This band, founded in Eastern Holland, created their own success formula for many years to come, using a combination of rock'n'roll and regional dialect.
The band started out in 1974 as Pudding; the first line-up comprised singer Bennie Joling (nicknamed Buizen Berend), guitarists Jan Kolkman and Ferdi Joly (nicknamed Frederik and Puntdroad), bass player Wim van Dijk and drummer Jan Manschot, alias Brekken Schamschot.
Musically, the band chose the style of pure rock'n'roll in the tradition of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The lyrics, however, were sung in the regional dialect and were always about galdeejen (having fun).
After the first single "Hels Asn Jagdhond" flopped, Kolkman and Van Dijk left the band. Enter new bass player, Willem Terhorst (nicknamed Wimken van Diene).
The band then signed a contract with Killroy, a daughter company of Johnny Hoes' Telstar.
With the next single, "Oerend Hard", the band scored a huge hit in 1977, and repeated the feat just a few months later - with "Alie". Both songs were included on their very popular debut album, "Oerend Hard". The following singles, "Hendrik Haverkamp" and "Marie", were slightly less successful, but the live gigs were becoming the real source of their growing popularity in Holland.
In 1980, English guitarist Allan Gascoigne joined the band, and was immediately nicknamed Gaspiepe. "Hoken Is Normaal", their fourth album, was an attempt to divert from the simplest, most straight rock'n'roll arrangements, which had brought the band fame and popularity just a few years earlier. This move proved to be less than satisfying for the band, and Joly was subsequently fired; the musical direction was back to simple, straight-forward rock'n'roll. In 1982, the band scored another hit with "Mama Woar Is Mien Pils" - their most successful single since "Oerend Hard". At the end of the year, Gascoigne left Normaal, in order to start White Heat. Peter Kemper was his successor (nicknamed Kempen Paul Mealmoes), who, prior to Normaal, played in Treshold with some members of Vandenberg.
In the following years, Normaal proceeded to become of the seminal groups on the Nederpop scene. Also, on the business side of things, the band were doing just fine! By this time, they already owned their own P.A. company, a studio, own record label, and also their own trademark of Pilsener beer, Normaalbeer! It seemed like nothing could go wrong for the band at the time - not a cloud in the sky! However, following a rift with the manager, things came to a head, and it was time to share the goods and split the profits. The group lost a lot of money as a result, which forced their career to take a significant plunge. Manschot left the band, in order to be able to devote more time to his family. He was replaced by a young man by the name Fokke de Jong, who had come from a Groningen band, Catfever.
Despite all the turmoils, the popularity of the band remained virtually undamaged. Normaal had become a sort of an institution in the country, associated with many notable musical landmarks and events, namely, the Achterhoeker National anthem, the National Hokersday, and the band's own motor-cross club, just as a spin-off. The bond between the band and their fans also remained very strong. The temporary replacement of Bennie Joling by Willem Duyn (Mouth, from Mouth & MacNeal) did not afflict their popularity in the slightest. (Joling had sustained injuries in a car accident and was out of action for 6 months). In the meantime, Robert Colenbrander joined the band to fill in on Joling's rhythm guitar parts.
Joling made his comeback in 1992, but Colenbrander stayed with the band until mid-1993, when Jan Kolkman returned to the fold. This line-up headed up for Florida, USA, in 1994. There, they produced their heaviest album to date, "Gas DR Bi-J". The producer was a fellow Dutchman Erwin Musper.
The band weren't even thinking of calling it a day at this point! Imminent questions about quitting were answered by Buizen Berend, who clearly stated, "We have a meeting planned to address this issue - in the year 2000". In 1996, their twenty-first album, "Top Of The Bult" was released. There was not much new material contained on it, with the exception of John Lennon's "Baby's In Black". Once again, the album was produced by Musper, and it contained two minor hits. There was no more activity in the Normaal camp for a while, when Benny Joling decided to take a break; he was tired and depressed.
