lundi 12 février 2018

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40th anniversary of "Het is Weer zo laat!" and "U.O.Me" - Luv's ticket to stardom




40 years ago, on February 12th, 1978 the broadcast of Dutch TV series "Het is weer zo laat!" changed the destiny of Marga Scheide, José Hoebee and Patty Brard better known as Luv'. The show featured the ladies performing the theme song "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" during the opening credits. "Het is weer zo laat!" was an instant hit in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) making Luv' a household name in the Low Countries.




Montage by Marco Rens 


History 

In 1977, Luv's debut single "My Man" scored quite well on the Dutch and Flemish charts but it did not change the girls into pop stars (see article posted on June 11th, 2017). The follow-up record "Dream, Dream" flopped (see article posted on December 17th, 2017). 


In late 1977, Dutch TV channel VPRO commissioned Hans van Hemert to write the theme song for the burlesque series "Het is weer zo laat" which was conceived by Wim T. Schippers (in association with Gied Jaspars), directed by Wim van der Linden and produced by Ellen Jens


Assisted by Piet Souer, Van Hemert wanted a new sound for the girl group. Something more festive and less ABBAesque than the previous records. He wrote the Carnival and disco track "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" and let it record by Luv'

Here's what Hans recalled when I asked him how he penned the song: 

"In late 1977, I was asked to write a tune for the VPR0 show "Waldolala". As always after I finished a track, I let it listen to several persons.  One of them was Luv's manager at the time Han Meyer who was immediately enthusiastic about it and suggested me to record it with the girls. Gied Jaspars and Wim T. Schippers were satisfied with the song but didn't want Luv' to appear on the show. They thought the ladies were "too commercial". The director Wim van der Linden loved this idea and insisted on the group being present on the TV program. It was a fabulous opportunity because the previous single had flopped. This exposure was more than welcome (to Waldolala)!!! LOL...I called the track "U.O.Me (You Owe Me)" but no-one in Holland understood it. People called it UOOMU and rapidly everybody called it "Waldolala". It was not the first time that a singer or a band had a hit record with a song which was initially meant for someone or something else. The same thing happened with "The Elephant Song" (a #1 hit single performed by Kamahl in 1975 and meant for Frank Sinatra) and "Wij Houden van Oranje" (a Top 3 hit in 1988 by André Hazes which was supposed to be recorded at first by Willeke Alberti). Sometimes when I write songs I'm inspired by tracks that I like. Raffaella Carra's signature song "A Far l'Amore Cominicia Tu" motivated me for "U.O.Me"





"Het is weer zo laat" starred Dolf Brouwers as Waldo van Dungen, owner of the nightclub "Waldolala". The series aired weekly from February 12th to April 23rd, 1978 and was a high-rated TV program. The fact that Luv' appeared during the opening credits to perform their song was a fabulous publicity stunt for the trio. José, Patty and Marga 
rapidly became Holland's sweethearts and sex symbols. Their career really took off. 








Het is weer zo laat! was released on DVD in 2008.

The earliest mention of "U.O.Me" in the media dated back to January 5th, 1978 in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. The use of the song in a TV series was considered as a "free promotion for Hans van Hemert".



The Dutch press published other articles prior to the broadcast of the TV show:






Het Vrije Volk - February 11th, 1978

Limburgsch Dagblad - February 11th, 1978

"U.O.Me" was supposed to be the "record of the week" on the highly influential NCRV radio station. But things went wrong at the last moment. "We'd already had a party. When your single is chosen as the "record of the week", it's a wonderful promotion. To my great surprise, I was told that we couldn't continue," Luv' manager Han Meyer explained to De Telegraaf. The fact that Luv' performed "U.O.Me" on a risqué VPRO program didn't match with the Christian target group of NCRV. However, Meyer was confident. "U.O.Me will surely enter the hit parade. Luv' is much more than three good looking women. They can also sing," he added. 




