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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

Casanova by Luv': 45th anniversary of a Europop classic

Dernière mise à jour : 4 mai

Photo courtesy of © Official Luv' Fan Page (Facebook)





Forty-five years ago precisely, on April 14th, 1979, when Philips/Phonogram Records released Luv's single "Casanova", stakes were high. 1978 had been indeed a great year for Luv'. The ladies enjoyed a remarkable breakthrough not only in Benelux but also abroad. In a short time, they scored three hit singles ("U.O.Me", "You're the Greatest Lover" and "Trojan Horse") and an album ("With LUV") on the European pop charts and overseas. All of these records were certified gold and platinum. Due to the uncertainty of the music business, would the trio's success story go on in 1979? The answer was YES!!!



Photo edited by Marco Rens


"Casanova" by Luv' rapidly entered the Dutch Top 40 and later became a smash hit in the Low Countries and other European territories. To celebrate its 45th anniversary, here's the story of this iconic pop track.





History


In 1977, producers and songwriters Hans van Hemert and Piet Souer teamed up to compose catchy pop songs for the Luv' singers, who eventually conquered hit parades in 18 countries. So why change a winning formula?





Short article about Luv's popularity in Germany, the group's biggest export market, published in De Telegraaf on January 11th, 1979. Click here to read it online. Their success in Goethe's country facilitated the conquest of other Continental European territories.



Nieuwe Winterswijksche courant - January 26th, 1979: Luv's fairy tale

Click here to read it online.


One of Luv's greatest moments of early 1979 happened when the girls appeared on the March 22nd, 1979, episode of the German high-rated TV program "Musikladen". They sang "All You Need Is Luv", a medley of their four biggest hits (My Man, U.O.Me, You're the Greatest Lover and Trojan Horse). At the end of the show, they received gold records for "You're the Greatest Lover", which sold well in the Federal Republic (500.000 certified copies and 650.000 total sales). After the taping of "Musikladen", Luv' celebrated this victory with fellow artists (including Boney M., Village People and Clout) at the Pascha discotheque in Bremen.


Hitkrant - March 29th, 1979: Greatest Lover gold in Germany




Invitation to the Musikladen after party held in honour of Luv' and Village People at the Pascha in Bremen, Germany on March 22nd, 1979




Hitkrant - April 12th, 1979: Luv' celebrating their gold record with showbiz colleagues at the Pascha in Bremen



The Dutch press was interested in Luv's hit records but also paid attention to the group members' privacy, especially Patty Brard and Ron Brandsteder's romance. Luv's enfant terrible and the TROS quizmaster publicly announced their engagement in early 1979.



Limburgsch dagblad - January 27th, 1979: Patty & Ron's engagement

Click here to read the article online



Luv's positive image was used to promote Datsun Cherry, a car model introduced at the Amsterdam International Motor Show (aka AutoRAI) in February 1979.



Algemeen Dagblad - February 3rd, 1979: Luv' promoting Datsun Cherry

Click here to read the article online.



Joepie - February 1979

Source: Gisteren nog Vandaag


Luv's success inspired other Dutch record producers to launch their own girl groups. In a short period, female pop formations sprouted up in Holland.


The popular singer, songwriter and producer Peter Koelewijn formed Babe, a female pop trio featuring Gemma van Eck as the lead singer. Like Hans van Hemert, Koelewijn was under contract with Phonogram. Luv's father was, at first, not amused by Koelewijn's initiative, mainly because Babe and Luv' were on the same label. He often discussed Babe's launch in interviews. Earlier this year, here's what he told Jan Paparazzi and Corné Klijn on the AVROTROS/NPO Radio 5's show "De Weekendborrel": "After I had success with Luv', other producers launched their own girl groups. Peter Koelewijn did a single with Babe. Both of us had an office at Wisseloord Studios. He approached me and wanted to know my opinion about his girl group. I didn't like it. He asked me the most diplomatic question: "Do you think it sounds and looks like Luv'?". To me, it felt like an insult. I answered him: " No, it doesn't sound like Luv'". Then, he went to the label manager, who asked him: "What does Van Hemert think about it?" "Don't worry, he's okay".


De Telegraaf - March 15th, 2019: Babe's debut



De Telegraaf - April 6th, 1979: Competition between Luv' and Babe

Click here to read the article online


Another trio named "Benelux & Nancy Dee" was set up at the same time.



Limburgsch Dagblad - March 22nd, 1979: article about Benelux

Click here to read the article online



Nieuwsblad van het Noorden - April 7th, 1979

Click here to read the article online




De Telegraaf - April 12th, 1979: Nancy Dee & Benelux with Pieter van Vollenhoven (husband of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands).

Click here to read the article online


Peter van Asten and Richard de Bois recruited six girls to form Dolly Dots. This girl group was Luv's main competitor. Dolly Dots took advantage of Luv's first break-up in 1981 when they conquered the Dutch Top 40.



