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GOLDEN EARRING

Prog Related • Netherlands


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Golden Earring biography
Founded in The Hague, Netherlands in 1961 - Still active as of 2018

A complete bio of this group would take up a few pages. A concise one would still take up much space. This is one of the rock groups, that along with the Stones and Status Quo have been around for over 4 decades. And they're still a vital musical force ! So here is a brief overview :
Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings, when they discovered that The Tornados was already in use by another group.Their name was from a song originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts.
They achieve their first success in 1965 with "Please Go," as a pop rock band with Frans Krassenburg as lead singer. It reached number 9 on the music charts in The Netherlands. Their next single "That Day",went up to # 2 on the Dutch charts, stopped only by the Beatles "Michelle". Come 1968, they top the Dutch charts for the first of many times with "Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong," a song that spread their name through Europe.
By 1969, the rest of the lineup had stabilized, with lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Barry Hay and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. As with many late 60s groups, they find themselves looking for their own style for several years before settling on straightforward hard rock, initially much like that of the Who, who invited them to open their 1972 European tour.
From '69 and their first tour in the U.S., through their Europeen treks in the early 70s, the group slowly builds up a following. By '71, they are a regular presence on Dutch charts, and are starting to climb up the ladder in Germany. They sign on to the Who's Track label, which released a compilation of Dutch singles, Hearing Earring, helping the group break through in England. Already on the way up to stardom in Europe, 1973 becomes their big year.That most driven of driving songs is released on the world. Golden Earring have grabbed the golden ring with "Radar Love" and the album "Moontan". They hit the American market for long tours with such acts as Santana, the Doobie Brothers, & J Geils. The world seems theirs. But the lack of a follow-up hit ensured that their popularity remained short-lived in America, even though they remained a top draw in Europe over the rest of the 1970s, as their singles &...
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The Continuing Story of Radar LoveThe Continuing Story of Radar Love
MCA 1989
$7.09
$1.51 (used)
CutCut
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$11.45
$12.40 (used)
CollectedCollected
Box set · Remastered
Universal Nl 2009
$15.90
$18.95 (used)
Say When/Back Home [Limited Gold Colored Vinyl]Say When/Back Home [Limited Gold Colored Vinyl]
Music on Vinyl 2020
$19.99
Long VersionsLong Versions
Red Bullet 2008
$11.49
$8.75 (used)
Keeper of the FlameKeeper of the Flame
Red Bullet 2004
$11.81
$7.48 (used)
50 Years Anniversary Album (4CD+DVD Pal/Region 2)50 Years Anniversary Album (4CD+DVD Pal/Region 2)
Red Bullet 2015
$21.75
$26.15 (used)
Live: Golden EarringLive: Golden Earring
Remastered
Red Bullet 2001
$13.83
$12.57 (used)
MoontanMoontan
Mca 1990
$13.70
$5.98 (used)
Say WhenSay When
Red Bullet 2019
$6.60
$8.95 (used)

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GOLDEN EARRING discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GOLDEN EARRING top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.16 | 12 ratings
Just Ear-Rings
1965
1.79 | 15 ratings
Winter-Harvest
1967
2.24 | 17 ratings
Miracle Mirror
1968
2.46 | 20 ratings
On The Double
1969
3.79 | 57 ratings
Eight Miles High
1969
3.85 | 51 ratings
Golden Earring [Aka: Wall Of Dolls]
1970
3.55 | 51 ratings
Seven Tears
1971
3.31 | 40 ratings
Together
1972
3.94 | 106 ratings
Moontan
1973
3.02 | 48 ratings
Switch
1975
3.13 | 47 ratings
To The Hilt
1976
3.14 | 40 ratings
Contraband
1976
2.56 | 20 ratings
Grab It For A Second
1978
2.88 | 22 ratings
No Promises ... No Debts
1979
2.64 | 25 ratings
Prisoner Of The Night [Aka: Long Blonde Animal]
1980
3.17 | 30 ratings
Cut
1982
2.55 | 18 ratings
N.E.W.S.
1984
3.10 | 11 ratings
The Hole
1986
1.66 | 13 ratings
Keeper Of The Flame
1989
2.05 | 20 ratings
Bloody Buccaneers
1991
2.45 | 12 ratings
Face It
1994
2.45 | 11 ratings
Love Sweat
1995
2.73 | 12 ratings
Paradise In Distress
1999
3.10 | 12 ratings
Millbrook U.S.A.
2003
3.72 | 16 ratings
Tits'n Ass
2012

