• Ralph Ruiz

Top 10 José songs

Dernière mise à jour : 14 juil.


Photo montage by Marco Rens


The Top 10 José Hoebee Songs list presents the ten most successful José's singles released in the 1980s. It is based on the commercial success of the records (including charts positions in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). After her triumphant Luv' years in the international marketplace, José Hoebee was the former member of the girl group who had the most popular career focused on the Low Countries, mainly as a solo singer and a duettist. Due to cover versions of American and British classic pop hits, the talented singer was nicknamed the "Cover Queen of Dutch pop music" in the 1980s.


#10: I'm So Sorry (released in late November 1981 by CNR/Carrere Records)


José's solo debut record. The song was written by Piet Souer (who co-wrote Luv's repertoire with Hans van Hemert) and produced by Pim Koopman (member of the legendary pop-rock band Kayak and producer of sister duo Maywood). Moreover, José had a helping hand from Marga Scheide for her styling and her husband Will Hoebee for musical expertise. Though generous and devoted people surrounded the singer, "I'm So Sorry" wasn't a mainstream success and missed the Dutch Top 40. In 1982, the iconic French-Bulgarian chanteuse Sylvie Vartan covered the track in French ("La Sortie de Secours").


Chart position:

🇳🇱 #39 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)


# 9: Waarom by Bonnie & José with Ron Brandsteder (released in October 1985 by RCA Records)


A duet by Bonnie St. Claire and José Hoebee. In 1984, the ladies joined forces to record Dutch cover versions of ABBA songs. After two Dutch Top 40 hits ("Cassandra" and "Zoals Vrienden Doen" (The Way Old Friends Do), Bonnie & José put out a full-length LP entitled "Herinnering" in September 1985. Will Hoebee, at the time a sought-after producer, supervised the recording sessions at the prestigious Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Eurovision Song Contest conductor Harry van Hoof was the arranger. The ladies' album was reissued on CD/DVD in November 2020 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. This record included "Waarom", the cover of ABBA's "Move On" whose Dutch lyrics were written by Ron Brandsteder, who also contributed as a narrator.


Chart position:

🇳🇱 #35 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)


#8: I Can Hear Music (released by CNR/Carrere Records in February 1983)


A cover version of a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector for American girl group The Ronettes in 1966. Three years later, the track was made famous by the legendary Beach Boys. José's version was produced by Pim Koopman and was a minor hit in the Low Countries. It came out after a glorious 1982 that saw the peak of José's solo career with the success of "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love".


Charts positions:

🇳🇱 #48 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇧🇪 #13 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

🇧🇪 #15 on the Ultratop Flanders (Belgium)


#7: The Good Times (released by CNR/Carrere in November 1982)


After the huge success of "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love" in the Netherlands and Flanders, CNR/Carrere Records put out José's solo album "The Good Times". A single named after the LP came out simultaneously. Unlike the two previous records which were cover versions, "The Good Times" was an original track penned by Piet Souer and produced by Pim Koopman.



Charts positions:

🇳🇱 #37 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇧🇪 #28 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

🇧🇪 #35 on the Ultratop Flanders (Belgium)


#6: Time Goes By (released by CNR/Carrere Records in March 1984)


In early 1984, José chose to render the pop song "Time Goes By" (originally recorded by Hungarian band Neoton Família (aka Newton Family). The original track won the Grand Prix at the World Popular Song Festival (aka Yamaha Music Festival) in Tokyo, Japan in 1983. Pim Koopman produced José's version. French singer Sylvie Vartan, Finnish vocalist Eini and José Luis Rodríguez (from Venezuela) covered the track in their languages.


Chart position:

🇳🇱 #16 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇳🇱 Sales: 10.000 copies (Netherlands)


#5: Zoals Vrienden Doen by Bonnie & José (released by RCA Records in June 1985)


Bonnie St. Claire & José Hoebee's signature song. After Cassandra's respectable success on the Dutch charts, the ladies decided to continue their professional relationship. In late 1984 and early 1985, they were involved in the ABBAcadra project, a TV musical based on ABBA songs in Dutch with an All-Stars cast including Marga Scheide, Benny Neyman and Ron Brandsteder. In the summer of 1985, RCA Records put out "Zoals Vrienden Doen" (the cover of ABBA's "The Way Old Friends Do") and performed by Bonnie & José. Will Hoebee supervised the recording. Benny Neyman (a famous artist from Will's roster) wrote the text of this track in Dutch. During the promotion of the record, José had to slow down as she was pregnant. However, this duet single became quite successful. Even though it was initially an ABBA song, "Zoals Vrienden Doen" became a classic of Dutch-speaking pop music. Several artists covered Bonnie & José's version over the years: Dutch trumpeter Marty in 1985, Flemish chanteuse Dana Winner in 1986, Flemish duo Eric Flanders & Margriet Hermans in 2001, Dutch duo Annie Schilder and Anja Steur in 2007, Janneke de Roo and sister Anita with the pirate choir De Stormvogels in 2009 and Soprano singer Amira Willighagen (winner of Holland's Got Talent 2013) in 2018. In 2015, José Hoebee's matinee with Dutch Show Company (fronted by Anton van Stekelenborg) took place at Musis Sacrum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The songstress and the party band performed several tracks from her back catalogue, including "Zoals Vrienden Doen".

