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BZN started out as a pop-rock band in their native Volendam in 1966, playing early-Bee Gees-like harmony pop. The initial line-up consisted of Jan Veerman (vocals), Cees Tol (guitar), Evert Woestenburg (guitar) Jan Tuyp (bass guitar) and Gerrit Woestenburg (drums).

In the early Seventies, the band switched to hard rock and had its first successes, including a brace of Top 40 hits. After original singer Veerman left and drummer Keizer took his place behind the microphone, the band made a musical U-turn and opted for commercial radio pop, adding female co-vocalist Annie Schilder and laying the foundation for their status as the most popular Dutch band ever (in terms of hit singles and albums). BZN has had over 50 hits in the Dutch hit parade to date.

BZN’s claim to fame started with the song “Mon Amour” (1976), which held the #1 hit parade ranking for over 5 weeks. Outside of the Netherlands the band has had some success as well, amongst which several hits in South Africa (such as “Yeppa” in 1990) and minor successes with their French-language songs in Canada.

Through the years there have been many lineup changes, the most important of which have been the departure of Schilder in 1984 (replaced by Carola Smit) and in 1988 of the brothers Cees and Thomas Tol (keyboards), who until then had been responsible for most of the music and lyrics. The band remained nevertheless successful, making their last major change in strategy when they decided to write in Dutch instead of English as of 2003.


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