De Telegraaf - February 11th, 1978

This bad situation was rapidly forgotten as U.O.Me became the "Radio and TV tip" of the AVRO broadcaster. This is why Luv' was scheduled on the iconic music TV show AVRO's TopPop. The record even entered the Tipparade (that ranked singles that did not enter the Dutch Top 40on Veronica radio station. It was even part of the playlist of the popular Hilversum 3 station. 






De Telegraaf - February 16th, 1978



Not all the broadcasters appreciated Luv's single. A group of artists and professionals from the Dutch record industry (including Han Meyer, Hans van Hemert and Luv' as well as Vader Abraham, BZN, Teach In, Pussycat and George Baker) felt unfairly treated because the socialist VARA Broadcasting Association boycotted their productions. Under the aegis of Meyer, they intended to take the matter up with the authorities. 



De Telegraaf - February 18th, 1978


The girls were shocked by the racy image of "Het is weer zo laat!" and were happy that they were not involved in the sketches of the series. Despite its weird content, the program brought Luv' fame and fortune. 

By the Spring of 1978, U.O.Me reached its peak in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).





Het Parool - April 18th, 1978

Limburgs Dagbald - April 19th, 1978





Chart performance

"U.O.Me" was released in February 1978 by Phonogram/Philips Records. On March 11th, the single entered the Dutch Top 40 and later peaked at #3. It reached the same position on the Nationale Hitparade and #2 on the BRT Top 30 in Belgium as well. The record sold 150.000 copies. It came out abroad (France, Germany, Finland, Turkey, Philippines...) but was not a success outside Benelux. Luv's international breakthrough happened with the next single "You're the Greatest Lover".




TV performances


Het is weer zo laat (Waldolala)! - broadcast on VPRO between February 12th and April 23rd, 1978


AVRO's Toppop - February 18th, 1978


Countdown on Veronica (1978)


 "In Een Groen Groen Discoland" (TROS) - April 18th, 1978

MOT (Music On Top) - NDR/ARD (Germany) - April 20th, 1978


Mix of "Het is weer zo laat" and "All You Need Is Luv'" TV special on TROS - November 19th, 1978


Tracklisting & release

U.O.Me 

7" vinyl single (45 rpm) - original release by Philips/Phonogram Records in February 1978


  • A side : "U.O.Me" (Janschen & Janschens) – 2:55

  • B side : "Hang On" (Janschen & Janschens) – 3:07


Click here to be informed about the several editions of U.O.Me


Original Dutch cover


French cover

German cover

Filipino pressing

Turkish pressing 


Cover versions


* Dutch band Conquistador (also produced by Hans van Hemert and Piet Souer) recorded an instrumental version of this song in 1978: 



* Schlager singer Peter Petrel sang a German version entitled "Wer Hat Hier Denn Wohl Wen Verführt" in 1978: 




* De Strangers recorded a parody in Dutch entitled "'t Sauna Bad" in 1978:




* Finnish girl group Mirumaru covered the track in their language and named it "Sun Vain Oon"  in 1978. 




* De Vedettes recorded their version of Luv's breakthrough hit to support the Dutch national football team (the famous Oranjes) at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This cover was entitled "Oh! Wat Een Mooie Goal!" (Oh! What a beautiful goal!) and peaked at #39 on Holland's Single Top 100 in July 2010.



* In 2015, Pop singer Tamara Tol released a Dutch cover version entitled "Dan Gan We Dansen". The track reached #23 on Oranje Top 30 (a Gfk chart of the 30 most popular Dutch music productions): 



* In 2016, Dutch rapper Def Rhymz & Ronnie Ruysdael covered the legendary pop song and named it "Fawaka":



* In January 2018, the TV commercial for breakfast cereals "Granooolala" featured three lovely ladies dressed in 1970s outfits (with Charlie's Angels-like wigs) and lip-syncing to a new version of "U.O.Me" (see news posted on January 17th, 2018):



* Bibliography


  • Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie) by Johan van Slooten, publisher: Gottmer Bech 
  • The Story of Luv' by Peter Boonstra



Source: Marco Rens, Blog archives, Wikipedia, Delpher.nl, De Krant van Toen, Beeld en geluid, Dutchcharts.nl, BRT Top 30, Discogs.com, YouTube...

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