Luv' is a Dutch girl group that scored a string of hit records in Continental Europe (Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Denmark) as well as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The original members were Patty Brard, José Hoebee and Marga Scheide. In 1979, Luv' was "Holland's best export act" and thus received the "Conamus Export Prize".
The band sold more than seven million records worldwide (singles and albums). Among their greatest hits were: U.O.Me (Welcome To Waldolala), You're the Greatest Lover, Trojan Horse, Casanova and Ooh, Yes I Do. The formation went through line-up changes and the original singers reunited several times. They had a hectic schedule between 2006 and 2008. They gave a farewell performance on August 11, 2012 in Spaarnwoude at the Dutch Valley Festival. Two members of the pop act have had a successful solo career in their homeland: Patty as a TV personality and José as a vocalist. In 2016, Marga, José and Ria Thielsch (who already replaced Patty in 1980) decided to relaunch Luv'.
In 1976, record producers, Hans van Hemert and Piet Souer, and manager Han Meijer, twenty years before the Spice Girls phenomenon, decided to form a girl group, inspired by the German disco trio Silver Convention. They had already recorded the music of a self-penned track (My Man) and were looking for singers. They recruited three women:José Hoebee, born on March 29, 1954 in Best. She started her career as a semi-professional vocalist in the early 1970s as a member of a folk & country band, Young Tradition, with her two sisters. This formation took part in talent shows, changed its name into Elongi and recorded a single produced by Piet Souer who suggested José to join Luv'.
Marga Scheide, born on February 15, 1954 in Amsterdam. She was involved in many beauty pageants and appeared on the covers of various artist hit compilations.
Patty Brard, from Sorong in New Guinea, born on March 25, 1955, who first worked as a secretary in the office of Hans van Hemert who offered her a career in the show business.
After the singles My Man (#12 in the Netherlands and a Flemish Top 10 hit) and Dream, Dream (which failed to enter the charts) in 1977, Van Hemert was commissioned by VPRO television to write the theme song for the Wim T. Schippers-written TV series Het is weer zo laat! (also known as Waldolala), a spin-off from Van Oekel's Discohoek (1974). With the help from Souer, he composed U.O.Me (Welcome To Waldolala) which was recorded by the girls. Moreover, Luv's appearance performing the song on this TV show during the opening credit was a great publicity stunt. It became an instant hit in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium) (a Top 5 hit in both countries).
The You're the Greatest Lover single was their international breakthrough in 1978 and sold one million copies. Apart from their homeland, Luv' entered the music charts in Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. The follow-up singles (Trojan Horse (another million seller), Casanova, Ooh, Yes I Do...) were also successful. Their albums were big selling records (especially With Luv' and Lots Of Luv').
In 1978-1979, Luv' was Holland's best export act and received for their entire oeuvre the Export award from Conamus, a foundation dedicated to the promotion and support of Dutch music abroad.
In Germany, the trio was often invited on two popular TV programs: Disco and Musikladen. You're the Greatest Lover (which sold 500.000 copies in Goethe's country and earned a gold certification) was also used for the soundtrack of an episode of Derrick TV series. Two decades later, a dance music oriented cover version of this track by Loona renamed Latino Lover was a hit single in German speaking countries (#6 and gold single (250 000 units sold) in Germany, #9 in Austria and #6 in Switzerland in 2000).
Some tracks were recorded in Spanish. Eres Mi Mejor Amante (a.k.a. You're the Greatest Lover) was a minor hit in Spain and Si, Que Si (a.k.a. Ooh, Yes I Do) reached the gold status in Mexico.
Their songs were also popular behind the Iron Curtain, especially in East Germany, Poland and Hungary. However, records distribution was limited in the Eastern Bloc. Sales were indeed difficult to evaluate in this part of the world.
In 1979, the three singers, their producers and their new manager (Han Meijer was replaced by Pim Ter Linde who ran Interlinde Management) changed their strategy for better opportunities. That's why, they founded a limited company, Interluv'/Luv' BV, to control every aspect of their career. They chose a new publisher and a new record company. After a deal with Philips Records, they signed a 750.000 Dutch guilder contract with CNR, a Dutch label affiliated to Carrere Records, a French company.
