Monday, March 11, 2019

ZZ And The Masks ‎– ZZ And The Masks (1965)

ZZ And The Masks ‎(The Maskers)– ZZ And The Masks (1965)

The group arises late 1962 as singer Bob Bouber saw the Amsterdam band the Apron Strings on stage. He thougt the concept of ZZ & de Maskers with the entire group (including him self as ZZ) acting with masks. Later Bouber discard his mask. The group was initially focused on Dutch rock with songs like "Dracula," "Ik Heb Genoeg Van Jou," and "Shake Hands." In addition to the vocals of Bob Bouber they played a large number of instrumental tracks as ZZ & de Maskers -- although Bouber was not contributing to them. Jan de Hont was the soloist in these songs, of which La Comparsa became a classic. Inspired by the British beat music in 1964, the group also recorded songs in English as "Sloppin' in Las Vegas" (also as "Stoppin' In Las Vegas" with Chubby Checker in 1965) and "Cheat, Cheat, Cheat.

After five mostly instrumental years as "ZZ en de Maskers", and the split from their singer Bob Bouber, Jan de Hont and his Amsterdam guys tried to find new roads as De Maskers. Times had changed. Beat and Rhythm & Blues had taken over from instrumentals. The first single with the new face was "Brand New Cadillac", a cover from The Renegades. The record reaches #15 in the Dutch hit list. After that a new single came with Chubby Checker; "Baby, Baby, Balla, Balla!!!, who reached #17 in Holland and climbed to #1 in Germany. De Maskers recorded three original lp's, from who --in my opinion-- the first: "Sensations In Sound" was the best. The second lp mixed up some new tracks with a couple of older instrumentals. The record company had for sure troubles with the new 'beat face' of De Maskers, and tried to please the old fans this way. That makes it even more difficult for the band to build up a new public image. The third and last long player was more Rhythm and Blues orientated, but missed the real touch from --for instance-- The Incrowd and The Rodys, two other Dutch R&B groups. But overall De Maskers were one off the best and most important Dutch bands in the sixties with their superb guitarist Jan de Hont.

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