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Golden Earring

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Golden Earring Eight Miles High album cover
3.82 | 65 ratings | 8 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1969

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Landing (4:27)
2. Song Of A Devil's Servant (6:00)
3. One Huge Road (3:05)
4. Everyday's Torture (5:19)
5. Eight Miles High (19:00)

Total time 37:51

Line-up / Musicians

- George Kooymans / lead guitar, vocals (3,5)
- Barry Hay / flute, rhythm guitar, vocals (1,2,4)
- Rinus Gerritsen / bass, organ, piano
- Sieb Warner / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Ron Seubert

LP Polydor ‎- 656 019 (1969, Netherlands)
LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP025 (2009, Netherlands)

CD Polydor ‎- 825 371-2 (1987, Germany)
CD Red Bullet ‎- RB 66.202 (2001, Netherlands)

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GOLDEN EARRING Eight Miles High ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GOLDEN EARRING Eight Miles High reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars This is the last album where the group will use the prefix The to their name, thus entering the 70's and their prog era with a superb album. The classic quartet is now definitely leaving the pure pop or psych/pop realm they had specialized in so far. And the artwork is setting the tone with the grab the ring front picture and especially with the excellent back cover picture featuring the band in concert in some underground club. This is really the first of string of classic albums and the tone is set by the wild title track, the cover of Byrds' best song.

But let's check out the four shorter tracks on the A-side: Landing is a solid hard rocker, harder than anything they had done until now, and Hay's voice and pronunciation (one of the best by non-English native speaker around the world) is simply perfect. You'd swear this is an early hard rock group somewhere between Uriah, Purple or Wishbone. Better to come is the 6-muns Devil's Servant, where to group show they've got all the chops, including dramatics and often changing tempo. Gerritzen's bass playing is outstanding, but guitarist Kooymans gets prime exposure from this track, where singer Hay also indulge into some flute playing. One Huge Road is about The Road and maybe the least convincing track, but segues into the superb Everyday's Torture, which indeed I could listen to almost everyday. Together with Servant, Torture are two typical semi-progressive tracks

The flipside is filled by the Byrds song Eight Miles High, in one of its best ever version, even if in its sidelong version, it can't avoid some lengths and the succession of each member's respective solos. Certainly the first classic GE album, 8MH gets most of its reputation for the sidelong cover, but this writer prefers to remember three tracks on the first side.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Eight Miles High is typiacal result of its era. Mixing the early heavy rock influences of VANILLA FUDGE and CREAM with the emerging prog styles, it brings several interesting hard-rocking Hammond-laden and fuzzy guitar-pierced sound, the best parts of which can be heard in the memorable riff opening Landing and Sabbathesque dark and menacing chords of Everydays Torture. The sidelong improvised rendition of the BYRDS' classic is unfortunately too long and filled with unneeded soli. Had the title been finished at about 9 minutes it would have present an excellent psyche acid jam composition. Overall good album, but faraway from the bands best moments.



Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars As Hughes rightly mentions in his review, this is the first GE classic album.

Gone is the mellowish and popish mood of the early days, and welcome is the hard-rocking and somewhat psychedelic music I really like.

It starts all wild with the gorgeous ''Landing''. I bet you! What a landing! A great heavy rock song by all means. But what to say about the more sophisticated ''Song Of A Devil's Servant''? A pure jewel that features a splendid keyboard part, and even some prog moments!

This album is truly on the heavy side: ''One Huge Road'' is a typical example. It is quite remarkable though that a band from The Netherlands did play such music in '69. There is even some sort of doom mood during the very good ''Everyday's Torture''. A great crescendo track with a huge vocal part from Barry. But the man is gifted of course.

The first part of this album is quite astonishing. Such different from their previous records, it must have been received as a shock at the time, I guess. The big GE is well on its way to glory.

Now, the long (almost 19 minutes) cover ''Eight Miles High''. It is true to say that some passages are indeed too long but hey! This was recorded in '69, remember? While it was usually more the tendency to play such long songs while on stage; some bands did this exercise on studio albums as well (''Get Ready'' from ''Rare Earth'' for instance although this sounded as a live track. But these ''audience'' reaction were actually added on).

