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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Vandenberg - 1982 Vandenberg
Vandenberg - 1982 Vandenberg

ARTIST: Vandenberg
ALBUM: Vandenberg
SERIAL: ATC K 50 904
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2002, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU 9005 * 2011, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY105
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Bert Heerink - vocals * Adrian Vandenberg - guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Dick Kemper - bass, backing vocals * Jos Zoomer - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Your Love Is In Vain * 02 Back On My Feet * 03 Wait * 04 Burning Heart * 05 Ready For You * 06 Too Late * 07 Nothing To Lose * 08 Lost In A City * 09 Out In The Streets

A band who peaked before their time - I reckon. 1982 's audiences weren't quite ready for these Dutch rockers when they appeared on the scene in late 1982. If they had appeared two or three years later, their career may have been much different. Formed around guitarist Adrian Vandenberg, this band were in fact a reformation of his previous Dutch band Teaser who were around in the late 70's. Vandenberg auditioned for a spot with Thin Lizzy but was unsuccessful - not so much for his guitar prowess, but lack of 'party animal' prowess. Undeterred, he resurrected his old band, put some demos out, and grabbed a deal with Atlantic subsidiary Atco. The debut album soon followed in October 1982, causing a right old stir from the UK and Europe right across to the USA.

The Songs
There are some huge tracks on this album, ample guitar playing, bucket like drums from Jos Zoomer, and singer Bert Heerink really gives Klaus Meine a run for his money in the vocal department. From the outset, these guys impress with some rollicking hard rock/metal. 'Your Love Is In Vain' is a heavy rocker with a hint of Thin Lizzy, if you listen close enough, particularly on the verses. One of the album standouts is 'Back On My Feet' with its growling riff and double bass hit-out on the chorus by drummer Jos Zoomer. Tell me the intro to 'Wait' isn't inspired by Van Halen's flamenco work out on 'Spanish Fly' (found on 'Van Halen II'). The song moves beyond that into a slow build rocker that peaks at the chorus ('Wait.. wait, wait, till the shit hits the fan..'), and then onward to a huge solo piece. 'Burning Heart' is next. More acoustic wonderment, and a great great song to boot. It is perhaps the first recognisable power ballad that was successful on the US charts, though I'm sure there were others prior to this. 'Ready For You' is a riff-happy rocker in the vein of The Scorpions, a heads down no frills approach, a headbangers delight circa 1982. The same applies to the next track 'Too Late' which gallops along at a good clip, powered by a strong backend provided by Kemper and Zoomer. When Vandenberg cut to the chase and keep it simple but effective, a song like 'Nothing To Lose' is the end result. It's a great little number, which shuffles along Vandenberg's riffs and Zoomer's bucket drums. 'Lost In The City' isn't as engaging as those tracks heard before, and (excuse the pun) gets lost along the way. The track sounds a lot like Coney Hatch who were also doing the rounds during the same time frame. 'Out In The Streets' is the closer, and the band go all out to impress. Drummer Joz Zoomer leads the intro with some spectacular drumming, who drives the band hard during the chorus too, with his double bass working overtime. Adrian gets in on the act with some fluid but fiery playing.

In Summary
Despite the success of this album, it proved to be the only real success for the band, because the following two albums 'Heading For A Storm' and 'Alibi' aren't a patch on this debut, though they will probably appeal to AORsters because by this stage the band reached out for commercial success rather than follow their natural instinct. As a guitarist, I put Adrian right up there in the A league in terms of using and playing vibrato techniques. He joins the likes of John Skyes and Ian Stewart (Strangeways) as one of the best vibrato players around. By 1985, Adrian called it quits, and then joined the Whitesnake circus at the behest of long time admirer David Coverdale.

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#1 | super80boy on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Vandenberg is a solid debut effort with a bunch of sturdy rockers and of course what turned out to be a successful melodic power ballad
#2 | george_the_jack on October 30 2009 10:46:31
The Vandenberg albums were a great addition to glorydaze.I love all of them, Vandenberg's guitar work and Bert Heerink's power vocals!
#3 | gerard on October 30 2009 15:35:36
Good to see the Vandenberg albums here. In recent years Bert Heerink released a few albums in Dutch and was involved with various music projects. He also sang in a few Dutch language commercials for Heineken. Dick Kemper also released an album with No Exqze, which was produced by Tony Platt.
#4 | gdazegod on October 30 2009 21:31:14
The recent Heerink solo album will also be reviewed shortly.
#5 | rkbluez on November 01 2009 00:48:04
Great Band...a real classic album...the other two are good but this s/t will always be the one to buy if you want to check out Vandenberg.
#6 | jefflynnefan on November 02 2009 02:22:43
This is a hit and miss band for me. This debut is my fave by this band. "Burning Heart" is brilliant.
#7 | sabace on February 10 2010 14:05:08
excellent debut!
#8 | jeffrey343 on March 20 2016 18:46:23
I was driving around town last weekend listening to the 80s on 8 station on SiriusXM satellite radio. It happened to be the countdown for this week in 1983. Number 39 was 'Burning Heart'. I never realized that song made it to the charts in the U.S. I saw the video on MTV a handful of times - certainly not more than that - and I don't remember hearing it on the radio. I do get surprised sometimes that songs I thought were really obscure maybe weren't as obscure as I thought.
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