GOLDEN EARRING Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 25 ratings
Live
1977
3.36 | 11 ratings
2nd Live
1981
2.61 | 8 ratings
Something Heavy Going Down (Live From the Twilight Zone)
1984
2.66 | 14 ratings
The Naked Truth
1992
4.14 | 7 ratings
Naked II
1997
3.67 | 6 ratings
Last Blast From the Century
2001
4.00 | 7 ratings
Naked III Live in Panama
2006

GOLDEN EARRING Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GOLDEN EARRING Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Hits Van De Golden Earrings
1967
4.03 | 10 ratings
The Continuing Story of Radar Love
1989
2.00 | 1 ratings
Collections
2006

GOLDEN EARRING Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

GOLDEN EARRING Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eight Miles High by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.79 | 57 ratings

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Eight Miles High
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Cut by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.17 | 30 ratings

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Cut
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Golden Earring is one of those bands that had a few really great songs that helped them advance to stardom, but tried too much to replicate success thus putting out a lot of sub-par material that unfortunately took a toll on any rock god status that they could have earned. Most people are familiar with their two huge hits, which were actually excellent songs, both "Radar Love" and "Twilight Zone". But they also had some excellent, even progressive songs, that weren't huge hits, but should have been considered classics, including "She Flies on Strange Wings", "Vanilla Queen" and "Candy's Going Bad", among others. But their sub-par material outweighed their quality music, and unfortunately, that is the reputation they ended up with, just another fairly minor band, when they had the capability of being much better than that.

Two of Golden Earring's original members stayed with the band through it all, guitarist and vocalist George Kooymans and bassist, keyboardist, and guitarist Rinus Gerritsen. Both Barry Hay (vocalist, guitarist and etc) and Caesar Zuidersijk (drums and percussion) would join the band a few years later, before the band's rise to fame, and would also become long-time members who would also remain with the band afterwards. Ever since 1987 the band would remain a quartet of these four musicians, and something has to be said about their loyalty through it all. Although the band had additional international success, they would only see minimal success in the US with the two mentioned singles. However, they were able to release a total of 25 studio albums, 8 live albums, 2 major compilations and 74 singles worldwide. Only 2 of those albums would crack the top 50 in the US, "Moontan" and "Cut".

"Cut", which was the bands 16th album, was released in 1982. The fact that is was one of their most popular albums lies in the fact that it had their 2nd big hit (in the US) on it. Unfortunately, it was released in the middle of a string of albums that were quite average, and overall, it was also quite average. It was the luck of the draw that it would get to be as popular as it was, even though the album couldn't seem to pull out another successful single, even though it was full of radio friendly songs. However, the album isn't a complete write off either, and most of their albums seemed to always have a couple of decent tracks among the several weak tracks, all of them fighting for notoriety, but not getting it.

The album is made up of 8 tracks and has a total run-time of 38 minutes, the longest of which is the full almost 8 minute version of "Twilight Zone". The band line-up was, at this point, the classic 4 person line up. The album kicks off with "The Devil Made Me Do It", which was the track that tried to be the 2nd hit off the album. It is produced with slick horns, and has a nice upbeat and catchy style to it. It had all the makings of a hit, but just couldn't generate the excitement of the first single, plus the face that the word "bullsh*t" appears a few times, and the radio stations in the US just weren't into playing songs with naughty words in them. It could have been their 3rd hit, easily. The addition of horns also gives the track more excitement and substance. But the next track "Future" takes the spark right out of the first track, with a moderate, sneaky sounding track that at least has a faster 2nd theme that appears a few times. But it was a song that sounded too much like other songs that had been done before, with that slight espionage feel that many of their tracks had. But it lacks anything really memorable.

"Baby Dynamite" has the Golden Earring attitude, but is a moderate track with guest synth work by Robert Jan Stips that make it sound like many of the synth laden songs of the decade it comes from. The track is just one song in the band's pile of mediocrity. "Last of the Mohicans" sounds a bit more promising with a nice, infectious guitar riff, and a bit more upbeat, but nothing more as the rest is too poppy sounding and the vocals have no real emotional pull. The chorus is too corny and stereotypical. "Lost and Found" is the twin brother to "Twilight Zone" but shorter, with a similar riff, but the band doesn't capitalize on it much, thus turning it into just another song.

