Ron Bransteder & José backstage at Los Vast (NCRV radio show, January 7th, 1984 - Photo courtesy of Jos Theuns)
35 years ago, the single "So Long, Marianne" by José Hoebee and Ron Brandsteder was released by CNR in the Netherlands and Belgium. This record was successful on the charts and later achieved cult status among the fans. Let's celebrate the 35th anniversary of this iconic pop track.
José proved that she could be very popular as a solo artist after Luv's first break-up in 1981. 1982 was the peak of her career: she scored two big solo hits in the Low Countries (the #1 song "I Will Follow Him" and "Secret Love"). She later had minor hits ("The Good Times", "I Can Hear Music" and "Hey Now, Watcha Gonna Do"). In late 1982, the songstress released the solo album "The Good Times" (see article posted on November 17th, 2017).
Photo courtesy of Jos Theuns
Ron was a popular TV personality and was briefly married to Patty Brard in 1979. This good-looking and charismatic quizmaster hosted the high-rated game show "Showbizzquiz" on TROS between 1978 and 1986. Luv' and José sang several times on Ron's TV program.
In late 1983, José and Ron decided to record a cover version of the Leonard Cohen's classic hit "So Long, Marianne" as a duet. José's husband, the sought-after music professional Will Hoebee supervised the recording sessions. Eurovision Song Contest conductor Harry van Hoof was the arranger.
So Long, Marianne was originally composed and performed by the great Canadian Folk Maestro Leonard Cohen in 1967. It appeared on his debut album, "Songs of Leonard Cohen". It was inspired by Marianne Jensen (later Marianne Ihlen), whom Cohen met on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. The artist said she was the most beautiful woman he had ever met.
José & Ron's duet premiered on television on Showbizzquiz on December 31st, 1983. The duo promoted their single on other major TV shows (Nederland Muziekland, Sportgala, AVRO's TopPop). This strategy paid off as their record was successful on the hit parade.
The song was included on Brandsteder's album "Niet Alleen" and later appeared on José's 2005 compilation "Alle Hits & Unieke Bonustracks".
Photo courtesy of Jos Theuns
José experienced a new phase of her career with the success of "So Long, Marianne". After her solo hits, she released duet singles (especially with Bonnie St. Claire).
In April 2011, Ron and José (with her Luv' colleagues) took part in a music show "Typisch 80" at the Brabanthallen in Den Bosch, Netherlands. They took the audience by surprise when they performed their iconic duet more than 27 years after its release.
Photographer Jan Swinkels took a beautiful picture of José and Ron for the front cover of the single.
On February 18th, 1984, "So Long, Marianne" entered the Dutch charts. It later peaked at #11 on Holland's Top 40 and #6 on the Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100) in the Netherlands. It also reached the 20th position on the Flemish BRT Top 30 and the 30th position on the Ultratop in Flanders (Belgium).
- A side: So Long, Marianne (José & Ron Bransteder) - 4:22
Written by Leonard Cohen
- B side: Het Laatste Lied (Ron Brandsteder) - 3:20
Written by Cat Music and Ron Brandsteder
Arranged by Harry van Hoof
Produced by Will Hoebee
Recorded by Pieter Boer
Management – Interlinde Management
Photography by Jan Swinkels
Design: Myosotis Baarn
* December 31st, 1983 on Showbizzquiz (TROS):
* February 12th, 1984 on Nederland Muziekland (Veronica)
* Unknown broadcast date on AVRO's TopPop / Sportgala (Veronica):
* March 11th, 1984 on Nederland Muziekland (Veronica)
Top 40 Hitdossier 1956-2005 (9e editie) by Johan van Slooten, publ: Gottmer Bech
Source: Dutchcharts.nl, BRT Top 30, YouTube, Luv' Blog Archive, Discogs.com, 45cat.com