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Besides the bands who were known for playing hard music, there were also quite a lot of heavy songs recorded by bands that were not considered as tough rockers. Some of them are really worth listening, so that’s why they’re listed here…
The very first band in Belgium who knew how to use a guitar in a heavy way was probably ADAM’S RECITAL from AntwerpIt was Louis Devries who picked this band up and got them a record contract at Barclay. Their sole heritage is the single “There’s No Place For The Lonely People” / “New York City (Barclay 60871) released in 1968.
They got a lot of press headlines (“the Flemish Jimi Hendrix….”) and did play much in the whole of Europe. But after all, the tapes recorded for their full album still stay in a safe somewhere in Rome…. ”There’s No Place…” was also featured on the Eat Sprouts compilation album from 1989. (Drop Out Records DR1989001)
Another band who did manage to release their music in 1968 was SWEET FEELING. This band from Liege had already made three pop-singles when they came up with the heavy BB King classic “Rock Me Baby“ together with “Treat Her Right” (EMI Columbia DCB113). A fifth 7” should follow a year later, but unfortunately they did let them talk into recording two Beatles songs. In France, “Rock, Me Baby” only got upon a B-side (Germinal GE 45.015) with one of those Beatles tunes on A.
Psychedelic but yet catchy is DEVIL’S POWER song Le Monde Etrange. Entirely build around an organ tune and resounding drums;
they managed to get people in a real trance when playing this one on stage. Mostly it was brought in a stretched out version that lasted for about fifteen or twenty minutes. The flipside Poussiere is way less interesting, being slow symfo with flute playing. (Robar n1059)
CLEE’S FIVE was just another cover-band as every town used to have one, except for the fact that they released two albums with these covers. On one of them “Top 15 Hit Parade 1968” (Fontana ACY 846.004) was the Cochran tune “Summertime Blues”, made famous by the American trio Blue Cheer.
In 1969 Barclay records released “Love Forever / Fallen Astronauts” (Barclay BLY 61665), a 7” from a band called RECREATION. This instrumental trio from the south was inspired by such bands as The Nice and Soft Machine. Their compositions were 100% based on keyboard melodies, although it was especially the b-side with his short guitar intro who created a buzz among lovers of psychedelic music. A year later they came up with a full album Don’t Open…” (Triangle BE 920219) and then the press started to compare them with British successful trio Emerson Lake & Palmer, who also released their first lp around that time.
Another two years later Recreation produced a second album Music Or Not Music (Barclay 920.356 T) leaving the ELP sound behind in favour of a very weird and experimental jazz-rock approach. Thanks to the addition of guitar on some songs (f.i. Nothing’s Holy) this lp was much more interesting for open minded rockers, than that one-dimensional first lp. The German label Bellaphon released both albums in Germany while in 2003 the Australian record label Progressive line gave them a cd release (PL 590).
The legendary song Hip-Hip Hurray from THE SNAP SHOTS (b.w.You Made A Big MistakeVogue VB 109) is considered as one of the top-songs from Belgium’s sixties artists.
Hard rocking with lots of fuzz Hip-Hip Hurray reminds of the wild energy that was made on the other side of the ocean by bands like The Stooges. Just as many bands from the early days they seemed to be gone up in smoke, right after this release. In 1996 “Hip-Hip” was re-released on a compilation album The Big Freeze (Dodecaphone 001).
WALLACE COLLECTION was not exactly the kind of band you expect to come up with heavy music, although their second long player Serenade (EMI Odeon 2C 062-04362) opens with the excellent heavy rock’n’roller Bruxelles and closes in exactly the same vain with Bruxelles (part two)and some nice lead guitar! When in 2004 there was finally an official EMI cd-reissue from “Serenade”, exactly those two songs were left out…strange indeed!
Another quite unsuspected release was the third album from JESS & JAMES. Both brothers Lameirinhas had already recorded a lot of soul music and even scored a few big hits when they came up with this rock album (Palette MPB S-3290).
Really tired about certain aspects of the music industry, Fernando & Anthony were on the lookout for a new sound when in England they met Stu Martin and Scott Bradford. The music these four came up with, was sometimes pretty heavy (“Mrs. Davis or the long “James Stuff), along the lines of Hendrix or Deep Purple (mk 1).