"Twilight Zone" finally comes next to rescue the album from mediocrity. The song has everything the public wanted from Golden Earring. That sound of espionage again, the infectious bass riff that gets played along with forever in the long instrumental break, almost sounding like it was inspired by a disco beat, yet it was still a fun and exciting track anyway. It gave the public what they wanted. I just don't understand why the band didn't take a cue from this and Radar Love that this is what the public wanted, songs that stand out and generate excitement, not run of the mill songs with nothing to grab a hold of. Yes, the song is repetitive, but that is the charm of it as it continues and grows in intensity through its long instrumental section. The vocals even generate the excitement working along with that cool, dirty guitar sound that created a rock anthem. They proved they had the ability, yet, for some reason, they missed it more than they hit it.

"Chargin' Up My Batteries" features the synth work of Stips again, and after the excitement of the previous track, it sounds like their batteries have gone dead. Its just pop fodder, not what the public wanted to hear. It didn't even get a chance to be a single, though it could have been a perfect jingle for Eveready. The last track is "Secrets" and is even worse.

There is no doubt that Golden Earring had it in them to be remembered as a better band than they were, but, their search for the next big hit just put them in the sad pile of mediocre bands. They did have great songs other than their two hits, but they all came along in the 70s, and the fact that Twilight Zone seemed to come out of nowhere amid a string of bad albums should have been the band's wake up call to get serious again, but they never would. If you are looking for a collection of their best songs, I would suggest the first half of "The Continuing Story of Radar Love" which has some of their better earlier songs on it while the 2nd side is more hit and miss, but it is pretty much all you need in the band's discography, plus a few of their better tracks in the 70s. "Cut" is just basically another mediocre album in the middle of a bunch of other mediocre albums of the band in the 80s that just happened to generate a hit.

 Collections by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2006
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Collections
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars I can't remember if I have ever had lower expectations of an album I review (just for fun) in ProgArchives. This is a cheapie collection from the long-running Dutch rock band GOLDEN EARRING, and what's saddest, it contains only material from the first half of the 90's, from albums that have well below 3 stars average ratings here. I bet there won't be any prog flavour at all. I have never listened to any complete album from them and my knowledge is thin. Their hit 'Twilight Zone' is probably the the only song I've heard! Sometime in the early 2000's I learned that 1) this band is regarded to be prog related, and 2) the ex-SUPERSISTER frontman (and later a member in NITS, one of my biggest pop faves) Robert Jan Stips had a stay in Golden Earring -- but it was a brief one, in the mid-70's. And as for the prog relatedness, well, it seems to concern only a small part of their huge discography. Mostly they're described as hard rock and arena rock. Yep, sounds like that.

This CD features 12 songs, and if I'm not mistaken they're all from these albums: Bloody Buccaneers (1991), Face It (1994) and Love Sweat (1995). Most of the tracks are written by main vocalist Barry Hays and guitarist-vocalist George Kooymans. There are some covers such as Bob Dylan & The Band song 'This Wheel's on Fire', also known as a Julie Driscoll/ Brian Auger collaboration. GE's version has both a rootsy feel for the raspy vocals and pompousness for the hectic, ELO-reminding arrangement. 'When I Was Young' is written by Eric Burdon et al., supposedly an Animals song then. Works well. Hard rock isn't a close genre for me, but I sort of like, if only for a little bit, the catchy energy here. I can imagine a partying group of youngsters havin' a good time with this music... back in my youth in the late 80's. (Do young people listen to this kind of ballsy rock anymore? I doubt.)

In short, this is commercial-sounding hard rock / arena rock, but actually pretty OK as such. Comparable to FOREIGNER, with slightly rootsier flavour. The production is good, there's energy and guts and the instruments can be heard clearly. And there's notably less cheese than in the 80's hard rock averagely. But since we're prog-listeners instead of hardrockers, two stars is enough. On ground of this all-too narrow-minded compilation I wouldn't search further material from this band. If I could borrow their proggiest 70's material from library for instance, I'd be interested to check it out. But the 90's era is completely another case.

