The Good Times: 40th anniversary of José's solo album!!!
Many thanks to Marco Rens for the exclusive pictures - courtesy of © José Hoebee's Fan Page on Facebook.
Front cover of "The Good Times " by José
The release of José Hoebee's solo album "The Good Times" by CNR/Carrere Records precisely 40 years ago, on November 17th, 1982, was a milestone in the singer's career. To this day, this record is a must-have for any fan. This masterpiece of 1980s pop music featured five songs which came out as singles: 'I'm So Sorry", "I Will Follow Him", "Secret Love", "The Good Times" and "I Can Hear Music".
The fact that this LP was released came as no surprise. The early stages of José's solo career date back to late December 1980. At the time, Luv' was at a complete standstill due to Marga Scheide's burn-out. José appeared alone on "Telebingo" (a TV show hosted by Mies Bouwman on AVRO) to sing "Mother of the hearts", a track from the "Forever Yours" LP penned by Hans van Hemert and dedicated to his mother. On January 16th, 1981, Dutch newspaper "Holtens Nieuwsblad" published an article entitled "José of Luv' solo?". The media speculated that José might go solo.
In early March 1981, after four hectic years, Luv' announced their (first) break-up. A few months later, the ladies gave a farewell performance on "Nederland Muziekland" (a popular TV show on Veronica channel) and put out a compilation entitled "Goodbye Luv". It seemed to be the end of a short and intense success story.
In the aftermath of the group's dissolution, the question was "which of the Luv' singers will have the most successful solo career?". Patty Brard was the first to release material. Her single "Hold on to Love" did quite well on the Dutch, Belgian and South African charts but the follow-up records flopped.
Meanwhile, Marga and José secretly provided vocals on "Tick-a-thumps my heart", a single by Babe (one of Luv's rivals) which reached the Top 20 in Belgium and the Netherlands in the summer of 1981. In October of that year, José and record producer Will Hoebee got married. The wedding reception took place in David Soul's villa in Los Angeles. Soul became world famous for his role in the TV series "Starsky & Hutch" in the late 1970s. Will produced his album "Best Days Of Our Lives" which came out in 1981 and which included a song entitled "That’s enough for me" (featuring José as a backup vocalist).
Just before the launch of her solo career, José recorded the background vocals on the first album of Doris D. & The Pins produced by Piet Souer (who conceived the Luv' sound with Hans van Hemert). She was not credited on the record sleeve, which was common practice in the music industry at the time (it was before the Milli Vanilli scandal). This LP included the Top 10 hit "The Marvellous Marionettes".
Late November 1981 saw the real start of José's solo career with the release of the single "I'm so sorry". The song was written by Piet Souer and produced by Pim Koopman (member of the legendary pop-rock band Kayak and producer of the sister duo Maywood). Moreover, José had a helping hand from Marga Scheide for her styling and her husband Will for musical expertise. Though the singer was surrounded by generous and devoted people, her debut record wasn't a mainstream success. It entered the Tipparade (a list of singles that didn't chart on the main hit parade) in early December 1981 and later peaked at #3. It failed to break into the Dutch Top 40 but reached #39 on the Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100).
Hitkrant - February 4th, 1982
José's solo career really took off with the two next singles (also produced by Pim Koopman). In the summer of 1982, her cover version of Peggy March's pop classic "I Will Follow Him" was a chart-topper in the Netherlands and Belgium. The follow-up single "Secret Love" (a cover version of a Doris Day song) was also popular on the singles charts: #11 on the Dutch Top 40 and #3 on the Flemish BRT Top 30.
Marga was the last to try her luck musically outside of Luv' in October 1982 after Patty and José. She was the lead member of the short-lived girl group "Marga & Deuce" which recorded the unsuccessful single "One, two, three Bananas" (written and produced by Piet Souer).
Recording and production
After José's two massive hits, the next step was to put out a full-length album. Once again, Pim Koopman supervised the recording sessions that took place at D.M.C Studios in Baarn, Holland and played all the instruments. He was assisted by sound engineers John Smit and John Sonneveld. In addition to four cover versions (Little Peggy March's I Will Follow Him, The Beach Boys' I Can Hear Music, Doris Day's Secret Love and The Hollies' Casualty), the LP featured six original tracks: two written by Piet Souer ("I'm So Sorry" and "The Good Times") as well as four written by Pim Koopman ("Say No More", "A Reason For Fallin' In Love", "If I Could Be Near You" and "Mr. Jones"). Pim used the pseudonym "W. Helmus" to write "Mr. Jones".
