Country of origin:
Type of music generally:
Contemporary folk/pop music, varying from guitar-oriented songs, to synthpop, to 'chansons'
Most recent release, Land van Belofte (2016)
Frank Boeijen site
His early work would compare well to groups like A-ha, his later work more like Black and—I'm stretching now—Leonard Cohen. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I think he wouldn't mind to be compared to Bob Dylan. Or perhaps even Jacques Brel. Like Dylan, Frank's music does gain a lot if you listen to his lyrics, while I think his music is not always that interesting by itself. For emotional impact and contents of his lyrics perhaps, yes, he could be compared to Happy Rhodes. (Marion)
99% own material
The only person in Holland who can make good music in the Dutch language. His career spans over 20 years, in which he released as much albums, both solo and in groups. In his career, Frank Boeijen rarely had a chart hit in Holland. His most well-known tracks are "Zwart Wit" ["Black and white"], a song written after the cowardly murder of Kerwin Duinmeyer, a black boy, by a white fascist kid, which shocked the Dutch population in 1984, "Kronenburg park", a song about prostitution and the hypocrisy of husbands, and "De verzoening" ["The reconciliation"], a song about Frank's difficulties with his personal and professional life. While his singles (a grand total of 42, many of which contained extra tracks unavailable elsewhere and not likely to be released on a compilation album...) weren't that successful, his albums all achieve the platinum status in Holland, and most of his concerts are sold out well before the actual date of the performance. He was recently named as one of Holland's top 100 millionares. Commercial success aside, his songs are perfect examples of European songwriters' craftmanship. Every album contains at least five perfect songs, and his best work (which was released, in my opinion, between 1985-1991), will probably never be equalled by any artist in this region ever.
It is, however, too bad that his work is written in Dutch. It makes his albums less accessible for people outside Holland and Belgium. Fortunately, most of his work is very melodic, and so I can recommend it for everyone who doesn't let themselves be discouraged by language barriers. Those who try Frank Boeijen won't be disappointed.
De ballade van de Dromedaris, his sixth solo CD, was released in January, and contains a few instant classics such as the title track and "Nijmegen bij zonsondergang" ("Nijmegen at sunset"). The track "Vertrouwen" ("Trust") is simply awful, but the rest is awesome. (email@example.com)
He is a Dutch singer/songwriter, whom I don't love so much for his voice (though it suits his music), but more for his overall work—the lyrics (all in Dutch) are very important, and while his music may not be overly original he did a very good job at making Dutch rock/pop music more grown up and interesting.
What a pity most of you don't understand Dutch...Frank is probably our best singer/songwriter, his lyrics can be sooo beautiful. I don't think I'd recommend him to non-Dutch speakers really, without understanding his lyrics I don't think the music is interesting enough. Compare him to Bob Dylan without understanding the lyrics for instance. (Marion)
With this I am in the most harmonious agreement! I have 'Een zomer aan het eind van de twintigste eeuw' on CD, and a couple of the others on tape, and I really really like it. I never mentioned him on ecto because I guess I thought that (a) he's not female :} (b) he sings in Dutch and (c) you probably won't find his albums outside Holland. I now renounce all this silly reasoning and heartily welcome his mention.
I first heard him in Australia a few years ago by complete coincidence when a Dutch language broadcast on one of the ethnic stations here played 'Zeg me dat het niet zo is'. I'd never heard anything like it, missed the part where they mentioned who it was, but loved it instantly. I thought at the time, that I'd never find out who it was, but then with my going to Holland and all, an opportunity presented itself. After a few months there, I was visiting a Belgian friend of mine (who was also on exchange in Leiden) and she put on this tape, and suddenly, the song came on, and my little mystery had been solved! Unfortunately I couldn't afford to buy all his CDs, which I would have done if I could have.
Many people I have spoken to say that Dutch is not a language that one can successfully sing in. Frank Boeijen is the proof that you can, and he does it amazingly. His songs are power packed with emotion, and his ever so slightly gravelly voice really emphasizes that. 'Zeg me dat hat niet zo is' (Tell me that it isn't so), is still my favourite.
Anyway, that's my speel for the day. If I could get his CDs here, I'd buy them ALL! (firstname.lastname@example.org.OZ.AU)
Recommended first album:
Welkom in Utopia—my personal favorite and possibly
the best example of what this man is capable of writing, musically and
- As Boeijen & Pennings (with Wout Pennings):
- Boeijen & Pennings (1979—CNR—100.257)
- As Frank Boeijen Groep:
Jos Haagmans—piano, keyboards, background vocals
Wil Theunissen—guitars (1981-1984)
Maarten Peters—guitars, background vocals (1984-1985)
Ger Hoeymakers—guitars, background vocals (1986-1990)
Henk Wanders—drums, percussion
Frank Boeijen—lead vocals, guitars
- 1 (1981—BMG Ariola—258.246)
- Twee [Two] (1982—BMG Ariola—258.247)
- 1001 Hotel (1983—BMG Ariola—258.248)
- Kontakt [Contact] (1984—BMG Ariola—258.249)
- Foto van een mooie dag [Photograph of a beautiful day] (1985—BMG Ariola—258.250)
- In natura (1986—BMG Ariola—257.893)
- Welkom in Utopia [Welcome in Utopia] (1987—BMG Ariola—258.499)
- Onderweg [underway] ["Best of" album] (1988—EVA—353.269)
- Dans in slow-motion [Dance in slow-motion] (1988—BMG Ariola—259.382)
- Een zomer aan het eind van de 20e eeuw [A summer at the end of the 20th century] (1989—BMG Ariola—260.096)
- Hier komt de storm live 1980-1990 [Here comes the storm] (2CD) (1990—BMG Ariola—353.932)
- As Frank Boeijen:
- Wilde bloemen [Wild flowers] (1991—BMG Ariola—262.160)
- Jazz in Barcelona (1993—BMG Ariola—74321 164702)
- De ontmoeting [The encounter] (1994—BMG Ariola—74321 234252)
- Stormvogels live 1990-1995 [Stormbirds?] (2CD) (1995—BMG Ariola—74321 319862)
- Het spokende lied [The ghost song] (fan club only release) (1996—FBI—001)
- Het Mooiste &Het Beste (1997, compilation—BMG Ariola—74321 517372)
- Vaderland [Fatherland?] (1997—Columbia—488818 9)
- Live door de jaren heen [Live through the years] (1999, compilation—BMG Ariola—74321 643582)
- De Ballade Van De Dromedaris [Ballad of the Dromedaris] (1999—Columbia—493044 2)
- IJsbloemen (fan club only release) (1999—FBI—002)
- Heden (2001)
- Schaduw van de Liefde (2003)
- Toen & Nu (2004)
- As (2006)
- Aardige jongens (with Hofstede and Vrienten, 2008)
- Camera (2009)
- Original Album Classics (compilation, 2010)
- Genade (2011)
- Alle 40 Goed (2012)
- Liefde en Moed (2013)
- Een Vermoeden Van Licht (2013)
- Land van Belofte (2016)
Thanks to Marcel Rijs for work on this entry.