 To The Hilt by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.13 | 47 ratings

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To The Hilt
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Because of some releases that were only available in certain countries, it can be a question as to the number of releases before this album, but I think it's pretty safe to say that as far as official studio albums, this one numbers #11. Up to this point, it was pretty well established that Golden Earring had moved from their pop radio friendly sound to a more progressive sound, and had already felt some success with 'Radar Love' and the excellent 'Moontan' album. They had found their niche, but they seemed to have a problem locating their position in that niche. Releases were a bit unsteady as they tried to replay the success of that album. So, in their discography, several albums would be released that were somewhat uneven, containing some great tracks, and several mediocre ones. However, through their career, they definitely made some excellent songs that can't be ignored. It's too bad they couldn't be more consistent.

The 11th album, 'To the Hilt' is no exception. There are some great progressive tracks here, and there are some mediocre ones. They had their album success, but they had a hard time finding that 'single' success between 'Radar Love' and 'Twilight Zone'. But, there were many progressive classics in the meantime, namely in this album, they were 'Nomad' and 'Violins'.

The album starts off with what looks like a classic prog track at over 7 minutes. 'Why Me?' kicks right into gear with an upbeat rock track. But while they attempt to get a hook out of the somewhat simple rock melody, it just doesn't come up with anything that catches your attention. The song itself isn't bad though with its somewhat funky vibe. As it moves into the instrumental break, the background groove quiets down as a synth solo plays in a subdued manner before pushing back to the main theme. After another verse, the original riff returns before another synth solo plays out the track. Unfortunately, the synth is mixed low, so it's almost hard to tell anything it going on other than the supporting foundation.

'Facedancer' uses an acoustic riff that isn't bad, but it is utilized wrong to make something out of it. While the riff generates a bit of excitement, there is no real delivery or pay off. I do admit that it is nice to hear the acoustic guitar take the lead and have a synth solo included in there, but, again, you wonder where the pay off is. The title track 'To the Hilt' tries to take an almost hoe-down, inspired vocal to a danceable, toe-tapper, but ends up falling flat. It sounds a lot like 'The Who' without the enthusiasm.

'Nomad' starts with a funky kind of swing that makes for a catchier tune. The synth is mixed much better this time. It also shares solos with the guitar and the vocal melody is more complex with progressive rhythms. After a return to the vocal melody finishes, the music travels into psychedelic territory with some odd effects. This soon builds into a nice, floating instrumental with a jazzy melodic line provided by an electric piano when the rhythm kicks back in. Later, as it intensifies, it paves the way for a great guitar/keyboard improvisation until it returns to the main vocal theme, but it ends rather abruptly.

'Sleepwalkin'' tries for an upbeat style this time that leans more towards a standard rock backbeat similar to the 'Radar Love' vibe, but not as interesting. There is a decent sax solo thrown in. 'Latin Lightning' is much more catchy with a return to a funk fusion style. The track has got a good rocking style with a bit of complexity to keep it interesting, plus there is more sax also, plus a surprisingly rousing guitar solo later.

'Violins' is the main 10 minute headliner for the album. It starts out as the same funky styles as have been prevalent on this album, and is a good enough song for the first half, but turns into a nice orchestrated and upbeat song for the 2nd half. It's not as much of a progressive track per se, but it has that happy 'ELO around El Dorado era' vibe to it, so it's kind of fun.

So, overall, it's not a terrible album, but it's not near as good as 'Moontan' either. It does help to be somewhat of a fan, and to also know that the music is somewhat funky. It isn't quite as consistent progressively, but it is still fun. It's a good album, just not really essential however.

 Eight Miles High by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.79 | 57 ratings

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Eight Miles High
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Switch by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.02 | 48 ratings

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Switch
Golden Earring Prog Related

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.

PERSONAL RATING: 3,5/5

 Winter-Harvest by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1967
1.79 | 15 ratings

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Winter-Harvest
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by Seyo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Winter-Harvest" shows the Dutch beatsters' confidence to build upon their unremarkable debut. However, most of the album is still heavily steeped in the British beat sounds of the Beatlemania circa 1963-64, thus making it a bit old- fashioned for the revolutionary 1967 when it was released. Good thing is that all the songs are their originals; there are no covers here, but unfortunately few of them break any new ground. For me the best moments are those leaning on the then also quite popular R'n'B style - such as "In My House" and "You've Got the Intention to Hurt Me" - where Kooymans on guitar and Gerritsen on keyboards (and bass) display considerable talents on their respective instruments. In these moments GOLDEN EARRING suggests, in a way similar to the early the WHO, their future hard- rocking bursts. But, it is still a long way to go until reaching their recognizeable style of the early 1970s and in the process they also had to to recruit Barry Hay to feature on vocals and reeds in order to complete their songwriting and performing line-up. "Winter-Harvest" is therefore not recommended for casual listeners, while GOLDEN EARRING completists would probably find several songs of interest on this LP as a curiosity to remind of their humble beginnings.
 Eight Miles High by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.79 | 57 ratings

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Eight Miles High
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by aglasshouse

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, Atomic Rooster, etc., but underneath these goliaths there existed a massive scene full of bands that, while being of similar caliber, often were to remain shrouded in obscurity and eventually fade into the musical ethos. There were countless bands to name that were considered a part of this, one of my personal favorites being the Dutch-based Golden Earring.

Golden Earring came about in 1961, but didn't come to surface until 1965 with their debut "Just Ear-rings". This album followed the then-popular Dutch garage pop style (which would be coined 'nederbeat' in reference to merseybeat, a genre which heavily influenced the Netherlands' music culture at the time), but in a whole wasn't very groundbreaking. Golden Earring continued this style for a few years, akin to how The Guess Who continued relying on merseybeat for several years until their sound change (ironically, The Guess Who made their debut and had a tonal shift at practically the exact same time as Golden Earring), until eventually they shifted into another genre growing in popularity at the time- progressive hard rock. It should be noted that the 'progressive' part of this was vastly dwarfed by the much more popular clear-cut blues rock sans lengthy and ostentatious compositions, and there was a much lower number of bands who would foray into this particular direction than those who would just rock in short bursts. Nonetheless Golden Earring took this road and in 1969 released an album titled Eight Miles High which, adorned with dried clay-covered hands reaching for floating rings, would serve as the band's biggest breakthrough in eight years.

A mess of distortion, abstract ad-libbing and twisted songwriting, Eight Miles High is perhaps one of the best examples of albums of the era. Not only does it break boundaries for Golden Earring as an outfit, it also presents a fantastically insane balance of cheesy psych and booming intensity. The most prolific tracks on this album I believe are the last two. 'Everyday's Torture' is a mysterious, haunting chantey of a desolate soul who, although speaking in pretty blatant terms, has lost hope in the idea of love, and is accompanied by a fantastic one-two punch of a hook and an equally fantastic guitar solo. As the closer we have the title track, staggering in at a massive runtime of nineteen minutes. Although a recounting of the entire track would be a bit too labor-intensive, I will say that the track goes through a variety of phases that include but are not limited to: hearty blues rock, wicked drum solo, an insanely distorted guitar solo (VERY distorted), and much, much more. Other tracks like 'Song of a Devil's Servant' in particular are a great change of pace and help to shift the tone of the album in crucial moments.

But there is a real question that should be asked, and that is to who do we owe an album with such great musicianship? The musicians, of course. George Kooymans as a vocalist channels a lovechild hybrid of Ian Anderson and Jim Morrison, making for the ideal 60's voice. On the flip-side his guitar-playing as previously mentioned is heavy, crushing and intense, and sometimes rather meek and distant (when played in a steady balance these two styles work wonders). Rinus Gerritsen works both in the percussion section as a bassist and as the keyboardist, both of which he excels at well. Sieb Warner, a one-time drummer for Golden Earring makes his sole appearance on this album, never to return, which is a shame because he is highly talented, seen especially during his solo on 'Eight Miles High'. Of course Barry Hay should be mentioned as he does a good job backing up Kooymans as rhythm guitar and backing vocalist, making the overall sound much fuller.

If you're looking for a zesty, above-average example of what the British, or in this case Dutch 60's blues scene could deliver you, I say look no further than Golden Earring's Eight Miles High.

 Moontan by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.94 | 106 ratings

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Moontan
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars It's hard to believe that some bands have been around since the beginning of time, well rock 'n' roll time that is. 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 to the Americas and they are still kicking around well into the 21st century albeit slowing down on their prolific discography. The band actually formed way back in 1961 in The Hague, Netherlands as The Tornados but soon changed to The Golden Earrings due to the former already being taken. 'The' was dropped in 67 and the plural 's' went bye-bye in 69. As you can imagine with a band's lifespan lasting over a half a century that the lineup would change significantly but vocalist / guitarist George Kooymans and Rinus Gerritsen who handles bass and keys have been around for the entire GOLDEN EARRING ride through the decades, centuries and yes even millennia!