Soon after the release of the One More Little Kissie single, Patty Brard left the band in August 1980. She was replaced by a model and limbo dancer from the Ricardo and The Flames revue, Ria Thielsch born on August 25. 1951 in Manokwari, New Guinea. Ria was officially introduced to the public when the My Number One single and the Forever Yours album were released in the fall of 1980. These records sold well in the Netherlands and Belgium. Luv' was supposed to take part in the Yamaha Music Festival (officially known as the World Popular Song Festival and considered as the "Oriental Eurovision") in November 1980 with the song Be My Lover Tonight. Instead of it, Luv' cancelled their participation to this competition and preferred to perform on the Musikladen TV show in Germany.
In March 1981, the girls and their team announced their break-up at the time they had planned to promote their recordings in new territories (Japan, Soviet Union....). To the public's great surprise, the group made a farewell performance on July 22, 1981 on the Nederland Muziekland show on Veronica (TV channel) by singing Tingalingaling (which was released as a single). This final broadcast was filmed in Spakenburg. Luv' also appeared at the Efteling theme park during Hitkrant's Zomerspelen (a summer multi-sport event with Dutch celebrities which was organized by teen magazine Hitkrant). They were expected to sing at a UNICEF gala in Greece but their participation in this show was called off. Then the compilation album "Goodbye Luv'" came out.
In 1988, the original line-up was reunited for a Dutch TV charity show (Samen) hosted by Mies Bouwman. Luv' later planned to record a come back album. The British producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman were said to produce this opus. However, it never happened.
Then, José and Patty didn't want to belong to the band anymore.
Marga Scheide (only original member) and two other singers, Diana van Berlo and Michelle Gold recorded as Luv' a single (Welcome to My Party) which reached the 22nd position on the Dutch charts and the 28th position on the Flemish charts in the autumn of 1989. Moreover, the trio was involved with other Dutch girl groups (Frizzle Sizzle, Mai Tai...) in the All Stars project to help Third World children with the Star Maker single. In 1990, Michelle Gold was replaced by another vocalist, Carina Lemoine. During the Gulf War, Luv' performed in Dubai to support the Dutch troops. The formation disbanded in 1992.
Because of the 1970s revival due to the success of ABBA and Boney M compilations, the original Luv' girls got together. An anthology CD (Luv' Gold) and a medley single (Megamix '93) were released in 1993 and peaked respectively at #14 and #23 on the Dutch charts. The ladies went on tour in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. Then their last studio album (All You Need Is Luv') was issued by an independent label (Roman Disc) and only available in Kruidvat (a Dutch chain of drugstores). It failed to enter the hit lists. They performed from time to time and broke up again in 1996.
In 2003, a double CD compilation (25 Jaar Na Waldolala) was released by Universal Music Netherlands to celebrate their 25th anniversary. This Greatest hits album featured bonus tracks: Spanish versions of four hit singles as well as José and Marga's solo recordings.
In 2005, Luv' made a surprise performance at the 60th birthday of Hans van Hemert. One year later, a reality TV show about their comeback (Back In Luv) was broadcast on RTL 5 (a Dutch TV channel) and on VTM (a Flemish channel). A DVD (also entitled Back In Luv') and a Box set (Completely In Luv' with bonus tracks and remixes) came out. On May 26, 27 and 28th 2006, Luv' and Bobby Farrell (of Boney M) were the guest stars during three big shows of De Toppers at the Amsterdam ArenA. Until 2008, they had a hectic schedule. They often performed on TV and were booked for live performances (in clubs, private parties, corporate events and festivals).
In the later years, concerts were sporadic mainly due to the fact that Patty Brard was a busy TV personality. In the 2000s and early 2010s, Luv' was one of the few manufactured bands of the Disco and Dance era to be on stage with the original line-up (unlike Boney M. and Village People). Marga announced in a radio interview on NOS their definitive break-up in March 2012. They gave their final performance on August 11, 2012 in Spaarnwoude at the Dutch Valley Festival.
