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The History of Dutch Pop Music
by Alex Cosper (5/22/13)


The pop music of the Netherlands usually did not had international success until the 1960s with a lot of exciting developments since the 1990s. The nation traditionally has been a melting pot of many cultures such as American, English and German. Dutch musicians absorbed rock and roll in the 1950s, creating their own brand of music called indorock, which was recorded by The Blue Diamonds and The Tielman Brothers. Throughout the country's pop music development, Amsterdam emerged as a major music center.

During the time Bob Dylan was popularizing folk music in America, Boudewijn de Groot was noted for his folk songs in Finland. By the late sixties Finland had produced a hot pop/rock act, the Shocking Blue, who had a worldwide hit that topped the charts in America called "Venus." They had a string of hits in the Netherlands in the early seventies. Some of there music is considered classic psychedelia, such as "Love Buzz," which was later covered by Nirvana. Tee Set also had a global hit with "Ma Belle Amie" while Golden Earring attracted rockers and George Baker Selection emerged as a folk revivalist. In 1976 their hit "Paloma Blanca" was released. It has gone on to become one of the nation's most celebrated songs throughout the world.

Much of the popular music of the Netherlands since the rise of disco and electronic dance music in the 1970s has been shaped more by trends throughout Europe. In the late 70s Herman Brood stood out as a leading new wave artist, who seemed to follow in the shadow of the UK's Elvis Costello. But Earth and Fire during that same period found success with a sound similar to Sweden's ABBA. A timeless disco classic from 1983 was "Go Go Yellow Screen" by Digital Emotion. By the late 1980s the Urban Dance Squad emerged as leaders in this new realm of electronic dance music. Some music critics call them the most influential band of all time from the Netherlands.

In the 1990s the Netherlands injected its does of electronic dance music into the international scene with the Vengaboys, based in Amsterdam. Their hits "We Like to Party" and "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom" have become legendary dance records. The group was produced by Wessel van Diepen and Dennis van den Driesschen, who gave them a commercial sound that sold millions of units internationally. The have made various comebacks in the new century. Betty Serveert emerged as a unique alternative artist in the 90s during a wave of singer-songwriters.

Music of the 21st century has become a wide mix of many genres in the Netherlands and independent music broadens the musical landscape. Some notable Dutch artists of the new centur include Tiesto, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Sander van Doorn, Ferry Corsten, and producer Armin van Buuren. Even though the population of The Netherlands is only 16 millon, it was listed as the 10th biggest music market in the world by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in 2013. One of the top radio shows in the country is the Dutch Top 40, which has counted down the nation's top hits since 1965.

See also:

How to start a music project
Tips on how to produce music
Job of a live sound engineer
Affordable ways to promote music online
How songs become popular











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