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Golden Earring - Moontan CD (album) cover

MOONTAN

Golden Earring

 

Prog Related

3.93 | 65 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars We've got this thing...

Most people know Golden Earring for their big hit Radar Love made popular from everything from huge amounts of airplay to appearances on The Simpsons and the like. Of course the band had many, many songs beyond that, despite how many people actually knew this fact, Moontan is their 9th album as they were founded sometime in the early 60s. The album itself has far better moments than just this one song as well, and people who are familiar with it often call it the band's most progressive album. Looking at the track listing that ProgArchives has for the album it's pretty easy to see that the American version of the album is completely different than other versions of the album. But it's impressive none the less.

Playing an excellent mixture of progressive rock and pure classic hard rock, this album can really catch your ear off first listen. Of course it opens with the hit tune, Radar Love, the pounding mini-opus with a driving bass and emotional voicing - and if you've only ever heard parts of this song and think it's a simple pop song do yourself a favor and really listen to it the first time you listen to this disc in its entirety, because it is very impressive in its whole form. Other songs on the first side prove to be just as impressive, and hey, there's only two of them. Candy's Going Bad is probably the most simple composition on the album, but it's still a good, lengthy hard rocker with an interesting story attached to it that makes it a worthy addition to the album. However, this is just where the album starts getting good, as from here on out no song will dip down bellow 8-minutes. Vanilla Queen is the next on the bill and it starts with a good 2-minutes of spaced out intro before it actually moves into the more hard rocking aspects. It falls back into a trance-like state just over the half way point and then takes a turn for the psychedelic once more as it moves into the brass and instrumental sections of the song.

And yet, the best is still to come as we move into the second side of the album. Big Tree, Blue Sea is disturbingly absent from the non-American version of the album, which is a shame, because this is likely the album's best individual song. Folk influences are abound in melody, but also in that Jethro Tull-like flute that's used throughout. Sweeping keyboards give a typically progressive sound to the album as well as it moves through some moments that could have been taken strait from Genesis's Trespass in their haunting tranquility, before moving back into moments of pure hard rock. An excellent number that does justice to owning one half of the second side. Are You Receiving Me is the final track by the American listing and also the longest. This one is powered by a Captain Beyond-like guitar riff and some excellent percussion, once again it moves through several moods, speeds and tones without ever slowing down the momentum of the track. This pulls together the final track of the album and makes for a satisfying finish.

If you've ever wondered about the reason for including Golden Earring on the Archives this album is probably not the only reason, but it serves as a great example. Multiple instrumental passages, complex arrangements, lengthy tunes, changes in speed and tone throughout each song - all the elements are there, and it even includes things like keyboards, flutes and brass instruments just to keep the people happy. Everything comes together so very well, and based on this one album it's actually a little difficult to see why the band wasn't added earlier.

All that aside, this is certainly an album worth getting. Any progressive fan will be able to appreciate this album to a very large degree, and if you're going to be getting further into the band this is probably the best way to start. In terms of 'progressive-ness' this one ranks among the classics, and in terms of quality it does just the same. 4 stars out of 5 for a very impressive album that's worth repeated listens. Make sure you check it out, because it's certainly worth the investment.

Queen By-Tor | 4/5 |

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