I admit that this track could have been cut into two, but the band was maybe lacking of original work to produce a full album. Still, this one as a whole fully deserves 7 out of 10. Upgraded to four stars.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is where GE began to sound very serious and hence IMO the most progressive sounding album released from them thus far, Eight Miles High has that perfect conceptual feel about it even though the title track is a Byrds rendition and a nineteen minute version at that. The album starts off with the aptly titled ' landing'. This is arguably the strongest song off this album, quite heavy sounding but instantly sets the mood for the rest of the album. Rinus Gerritsen's bass works a treat throughout and Kooymans and Hay do a fine job in the vocal department. 'Everydays Torture' is another solid sombre work before the Side 2 epic title track plays out. GE at their most experimental perhaps, also this album had a definite presence around the early 70's which meant it was very influential too.A solid four stars for this release.
Review by Progfan97402
5 stars It's clear by the time Golden Earring was doing On the Double, they were obviously recording more credible pop/rock than their earliest material. There's some hints of their sound change with the original version of "Song of a Devil's Servant", but for the most part, the album stuck to a pop/rock format, but surprisingly intelligent and very good, with some of the songs showing progressive tendencies, but plenty just straight, but very good pop/rock. Late in 1969 comes Eight Miles High with a clear change to a heavy rock format with prog leanings. Jaap Eggermont had left the band, but he was in charge of Red Bullet Productions, which Golden Earring were part of. In comes Sieb Warner, with George Kooysman, Marinus Gerritsen, and Barry Hays. It's clear with a band like Led Zeppelin riding high that Gold Earring couldn't be a pop/rock band anymore, and it clearly shows with the opening cut, "Landing". No pop to be found at all, heavier guitars playing to be found. They do a remake of "Song of a Devil's Servant", this time starting off rather trippy and psychedelic, with some really nice flute and acoustic guitar playing. "Everyday's Torture" shows how much Golden Earring became a heavy rock band. I wouldn't be too far off to think of this as proto-metal, fans of metal who want to explore the roots of metal should try investigating this album. Then of course the title track, a 19 minute version of the famous 1966 hit from the Byrds. It starts off in rather familiar territory, then they go into similar territory to what Rare Earth did to "Get Ready" with extended solos from various band members, including a drum solo.

I know many people would say Moontan is their high point but for me, Eight Miles High is their high point. I am not as familiar with Golden Earring as I should be, but here in America they're pretty much associated with "Radar Love" and "Twilight Zone" and that's it. This album is really worth your time.

Review by friso
3 stars This album represent the first turning point in Golden Earring's career, turning from a typical beat music band (but do check-out the beautiful song 'I just Lost Somebody') to a.. well whatnot band. Heavy psych, doom blues, folk-infused, heavy prog and jamband? A style the band would continue on its 'Puppet Wall' follow-up, before turning towards a more radio friendly sophisto-rock group with the Moontan album. For its year of release (1969) 'Eight Miles High' could be seen as the frontier of progressive rock, as well as hardrock. The production isn't particularly bad for its time (and I own an old, mistreated vinyl), but it does sound a bit 'out there somewhere'. I would be interested to hear what modern mastering techniques could achieve here.

The almost doom-metal sound achieved on 'Everyday's Torture', one of my favorite songs of the band, is really impressive. 'Song of a Devils Servent' is a dive into ethnic influenced rock. On side two the band elaborates on The Byrds' famous 'Eight Miles High' song. Oh boy does George Kooymans improve on that main lead guitar melody. I always felt like early Golden Earring sounded heavily influenced by Quicksilver Messenger Service's 'Happy Trails' record when it comes to vocals and overall sound. Taking on the jamband coat the band falls a bit short of a great drummer, whereas Cesar Zuiderwijk would join after this record. The opening section is legendary and the guitar jams following it sound great. The 19 minute tracks is however in danger of falling flat after a mediocre drumsolo and only a slightly more interesting fuzz bass solo (amazing sound by the way!) by Rinus Gerritsen. The ending section is better but sounds a bit rushed and unfinished. The song would evolve during live concerts into the great '77 cut on the excellent Earring's 'Live' album.

