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  • Photo du rédacteurRalph Ruiz

"So Long, Marianne" by José & Ron: 40th anniversary

Photo courtesy of Jos Theuns, © José Hoebee Fan Page & Official Luv' Fan Page (Facebook)

Photo edited by Marco Rens

Forty years ago precisely, on February 18th, 1984, the single "So Long, Marianne" by José Hoebee and Ron Brandsteder entered the Dutch Top 40. This cover version of a Leonard Cohen classic was successful on the Dutch and Flemish charts and later achieved cult status among the fans. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, here's the story of this iconic pop track.


José Hoebee proved she could be very popular as a solo artist after Luv's first break-up in 1981. 1982 was the peak of her career: she scored two big solo hits in the Low Countries (the #1 song "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love"). She later had minor hits ("The Good Times", "I Can Hear Music", and "Hey Now, Watcha Gonna Do"). In late 1982, the songstress released the solo album "The Good Times".

Front cover of "The Good Times " album by José (including "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love")

Ron was a popular TV personality and was briefly married to Patty Brard in 1979-1980. This good-looking and charismatic quizmaster hosted the high-rated game show "Showbizzquiz" on TROS between 1978 and 1986. Luv' and José sang several times on Ron's TV program.

Ron Brandsteder: the star of Showbizzquiz

In late 1983, José and Ron decided to record a cover version of Leonard Cohen's song "So Long, Marianne" as a duet. José's husband, the sought-after music professional Will Hoebee, supervised the recording sessions. Eurovision Song Contest conductor Harry van Hoof was the arranger.

Ron & José

"So Long, Marianne" was initially composed and performed by the great Canadian Folk Maestro Leonard Cohen in 1967. It appeared on his debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen". It was inspired by Marianne Jensen (later Marianne Ihlen), whom Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. The artist said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.

José & Ron's duet premiered on television on "Showbizzquiz" on December 31st, 1983. The duo promoted their single on other major TV shows ("Nederland Muziekland", "Sportgala", "AVRO's TopPop"). This strategy paid off as their record was successful on the hit parade.

José & Ron backstage at NCRV/Hilversum 3's radio show "Los Vast" in Veghel, the Netherlands on January 7th, 1984 (Photo courtesy of Jos Theuns):

The song was included on Ron's album "Niet Alleen" and later appeared on José's 2005 compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks".

José experienced a new phase of her career with the success of "So Long, Marianne". After her solo hits, she released other duet singles (especially with Bonnie St. Claire).

Press clipping about Ron & José published in early 1984

In April 2011, Ron and José (with her Luv' colleagues) took part in a music show, "Typisch 80", at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, Netherlands. They surprised the audience when they performed their iconic duet more than 27 years after its release.

Ron & José singing "So Long, Marianne" during the "Typisch 80" show (2011)


Photographer Jan Swinkels took a beautiful picture of José and Ron for the front cover of their single.

Commercial performance

"So Long, Marianne" by Ron Brandsteder & José entered the two main Dutch charts, the Top 40 and the Nationale Hitparade, on February 18th, 1984. It spent seven weeks on the Dutch Top 40 (from February 18th to March 31st, 1984) and reached #11 for one week on March 10th, 1984. The single stayed for eight weeks on the Nationale Hitparade (from February 18th to April 7th, 1984) and peaked at #6 for one week on March 10th, 1984.

The record charted also in Flanders (Belgium): it spent three weeks on the BRT Top 30 (March 24th to April 7th, 1984) and peaked at #30 on March 31st, 1984. It stayed for three weeks on the Flemish Ultratop: it entered the chart on March 17th, 1984 and dropped out of this list the following week. It re-entered the Ultratop at #20 (peak position) and stayed on this chart until April 7th, 1984.

Photo edited by Marco Rens


Front cover

CNR/Carrere released two versions of "So Long, Marianne" as a 7-inch 45 rpm single in late December 1983:

Version 1:

  • A side: José en Ron Brandsteder: So Long, Marianne (L. Cohen) - 4:22

  • B side: José en Ron Brandsteder: So Long, Marianne (Instrumental) (L. Cohen) -3:05

Version 2:

  • A side: So Long, Marianne (José & Ron Bransteder) - 4:22 Written by Leonard Cohen

  • B side: Het Laatste Lied (Ron Brandsteder) - 3:20 Written by Cat Music and Ron Brandsteder


Vocals: Ron Brandsteder & José Hoebee

Arranged by Harry van Hoof

Produced by Will Hoebee

Recorded by Pieter Boer

Management – Interlinde Management

Photography by Jan Swinkels

Design: Myosotis Baarn

"So Long, Marianne" is available on digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music and YouTube).

Radio and TV performances

  • December 31st, 1983: Showbizzquiz (TROS):

  • January 7th, 1984: radio performance on Los Vast (NCRV-Hilversum 3)

  • February 12th, 1984: Nederland Muziekland (Veronica)

  • Unknown broadcast date: AVRO's TopPop / Sportgala (Veronica):

  • March 5th, 1984: Tineke (Veronica)

  • March 11th, 1984 : Nederland Muziekland (Veronica)


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

Source:, BRT Top 30, YouTube, Luv' Blog Archive,,

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