Charts positions:

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

🇳🇱 #18 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)


#4: Cassandra by Bonnie & José (released by Philips Records in June 1984)


Bonnie St. Claire & José' Hoebee's first duet. The two singers had known each other since 1978 because they were under the same management (Interlinde, a company owned by Pim ter Linde). They rapidly became friends. In 1983, Bonnie had the opportunity to cover "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" in Dutch. Former ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog originally performed this song. Bonnie's version entitled "Sla Je Arm Om Me Heen" (produced by Will Hoebee) was a hit in the Netherlands. In 1984, long before the revival of interest in ABBA's music (ABBAesque by Erasure, ABBA Gold, Mamma Mia! musical...), Bonnie and José decided to form a duo to record songs of the Swedish Fab Four in Dutch. Their first collaboration was "Cassandra" (originally the B-side of ABBA's hit "The Day Before You Came" in late 1982). Will Hoebee produced the single. Benny Neyman's Dutch lyrics dealt with the movement of Argentinian mothers (Las Madres de La Plaza de Mayo) who marched in 1977 in Buenos Aires to protest against the disappearance of their children. Although "Cassandra" was Bonnie & José's most successful Dutch Top 40 hit, it became less iconic than the follow-up single "Zoals Vrienden Doen".


Charts positions:

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

🇳🇱 #19 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)


#3: So Long, Marianne by José & Ron Brandsteder (released by CNR in December 1983)


After her solo hits, José experienced a new phase of her career by releasing her first duet. The songstress decided to collaborate with Dutch TV personality Ron Brandsteder. In 1979 and 1980, Ron was briefly married to Patty Brard in 1979. 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. In late 1983, José and Ron recorded a cover version of Leonard Cohen's classic hit "So Long, Marianne" produced by Will Hoebee with arrangements by Harry van Hoof. This song was initially composed and performed by the great Canadian Folk Maestro Leonard Cohen in 1967. Ron & José's version was included on Brandsteder's album "Niet Alleen" and later appeared on José's 2005 compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks". The duo promoted their single on major Dutch TV shows (Showbizzquiz, Nederland Muziekland, Sportgala and AVRO's TopPop). This strategy paid off as their record was popular on the hit parade.



Charts positions:

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

🇳🇱 #6 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇧🇪 #20 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

🇧🇪 #30 on the Ultratop Flanders (Belgium)


#2: Secret Love (released by CNR/Carrere Records in September 1982)


The follow-up single to the #1 hit "I Will Follow Him". 1982 was a fabulous year in José's solo career. After her first massive solo hit, the singer noticed that her recipe for success was to perform classic hits from the 1950s and 1960s. In the summer of 1982, she chose to cover "Secret Love", a song originally performed by Doris Day in the film "Calamity Jane" in 1953. The track was written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1954. It reached the number one spot on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts in the USA. The record was also a chart-topper in the UK. Many international recording artists (including Connie Francis, Kim Weston & Marvin Gaye, Freddy Fender, George Michael, Viola Wills, Mandy Moore, Engelbert Humperdinck and K.d Lang) covered the song. Pim Koopman chose an uptempo dance-pop orchestration for José's version. British singer July Forsyth (member of "Guys 'n Dolls" between 1974 and 1985) recorded the backing vocals. José's Secret Love became an instant hit in the Low Countries.


Charts positions:

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

🇳🇱 #14 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇧🇪 #3 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

🇧🇪 #4 on the Ultratop Flanders (Belgium)


#1: I Will Follow Him (Released by CNR/Carrere Records in May 1982)


José's most popular solo song which hit the number-one spot in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium). One year after Luv's first disbandment, José proved that she could be successful on her own. "I Will Follow Him" was originally a French tune entitled "Chariot" written by Frank Pourcel (as J.W. Stole) and Paul Mauriat (as Del Roma). It was first recorded by "Frank Pourcel et Son Grand Orchestre" and appeared as an instrumental piece on the 1961 French LP "Amour, danse et violons No. 17". Jacques Plante wrote French lyrics and British vocalist Petula Clark recorded the track which became very popular in France. The song was later adapted in English by Arthur Altman and Norman Gimbel. 15-year old artist Little Peggy March performed it as "I Will Follow Him" and made it a world sensation when it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1963 in the USA. Nearly 20 years later, José covered it and let Pim Koopman produce it. The famous sister duo Maywood (whose greatest hits were produced by Koopman) did the backing vocals. Thanks to the success of "I Will Follow Him", José was part of a prestigious list of artists (including John Lennon, George Michael, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross) who had #1 hit singles in Holland as members of a group and as solo singers. This list appeared in the 1997 edition of "500 Nr. 1 Hits uit de Top 40", a book written by Johan van Slooten. In 2005, Flemish producer Serge Ramaekers (who formed the New Beat group Confetti's) remixed José's I Will Follow Him. The remix was included on the compilation "Alle hits & unieke bonustracks" and was a minor hit in early 2006. In 2011, a dream came true: José and Peggy March recorded a new version of their signature song as a duet. One year later, it was released as a bonus track on Peggy's album "Always and Forever".


Charts positions:

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

🇳🇱 #2 on the Nationale Hitparade (Netherlands)

🇧🇪 #1 on the BRT Top 30 (Belgium)

🇧🇪 #1 on the Ultratop Flanders (Belgium)

🇳🇱/🇧🇪 Sales: 100.000 copies (Netherlands - Flanders/Belgium)



SOURCE OF RECORD CHARTS:


🇳🇱 Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100): https://dutchcharts.nl/

🇳🇱 Dutch Top 40 (Netherlands): https://www.top40.nl/

🇧🇪 BRT Top 30: http://www.muziekbank.be/top30/index.html

🇧🇪 Ultratop Flanders (Belgium): https://www.ultratop.be/nl/

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