GIRL GROUPS FROM THE NETHERLANDS PART 1

With the selection of a all girl group O’G3NE to represent the Netherlands at the 2017 Eurovision song contest in Kiev, we will look over the next weeks at other girl groups that came from this country. First up is BABE

Babe was designed after Luv’, another very famous Dutch girl-pop band, mostly performing bubblegum pop. The trio was formed by producer and performer Peter Koelewijn, and he produced all of their records. The only exception was the single Tick-a-thumps my heart which was produced by Hans van Hemert, the producer behind Luv’. Koelewijn had made this decision because he felt a change in sound was needed for the trio. However, fans did not appreciate the new sound, which was very much like Luv’ because it no longer featured the recognizable solo vocals by Gemma Van Eck, but instead was sung in harmony by all three singers, so Koelewijn decided to take production back. Initially the group consisted of Gemma van Eck, Rita van Rooy en Monique Hagemeyer. Hagemeyer was replaced in 1980 by Margot van der Ven, Van Eck decided to leave the trio in 1981 and was replaced by Marga Bult. Although very popular at the time, Babe is considered the band in the Netherlands that had the most Top 40 hits without ever having a single placing within the top 10.One of their singles, The Drunken Sailor was an old Irish sailor song, transformed into a bubblegum tune by Koelewijn. It was a big hit in South Africa. In 1980 the trio participated in a famous songfestival in Korea, performed for the Dutch Military in Lebanon, toured extensively through Indonesia, and made appearances in several TV-shows in then Eastern-Germany and Poland. The trio finally disbanded in 1986 after their fame had gotten less and their music did not find many fans any longer. Marga Bult continued with a fairly successful solo career, which included her entry to the Eurovision Song Contest in 1987, where she performed “Rechtop in the wind” under the pseudonym Marcha. With 83 points she finished in a respectful 5th place in a field of 22 entries. My favourite Babe song is EXPLOSIVE. This would have been a perfect Eurovision entry.

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