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Golden Earring - Cut CD (album) cover


Golden Earring


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3.16 | 30 ratings

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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.

TCat | 3/5 |


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