddy Nielaund (RIP 2008) -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Sylvain Van Holme (aka Cil Vert) -- vocals,  lead guitar, flute





- 16th Century

- Esperanto (Raymond Vincent)

- Salix Alba (Marc Herouet)

- Silver Trust (Sylvain Var Holme)

- Stradivarius (Jacques Nanotte and Raymond Vincent)

- Sylvester's Team  (Marc Hérouet, Freddy Nielaund and 

  Sylvain Van Holme)

- Two Man Sound (Sylvain Van Holme)

- Raymond Vincent (solo efforts)

- Waterloo



Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Wallace Collection

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST 350

Country/State: Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1669

Price: $50.00


Belgium's surprisingly overlooked Wallace Collection came together out of an unlikely grouping of musical talents.  Singer/drummer Freddy Nielaund and singer/guitarist Sylvain Varholme had been members of the pop band Sylvester's Team.  When that outfit called it quits, the pair formed the band forming the band 16th Century  with keyboard player  Marc Hérouet, bassist Christian Janssens, Jacques Namotte (cello) and Raymond Vincent (violin). The latter two were members of the Belgian National Philharmonic Orchestra who had been dabbling with rock music in the band Stradivarius.   



promo photo left to right:   Jean Martin ?  -  Christian Janssens (front) - Raymond Vincent - Jacques Namtte - Sylvain Vanholme -  Freddy Nielaund


Band manager Jean Martin invited Australia producer David MacKay to see 16th Century at a Brussels club and within a week he had signed them to a recording contract with EMI/Parlaphone Records.  Shipping the band to London, MacKay wasted no time rushing them into Abbey Road Studios.  He also pushed for a new name, inspired by the name of a private museum located around the corner from EMI's London Headquarters - The Wallace Collection.


Released in 1969, the band debuted with "Laughing Cavalier" (the name taken from Frans Hals' famous painting, which happened to be owned  by The Wallace Collection Museum).  So here's the surprising thing about the album.  It was quite good.  Writing and performing in English (even though none of them spoke English fluently), these guys offered up a surprisingly innovative mixture of conventional pop and classically influences.   Probably their best known tune, the single 'Daydream' served as a good example of their style, mixing dollops of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' with a 'Hey Jude' styled chorus.   Elsewhere 'Get That Girl', 'The Sea Disappeared', and 'Baby I Don't Mind' were more straightforward pop tunes, while 'Peru' found them shifting gears, pursuing a more lysergic influenced directions.   Sharing lead vocal duties, Nielaund and  Vanholme were both quite good.  While both had heavy accents,  most of the material was strong enough to allow you to overlook the accents.  Some folks have drawn comparisons to early Electric Light Orchestra.   That's not a bad baseline; perhaps a bit more like The Move, but in the same aural neighborhood.   Well worth checking out.


Probably entranced by the international success the group had enjoyed with their debut single 'Daydream', Capitol signed the band to an American distribution agreement, promptly releasing the collection as "Wallace Collection" Capitol also decided to modify the track listing.  Apparently deciding the original album was too long, for short American attention spans, the company dropped four from the original European release.   Lost were 'Natacha', 'Merry-Go-Round', 'Poor Old Sammy', and 'Laughing Cavalier'.   


"Wallace Collection" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Daydream   (David Mackay - Raymond Vincent - Van Holmen) - 5:03 

Even though they blatantly swiped part of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' (listed to Marc Herouet's piano) and slapped on a 'Hey Jude' ending, 'Daydream' was probably their best know song.  The tune' fit firmly in the late-'60s toy-town genre; namely a highly commercial pop tune with a distinctive lysergic edge.  For what it's worth, Christian Janssens' melodic bass line has always been my favorite part of the song.   I'm apparently not along since Portishead seems to made liberal use of it on their tune 'Glory Box'.   Youtube has a clip of the band lip synching the tune for Dutch television.  The seemingly stoned dancers/chorus are hysterical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhcHd84eGnw   