Conclusion. Not a perfect album, but full of great moments of interest to collectors of early progressive, heavy psych, bluesrock and hardrock. Would give it three-and-a-halve stars.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 415

Golden Earring had and still has a leading role in the history of the Dutch rock music. Golden Earring was formed in the mid of 1960 in The Hague, Holland and still is active in our days, albeit slowing down on their prolific discography. They've managed to maintain a big popularity in many European countries all over these years. Golden Earring had made their name in their native Holland by dominating the charts with a series of The Beatles- aping singles. In between this early stage of Golden Earring's existence and the career zenith of "Radar Love", there lies a transitional period covering the years 1970-72. During these years the band played a brand of rock popular as many headlining European groups of the era, a blend of the two budding genres of progressive rock and heavy metal, with an emphasis on the contrast between the heavy and the light. This resulted in an overlooked period of the band's history which produced three excellent albums of the genre, the 1969's "Eight Miles High", the 1970's "Golden Earring", also known as "Wall Of Dolls" and the 1973's "Moontan". The first of these three albums is the one which will be the subject of this my review.

However and strangely, their unique brand of Rock'n'Roll has largely been overlooked by the American audiences. In reality, the long lived Dutch rock band is of course best known for the most casual music fans in the United States for approximately two songs, by their 1973 worldwide breakthrough hit "Radar Love" recorded on their ninth studio album "Moontan", which is an arena rock milestone that had been deliberately constructed to appeal to the American marketplace, and for their 1982's hit "Twilight Zone", which was recorded on their sixteenth studio album "Cut". This is a very curious and interesting thing because ironically enough, the music that Golden Earring created has always been exactly what America likes, pure and honest Rock'n'Roll that acknowledges but never gives in to the current trends.

This 1969 album shows a great band at the peak of their powers. On the scale of great psychedelic albums this should be high. Listen to Barry hay's flute open track, "Song Of A Devil's Servant", and you are transported somewhere else entirely, which is the achievement of only truly great music. As well as being highly psychedelic this album is also a very heavy rock album at times. The band had evolved from a very good pop band on their first album to a very serious psychedelic hard rock band on this, their fifth album. However, the band didn't make an album this psychedelic again.

The line up on the album is George Kooymans (lead and backing vocals and lead guitar), Barry Hay (lead and backing vocals, flute and rhythm guitar), Rinus Gerritsen (bass, organ and piano) and Sieb Warner (drums and percussion).

"Eight Miles High" has only five tracks. The album is divided into two parts, four tracks on the first side of the LP and one lengthy track fills the entire second side of the LP. So, among the favorite tracks of the band is certainly the over eighteen-minute song "Eight Miles High", the track that fills the entire side two of the album. Golden Earring in 1969 was still pretty much at the beginning of their musical career. The title song caused a worldwide sensation with its extensive guitar duels, the imaginative drumming and many surprising tempo changes. This marathon version of The Byrds' classic was sometimes extended to over 45 minutes during live concerts and had hardly any resemblance to the original, except for the chorus. The bass set the tone here and was the dominant instrument. It was wonderfully rowing with its lines alternated with long-lasting and stretched to the madness of single tones. But, in between, there were wonderful drum escapades, which culminated in a solo that was about four minutes long. The whole thing was enhanced by orgiastic screams and wild moaning. But the four other titles, which are on the first side of the LP left a very strong impression too. In the opener "Landing", Gerritsen plays very well his organ that paired with a rousing lead guitar, the band fires here a great job. With a quiet flute intro begins "Song Of A Devil's Servant". The title is steadily increasing through the use of an acoustic guitar and quiet vocals, before Golden Earring then bring out the heaviness again. It's probably the catchiest song of the album. Central here too is a class solo by Kooymans on the guitar. On "One Huge Road" we can see so much dynamism and power in this title. A heavy and sluggish with very intense lead vocals, but on the other hand, "Everyday's Torture" comes out of the speakers. That is a highlight of this album, too.

Conclusion: "Eight Miles High" is one of the better things that Golden Earring ever produced. The transition from the beat/pop to rock is pretty well complete by this release. Its sound is hard rock and heavy psych with some 60's vibes. It's nice to see how Golden Earring can implement progressive rock elements without ever losing the rock feel, which is a pretty rare thing. As I mentioned above, the band didn't make an album this psychedelic again, but if you like of this album and you haven't heard their music before, besides "Radar Love" and "Twilight Zone", try "Golden Earring", "Moontan" or even "Seven Tears". You aren't losing your time cos all these albums have some great musical moments.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars You know, I've been an active seeker of 60's and 70's music for a while now, and through this experience I've come to realize just how many bands came into being during the late 60's hard rock boom, specifically 1968, 1969, and 1970. Of course you have the obvious like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath ... (read more)

Report this review (#1710971) | Posted by aglasshouse | Saturday, April 15, 2017 | Review Permanlink

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