Despite the single release of “Mrs Davis, their fans weren’t blown away by the group latest new style and refused to pick up the record.
After a final single the next year they returned in 1971 with a 45rpm as JESS, DENIS AND JAMES.
A Man’s Symphony Parts 1-2” (Palette 2021 030) was a long composition split over two sides.
Instead of guitar solo’s they used Denis Van Hecke’s cello playing to ad something extra to this psychedelic blues. Right after this release the Wando-brothers left the rock’n’ roll behind and moved to Holland where they, to this day, continued making music.
By the end of 1969 the Belgian pop-group THE NEW INSPIRATION released their third album Vol 3. (Decca SSS557) Once more it didn’t seem a special event for rockers although the last two songs on this lp deserve a listen.  Firstly there’s We Never did, We Never Will a song that’s clearly inspired by the rawness of British band The Who. The final nine minutes long I Fell Flat On My Face” was inspired by Iron Butterfly, an American band who had quite a lot of success around the world with their second album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. “I Fell…” started with a calm psychedelic sound followed by a drum-solo. A few minutes later the music re-explodes, including screaming guitar-solo. These songs created high expectations for their fourth album, but unfortunately by then they had a huge hit with the pop-song “Rainbow”. So the band continued in this commercial vain and left those psychedelic influences behind, right until their fifth effort in 1972 New Inspiration (Decca SSS 594-X 636). Half of the album were older recordings, but the last five songs showed a band on the look out for a heavier sound. Highlight is the Eddy Vanderlinden-composition Hustler, a heavy piano boogie, totally in the style of good old Elf.
One of the best Belgian bands during the sixties and seventies were THE PEBBLES. They mostly stayed close to their beat-rock sound although their live shows turned out far more rocking than some of their studio recordings. “Lynch Party on the backside of the 1970 24 Hours At The Border (Barclay BE 61293) single, could be
described as a more heavy and psychedelic tune especially with those guitar solo’s who were screaming along. A year later they came up with Down At Kiki (Barclay BE 61455), their most heavy tune ever, that even made it to the charts.  
LAURELIE was probably the first band who came on the rock-scene with a full album instead of a 7”. The self-titled album (on Triangle 92049) came out in 1970, even before the Recreation lp, and was mainly composed by ex-Tenderfoot Kids’ Pierre Raepsaet and Eric Vion who had worked with the people from Triangle before (and later on Recreation’s second album). They came up with soft progressive rock; highlights were the nine minute opener Sad Stone and the Yes-like Ugly Dirty Man. In general this lp proved to be much too soft for rock’n’roll ears, although it contains some rich arrangements (with flute), but more important, great songwriting (“Deborah”!) by Raepsaet and Vion.

Talking about THE TENDERFOOT KIDS… Since their debut in 1969 they established themselves as one of Belgium’s best psychedelic rock bands. Right at the end of 1970, they took their sound even further and started playing heavy rock. This sixth single Choo-Choo” / Man In Black (Triangle BE 61471) is even ‘til these day, one of the best Belgian seventies releases.

I’m sure they got their inspiration for “Man In Black” at the Bilzen festival seeing Deep Purple play … Almost 40 years later “Man In Black” was featured on the British compilation cd “Cosmarama” (Psychic Circle PCCD7024)
Quite a tragic record was the album Remember…” from The Rainbows (Polydor 2927 001).
When two of the members died, someone managed to release an album with live songs probably recorded in the sixties. Not all cover-songs were well performed, among the rock songs there’s Free’s “All Right Now”, Rare Earth’s “Get Ready” and a good version of Ten Years After’s “Love Like A Man”.
Not tragic but strange was this S.K.B.L’Z single “Dies Irae” / “Jane” (EMI Columbia 4C 006-23 194) from 1970. The thing is that no one seems to have seen this band or musicians in Belgium. And even when nowadays collectors are tending to say that this is 100% Belgian, I’m rather sceptic when seeing songs written by Sean/Mos/Stevenly.
Those names don’t sound Belgian to me… Anyway, the only thing really sure is that we got some great music here! Both are up-tempo psychedelic tunes with references to Blind Faith & Cream or even Rare Earth; they really should’ve been hits!
