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Golden Earring - Seven Tears CD (album) cover

SEVEN TEARS

Golden Earring

 

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3.61 | 60 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 465

Golden Earring is the best known, and internationally is the most successful rock band to come out of the Netherlands. Formed in 1961, Golden Earring has been active for more than fifty years non-stop, which makes of them the world's longest surviving rock band in the world, formed a year before The Rolling Stones. The current line up has been intact since 1970. In 1961 George Kooymans and his neighbour Rinus Gerritsen formed The Tornados in their home town of The Hague, the Netherlands. In 1963, as the band found out that there already was a British band called The Tornados, they decided to change their name into The Golden Ear-rings. Under the Golden Earrings moniker the band eventually recorded four albums between 1965 and 1969 in the Netherlands, "Just Ear-Rings" in 1965, "Winter-Harvest" in 1967, "Miracle Mirror" in 1968 and "On The Double" in 1969, besides twelve hit singles, 10 of which reached the Dutch Top 10.

The band's international career only started, and modestly, to take off in 1969, the year of the release of the fifth album, the psychedelic "Eight Miles High", their first tour of the U.S. and also the year in which the band name was slightly changed into The Golden Earring. On their early U.S. tours, their long, wild cover version of The Byrds' classic "Eight Miles High" impressed audiences and press alike. 1970 saw a dramatic shift in Golden Earring's musical style. After the melodic, often Beatle esque 60's beat of The Golden Earrings and a brief phase of psychedelica and hippie rock, Golden Earring's trademark became heavier, a riff based brand of rock with catchy hooks. It marked the start of a decade of domestic and international glory. Between 1970 and 1973, Golden Earring released more four albums, "Golden Earring" aka "Wall Of Dolls" in 1970, "Seven Tears" in 1971, "Together" in 1972 and "Moontan" in 1973. Their international popularity increased, mainly after their single "Radar Love" and the lengthy 1972 tour of Europe, supporting The Who.

Besides the guitarist George Kooymans and the bassist/keyboardist Rinus Gerritsen, the band's lead singer during the early Golden Earrings years was Frans Krassenburg. He was replaced by Barry Hay in 1967. The band's drummer for much of the 60's was Jaap Eggermont. His successors were Sieb Warner in 1969 and, in 1970, Cesar Zuiderwijk, Golden Earring's definitive drummer. So, the line up that is still active today is Barry Hay (lead vocals, guitar and flute), George Kooymans (vocals and guitar), Rinus Gerritsen (bass, harmonica and keyboards) and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums).

With their seventh studio album "Seven Tears", Golden Earring laid a good, if not full fledged successor to their two previous exceptional works "Eight Miles High" and "Golden Earring". "Seven Tears" has seven tracks. The album begins with "Silver Ships" which is a wonderful psychedelic ballad, a real gem in their complete oeuvre. The stark counterpart to the dreamy "Silver Ships" is the second track on the album, the powerfully dry piece, "The Road Swallowed Her Name". Musically, the piece is somewhere between Deep Purple and Uriah Heep settled. It's a riff based song, combining guitar and bass works, with a dynamic style. "Hope" moves in the field of rock ballads, interspersed with some interesting tempo changes and enriched with powerful organ and saxophone inserts. "Don't Worry" is a straightforward rocker, a typical Golden Earring piece. It's an energetic track using piano as music filler, while the bass plays a very dynamic and tight basslines. The same goes for "She Flies On Strange Wings", although the piece in the intro suggests something psychedelic. But then no strong rock sound dominates, interspersed with unbelievably enthralling hooklines. In short, "She Flies On Strange Wings" is one of the best rock songs of the year 1971. As a single release, the piece internationally unfortunately couldn't build on the success of the hit "Back Home". "This Is The Other Side Of Life" sounds unfamiliar, too poppy, but thanks to the great guitar work of George Kooymans, the track can convince. It has nice bass guitar lines and it flows in simple with a straight line structure. His whole class is once again proved on their next final track, "You're Better Off Free". Despite the track sounds a bit cumbersome at first, it knows how to convince after repeated listenings. The song suits its position as a concluding track and is very inspiring, really.

Conclusion: All in all, "Seven Tears" is really a very good album, which draws its charm not least from the enormous craftsmanship and wealth of ideas of the band. For Golden Earring fans, the album is a must, and if you want to hear 70's hard rock, away from stale riffs, you should definitely listen to this album. This album is in the same vein as their previous recordings but not as inventive. There's a touch of prog here but mostly it's straight ahead hard rock. I really don't know if "Seven Tears" is one of the most proggiest albums of Golden Earring but I'm convinced that it's one of the most balanced in their entire career. It's true that it's an album without highlights, but on the other hand, I can't find any weak points on it, really. Although, I know that overall "Seven Tears" is more like a collection of songs than a fully realized album, but still are enough strong enough moments to make it worthwhile for hardcore Golden Earring fans.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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