Bolland & Bolland



Like we already concluded before some Europop producers may not have a big trackrecord but with the hits they had they left a definate mark on the European popmusic scène. This certainly can be said for Dutch producers Bolland & Bolland who may not have many hits, but the ones they had were huge. And with their typical Dutch production style they certainly left their mark. Over the years their partnership turned into a well oiled machine writing and delivering around 40! tracks a month to the copyright office. One of the brothers explained in an interview that they sometimes get revenues from a song they have no idea when or how they wrote it. A duo that sometimes chooses quantity over quality.

The brothers Bolland are actually not from Holland bu were born in Port Elizabeth in South Africa (Rob on April 17, 1955, and Ferdi on August 5, 1956). The brothers learned to play the guitar at an early age from their brother Ton. Obviously they had talent. At the age of 10 and 11 they were offered a recordcontract but duet o the law on child labour the contract turned out to be illegal. In 1969 the brothers emigrated to the Netherlands and started the band Swingkickers in The Hague. Working under the name Bolland & Bolland they signed a recorddeal in 1971. This resulted in 1972 in a first single called ‘Wait for the sun’. At the time the couple had a  folky a cappella-style following the success of Simon and Garfunkel and their Dutch equivalents Greenfield and Cook.

The single got them to perform in the popular TV show ‘Voor de vuist weg’ which added to their recognition. A year later they participated in the World Popular Song Festival in Tokio where they reached the finals and were awarded with the prize for ‘Best composition’. Their first album (1975) was produced by Hans van Hemert but the couple soon decided they wanted to be producers themselves. When in 1976 their success started to wane, they turned towards a more electronic sound with the 1978 single ‘Spaceman’ as a first result. In april 1979 they signed a deal with Bovema/Negram as an independent production team. One of their first projects was the Dutch Eurovision entry for singer Sandra Reemer, then time girlfriend of Rob, who performed ‘Colorado’ under the name Xandra.

Outside the Netherlands they shortened their name to Bolland and established their name internationally with the release of the concept album ‘The Domino Theory’ (1981). The edgy, tuneful album is a critical look at war and US intervention in foreign conflicts from the viewpoint of the foot soldier. It contains the single ‘In the Army Now’, which became a small hit under their own name. However, picked up by singer Francis Rossi the song was turned into a World wide hit in 1986 for Status Quo. But by then their international breaktkrough as producers was already a fact with ‘Rock me Amadeus’ with Austrian singer Falco.

The second half the Eighties the duo produced singles and albums Numero Uno (1984, who had a big Italo hit with ‘Tora Tora Tora’), Amii Stewart (1986), Roger Chapman (1987), Samantha Fox (1988), Vicky Laraz (1989) and of course almost all albums by Falco. After some medling with house music (with Goddess and Ahmex) they returned in 1997 trying to hook up with the boyband craze resulting in two Dutch-languaged boy/girl band projects B.E.D. (hitsingle ‘Welles verliefd geweest’) and WOW! (hitsingles: ‘Keer op keer’ and ‘Zomer’). In 1997 the Bolland brothers also wrote, played and produced an album under the moniker Daniella's Daze on the heavy metal label Roadrunner Records. The electronic rock album was called "Slut" and featured an uncredited female singer. The only single "100% Jesus" received good radio airplay in Australia, but no further CDs were released by the collective. Other projects at the time were a rework of Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the water’ with Ian Gillan & Ray Slijngaard and an album with Eurovision-winner Dana International (‘Free’). At the start of the 21st Century the brothers gradually drift apart. They do work together in creating the musical ‘Three Musketeers’ in 2003 but after that they went their subsequent way.

Album wise the Bolland & Bolland brothers maybe aren’t very interesting or proven timeless. But over the years they left some interesting singles and songs which are worth seeking out if you like their sound.

- Bolland - The Domino Theory - 1981

- Falco - Falco 3 - 1985

- Numero Uno – Tora Tora Tora - 1985

- Falco - Emotional - 1986

- Amii Stewart - Amii - 1986

- Roger Chapman - Techno-Prisoners - 1987

- Vicky Larraz - Huracan - 1989

- Goddess - The Sexual Album - 1992

- Falco - Nachtflug - 1992

Fancy - Blue Planet Zikastar - 1995

Ahmex - The Wicked Album - 1995

- B.E.D. - 1997

- WOW! - Wild + Ondeugend - 1997

- Dana International - Free - 1999