THE VIPERS, a pop group from Gent had a hit in 1970 with their third single “Looky Looky”. Nobody expected them to come up with a real rock song for their next release, so they did! Unfortunately The River (Discostar DST 2039), a catchy tune based on heavy guitar, had not the same commercial impact than his predecessor. In 1971 for their fifth release they returned to a pop tune “Reflections Of Charlie Brown” (EmI Parlophone 4C006-23277) on side A but for the backside they recorded an even greater song: Watching The World Pass By”. This was hardrock that sounded completely like those great British sounds that came from over the sea. When later in the nineties The Vipers reformed as a cover-band, “Watching…” was one of the songs they re-recorded for cd release.
For the first time here in Belgium, 1971 was the year were a lot of rock-bands got offered a recording contract for a single.
On of the best songs that year was certainly “The End Of A Beginning” from BAISHIN. This was released as a single with “Hey Sun“ on the backside (Rush G100 1) “The End Of A Beginning” is one of those really beautiful epic songs. The organ and bass started it very quiet and bluesy, but later the guitar solo takes it to new heights. But as soon it started,…it ended… as like so many songs in the early days, the “fade out” at the end, was really holding back the best (guitar) part. 
The psychedelic beat band CRASH existed since 1968, the year they also supported British Pink Floyd in Brussels. They released their one and only single Touching Me, Touching You” / “Just Passing By on the big EMI Parlophone label (4C006 23313M).
Two years later this great A-side was featured on the compilation lp Roots Of Belgium Rock (EMI/MFP 4M046-23436), who also had SWEET FEELING’s Rock Me Baby on it.
The single Ain’t Got Time” / “The Spinster (Pipe P3004) was already the second release from BRAINCANCER. On a first 7” for EMI records a year earlier, this trio from West-Flanders showed they were looking for a sound of their own. This time it was clear that Braincancer really pulled the card of psychedelic heavy rock. Especially on “The Spinster” it was great to hear both sax & guitar take the lead.
SYLVER’S TRUST was a project from ex-Sylvester’s Team guitar player Sylvain Vanholme. The 7” “Parody 1940” (Pipe P 3005) was indeed a parody lyric-wise, though Vanholme’s “acid” guitar playing  made it a much requested song at dance party’s among rockers. A second single was released a few months later, this time as SILVER’S TRUST and with no sign of heavy guitars….
And even more great music on 45rpm that year: Here Comes The Day” / “The Sun Is Coming Out Again (Pirate’s PI71001) from one of the forgotten bands of the seventies: HALF CROWN. Great instrumentation and outstanding female vocals makes Here Comes The Day a song in the best Jefferson Airplane tradition.
Finally a long player from MALACHI : Return Of A Stranger who was totally rejected by rock fans in Belgium. With the use of organ and flute instead of guitar the overall sound refers more to strange psychedelic, halfway sixties flower power than 1971 (symphonic-) rock…. Though the rest of Europe did liked their music… In 2008 this pretty rare and expensive record was finally re-released on cd by the Spanish label Picar. (PIC 812008-2)
One of the bands who played a lot around Brussels was HIROSHIMA, a band who’s style could not really be categorized. On their only recording, LA Town” / “One Ride (Decca 95/23.932X), they tried to capture their more radio friendly music. But both songs were still to weird and progressive for radio listeners while on the other hand these recordings were not raw and complex enough for psychedelic rock-fans.
Metronomics (Izarra IZ2YR) was the first album RAYMOND VINCENT made after his departure from Wallace Collection.
On Les Plutoniens and Do It While You Can he showed for the first time his ability to combine the violin with his love for heavy music. In 1973 he (together with fellow Belgian Bruno Libert on keyboards) presented his new band ESPERANTO, a twelve-piece multicultural rock orchestra. That was also the name of the album Rock Orchestra (A&M AMLH 68175), and it contained brilliant melodic music and also a few more heavy surprises: Statue Of Liberty and On Down The Road. Especially this last song brought the same heavy violin sound as the American band Kansas, a band who would gain world wide recognition with their music.
Kansas would also release their first album in 1973 but on the American continent.
The second Esperanto album turned out to be a more experimental affair where rock meets classic but with their third effort Last Tango (A&M AMLS 68294), released in 1975, they returned to the initial sound.
