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Golden Earring - Moontan CD (album) cover


Golden Earring


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3.94 | 99 ratings

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4 stars There are(at least) two versions of Moontan. The later UK version has the tracks listed here. The original UK version (which I own, having bought it on the day it was released!) has the track order 1 Radar Love 2 Candy's Going Bad 3 Vanilla Queen 4 Big Tree Blue Sea 5 Are You Receiving Me. It omits by far the two worst tracks and adds a killer progressive track, so is far superior in my view. The cover (which shows a very scantily clad woman) caused outrage in the US (especially the Bible Belt) when initially released and was changed on later versions to one with a golden earring - whether they changed the inside (which shows a completely naked rear view of singer Barry Hay!) I know not, but I suspect that would have been even more outrageous to the righteous ones.

The album kicks off with Radar Love, a track that is a standard rocker but a classic and one of the best driving songs ever. Candy's Going Bad is also straight rock, about a middle class girl who turns to prostitution, to the horror of her parents. Then things get really interesting. Vanilla Queen is a wonderful track with a steadily building mood over a simple synth pattern - the cover art reflects the theme of the woman in question. There is an eerie middle section with wierd voices and sound effects which is very Floydian before the track builds back up, starting with acoustic guitar and introducing bass and the other instruments one at a time to a fade out with a string section. An amazing track.

The second side is two long, quite complex songs which have strong progressive elements and incorporate plenty of Barry Hay's excellent flute playing and sax by Bertus Borgers.

The musicianship and vocals are exemplary throughout, slide guitarist Eelco Gelling guesting on several tracks to back George Kooymans. The material is consistently strong and every track is a delight. Whilst not prog in the sense of Foxtrot or Close to the Edge, this has easily enough progressive elements to merit inclusion here, but it may be the only album of Golden Earring's that really does. As a rock album, it's a 5* masterpiece and essential to any serious music collection, but doesn't quite make that grade as a prog album, so only 4*. The later release with the tracks listed on this site would only be 3*, so hunt down one of the original vinyls at all costs. And get one with the original cover artwork too!

Hercules | 4/5 |


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