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Golden Earring

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Golden Earring Switch album cover
3.04 | 58 ratings | 5 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro / Plus Minus Absurdio (3:03)
2. Love Is A Rodeo (3:32)
3. The Switch (5:22)
4. Kill Me (Ce Soir) (6:17)
5. Tons Of Time (4:16)
6. Daddy's Gonna Save My Soul (4:12)
7. Troubles & Hassles (4:16)
8. The Lonesome D.J. (4:36)

Total time 35:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Barry Hay / vocals
- George Kooymans / lead guitar, vocals
- Robert Jan Stips / keyboards, string arrangements (8)
- Rinus Gerritsen / bass, mouth harp
- Cesar Zuiderwijk / drums, percussion

- Eelco Gelling / slide guitar
- Bertus Borgers / sax

Releases information

Artwork: Corstiaan de Vries

LP Polydor ‎- 2417 301 (1975, Germany)

CD Polydor ‎- 847 160-2 (1990, Europe)
CD Red Bullet ‎- RB 66.207 (2001, Netherlands)

Thanks to Seyo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GOLDEN EARRING Switch ratings distribution

(58 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GOLDEN EARRING Switch reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has two tales to tell. A kind of Jekyll and Hyde release. The reason for this is that side one from the opener Intro/Plus Minus Absurdio to the side one closer Kill Me/ Ce soir is an absolute classic, Side two of the old vinyl shape and form, took another direction. Not unpleasant but much less progressive and proof in some respects that the album has an almost split personality..hence Switch? An indication of the direction the band were taking perhaps too. Intro.. opens the album with Floydlike synths and a great spacerock atsmosphere. It does not last long however before it breaks into the great rock tune Love is a Rodeo. It is worth mentioning the musicianship is so tightly managed on Switch that it is a pleasureable experience to hear the overall sound. The title song Switch is up next and in many respects the cleverest track played. A light if not hypnotic beat takes you on about a five minute cruise before the gloomy Kill Me plays out the side. Here Barry Hay is at his best vocally as he stretches his vocal chords to the maximum. Great percussion and sax too. Probably the most epic and conceptual songs off the album.

Side two is more of a mish mash of sounds and Tons Of Time definitely the highlight with an almost early ELO type chorus to it. The melancholic Lonesome DJ closes off the album to a mediocre end and Daddy's Gonna Save My Soul gets 10/10 for effort but it is not of the vintage fare found on the first part of Switch. Troubles and Hassles sandwiched inbetween these is a largely non descript rock tune. Overall though the album is very good but as I say an album of two sides to it. Three and a half stars and a worthwhile addition to your collection especially as 1975 was one the best years ever for progressive music.So even the good albums were great!

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars After the hugely successful Moontan and international stardom, GE chose to change its winning formula by adding ex-Supersister keyboardist Robert-Jan Stips and tagging along some hornmen (unneeded imho, because Hay was doing fine on his own) and rhythm guitarist Eelco Gelling and attacked their next album. Anf the first thing one notices is that GE hasn't this many short songs in a while with the longest just over 6-mins. Now the equation shorter songs and more musicians than usual, usually adds up to noisier and more commercial tracks, but this doesn't mean that the commercial side is successful. And this is where our Dutch combo loses heavily as Switch is by far their worst album since becoming a heavy rock group and this is reinforced by some ugly puppet/robot as artwork.

Oh the intro of the opening Plus Minus Absurdio augurs things pretty well, but once the main riff kicks in, it's a letdown, but a small one as the playing is brilliant and the track is almost instrumental. Rodeo is an uninventive hard rocker, although the group will re-use the slowed-down riff in Mad Love Is Coming with much more success, while the title track has some subtle reggae roots/influence, but it's overstaying its welcome by 2 minutes, even if it's a rare window for musical interplay. The album- longest Kill Me, using some bad French lines (cheap marketing ploy to break France open?) is having trouble keeping interest, despite solid string arrangements (obviously arranged by Stips). The flipside is not presenting things on a brighter side. Tons of Time has again some reggae roots as the following tracks such as the sax-inclined Daddy, predictable Lonesome DJ and the riffy Troubles are best described as fillers. The worst part of it is that GE sounds like they don't even believe in themselves and the usually immediate and urgency are completely absent on this album.