Even without the use of guitars Raymond managed to make some superb heavy music. Absolute highlights were the Beatles cover Eleanor Rigby and the twelve minutes long The Rape.
In 1973 a nice debut 7” was released from a band called TRUST, on a private label from southern Belgium (Venus records V10.500). At The Mississippi was heavy bluesrock while flip-side Help Me was way more psychedelic, like the music played at the end of the sixties. Strangely this was the kind of music they would hang on to for the following releases. Only the back-side of the third single For Yourself(Venus records V10502) was a fantastic piece of heavy rock. Later on with the release of a fifth single, record company Fly records took both those heavy songs together and released them in a nice sleeve. (Fly records F.20.739)
One of the still hidden treasures of Belgian rock is this band called GEORGIA BROWN. Rather unknown band, except that their only record Pollution” / “Glory To The Music (Baltic 6833) was also released in 1973.  The song Pollution is a great song, totally in the vain of what British bands such as Deep Purple were doing five years earlier.
It was written by H. De Bruyn / Gerd Frank and produced by a guy named Gene Van Den Ostende.
A heavy blues instrumental Midget Blues in good old Stan Webb style was on the B-side of the last single from Berchem’s pop-group THE MIDGETS. Probably the band enjoying themselves, tired of playing awful tunes as A side “Tabasco”(Fly records 33).

Well this is it, one of the forgotten jewels in Belgian rock: 5TH BALL GANG from Antwerp!
They released this first single My Brain Feel So well” / “Green Fluid You Can’t Shoot It (Bloody Antwerp Records S.001) on their own, but after this they would never achieve this kind of excitement anymore. Six minutes real psychedelic rock with a haunting saxophone and screaming guitar while the back-side even takes it upto eight minutes! This instrumental has yet more guitar extravaganza in it and was referring a lot to British rockers Hawkwind. It’s really a pity that when this band got signed, it became just one of those average rock-bands….
Needless to say that composer Jaques Smeets had already left the band when they released both their lp’s.
TIME was a Dutch/Belgian band who played American sounding rock quite similar to the one from The Doobie Brothers or Joe Walsh and James Gang. Around 1974 they released their single ”Miss Virginia” / “Wall Paintings” on EMI Bestseller (4C006-97583).
And one more release in 1974, SPACE from the north of Antwerp came up with their vinyl Each And Every day” / “Black Dressed Girl (Baltic 6844). They deliver two boogie-rock tunes, although it’s clear that they’ve been polished to remove all rough edges, probably to make them more suitable for the average radio listener.
Big Bill was one of those artists who turned every single place he played upside down with his blues-, rock- or heavy boogie songs, sung in his own native (“Leuvens”) dialect.
He already had a hitsingle (Ene me hesp) a year earlier but when his first album was released in 1975 (Parsifal KLE 4000-231) it was welcomed by all rockers in Belgium, either if they liked it heavy or slow. Songs as Pirre for President, Vismarkt Boogie or even the Wishbone Ash-like instrumentals Vossegeg Tune and Space Caca De Toro have certainly stand the test of time. His second album Sit On It (Polydor 2926110) was recorded three years later in London but disappointed most Big Bill fans as besides Hot Spots and We Vliegen D’er In, there was simply nothing left of the old boogie-rock style in favour of a more commercial sound with lots of horns.
He kept on playing during the years, but it wasn’t until 1995 that a live cd “Allee Live + 3” (Alora 2105004) exposed some of his old glory on record.

FREE ACTION were around since 1971 playing pop tunes on record and rock tunes on stage. Here on Set Me Free the B-side of their third single “Just Be Nice” released in 1975 we can here them playing a slow song with great backings as heard by bands such as Uriah Heep. (Barclay BE 123-3042)
Just as many glam-rock bands from that area ROYAL FLASH saved up their serious rocking songs for the B sides of their singles, leaving the handclaps for side A. Despite these handclaps Patty Baby” / “The Shelter (EMI Best Seller 4B00698698) from 1975 and Everyone Is Gonna Sing Along” / “Don’t You Hurt Me Again (EMI Best Seller 4B006-23606) from 1976 never made it to the charts.


