De Fabriek – Ruud Bos

Sometimes a beautiful score is handed to you on a silver platter, as was the case with De Fabriek (English: The Factory), a tv show that ran from 1981 to 1982 in the Netherlands. Back then I was just a small child and did not know much about the series, but, if I remember correctly, I was told at the time that the music was pretty good. The music was composed by Ruud Bos, who has written a lot of music for Dutch media in the ‘70s and ‘80s. If you are Dutch and have memories from that period, you certainly remember De Fabeltjeskrant, Zeg Eens AAA and Bassie en Adriaan. Otherwise, you have probably been to the Dutch amusement park De Efteling, where you have heard music of the Vogel Rok, Via Volta and Fata Morgana attractions. The list of music he has written is both massive and impressive, making him one of the most prolific composers for Dutch media.

De Fabriek is a series that is more than forty years old, so it is quite interesting that the music for it has only been released now. Apparently, the original tapes, recorded in 1981, have recently been found in Bos’s archive and were digitized using modern techniques. Now people can relive the music from the series and introduce it to others who have never heard it before.

One of the strong points of this score is its main theme. It is introduced in the first track “Sugar – Opening Titles [Short Version],” getting you in the mood for the rest of the music. The main theme is what many people remember about the show, and after hearing it myself, I can understand why. The theme is an amazing piece performed by an orchestra with the memorable melody played by the brass, supported by the drums and bass guitar to give the theme a poppy and jazzy vibe, which was very common in the ‘80s. “Sugar – Opening Titles [Long Version]“ is, as the title suggests, a longer version of the opening titles, making for an even better listening experience. The original ‘80s version “Sugar [Original Mono Leader Mix 1981]” is also quite interesting to listen to. If you compare both the new and the mono version you can hear how much sound quality has improved over the years. 

When you have a strong theme, it is always a pleasure to hear it in different places throughout the score. In “Secret Affair” you hear a slow version, with the melody on the flute, while in “Come Home” the solo is performed on a guitar, supported by the strings. The melody is also performed by a guitar in “At Rest”, together with a vibraphone, and transitions in a beautiful jazz piece afterwards. In “Casino” a whistler starts to perform the theme’s melody, giving the music a more human touch, but in “Anxious” the theme is more disturbing as it is performed on the piano while the supporting notes are not being played exactly in tune.

There are many more superb tracks on the album: As a matter of fact, all of them are. There are some excellent jazz pieces, for example “At Labour” and “New Energy” with some brilliant improvisation solos. “Steadfast” and “Action” contain a march-like theme, which keeps repeating in your head. Apparently, not everything goes well in the series, because in “Where Are You” and “Longing” you can hear a sad theme played wonderfully by the brass in the first track and by the strings in the second one.

At the end of the album, you can find some other variations of a couple of the tracks, in which the recordings are mixed a bit differently by adding and removing some of the recorded parts of that specific track. It creates some interesting versions of the same music and showcases how important the final mix is.

When I heard about this release, I was quite curious and went online to find samples of it. There I found out that it was a CD-only release, with a limited vinyl version announced for those who prefer that medium. After listening to the music, I am quite happy with my purchase. The CD also includes a booklet with interesting information about the series, the music and the final mix, which is a wonderful addition. Unfortunately, I am not able to showcase fantastic music to other film music friends all over the world, and that is a bit of a shame. Everyone should be able to hear this magnificent soundtrack, which is considered to be a Dutch classic. It is 2021 after all, not 1981.



The highlights are in bold.

  1. Sugar – Opening Titles [Short Version] (1:25)
  2. At Labour (2:53)
  3. Tricky Business (1:26)
  4. Rave-up (2:04)
  5. Where Are You (1:03)
  6. Longing (2:13)
  7. Complaining (0:06)
  8. New Energy (3:15)
  9. Secret Affair (1:00)
  10. Come Home (0:39)
  11. Homeward (0:17)
  12. At Rest (3:09)
  13. Waiting (1:01)
  14. Undecided (0:37)
  15. Steadfast (1:03)
  16. Action (1:56)
  17. For You (0:15)
  18. Fear (1:05)
  19. Happy Home (2:53)
  20. In Love (1:14)
  21. Romance (2:32)
  22. Start (1:48)
  23. Casino (2:08)
  24. Suspense (0:18)
  25. Sexy Music (2:03)
  26. Restaurant Music (1:53)
  27. Anxious (0:46)
  28. Jannie and Dries (5:09)
  29. Jack’s Death (1:30)
  30. Sugar – Opening Titles [Long Version] (2:26)
  31. New Energy [Mixing Demo] (3:20)
  32. Sugar [Rhythm Mix] (1:26)
  33. At Labour [Rhythm Mix] (2:53)
  34. Rave-up [Rhythm Mix] (2:04)
  35. New Energy [Rhythm Mix] (3:15)
  36. Start [Rhythm Mix] (1:48)
  37. Sugar [Original Mono Leader Mix 1981] (1:26)

Total length: 1 hour and 2 minutes
678 Records (2021)

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