While new bands were springing up by the second in the early 70s, by the time 1973 came around GOLDEN EARRING were releasing their 9th studio album MOONTAN which just so happens to be their most successful and most praised of their entire career worldwide although they were quite popular in their native Netherlands scoring an impressive amount of hits. While i'm not an expert in the GOLDEN one's discography i have heard a sampling of the singles and MOONTAN seems pretty much like business as usual for the group. Basically GOLDEN EARRING was the Dutch answer to the Rolling Stones and MOONTAN displays these hero worship tendencies perfectly right from the get go with the bluesy rocker 'Candy's Going Bad' that could easily pass as a B-side Stones track back in the day when the English music scene was hot and indubitably impacted their European neighbors to the east. Also obvious in the influence department from time to time is The Who, most clearly heard on the 'Just Like Vince Taylor' track.

Personally i find GOLDEN EARRING to be a somewhat mediocre band of only marginal interest. Everything i've heard from them (with a few exceptions) is quite derivative of the British invasion scene (Stones,Beatles, Who, Kinks) and you'd be hard pressed to even know they were Dutch unless you knew their history. So what in the world makes MOONTAN such the wonderful and the most celebrated album of their career? Well, standing tall above and beyond the call of duty are two tracks that are absolutely phenomenal and i'm sure any homo sapien who has listened to classic rock radio stations will recognize at least one of these tracks instantly. I'm talking, of course, about 'Radar Love' (can't help but hear the bass line when you read this, can you? :P) This of course was their hugest of hits charting in many countries worldwide and has even been covered a gazillion times by bands like U2, Sun City Girls, White Lion and even Def Leppard! OMG :o 'Radar Love' was their turning point when they finally learned how to tell a story with a clever bass line that was backed up by interesting musical interplay and brilliant with all kinds of twists and turns that make the track dance circles around the surrounding tracks.

The other outstanding track on MOONTAN is 'Vanilla Queen' with utterly brilliant oscillating synthesizer intro that was new wave before the term ever entered the vernacular and creates one of the most addictive melodies of their entire career and thus is my absolute favorite Golden Earring track EVERRRRRRR!!!!!! The new wave cedes into a rockin' chorus, an acoustic guitar segment and then delves into a satisfying symphonic rocker building up the tension until it crescendoes lasting a satisfying 9 minutes and 20 seconds. Every time i listen to this album i always want the album to be as good as these two tracks. Everything else just seems so uninspired compared to these gems of rock history. It doesn't help that 'Radar Love' has been played TO DEATH on the radio! It's almost like they've never recorded any other single. Personally i find this album overrated and don't enjoy listening to it. Unfortunately GOLDEN EARRING's most raved about album and my experience with their singles doesn't invite me to explore their music more. However, the two best tracks on here are brilliant but can be found on any greatest hits packages as well. Two brilliant classic tracks, many decent but uninspiring tracks. For me NOT worthy of being listed as #32 in Q & Mojo's '40 Cosmic Rock Albums' of all time. Get the greatest hits instead. That one has 'Twilight Zone!'

 The Continuing Story of Radar Love by GOLDEN EARRING album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1989
4.03 | 10 ratings

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The Continuing Story of Radar Love
Golden Earring Prog Related

Review by uduwudu

4 stars If you need to start and maybe finish your Golden earring representation in your music collection this is probably the best start. First you get all the well known material and in full versions e.g. no single edit of Twilight Zone here.

Earring are not a prog rock band in the vein of classical fusion but they do have some sophisticated moments. She Flies on Str\tange Wings is both Part 1 and 2 if you ever had the single. I think I had quite a few from many, many years ago. But Strange Wings is a rocking, lyrical, dramatic intricate number.

I've no problem (don't want to be a snob) with arena rock in which Earring really belongs. Classic rock is a sales format not a style and arena hard rock is the Golden Earring area of expertise. So a couple of the last few numbers fit into this category.

The album works as a brief (2LP or 1 CD) introduction to Earring. Possibly a 2 or 3 Cd anthology might be more appropriate to get a picture of the band's work. However, this is a fine compilation and if you were not aware it was one you'd think you were listening to one fantastic effort. Which it is.

Oh by the way, if you want a little more Earring for your pleasure I'd throw in the '77 Live album as well; it underlines the very high quality arena rock standard, and this one emphasizes the generally best writing. Here's probably the best place to start.

cheers

Thanks to debrewguy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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