Vaya Con Dios – Belgian band
Belgian band Vaya Con Dios took off in 1986. The group was formed by Dani Klein (Daniëlle Schoovaerts in real life, vocalist), Dirk Schoufs (bass) and Willy Willy Lambregt (guitar). Their debut single Just a friend of mine immediately showed the group's love for Spanish-influenced music and acoustic instruments. It became an overnight hit with 300,000 sold copies in France, which put their career on the way, consisting of:
Willy Willy however decided that Vaya Con Dios wasn't rock 'n roll enough for him and he moved to fellow Belgian band the Scabs. The first full Vaya Con Dios album was recorded with session musicians, but it didn't stand in the way of more success. The singles Puerto Rico and Don't cry for Louie proved of that, followed by the melancholic What's a woman and the joyous European hit Nah neh nah.
In 1991 Dirk Schoufs and Dani Klein lost musical interest in each other which caused Dirk to leave the band. Soon afterwards he died of a drugs-related infection disease.
The album Time Flies which was released a year after, can be called practically a solo effort by Dani Klein. Time Flies is a sad compilation with soul and Latin American influences. The group had reached quite a high status in several countries, especially in Germany, France and Scandinavia. Vaya Con Dios made a successful tour around the world in 1993.
The 1995 album Roots and Wings adds Indian and Arabian accents to their now more R&B-kind of style. It is recorded in the Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama, where Etta James and Aretha Franklin reached stardom in those years. The Muscle Shoals horn section accompanies Dani Klein on her European tour in 1996 with her son, 19-year-old Simon Schoovaerts, playing the keyboard.
After 7 million copies of albums sold, Dani Klein felt trapped by the success. In 1996 she retired from showbiz to travel and live a normal life, which meant the end to Vaya Con Dios. She explained her exhaustion a few years later:
"In the latest phase it was no pleasure anymore. Vaya Con Dios felt like a machine that had to be kept turning. I had to cancel the last concerts because I fell ill. The stress was terrible. I didn't have a bond with the musicians anymore. They just came to do their job for two months. I didn't even know if they even liked the music. We didn't talk about such things. No, that was not my cup of tea anymore. But I guess that is how it goes: you start small and then the thing starts getting bigger and bigger. (...) The pressure had become to high, the expectations for each new album had grown too much."
It wasn't until four years later that Dani Klein emerged on the music scene again, with a new band called Purple Prose.
Vaya Con Dios discography: