Retro Spins: Babe - Babe!

Today on Retro Spins, we're going back overseas to listen to the debut album from Dutch bubblegum pop trio, Babe. Gemma van Eck, Rita van Rooy and Monique Hagemeyer were the original lineup, with Margot van der Ven stepping in to replace Hagemeyer relatively early in the group's infancy. Marga Bult would also join the group in 1981, replacing van Eck, leaving van Rooy as the only original member to remain until the girls split up indefinitely in 1986. All this from a group most of you don't even know.

Between 1980 and 1983, they released three albums, the 1980 debut, Babe!, 1981's Blitzer and 1983's Shop Around. Though the girls had several top forty hits, becoming known in the Netherlands in the group with most, they never reached the number one spot. Their most notable and memorable probably being a rendition of the old Irish song, Drunken Sailor.

This group takes me all the way back to South Africa, listening to Springbok records with my sister and brother. It was Springbok Hit Parade volume 51 to be exact. The last song on the album, number 14 if you really want to get into specifics.

Finding the original Babe album was no small feat. For starters, it doesn't seem to exist in CD format. Or at least if it does, it's not easily found. Seven inch singles were available here and there. However, the full album was sparse and rather expensive.

When I finally got my hands on it, I was eager, but not necessarily expecting much from it. I couldn't really imagine that the girls who brought you Drunken Sailor, which admittedly isn't a very good song, could really impress.

Well, I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. Hearing Drunken Sailor brought back so many memories, and from there, it actually got better. There are good tracks on this album. Please Me / Do Me and Wonderboy definitely stood out among them all, but truth be told, I never once came across a song that I would say, "I hate that." It was a pretty solid album.

After hearing it, I'm honestly a bit interested in listening to the groups remaining two albums from the 80's. I'm going to have to track those down. I must say, in general, it's been a lot of fun tracking down albums from overseas. So far, they have not disappointed.

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Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

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