De Telegraaf - May 22nd, 1979: Dolly Dots

Click here to read the article online


Dutch female duo Maywood was an exception to the rule of manufactured girl groups, as its members, Alice May and Caren Wood, were sisters. Alice was a singer and multi-instrumentist, and Caren was a trained vocalist.




Nieuwe Winterswijksche courant - April 27th, 1979: Maywood

Click here to read the article online



On April 20th, 1979, Nieuwe Winterswijksche Courant published an article about the girl groups craze in the Netherlands. In addition to the above-mentioned groups, other acts were cited: Mekka, Hotlips, Tutti Frutti, Level, Party (featuring José's sister, Yvonne van de Wijdeven), and Wild Blossom.



Nieuwe Winterswijksche Courant - April 20th, 1979: Girl groups' Mania in the Low Countries

Click here to read the article online



None of these rivals could compete with Patty Brard, Marga Scheide and José Hoebee. Luv' sold more records than them, especially on the international marketplace.


After the massive success of the million-selling hit singles "You're the Greatest Lover" and "Trojan Horse" in late 1978, Luv's record company had high expectations for the follow-up record. The group's first release in 1979 was the 7" single "Casanova". It was a foretaste of the second LP ("Lots of Luv'") that came out a few weeks later. The lyrics of the song dealt with a husband who was not "the type of a family man" and left his wife because he was a womanizer. The arrangements were inspired by Flamenco, Latin American music, and 1970s Europop.





Lyrics of Casanova printed in Hitkrant (April 1979)


The earliest mention of Luv's new single in the media dated back to March 15th, 1979 in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.


De Telegraaf - March 15th, 1979: Will Hans van Hemert and Luv' leave Phonogram?

Click here to read the article online


"It's very difficult. After "You're the Greatest Lover" and "Trojan Horse", it's not only about finding a good song that will succeed in the Netherlands. The follow-up record has to be an international hit," Hans van Hemert said. "It's a huge weight on my shoulders. "You're the Greatest Lover" and "Trojan Horse" reached the highest positions on the charts in many countries. They have just discovered "You're the Greatest Lover" in South America. People are very enthusiastic about it. Luv's songs have been released in eighty countries. It's important to have a good follow-up after two massive hits. There is a lot of tension. That's why I wrote seven new Luv songs with potential. It was confusing to choose the right track which would come out. Last week, I went on a skiing holiday with my wife to relax. I had to focus on the right choice. Of the seven songs I wrote, I only kept three of them. We will record them and have to select one released as a single," Luv's Pygmalion explained. In the same article, Dutch journalist Henk van der Meyden wrote that Hans van Hemert and his three Luv' protégées might leave Phonogram. "I've received many interesting offers from the whole world. I've been at Phonogram for a long time. It's time to change. I will soon take a decision. There is a possibility that I sign a lucrative deal with a foreign label. The Luv' girls won't let me down, and if I leave Phonogram, they will follow me," Van Hemert asserted.


The Dutch teen magazine Hitkrant confirmed Luv's problems with Phonogram and the creation of a limited company (INTERLUV' B.V) to control the distribution of the group's records inspired by ABBA's example.



Hitkrant - April 5th, 1979: Uncertainty about Luv's future (will the group leave Phonogram for Carrere?)



Hitkrant - April 12th, 1979: Creation of Luv's limited company



On April 14th, 1979, Phonogram/Philips released "Casanova".







The single premiered on AVRO's TV show "TopPop" on April 12th, 1979. The group promoted the track on other famous TV programs (including "TROS Top 50/Rockplanet" and "Showbizzquiz" in the Netherlands and "Musikladen" in Germany). Once again, the girls got the public at their feet.



Limburgsch dagblad - May 12th, 1979: Article about Casanova

Click here to read the article online





Chart performance


On April 21st, 1979, the influential Radio Veronica, which broadcast the Dutch Top 40, chose "Casanova" as an "Alarmschijf" (record of the week).




The April 25th, 1979 edition of De Telegraaf mentioned Casanova's entrance to Dutch record charts in its "Hit Score" section:





Luv's single entered the TROS Top 50 and Avro's TopPop at #15, the Dutch Top 40 at #17, and the Nationale Hitparade at #28.


"Casanova" later became a hit in seven European countries. The original version, sung in English, reached the Top 5 in Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark and the Top 10 in the Netherlands and Germany. The Spanish version was a Top 20 hit in Spain.