Lots of guitar playing from Michel Clement on SUNHOUSE self-titled instrumental album early 1977 (JW’s 771). Although they were a real jazz-rock band with saxophone, it was their song The Wardancewith screaming guitars that blew away al rock fans. On this lp they had also recruited former Kleptomania drummer Roger Wollaert.
DESPERATED COMPANY from the north of Antwerp released two singles in 1977 but it was only with Can Somebody Tell Me, the back-side from “Higher” (Foon records F4535026) that they pleased the fans of traditional boogie rock.
The same year The Way You Live” / “Daddy (RCP Int. S131305) from LIVING THINGS was in the shops, being only interesting forThe way You Live; an up-tempo boogie rocker with a good guitar solo. The flipside was a mellow slow tune but in general the sound of Living Things should have been similar to Scotsmen Nazareth.
Lots of single releases also in 1978, like UNION JOKE from Mechelen who released their sole single themselves (A.D.S. 1016). “Wanna Have It All” the melodic A-side wasn’t heavy at all despite a guitar-solo. B-side “Bus Rider” was a fast boogie rocker, who makes you wonder how this band sounded “live”… Be sure to grasp your copy of this 7” as it appears to be very rare.

GINGER had a reputation of being a heavy “live-band”, these recordings Ain’t Gonna Pay the Bill / Rock’N Roll Hero (Vogue VB.548) were dominated by the use of the mouth harp and that’s why they turned their bluesrock in a more moderate affair.
MULTIPLE CHOICE
should have been a joint venture between some Belgian and some Dutch musicians.

Their one and only single Ramses” / “Separation (Killroy KS 2667) was only interesting for the back-side. Separation was beautiful instrumental rock music, very rich with a lot of breaks as well as slower parts.
Also in 1978 Flanders music magazine Humo organized for the first time a search for promising new bands under the name of “Rock Rally”. The first three bands from this contest were sure about playing the Bilzen festival while the first two also got a recording contract. The third price was for symphonic rockers Clown and the second for STAGEBEAST from Oostende. The single they released thanks to the contest became a real classic Belgium ain’t fun no more” / Working Man (EMI Bestseller 4B006-23743) were two pieces of intense punk-rock with pounding saxophone. Soon after losing their contract with EMI, Stagebeast changed their name to Revenge 88 and still plays to this day.
The winner from this first Rock Rally was ONCE MORE who then came up with a single Blondie” / “Wild Man Jockey(EMI Bestseller 4B006-23739). Both songs were good and build around a heavy riff but “Blondie” had that special catchy hook to become a small cult hit in Belgium. For their following records Once More still rocked but the heavy aspect of their music was totally disappeared.
A hotchpotch of different styles is what DAYDREAM delivered with the feeble self-titled album (Vogue ASVB 2006) from 1978. Only the album’s last song was a super heavy rocker entitled Sun Dance and was sung by bass player John Valcke.
Another interesting release at the end of 1978 was the Jazz Bilzen live compilation lp (EMI 4C054-61495). It contained several bands that played at the festival-contest for semi-professionals. Besides symphonic rockers CLOWN there was also BIG MUFF with their heavy boogie rock-song: Wake Up.

The same idea but more low-budget came from record-company Monopole. They recorded a live album at the Jeuzelfestival (Monopole MLP 0169/844) in Wuustwezel. Besides local legends MUSTANG there was also opening band YELP who managed to make impression playing two well known cover tunes: Robert Johnson’s Crossroad Blues and Rory Gallagher’s Country Mile.
After a few singles LUK VANKESSEL released his first album Ballen(IBC 1A064-63432) in 1979. Both opening tunes Jij Bij Mij and Al Wat Ik Van Je Verlang were real hard-rock songs even though they were sung in Dutch.

The rest of Ballen turned out much more diverse and radio orientated. This longplayer was produced by Alfie  Falckenbach who would later on start his own company (Mausoleum Records).  Bass playing was done by Charly De Raedemaecker (Kleptomania/Tush), drums were played by Dirk Van Gansbeke (Tush) while Jean Marie Aerts played guitar.
Two years later Luk gathered his own band around him and seemed to know what he did best: rock! His second album Billen (EMI 1A 064 19070) was much more consistent (boogierock!) than the first. Once again he opened with two real heavy songs: Laat Je Niet Leven and Je Maakt Me Zo Zot which was a translation of the old Kinks tune You Really Got Me.
