LABEL: 678 Records, the Netherlands
FORMAT: LP (180g heavy weight) + CD / Limited 500 sets / SSE-12010
ARTIST: Rita Hovink
TITLE: Love me or leave me
Rita Hovink vocals
Rob Van Dijk piano
Thijs Van Leer flute
Harry Verbeke tenor saxophone
Carl Schulze harp
Wim Overgaauw guitar
Jelle Kikkert bass
Eric Gräber drums
Recorded at Phonogram Studio’s Hilversum, August 12,13 & 15 1969
Produced in analogue form, directly from the original master tape, without any digital processing
Release initiated by P-Dog & Zembie and produced by Frank Jochemsen (Gallio Producties) for 678 records
Succesfully distributed by Sander Huibers for Painted Dog Records
Mastering by Rinus Hooning
Cover artwork supervised by Piet Schreuders
For the cover reproduction the original slide was used
Photos and documents from the personal archive of Milou and Rob van Dijk
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music B.V.
It is a minor miracle how this reissue came into being.
In 2010 I got in touch with Milou, Rita Hovink’s daughter, with a plan to try and create a little more interest in her mother’s music.
From Milou’s attic came a removal box full with various tapes from Rita. It was a literally a mixed bag, the legacy of a very diverse music career that ended far too soon.
Among the tapes I found the original master tape from the studio recordings that Rita made in Hilversum in the summer of 1969 for her debut album Love me or leave me.
On this specific tape we found the original first mix down of the recordings, a fully fledged sound source of the first generation at the highest playback speed (15 ips) in vibrant stereo. At the time it was customary to make a high-quality production copy of the master which, with the pieces assembled in the right order, served as source tape for the pressing plant. In the unlikely event that something happened to the production copy, one could always revert to the master.
It remains to be unclear how and why exactly this master tape came into Rita’s possession, but a fact is that we now had a source to do something very special.
There then followed a lengthy negotiation process to get the recordings licensed from the official master owner Universal Music, owner of the catalogue of the former record company Phonogram. That process finally came to a favourable end at the end of 2018. So 678 records is pleased and honoured to present this exclusive audiophile reissue of Rita Hovink, a highlight from the years when her repertoire was consisted mostly jazz
Added to this completely analogously produced reissue of the album is a CD with the album in its entirety. As an extra we offer five exclusive bonus tracks: the song Johnny Guitar recorded together with guitarist Wim Overgaauw. The song also appears on her second album, but the exclusive version offered here is from an earlier date and hails from her archives; it is sung much more intensely than the album version.
You will also find here the four pieces that 678 records already issued in 2013 on an EP that has been sold out for some time. They are recordings from 1972 and Rita is accompanied by Casey & the Pressure Group, the band of Cees Schrama. She performs Carole Kings I feel the earth move and also a full version of Jerry Jeff Walkers. Mr. Bojangles made popular by Sammy Davis Jr. and Nina Simone’s interpretation. There are also two reworking’s of songs previously released on her debut album: For every man there’s a woman and the Beatles cover The fool on the hill.
With this reissue, the debut album of Rita Hovink, more than fifty years after it was first recorded, the disc gets another chance to shine. A totally forgotten masterpiece in a record industry that is hit driven. How unjust that is, will become obvious to anyone who now puts the needle in the groove.
Frank Jochemsen, March 2019 / 678 records