Of all 70's GE album, Switch is best avoided or you might want to wait until you buy the latter 70's album, when the songs are heavily formatted as they are here. Switch must be seen as the first album of the extended line-up GE formation that will last until Contraband, and it's easily the weakest of the three, as well as paling real bad in comparison to Moontan, WOD, ST and 8MH.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars To release a follow-up to their extraordinaire ''Montan'' was not an easy task, but this album also belongs to my teenage days and I was quite found of it.

The intro sounds as some sort of ''Overture'' of a concept album and I quite like both section of it: an almost prog intro combined with a strong rock second part. A good start indeed.

The funky hard-rock ''Love is A Rodeo'' is probably not the best song they have ever recorded but the chorus is rather catchy and the beat is very sustained. Not too bad after all.

The last two songs of the A-side of the original album are on par with some of their great predecessors. The former ''The Switch'' is a song with many facets: melodic during the chorus, attractive beat and excellent Barry on the vocals (but this is not a surprise). The jazzy instrumental section also needs to be listened to: excellent bass/drums play.

The climax is of course the huge ''Kill Me''. One of my GE all time fave from the band (with some five other ones). The build up of this song is just outstanding. Ce soir, assassination d'une rock'n'roll star?fini belle vie, bonne nuit. This is another great rock song from these guys. The highlight.

The reggae-ish ''Tons Of Time'' opened the B-side of the vinyl album and this isn't the best of this work. But this side of the album is kind of weaker I must say. Fine rock music, but the enchantment of ''Montan'' is no longer available. Still, Barry plays very good sax during ''Daddy's?''.

The closing ''Lonesome DJ'' is quite good though: melancholic, decadent. It reminds me of some of the good glam days (Bowie).

In all, this album is not essential but pleasant overall. Three stars.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars To follow-up artistically and commercially successful "Moontan" was not an easy task, but GOLDEN EARRING managed to make an interesting but also an uneven album. The band seemed determined to not repeat the formula of the previous LP and even the catchy cover artwork seemingly shows a former showgirl beauty of "Moontan" stripped down to a skeletal marionette figure. Yet, the band line-up was enlarged to include a second guitarist and a keyboard player, so the sound is arguably richer and produced better then ever before. Compositions seem more streamlined and focused on making shorter radio-friendly songs, although lengthy prog passages are not entirely abandoned.

For my taste "Switch" contains three excellent tracks. Instrumental "Intro" provides nice atmosphere alternating between a slow tempo spacey part and a more hard rocking section that follows. There are subdued vocals repeating the Latin phrase "Plus Minus Absurdio" in a more instrumental effect. The title track invites us to a more familiar GE territory with its groovy sound based on irresistible twin guitars boogie rocking and fine Hay's singing. "Kill Me" almost anticipates a gloomy post-punk with its dark and foreboding rhythm. When I first heard the vocals I was reminded of Peter Murphy's baritone invoking Bela Lugosi several years ahead with his BAUHAUS. Also, guitar effects are wonderfully used. With its 6,5 minutes duration it is a song most resembling a sort of prog rock, along with the "Intro".

The rest of the album is not on par with these three gems. Slightly funky "Love Is a Rodeo" starts with a guitar chord or riff that would be later perfected on the future hit "Mad Love's Coming" off "Contraband" LP, but multi-vocal chorus is not very effective here. Another song that was perhaps composed to act as the album's hit single is reggae-tinged "Tons of Time" opening the B-side of the vinyl. It is a nice melodic track with good organ and synth backing, that would probably get more attention had it been released around 1979-80 during the post-punk ska revival and emergence of commercial "lover's rock" branch of Jamaican music. The rest of this album is occupied by unremarkable generic rock tracks, whose occasional good solo on saxophone (strangely, not by Barry Hay but by a guest musician), piano or guitar cannot redeem a true value.

What "Switch" seems to confirm is that GOLDEN EARRING had trouble with composing a quality album-length material, and that despite offering some brilliant moments (mostly to be found on the A side of the LP), many tracks sound as fillers. That said, this album is still a good one. There is nothing particularly wrong even with these lesser tracks. It is just that from the prog rock perspective (even if GE are not considered a "true" representative of the genre) there is much left to be desired.


Latest members reviews

4 stars Yes indeed.There are big differences between side 1 and 2 on the album. Side 1 is the most proggy ,and side 2 more pop(radio friendly.) I think after the success of Moontan,the Polydor suits wanted to make sure, there would be some material there were more likely to be played by radio.Hence si ... (read more)

Report this review (#218717) | Posted by gr8dane | Thursday, May 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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