The Motions - Their Own Way (1966)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 4:29 AM

In comparison with their brasher debut album, Their Own Way was disappointingly sluggish and subdued. The emphasis was on rather lethargic soul-rock ballads, as if songwriter Ronnie van Leeuwen was trying to find something that would get the same chart success as (better) British singers of the time such as the Walker Brothers. "Why Don't You Take It" was a pretty obvious attempt to capture a Drifters-like mood, and though the group occasionally got into a bluesy mode, the sound was surprisingly thin and the execution rather perfunctory. The biggest problem was that the songs weren't memorable, with the notable exception of the scorching "Everything That's Mine," now enshrined on the Nuggets 2 box set. That track is a mod masterpiece with screeching guitar that's just as exciting as the early Who or Small Faces, and its appearance at the very end of the album is downright shocking, blowing the rest of the set out the window. The bonus tracks aren't too exciting or notable; the only one not taken from a non-LP 45 is a previously unreleased stereo version of a song from Their Own Way, "You've Hurt Yourself."
The Band:
The Motions from The Hague were one of the bigger groups of the 1960s Dutch beat explosion. They were formed in 1964 from the remnants of Ritchie Clark and the Ricochets and went on to become hitmakers for the next several years. The Walker Brothers even recorded "My Love Is Growing", a song The Motions' Robbie van Leeuwen had written (the Motions had recorded it as a flipside to "Why Don't You Take It") and the Walkers' manager John Stewart produced The Motions' second LP, "In Their Own Way". The single, "Freedom", reached the lower regions of the American charts in 1969. This song was sampled in the 1990s by Japanese band Tokyo No.1 Soul Set on their track "Sunday". Although the group disbanded in 1971, the most important members have met each other again & again in new bands such as Crossroad, Greenhorn, Jupiter and Galaxy Lin.

From 1964 to 1967, the line-up was stable: Rudy Bennett (i.r.l. Ruud van de Berg - vocals, earlier as Ritchie Clark and the Ricochets), Robbie van Leeuwen (guitar, ex-Atmospheres & Ricochets, later the founder of both Shocking Blue and Galaxy Lin), Henk Smitskamp (bass, ex-Willy & Giants, later to Livin' Blues) & Sieb Warner (i.r.l. Siebolt Warntjes - drums, ex-Ricochets, later to Golden Earring). This line-up had a string of hits in The Netherlands during 1965 and 1966 with singles like "Wasted Words" and "It's The Same Old Song". Their first album, "Introduction To The Motions", is considered one of the best albums of the era.

Early 1967, Robbie left to form Shocking Blue and was replaced by Gerard Romeyn (ex-Tee-Set, later with Nico Haak, Image). Late 1967, Henk Smitskamp was ousted in favour of Leo Bennink (ex-Mack and Jay-Jays). A fifth member was found in multi-instrumentalist Jan Vennik (sax, flute & organ, also ex-Jay-Jays, later to Rob Hoeke & Ekseption). When in mid-1968 Gerard Romeyn and Jan Vennik were busted for posession of marijuana and incarcerated, the band took in Paul van Melzen (ex-Haigs, later in the Mailer McKenzie Band) on bass and Bobby Green, (i.r.l. Bob van der Vaart - organ, ex-Bobby Green Selection, also to Fisher & Friends). Bennink switched to guitar. This line up recorded the album "Electric Baby" for Decca in 1969. The band then suffered another setback by the departure of drummer Sieb Warner to rivals Golden Earring (who'd by then just dropped the 's' off Earrings). His replacement was Han Cooper (i.r.l. Han Gordinou de Gouberville). The last line-up of the group (up until 1971) was: Rudy, Leo, Paul, Bobby and Han. They did a few gigs in England and went on a trip to the USA (only playing at The Scene Club in New York), but international success eluded them. They recorded one more album for the Simogram label of supermarket chain Simon de Wit, but split up soon afterwards.

After the breakup, Rudy Bennett, Bobby Green and Gerard Romeyn all released solo singles. Bennett later joined Robbie van Leeuwen in Galaxy Lin. In 1992, The Motions did a one-off reunion gig for Veronica television with the original line-up, joined by Leo Bennink on guitar and keyboards. Rudy Bennett regularly does Golden Oldies gigs with pick-up bands under the moniker of The Motions, often including Leo Bennink. Henk Smitskamp still plays with Willy & his Giants.
01. My babe
02. You've hurt yourself
03. My love is growing
04. Hard time blues
05. Late last night
06. Why don't you take it
07. Sittin' on top of the roof
08. Too late to be sorry
09. You can't fight it
10. There's no place to hide
11. Everything that's mine

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