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in blue

1979 in blue

In Blue is the first album by bad medecine after Bobby Beeldhouwer had definitely left the group. Bello plays drums and Papa Beer does vocals & guitars as normally. Gérardo Debakker fills in the bass, mostly on synthesisers. The band finished touring for the success of 37 < ZACK > 37 in the autumn of 1979 when ‘eternal dread’ was already released. In blue was recorded in the sole week without gigs in the summer.


1. [4.49]   i need you [k/k, bello]                    
2. [8.01]   lonesome words in blue [bello/k, bello]            
3. [4.35]   up in the fields of love [k, debakker/debakker]    
4. [3.49]   racism [k/k, bello]                      
5. [2.16]   go heavy [bello/bello]            
6. [3.01]   her rendez-vous [k/k, bello]     
7. [3.44]   bestseller [k/bello, k]          
8. [1x.00]   intoxication [k/k, bello, debakker, demarco]        


Papa Beer : guitars + vocals
Bello : drums 
Gérardo Debakker : bass + synthesizers

Synthesizers on 2, 6 and 8 by Lex Demarco
Lead vocals on 2, 5 and 6 by Lisa Laverre 
Synthesizers on 6 by Papa Beer

Recorded at the Mick Studiós, Tèxord, September 1979
Produced by Mick Oe
Engineered by Manfred Kevand
Mixed at the Mick studiós, Tèxord
Released at myzelf music inc. November 1979


After the hiatus of 1974-1976, bad medecine had never been a band again that went in one direction as they'd done before. Bobby's solo work shows his turn away from loud music & in the tour supporting 37 < ZACK > 37 it had become too much for him. Playing guitar wasn't satisfying and the crowds they played for didn't please him anymore so he decided to leave after the tour. With pain in their hearts Bello & Papa Beer agreed and continued their tour with Gérardo Debakker on bass guitar.


Writing and composition

The sound on ‘in blue’ is obviously wilder than the previous records and bad medecine wouldn’t be bad medecine if they wouldn't try something new. To cope with the loss of their bass player - as they said in an interview - they decided to go for synths to play the bass, which is done by Gérardo Debakker & Lex Demarco who'd later join them on tour.

The songs on ‘in blue’ are raw. Two of them are on Papa Beer's solo album as well, be it with slightly different lyrics. The others have metaphorical texts and though they're less poppy as before, the songs still are still simple but gloomy. 'Lonesome words' is a beautiful slow lullaby and the long 'intoxiation' is a lament for the night that begins with the ordinary 12-bar blues and escalates in something ominous, sinister and noisy.

All recorded within one week, it was initially not more than demo's that would function to build their next record on, but Bello & Papa Beer decided to publish it directly after their tour, rather than polishing the songs as they'd done for 37 < Z A C K > 37. That record had given them so much fame that they got detached from their audiences.

​Release and reception

The album was received lukewarm. Critics accused bad medecine of laziness as the songs sounded unfinished and raw in contrast to their previous album. The mood was darker and thus the album was a lot less approachable. In accordance, sales were lower and the record hardly hit the charts. Some critics and fans did appreciate the stubbornness of the band, but the use of synthesizers was not digested by all their fans.

Their previous records had sold millions of records and venues had become bigger and bigger and this dissatisfied all of the members. “Being only four a on a stage for a hundred thousand makes you feel very small,” Papa Beer explained, “and one evening I realised this was not the.. my favourite way of making music. When I tried to have contact with one individual in the audience and I failed, I gave up and needed something else." With ‘in blue’, they wanted to show that from now on, their music would be less poppy and that was the reason they let the production so raw. 

bad medecine did not want to do another million selling record, but they wanted to show the creation of songs as well as their meetings with their new member Lex Demarco, who had joined them on the tour. Gérardo alternates between bass and keyboards. Even though Lex played most of the rhythm guitars on tour, Papa Beer played them on the record and Lex only added synths. After the recordings Lex introduced the others to Daan Kasteels who joined after ‘in blue’ was released.



Thus they went on tour as a quartet. Papa Beer played on his red Gibson SG, a yellow Fender Telecaster and he also had his green, black, white Fender Mustang who functioned as other tunings. Lex played on Gretsch and Gibson, Daan played on fender precision. Bello had painted his drum kit in different colours during the tour that took them through Africa, Latin America and the US in the voorjaar of 1980. In that spring the quartet stayed in Tèxord to record ‘she smoked with elegance’.


a cufnosed circus

billy navrovski