Also in 1979 SWAY, a group from the southern part of the country released their one and only album “Human Carnage” (GG233227) as a private pressing. The title-song that opened the longplayer was a great piece of symphonic rock in old “yes”-style. The rest of the album was much more keyboard-dominated (with exception for the aggressive guitar solo on “You’ve Gone”) and now and then very experimental; which not always turned out fine.
As well out was an lp from MARIAHVAH, in their proper region Jemeppe they build themselves a reputation of progressive rock-band. It’s not really clear to me where this reputation came from as only a few songs from this album Les Heures Incolores(MD 0050), fall under this description (Trop Fragile&Coquillages). Best song was the title-track with plenty of melodic guitars like Man or Wishbone Ash.

With composer / guitar player Alex Van Hootegem STAGE FRIGHT had only one Belgian member, the others were Dutch. On the only single they released Just Another You” / “Go to Pieces (Schell WBS1644) they came up with good symphonic rock, especially on “Go To Pieces” with it’s nice flute solo.
Another private pressing in the same vain and around the same time was the 7” from Brussels band APHONIAAbc / A Sharp Pointed Hook” (Aphonia Rec 001). Even if they had some more guitar-orientated symphonic-rock songs on their setlist, they choose these two “Camel” inspired compositions. A pity if you ask me… After this they seemed to be changing style and started singing in French…
On the single In Memory Of You(Artibano 44521140) from Manage’s ON TIP TOE, they played music that also could be somewhere described as symphonic rock. Although the backside Life And Limb was an up-tempo song that started with a siren and got on with very heavy guitars.
And even more symphonic rock that year… NESSIE from the Verviers area, with their second album Head  In The Sand(MD records MD 0038). Besides two songs from that second lp they used almost no guitar. The Tull-like opening song Too Much Money and the embellished with shootings A Song Of War were the best Nessie tunes so far.
Almost four years later a different line-up would change style to hard rock and released a final song, Hard Life, on the “Metalmania” compilation lp (KP 500).
But besides symphonic rock, there were also bands who came up with good old hard-rock like SLINKY with the very fast Run To The Doctor on their sole single. The flip “How Do You Feel” was far less exciting average rock, released on Panky Records (069).
Another interesting release in 1979 was the compilation album LOF limburgs orkesten festival(MIT 086), were all the bands on it had reached the semi finals of a local contest. First there’s AIRQUICK from Kortrijk with Don’t Try and Through The End Time who delivered good heavy metal, probably one of the first band to have played this kind of music over here. Unfortunately things didn’t last long as songwriter Dirk Vermeulen got rid of all the others to restart the band and to play real commercial pop rock.  The following years they made two singles were they sounded just as so many other mainstream bands….  Also on “LOF” was SUNROCK from Lummen with Pretty Girl, up-tempo hard-rock, while IRON FOUNDATION from Bree with Ways brought psychedelic rock. Their single released later on was a return to mainstream commercial rock as well. Last songs worth listening on LOF were Imprisonedand The Great Red Bus also from a band from Bree, G.NIE D. They came up with an excellent mixture of psychedelica and symphonic rock.  
In 1980 after two moderate albums without well-considered style, THE MISTERS came up with their third release Greatest Tits (EMI/Harvest 1A 064-63844). The band changed course to mainly heavy rock’n’roll. The album is dedicated to AC/DC’s Bon Scott and is also produced by Alfie Falckenbach.
The band was even invited to support AC/DC on one of their Belgian concerts. Probably the best song from the album; Do You Wanna Rock & Roll was released prior to the album as a single (IBC Best Seller 1A 006-63736).
To finish this list I would like to make a special mention for ST-JAMES (or sometimes called SAINT JAMES INFERMERY) from Brugge. A band who already released their first single (not heavy, but great psychedelica) in the sixties and got heavier since then.
They existed until late eighties but sadly never really managed to make records during the seventies, their most interesting and heavy years…. A ST-JAMES album feel the heat (Parsifal Rock 400/4111) finally saw the light of day in 1985; on a few songs certainly hard rocking but they mellowed down from there on…