A massive international hit ,a heavily edited version of  the tune was even tapped as an instantly obscure US single:



- 1969's 'Daydream' b/w 'Baby I Don't Mind' (Capitol catalog number 2579)







2.) The Sea Disappeared   (David Mackay - Raymond Vincent - Van Holmen) - 2:32

Another one of the album's more commercial tunes, 'The Sea Disappeared' had a boncy, radio friendly melody, but was also one of the tunes sporting a super heavy accent that made it difficult to track the lyrics.   rating: *** stars

3.) Get Back   (Van Holmen) - 4:24

The "cowboy" opening was a bit disconcerting, but then the song settled down into a lightly lysergically tinged ballad with Nielaund and  Vanholme sharing lead vocals.  rating: *** stars

4.) Ragtime Lily   (Marc Herouet - Raymond Vincent - Van Holmen) - 2:35

The first misstep, 'Ragtime Lily' was an old-timy Vaudevillian piece showcasing Marc Herouet on ragtime keyboards.  Thing along the lines of Winchester Cathederal, without that song's pop charm.  rating: ** stars

5.)  Fly Me To the Earth   (David Mackay - Raymond Vincent - Van Holmen) - 2:51

Ah, time to stake out the band's social relevancy ...  Were it not for Sylvain Vanholme's heavily accented voice, you might have mistaken 'Fly Me To the Earth' to the Barqoue-pop stylings of early ELO.   

The song was tapped as a single in Germany, Italy and the UK:

- 1969''s ' Fly Me To The Earth' b/w 'Love' (EMI catalog number R5793) 

Courtesy of YouTube you can see the band performing the song for  Dutch television https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9-PHwaVg3M   rating: *** stars


(side 2)

1.) Get That Girl   (David Mackay - Van Holmen) - 2:41

Play this for someone who's never heard Wallace Collection and ask them what country they band are from.   I guarantee you most folks will say the UK.   There's no way most folks would ever guess these guys were Belgian.   One of the album's most straightforward commercial tunes, this one just had that special mid-'60s pop feel that I find so attractive.   rating: **** stars

2.) Peru    (David Mackay - Van Holmen) - 4:44

Given my old and jaded ears, I have to admit 'Peru' was quite impressive.  The song was actually an old Sylverster's Team number, but who would have ever envisioned a bunch of classically trained Belgian musicians singing in English about a vanished Peruvian culture?   With Sylvain Vanholme handling the lead vocals and Christian Janssens turning in a churning bass line, this acid-tinged rocker was really good ...   One of the album highlights.   YouTube has a brief clip of the band performing the song live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTWK0wKFlLc    rating: **** stars

3.)  Baby I Don't Mind   (David Mackay - Van Holmen) - 3:43

If anyone is skeptical about the band's pre-Electric Light Orchestra sound, then they might want to check out 'Baby I Don't Mind'.   Yeah, it started out on a pretty irritating note, but when it got going the song exhibited a very nice mix of pop and classical moves.  No idea where it was filmed, but YouTube has a high quality flip of the band performing the tune in-concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbEZwgXBs_M     rating: *** stars

5.) Misery   (David Mackay - Van Holmen) -  2:47

'Misery' found the band showcasing some unexpected jazzy chops - kudos to rhythm section with Christian Janssens showing off some hyper-speed bass runs, while Freddy Nielaund aptly demonstrated  he was more than a pretty face.  rating: **** stars

6.) What's Going On   (David Mackay - Van Holmen) - 2:14

No, it wasn't the iconic Marvin Gaye hit (though that would have been an interesting cover), rather it was a '50s-styled slice of blues-rock.  Very ELO-ish.  Not bad, but far from their most original tune.   YouTube has a clip of the band doing a live version of the tune:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUuFe8PDge4    rating; *** stars



As mentioned, 'Daydream' provided the band with an international hit and found the group undertaking concert dates through Europe, Mexico, South American, and the US.  At the same time they came under intense pressure write and record new material.  


