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Golden Earring - Golden Earring [Aka: Wall of Dolls] CD (album) cover


Golden Earring


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3.86 | 59 ratings

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4 stars Review Nº 425

Golden Earring earned a unique place in the Dutch rock music history. Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague, Holland and still is active in our days, albeit slowing down on their prolific discography. Golden Earring is one of those bands who have literally been cranking out albums since the days when The Beatles were launching the British invasion all over the world. During all these years, the band released an impressive amount of albums and toured many times. After a debut single and album in 1965 the band continued to release new material in every decade that followed. The classic line up of the band came together in 1970 and is still going strong today. Golden Earring continues to perform monthly, performing electric and acoustic shows. No other band in Holland comes near these statistics, really.

The first outlines of Golden Earring emerge in the early 60's in The Hague, inspired by the British music. In those times, the music scene in The Hague starts to thrive, thanks to hundreds of brand new bands who perform in local clubs and halls. It doesn't take long for Golden Earring to become one of the prominent faces of this new era in the Dutch music. In the years that follow Golden Earring show a spectacular artistic growth. The band embraces new influences, while creating their own distinguished sound. Meanwhile the albums from the band began to coming, "Just Ear-Rings" in 1965, "Winter-Harvest" in 1967, "Miracle Mirror" in 1968 and "On The Double" in 1969. The band's growth has its consequences and in 1969, Golden Earring tours America, a first for any Dutch band. Later that year the band returns to the States to promote their new album "Eight Miles High" of 1969. That album became the first true classic album to Golden Earring, a very important mark to the band, showing that the band continues expanding their horizons. Their self-titled new album, also known as "Wall Of Dolls" by many fans, shows the sound of Golden Earring with a new style.

So, "Golden Earring" is the sixth studio album of Golden Earring and was released in 1970. The line up on the album is George Kooymans (lead and backing vocals and guitar), Barry Hay (lead vocals and backing vocals, guitar and flute), Rinus Gerritsen (bass guitar, piano, organ and Mellotron) and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion).

"Golden Earring" is a hard rock album with its roots firmly in the blues with a touch of the psychedelic music. The flute is one of the main instruments used on the album. Some music lovers associate the flute work with Jethro Tull. And no matter how similar it is to Jethro Tull or not. In this case, we have almost a tracing from Ian Anderson. Musically, the music on the album can be divided into two categories, the heavy blues-like ballads and hard based rock with repetitive riffs. These riffs often cause a déjà vu sensation because it seems you have already heard all this somewhere. Sometimes Golden Earring tries to trample across the Led Zeppelin field. Still, other hard rock heroes will not be overlooked like The Rolling Stones and Deep Purple. At the same time it seems that Barry Hay and George Kooymans try to imitate Robert Plant. The bass lovers should also pay attention to Rinus Gerritsen and to George Kooymans for his guitar playing. By the way, John Bonham influences can also clearly see in the Cesar Zuiderwijk drumming style.

The album begins wisely with "Yellow And Blue", a folky title dear to Kooymans. The acoustic guitar and the ambient flute work confirm their standing in psychedelic with a bluesy style. But, as soon as the second title, we get to the heart of the matter with "The Loner" where the guitar riff is heavy and the bass has a bass sound. "This Is The Time Of The Year" is more melodic, in turn angry and softer to the psychedelic and with a throbbing chorus. "Big Tree Blue Sea" is a kind of a mid-tempo electric trip, a little bit scary and where the flute, invariably, brings us back to Jethro Tull. "The Wall Of Dolls" is a simple music piece but magnified by the echo of the guitar. It's a superb track just like "Back Home". "Back Home" is another great track in Jethro Tull's style, especially during the superb opening. They returned to folk with "See See" that combines heavy prog with rock elements, before returning to heavy riffs with "I'm Going To Send My Pigeons To The Sky". This is a wacky track reminiscent of Budgie. The final track "As Long As The Wind Blow" is an epic ride song that brilliantly closes these forty minutes of magic rock music, which at times has many prog traces.

Conclusion: "Golden Earring" is a very well balanced album. Undoubtedly, it represents one of the best albums of this classic Dutch rock band. In reality, we can't say that this is properly a truly prog rock album, but I can see prog traces on some of its tracks. It has some complicated riffs and it reminds me some other bands like Led Zeppelin, Gravy Train and even Jethro Tull. It has some great tracks and nice arrangements too. This is typically a good Golden Earring album. It's full of guitar oriented blues rock with some nice vocals. Like most of their albums it's well produced and full of quality material. There's a little psychedelic and a little prog, and a lot of rock and roll. It can be considered a classic album of the golden era of the 70's. It's recommended to anyone who wants to discover the band in their prime career.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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