Due to the pleas and loyal endeavours of the hardcore fans, who'd do everything in order to coax their favourite band to get back together and hit the road once again, Joling decided to bring Normaal back to life.
However, the business concern "Normaal" was to be reduced to just the members of the band. Personnel and the management were fired; Joost Carlier, who had served his apprenticeship with the band as a manager in the early days, was reinstated as Normaal's manager. Their twenty-second record, "Krachtoer", was released in 1997, and half-consisted of country-rock flavoured tunes. At the same time a live album was released, containing only the material from the earliest period of the band. In the Summer of 1997, Normaal played charity gigs to benefit Dutch pig farmers.
Oerend Hard - Killroy 77
Ojadasawa - Killroy 78
Achterhoek Tsjoek - WEA 79
Hoken Is Normaal WEA 80
Springleavend - WEA 81
Deurdonderen - WEA 82
De Boer Is Troef - WEA 82
Stark Wark - WEA 83
De Klok Op (Falx Rock) - WEA 84
Steen Stoal En Sentiment - WEA 85
Zo Kommen Wij De Winter Deur - WEA 85
Ki Ek Uut - WEA 86
Noar T Cafe - WEA 87
DaS Normaal - CNR 88
Recht Toe Recht An - CNR 89
Vulgaris Magistralis - CNR 90
H.A.L.V.U. - CNR 91
Buugen Of Basten - Mercury 93
Bi-J Normaal Thuus - Mercury 93
Gas DR Bi-J - Mercury 94
Top Of The Bult - Mercury 96
Krachtoer - Mercury 97
Het Allerbeste - Killroy 79
De Beste - Telstar 84
Twaalfeneenhalfjaar - Arcade 88
Het Beste Van - Arcade 92
Single Collectie 1979-1984 - Pseudonym 96
Deur De Joaren Hen - Pseudonym 97
10 Jaar Normaal
Bi-J Normaal Thuus
Wat Is Normaal? Dolf Ruesink & Jan Manschot
Date/Title/Highest chart placement 30-04-77 Oerend Hard 2 16-07-77 Alie 12 22-07-78 Ik Bun Moer Een Eenvoudige Boerenlul 31 21-04-79 Hendrik Haverkamp 24 25-08-79 Marie 27 24-01-81 Net As Gisteren 10 27-06-81 Achterhoek Boogie 31 19-09-81 Oeh, Wat Een Volk 28 23-01-82 Mama Woar Is Mien Pils 7 29-05-82 Deurdonderen (Live) 17 17-07-82 Niet Neer Huus Toe Goan 10 15-01-83 Dat Kump Der Now Van 9 19-03-83 De Boer Is Troef 14 18-06-83 Heidi 8 03-03-84 Niekikkowokan 9 19-05-84 De Klok Op Rock 24 01-09-84 Politiek 10 09-03-85 Steen, Stoel & Sentiment 16 01-06-85 Kom Der Bi-j 19 07-09-85 Oerend Hard (Live) 26 08-03-86 Plan In De Kop 24 03-06-86 Hoe-j 't Ok Doet 31 20-12-86 Rock Around The Clock (with Zangeres Zonder Naam) 13 12-09-87 Hup Voetbal Hup 30 30-01-88 De Hoofdman Was Knuppeldik (with Glanerbrug-ger Muzikanten) 25 05-03-89 Ik Vuul Mien Zo Zo 21 26-08-89 Rechttoe Rechten 23 31-03-90 Vulgaris Magistralis 27 18-08-90 Lucille 22 30-03-91 H.A.L.V.U 18 10-08-91 Duar Maak Ik Gin Probleem Van 28 28-11-92 As 't Mot 31 19-12-92 Hokersfeest 18 03-04-93 D oe Niet Zo Moeilijk 18 05-02-94 't Wurd Tied 15 14-05-94 Doe Effen Normaal 10 20-08-94 Gas D'r Bi-j 30 10-12-94 Half Urn Half 20 03-06-95 Now En 16 03-02-96 Top Of The Buit 16 14-06-97 Krachttoer 26
Submitted by: Louis Rentrop
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