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Golden Earring - Moontan CD (album) cover

MOONTAN

Golden Earring

 

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3.95 | 109 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 317

Golden Earring is a rock band which was formed in 1961 in The Hague, Holland. For over fifty years, Golden Earring has been probably the Holland's greatest rock band. They've managed to maintain their great popularity in many European countries all over these years. However, and strangely, their unique brand of Rock'n'Roll has largely been overlooked by the American audiences. Their career trajectory closely followed that of the similarly fated iconic U.K. rock band, Status Quo. From the flowery psychedelic rock band in the 60's to the more rock titans in the 70's and beyond that, Golden Earring still is active today, albeit slowing down on their very prolific and long career. However, the band has remained virtually intact throughout their entire career, in this way echoing the longevity of The Rolling Stones. These comparisons aside, Golden Earring has always done things their way. Maybe staying largely out of the spotlight in the U.S. has allowed the band to travel their own path and create music without having to cater to the American market like so many other bands have been forced to do. Ironically enough, the music that Golden Earring create has always been exactly what America likes, pure and honest Rock'n'Roll that acknowledges but never gives in to the current trends.

Golden Earring released their debut album 'Just Era-Rings' in 1965, their second 'Winter-Harvest' in 1967, their third 'Miracle Mirror' in 1968 and their fourth and fifth 'On The Double' and 'Eight Miles High', both in 1969. In 1970 they released 'Golden Earring', aka 'Wall Of Dolls', in 1971 'Seven Tears', in 1972 'Together' and in 1973 'Moontan'. Their classic albums of their golden era are three, 'Eight Miles High', 'Golden Earring' aka 'Wall Of Dolls' and 'Moontan'.

So, 'Moontan' is the ninth studio album of Golden Earring and was released in 1973. The line up on the album is George Kooymans (vocals and guitar), Barry Hay (vocals and flute), Rinus Gerritsen (bass guitar and keyboards) and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums). Eelco Gelling (guitar), Bertus Borgers (sax) and Patricia Paay (vocals), participated as guests.

Released three years after, Golden Earring had finally settled down into the stable line up that heave remained the core of the band to this day, especially due to two clasic albums from them, their fifth studio album 'Eight Miles High' released in 1969 and their self-titled sixth studio album also known as 'Wall Of Dolls'. With 'Moontan', Golden Earring delivers pretty much what most people want from an early 70's guitar oriented rock album, namely big riffs, musical pyrotechnics, extended song structures, killer choruses, and no small amount of virtuosity, without sounding like that they were just demonstrating how many notes they could play in a set amount of time. In reality, 'Moontan' never loses sight of the fact that the rock music should be fun and entertaining, and as a result of that, each of the six tracks on the album are absolutely vital to the balance and the general vibe of one of the frequently forgotten rock gems of that era.

'Candy's Going Bad' rocks hard. The riff rolls over everything like a steamroller, bluesy in its simplicity. The chorus is awesome, very catchy and ful sounding. Beautiful bass and keyboards really bolster the sound. This is a very good track. 'Are You Receiving Me' is one of the two best tracks on the album. The choruses are very good. I'm not a big fan of rock horns in general, but they really work on the choruses of this song, adding pomp to the already bombastic chorus. The song features a very long and great instrumental. This is really a great track. 'Suzy Lunacy (Mental Rock)' is the only weak track on the album. A bluesy acoustic guitar is backed by a drunken piano and a wobbly bass. It's not bad but, in my humble opinion, it fails to stick out. 'Radar Love' is a classic rock radio staple with influences of bands like Steppenwolf and The Doors. It's an enjoyable, if somewhat repetitive and maybe a too long song. Despite that and a few faults, it's still quite a good song. 'Just Like Vince Taylor' reflects Taylor's popularity in the continental Europe. Slightly cliche, it's a very European interpretation of the early British R&B. It sounds somewhat inauthentic and dated, but it has its own European flair and charm. Still, it's a good track too. 'The Vanilla Queen' is the most prog rock track on the album. It's drenched in synths, fantasy based lyrics, and gentle acoustics. This is really a great classic of an era where the grandiosity in music was accepted and revered. It's an amazing track that closes the album in a perfect way.

Conclusion: 'Moontan' is a very good album, really. It's legitimately a great classic rock album of the golden era of the 70's that certainly retains its great charm even today, particularly for those of us that are partially to the classic and prog rock music. While Golden Earring are not a band who are name dropped with any regularity, many of their albums, and particularly 'Eight Miles High', 'Golden Earring' and 'Moontan', deserve to be reassessed as great rock classics of the 70's. You can easily find them and I would recommend picking them up, particularly 'Moontan' is a great starting point to discover the discography of a much underrated and somewhat forgotten band. As a conclusion, 'Moontan' is a necessity for Golden Earring fans, and a worthwhile listen for anyone interested in 70's rock at its most adventurous.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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