In May 2015, the 1980-1981 line-up of Luv' (Marga, José and Ria) took part in the release party of a photo book "The Story of Luv" (including exclusive pictures of the ladies) at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum. Dutch illusionist Hans Klok attended this event. Patty Brard was opposed to this project. The publication was eventually banned due to copyright issues.
In March 2016, Marga and José announced the umpteenth comeback of Luv' in De Telegraaf (Holland's most read newspaper). Patty is not involved in this comeback and is replaced by Ria Thielsch. Luv' intend to go on tour and record a new repertoire produced by Juan Cristóbal Losada. On October 1, 2016, they will be performing at the Studio 54 party at the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium with Earth, Wind & Fire experience feat. Al MacKay, Jocelyn Brown and Kate Ryan.
(peak position on the album charts) :Netherlands:
1977: My Man: #155
1978: You're the Greatest Lover: #7, U.O.Me (Theme from Waldolala): #21, Trojan Horse: #68
1979: Casanova: #55, Ooh, Yes I Do: #84, Eeny Meeny Miny Moe : #114, Trojan Horse: #124
1980: My Number One: #89, One More Little Kissie: #96, Ann-Maria: #100, Ooh, Yes I Do: #198
1981: My Number One:#219, Tingalingaling: #256
1989: Welcome to My Party: #200
1993: Megamix '93: #178
1978: You're the Greatest Lover:#11, Trojan Horse: #79
1979: Trojan Horse: #17, Casanova: #61, You're the Greatest Lover: #66
1978: You're the Greatest Lover:#18
1979: Trojan Horse: #19
1979: Trojan Horse: #10, You're the Greatest Lover: #14, Casanova: #27
1978: U.O.Me (Theme from Waldolala), You're the Greatest Lover and Trojan Horse: Platinum singles
1978: Veronica Top 40 Awards for reaching the number one position in the Top 40 with the singles You're the Greatest Lover and Trojan Horse
1979: With Luv' and Lots Of Luv' : Platinum albums
1979: Conamus Export Award for being the best Dutch Export music act (sales of 2.5 million records between 1977 and 1979).
1980: True Luv' : Gold album
1979: You're the Greatest Lover and Trojan Horse: Gold singles
1979: You're the Greatest Lover : Gold single (600 000 units sold)
1979: Trojan Horse: Gold single
1979: With Luv': Silver album
1980: Si Que Si (Spanish version of Ooh, Yes I Do): Gold disc
Luv' was inspired by ABBA that had deals with various record companies to control the distribution of their records.
The female pop act had a contract with Philips Records/Phonogram from 1977 to 1979. Afterwards, the trio signed a 750.000 Dutch Guilder record deal with CNR, a label affiliated to Carrere Records. This contract (which lasted from 1979 to 1981) was considered by the newspaper De Telegraaf as the show business transfer of the year.
As they changed their label, the girls also changed their publishing company (which controlled the copyright of their songs). Their first publisher was Banananas Music during their Phonogram years and their second one was Roba Musik Verlag during their CNR/Carrere periode.
Phonogram and CNR licensed the rights for their records to various labels around the world. For example, Luv's records were released by Privat Stock in the UK, by Carrere in German speaking countries, by WEA in Japan, by West and Meteor labels in Turkey or by Discos Musart in Mexico. There were eighty seven record pressings in about forty countries.
In 1979, the three singers, their producers and their manager founded a limited company (Interluv’/Luv’ B.V) to control every aspect of their career. Two years later, as the formation disbanded, it ended its legal obligations.
When Marga Scheide formed a new Luv’ trio with two new members and without the original producers, she signed a deal with High Fashion Records/Dureco to release a mini-album (For You which included the moderate hit, Welcome to My Party) and later another contract with RCA/BMG for the Sincerely Yours album.
In 1993, when the original line-up was reunited, the vocalists had a new deal with Arcade Records for the release of the Luv' Gold compilation which entered the album charts in the Netherlands.
Then, they recorded their last studio album (All You Need Is Luv'), issued by an independent label (Roman Disc) and only available in Kruidvat, a Dutch chain of drugstores.
Luv’s back catalogue currently belongs to Hans van Hemert Productions and Universal Music Netherlands which released compilations (like 25 Jaar Na Waldolala and Completely In Luv').