Though it apparently has not been updated in a decade, the band has a small website at: http://www.wallacecollection.net/







Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Bande Originale du Film La Maison

Company: Odeon

Catalog: 2C 062 04582

Country/State: Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: US pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1669

Price: $50.00


They're completely unknown in the States and this 1970 soundtrack album is too obscure to even qualify as obscure in the US.

Given their prior commercial successes it was only a matter of time before The Wallace Collection were approached to work on a film soundtrack.  That opportunity came in the form of Gerarch Barch's 1970 film "La Mainson"  (translated as "The House").  Starring Michael Simon and Patti D'Abanville, the film was horrific with a plotline having something to do with a retired, suicidal professor who gets a second chance to appreciate life when he lets a young, hippie chick move into his home.  The Wallace Collection soundtrack was only marginally better.  On the positive side, unlike many soundtracks, "Bande Originale du Film La Maison" featured eleven actually songs, rather than your typical throw-away collection of instrumental music-scapes.  Admittedly the raga flavored 'Générique' and the atonal 'Tension' provided more typical slices of movie soundtrack material.  Elsewhere, featuring a mixture of band originals (many co-written with producer David Mackay) and obscure outside covers, the biggest problem with this effort came from its lack of consistency.  Well, there were some other problems.  So how about hitting the positive characteristics first?  Like many other bands, they could easily have used the film soundtrack as an opportunity to stretch out and explore their more experimental musical interests.  With the two previously mentioned exceptions, they didn't.  All thirteen tracks were short, mostly geared to the band's commercial audience.  A couple of the songs were actually worthwhile  The single 'Who Can Tell Me My Name' was a nice rocker with a slightly lysergic-tinged melody, strong  harmonies and plenty of jangle guitar.  'Phil' and 'Stop Teasing Me were lightweight, pleasant, radio-friendly slices of Nederpop.  And from there things went downhill.  The absence of a strong lead singer certainly didn't help. Lead guitarist Sylvain Van Holmen handled most of the vocals, but his voice was limited and the heavy dose of ballads only served to underscore his heavily accented delivery.  Thosef ballads just made things worse. Probably an album that nobody outside of hardcore Wallace Collection fans needs to worry about.  The album opened up the door for the band to work on other soundtracks including Sergio Gobbi's "Un Beau Monstre" and "Les Intrus"

By the way, the older gentleman pictured with the band on the album cover was French film star Michael Simon.  Yes, he was featured in the parent film.

"Bande Originale du Film La Maison" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Parlez-moi D’Amour (arranged by David Mackay; written by Jean Lenoir) - rating: ** stars

Europop at its worst ... 'Parlez-moi D’Amour' was a super sappy, heavily orchestrated ballad that was a sugary threat to diabetics.  Sylvain Van Holme's waivery vocals sounded like he was going to run out of oxygen hitting the high notes.  Released as a single throughout Europe, the song attracted considerable airplay, but it was totally unsuited for US radio. 

- 1970's 'Parlez-moi D’Amour' b/w 'Stop Teasing Me' (Parlaphone catalog number 5C 006-04 515) 


Recorded during a performance near Toulon (it seems pretty clear they were lip-synching), YouTube has a clip of the band performing the song on Daniele Gilbert's television show. The two violinists were hysterical.  Songwriter Jean Lenoir is in the audience and didn't look all that thrilled by their adaptation.  Be warned neither the video, or sound quality are very good: Wallace Collection - 'Parlez-moi d'amour' (Chateauvallon 21-8-1970) - YouTube

2.) Who Can Tell Me My Name (John Valcke - Sylvain Van Holmen) - rating: **** stars

A massive improvement over the opener, the rocker 'Who Can Tell Me My Name' had a nice, slightly lysergic-tinged melody, strong  harmonies and plenty of jangle guitar.  It was easily the album's best performance.