Carine and Alice (of Maywood) were the backup singers on "I Will Follow Him" and "Casualty". Lucy Steymel provided backing vocals on "The Good Times", "I Can Hear Music" and "Say No More". Julie Forsyth (of the legendary British pop group "Guys 'n' Dolls") sang the background vocals on "Secret Love".
Back cover of "The Good Times"
Here's what José told me about her first and only solo LP: "My solo album was, of course, a highlight. It was hard, especially after my successful period with Luv'. The question was: "Would the fans accept it?". Fortunately, they remain loyal to this day. My husband Will came up with the idea of "I Will Follow Him". He thought he was too close to me to produce my records. That's why he asked Pim Koopman to take over the production. It was a fantastic idea and a success".
José & Pim Koopman at the party to celebrate "I Will Follow Him": number-one on the Dutch Top 40 (July 1982)
Govert de Roos (who photographed the Who's who of international pop and rock artists including John Lennon, The Jacksons, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Whitney Houston, Debbie Harry, Queen, Iggy Pop and ABBA) took beautiful pictures of José for the cover of the album.
Montage by Marco Rens
I WILL FOLLOW HIM - (Del Roma/Stole/Plante/Altman/Gimbel)
THE GOOD TIMES- (P. Souer)
I CAN HEAR MUSIC - (J. Barry/E. Greenwich/P. Spector)
SAY NO MORE - (P, Koopman)
A REASON FOR FALLIN' IN LOVE - (P. Koopman)
SECRET LOVE - (S. Fain/P. Webster)
CASUALTY - (P. Bliss/R. Demick)
IF I COULD BE NEAR YOU - (P. Koopman)
I'M SO SORRY - (P. Souer)
MR. JONES- (W. Helmus)
The Good Times released on cassette
José: lead vocals, backing vocals
Caren & Alice (Maywood): backing vocals on "I Will Follow Him" and "Casualty"
Lucy Steymel: backing vocals on "The Good Times", "I Can Hear Music" and "Say No More"
Julie Forsyth: backing vocals on "Secret Love"
Pim Koopman: backing vocals on "I Can Hear Music" and "I'm So Sorry"
All instruments played by Pim Koopman for Purple Eye Productions B.V
This album was recorded at D.M.C studios, Baarn, Holland
Engineered by John Smit and John Sonneveld
"I Will Follow Him" was recorded and mixed at Soundpush studios, Blaricum
"Casualty" was recorded at Soundpush studios and mixed at D.M.C studios
Engineer at Soundpush studios: Jan Schuurman
Instruments supplied by HVK Music
Special thanks to Jan Koelewijn, Will Hoebee, Piet Souer and all at D.M.C and Soundpush studios
Photography: Govert de Roos
Make-up: Frans Sam
Produced and arranged by Pim Koopman
Ⓟ + © CNR Records - Holland
CNR/Carrere Records organized a special event to launch the "Good Times" album. During the "Nacht van CNR" (Night of CNR) on November 16th, 1982, José helped to deliver copies of her LP to record stores in Rotterdam. The next day, the album was officially released on 33 1⁄3 rpm vinyl record and cassette formats in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Good Times was never released on CD although Fonos.nl (a now-defunct service) sold digitized and restored copies online. The songs on the album (except "Say No More") appeared on the CD compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks" (released by WVS Music in 2005). "Say No More" was included in early 2006 on the CD single of "I Will Follow Him" (2005 version).
A short biography of José by Carrere Holland, November 1982 - courtesy of José Hoebee Fan Page (Facebook)
José during the CNR Night - Hitkrant - November 1982
Review of "The Good Times" in Hitkrant - November 1982
On May 7th, 2019, The Good Times became available on digital platforms. A wrong release date (April 25th, 1982) was mentioned on these online services.
Apple Music: https://apple.co/3hEYQvb
Amazon Music: https://amzn.to/3AawNKJ
Ted Neeley (of Jesus Christ Superstar) posing with "The Good Times" in his hands at a meet 'n greet with José and fans at De Telegraaf building in Amsterdam in September 2016
Chimène van Oosterhout, who was a Luv' member with José Hoebee and Marga Scheide in 2019, at the private viewing of the "Album Sleeve Art" exhibition set up by Govert de Roos and Rens Benerink at the American Hotel in Amsterdam on September 13th, 2019
Source: Luv' and José Hoebee's Wikipedia, Discogs.com, Dutchcharts, Facebook, PimKoopman.nl