Peak positions:


🇳🇱 #6 on the Dutch Top 40 (Netherlands)

Debut date: April 28th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 9

🇳🇱 #2 on the Nationale Hitparade - Top 50 (Netherlands)

Debut date: April 28th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 12

🇧🇪 #5 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

Debut date: April 28th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 12

🇧🇪 #4 on the Ultratop Flanders - Top 30 (Belgium)

Debut date: April 28th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 12

🇩🇪 #6 on the Musikmarkt/Media Control chart - Top 50 (Germany)

Debut date: May 7th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 18

🇪🇺 #2 on the Europarade - Top 30 (European charts)

Debut date: May 10th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 12

🇨🇭 #4 on the Schweizer Hitparade - Top 15 (Switzerland)

Debut date: May 20th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 10

🇩🇰 #2 on the BT Hitlisten - Top 10 (Denmark)

Debut date: June 6th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 4

🇦🇹 #2 on the Ö3 Austria Top 25 (Austria)

Debut date: June 15th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 12

🇪🇸 #18 on Single Top 50 ("Los Domingos de ABC - Musica Joven") (Spain)

Debut date: October 7th, 1979 - Weeks on chart: 6


Total Sales:

🇩🇪 Germany: 300.000 copies (as of December 1979)





Tracklisting & release





Casanova

7" vinyl single (45 rpm) - original release by Philips/Phonogram Records on April 14th, 979


  • A side: Casanova (Janschen & Janschens) - 3:50

  • B side: D.J. (Janschen & Janschens) 3:20


Credits:


José Hoebee, Marga Scheide and Patty Brard - vocals

Recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, Netherlands

Hans van Hemert - producer

Piet Souer - arranger, conductor

Published by Banananas Music

Management – Interlinde Management



Casanova (Spanish version)




Polish edition



Japanese edition



South Africa - Zimbabwean/Rhodesian edition


Click here to be informed about the several editions of Casanova.


Since 2014, "Casanova" has been available on digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube).



Cover versions


Here's a list of the cover versions of "Casanova":


  • Kirstin Lill: "Du bist ein Casanova" (Germany, 1979)

  • Orchester Kai Werner - Casanova (Germany, 1979)

  • Mona Carita: "Voi Mikä Casanova!" (Finland, 1979)

  • Max Greger: "Casanova" (Germany, 1979)

  • Ady Zehnpfennig: "Casanova" (Germany, 1979)

  • Guy Denys His Organ And His Orchestra: "Casanova" (France, 1979)

  • Frank Vlietinck: "Casanova" (Belgium, 1979)

  • Franz Lambert: "Casanova" (Germany, 1979)

  • Claudius Alzner Und Seine Solisten: "Casanova" (Switzerland, 1980)

  • Michael Schau Und Seine Wersi-Orgel: "Casanova" (Germany, 1980)

  • Klaus Beyer: "Casanova" (Germany, 2006)

  • Lindsay: "Casanova" (Belgium, 2009)


TV performances


  • April 12th and April 19th, 1979: AVRO's TopPop (first taping), Netherlands




  • April 14th and April 28th, 1979: TROS Top 50 / Rockplanet (first taping on TROS), Netherlands

  • April 14th, 1979: Stuif es uit (AVRO/Nederland 1), Netherlands

  • May 3rd and May 17th, 1979: AVRO's TopPop (second taping), Netherlands



  • May 5th and May 12th, 1979: TROS Top 50 / Rockplanet (second taping on TROS), Netherlands




  • May 12th, 1979: Showbizzquiz (TROS), Netherlands

  • May 15th, 1979: Plattenküche (WDR), West Germany

  • May 17th, 1979: Musikladen (Radio Bremen), West Germany



  • May 20th, 1979: Tritsch Tratsch (ORF), Austria

  • Unknown broadcast date in 1979: Musik und Gäste (Schweizer Fernsehen), Switzerland

  • May 22nd, 1979: Die Drehscheibe (ZDF), West Germany

  • May 26th, 1979: Ren Je Rot (TROS), Netherlands

  • June 12th, 1979: Dolle Dinsdag (BRT), Belgium




  • June 16th, 1979: Die aktuelle Schaubude (NDR), West Germany




  • July 13th, 1979: Lots of Luv' special on TROS, Netherlands


  • Unknown broadcast date in 1979: Hist og Pist, Denmark

  • August 2nd, 1979: rerun of Lots of Luv' on TROS, Netherlands

  • September 15th, 1979: Aplauso (TVE), Spain





  • Unknown broadcast date in 1979: Musik Jahrmarkt, West Germany


  • December 31st, 1979: Jetzt Geht Die Party Richtig Los! (ZDF), West Germany




  • July 6th, 1993: Margriet (TV1), Belgium


Bibliography:


· Hit-Lexikon des Rock und Pop Vol. 1 by Frank Laufenberg, publ: Verlag Ullstein

· Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie) by Johan van Slooten, publ: Gottmer

Bech


Source: Luv' blog archives, Wikipedia, Discogs.com, Dutchcharts.nl, YouTube, Delpher.nl...

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