The band had played a couple of dates in Brazil which explains why the track was released as a Brazilian 45:


- 1970's 'Who Can Tell Me My Name' b/w 'A Casa Da Santa Branca' (Odeon catalog number 71-3276)


YouTube has a clip of the band playing the song at an October 1970 appearance at the Rio de Janeiro song festival: Wallace Collection - Who Can Tell Me My Name (live in Brazil 14-10-1970) - YouTube




3.) Reflections (David Mackay - Marc Herouet) - rating: ** stars

Geez - I'm not sure if Marc Herouet handled the vocals, but whoever it was, their high, fragile voice sounded like Tiny Tim on whippets.  Wrapped in sort of a Baroque melody that vaguely recalled The Beatles 'In My Life', the performance was painfully sincere.  This was a tough one to sit through.

4.) Stop Teasing Me (Freddy Nieuland - Sylvain Van Holmen) - rating: *** stars

Back to Nederpop, the old-timey 'Stop Teasing Me' showcased Marc Herouet's barrelhouse piano. Cute, but disposable, the track served as the "B" side to their 'Parlez-moi D’Amour' single.

5.) Hey Bird (adapted by Sylvain Van Holmen; written by Jose Miquinioty - Ruy Maurity) -  rating: ** stars

Written by Brazilians Jose Miquinioty and Ruy Maurity and originally entitled 'A Casa Da Santa Branca', 'Hey Bird' was a forgettable ballad, made even less listenable by Van Holmen's shakey and brittle lead vocals.

6.) Single Man (David Mackay - John Valcke - Sylvain Van Holmen) - rating: *** stars

I liked the original ballad 'Single Man', but once again Van Holmen's heavily accented and didn't do the band any favors.  That was one of the problems with all the ballads - they focused more attention on the vocals; not a good thing for these guys.


(side 2)

1.) Générique (instrumental) (Raymond Vincent) - rating: *** stars

Well, I wasn't expecting a raga-influenced instrumental.  Penned by violin player Raymond Vincent, about the nicest thing I can say is it certainly sounded out of place on the album.

2.) Single Man (instrumental) (David Mackay - John Valcke - Sylvain Van Holmen) -  rating: *** stars

The instrumental version of 'Single Man' sported a nice melody and a nice refrain.  It's way better than the reprise which includes a Van Holmen vocal.

3.) Phil (David MacKay - Marc Herouet - Raymond Vincent - Sylvain Van Holmen) -  rating: *** stars 

A bouncy, biographical and forgettable slice of Nederpop, 'Phil' was dedicated to band manager Phil Lempereur.  YouTube has a goofy 1971 promotion video for the song, though by the time it was filmed vocalist Sylvain Van Holmen had been replaced by former Jess and Jessie keyboardist Scott Bradford.

4.) Tension (instrumental) (David Mackay - Marc Herouet - Raymond Vincent - Serge Ghazavian) - rating: * star

Featuring violinists Vincent and Ghazavian,  the instrumental 'Tension' was more in keeping with what you would have expected from af music soundtrack - nameless a tuneless, discordance slice of drone.

5.) Adagio (arranged by David Mackay and  Marc Herouet) -  rating: ** stars

As an attempt to mesh classical and pop moves, "adagio' could have been a showstopper.  The traditional melody was sweet, but the lyrics were simply plodding and dull.   

6.) Single Man (Reprise) (David Mackay - John Valcke - Sylvain Van Holmen) - rating: ** stars

The 'Single Man' reprise added group skatting to the instrumental track.  Hardly essential.  

7.) Parlez-moi D’Amour (Reprise) (instrumental) (arranged by David Mackay; written by Jean Lenoir) - rating: ** stars

Take my word for it, the instrumental reprise wasn't any better than the original tune. Well, I'd give it an extra star for not having a vocal track, but then it gets docked a star for the violins