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The 80's: More Festivals, House and Techno

In the 80 rock and alternative music continued to develop in Belgium: TC Matic (Arno), The Employees, Luna Twist, The Bet, Scooter, Lavvi Ebbel, Rick Tubbax & The Taxis, Jo Lemaire & Flouze, De Kreuners, Arbeid Adelt , Nacht und Nebel, Allez Allez, 2 Belgen and The Machines. Many of them broke through thanks to the compilation album Get Sprouts. By analogy with “Nederpop” (the way the new wave was called in The Netherlands) it was named Belpop.

Often the sound of these Belpop bands was heavily affected by the international success of artists in the new wave genre as Joy Division, The Cure and Elvis Costello. International breakthrough proved difficult for the Belgian bands.

dylan vorstThe progressive rock band Machiavel, which was founded in 1974 and quickly grew into the most important band of the Walloon part of Belgium. They gained several gold and platinum records and scored their biggest hit, Fly in 1980.

Machiavel would be the first band at a sold-out Vorst Nationaal, the main venue in Brussels. Dylan performed here in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2015.

In the second half of the 80s the more “mature” bands attracted attention: Viktor Lazlo, Vaya Con Dios, Soul Sister, Won Ton Ton, Blue Blot and Arno with his solo work.

In 1985 Pukkelpop, a new festival, was organized for the first time. It would develop into a fixed landmark in the Belgian rock landscape, with more alternative artists on stage. Nirvana performed here before the band acchieved international acclaim. In 1989, the Dour Festival (in Wallonië) was born, still an annual festival with an international reputation.

pumpupthejamAt the end of the 80’s New Beat arose in Belgium, electronic dance music with a slow beat and heavy bass which was a sensation worldwide in clubs. Belgium acts became forerunners of the house music in the 90’s. Major acts were the Confetti's, Bizz Nizz and (later) Praga Khan and Lords of Acid. Technotronic had a huge hit with “Pump Up The Jam in most European countries.

In 1989, Flanders got its first commercial television channel: VTM. Almost immedtately the station aired the popular weekly music Tien Om Te Zien, which brought mainly music from the Flemish top 10 and led to a revival of the Flemish-speaking pop and schlager music. The group Clouseau broke through and became the most successful Flemish pop group during the 90s and 2000.

floeren aapMeanwhile, it was a very poor decade for those who loved Dylan covers

Alida (?)

Floeren Aap

Peis en onvree - Vinyl LP album, 1982, Floeren Records - 69 96 69 [information needed]

kastaarDe Meule (The times they are a-changin’)

Groep Kastaar

Liekes over meinse - Vinyl LP album, 1989, eigen beheer – 1001

Ecoute dans le vent (Blowin’ in the wind)

nicolaasLes Troubadours de l’eau noire

Les chansons de Saint Nicolas, Vinyl LP album – 1981, Mfp - 4M026-19062

Niet te doen b/w Rondom de uitkijktoren (All along the watchtower)



Vinyl 7'' single – 1986, Vertigo - 884 672 en Kazzen
Vinyl 12'' single – 1986, Vertigo - 884 672


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