Golden Earring


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1964)
- Hans van Herwerden -- rhythm guitar

- Fred van der Hilst -- drums

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar
- Franz Krassenburg -- vocals

 

  line up 2 (1964-1967)
NEW - Peter De Ronte -- rhythm guitar 

  (replaced Hans van Herwerden)

NEW - Jaap Eggermont -- drums (replaced  Fred van der Hilst)

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
- Franz Krassenburg -- vocals

 

  line up 3 (1964-1967)
- Jaap Eggermont -- drums 

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 
- George Kooymans - - vocals, guitar 
- Franz Krassenburg -- vocals

 

 line up 4 (1967-1970)
- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 

NEW - Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
NEW - Sieb Warner -- drums (replaced Jaap Eggermont)

 

 

 line up 5 (1970)
NEW - Bertus Borgers -- sax 

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 

NEW - Eelco Gelling - guitar

- Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
NEW - Ceasar Zuiderwyk -- drums, percussion (replaced

  Sieb Warner)

 

  line up 6 (1970-74)
- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 

- Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
- Ceasar Zuiderwyk -- drums, percussion 

 

  line up 6 (1977-78)

NEW - Eelco Gelling - lead guitar 
- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 

- Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
- Ceasar Zuiderwyk -- drums, percussion 

 

  line up 7 (1978-86 and 89-)

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, piano, harmonica 

- Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
- Ceasar Zuiderwyk -- drums, percussion 

 

 

 

 

- Barry Hay (solo efforts)
- George Kooymans (solo efforts) 

- Starsound (Jaap Eggermont)

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Golden Earrings

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11315

Year: 1967

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; mid-1970s reissue

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5783

Price: $15.00

 

Blame domestic ignorance on my part.  I was 16 and had never heard of Golden Earring until 1976 when I moved to Belgium with my family.  Once there a friend of mine (hi Mark) introduced me to these Dutch rockers.  I was instantly enthralled by them.  Not that I didn't love American and English rock, rather there was something totally different and almost exotic about these guys.  To this day I still can't put my finger on that magical quality.

 

This one has kind of a convoluted history.  The majority of the material was originally released in Holland as the griup's second studio set - 1967's "Winter-Harvest" (yes the album was recorded during the 1966-67 winter rmonths).   

 

Polydor catalog 736 068

 

Capitol Records apparently decided the band had some potential in the States, repackaging the set as the cleverly-titled "The Golden Earrings" (Capitol catalog number ST-2823).  Great to see the company spending so much money on artwork.  As far as I can tell, other than the alternative sleeve, the only real difference was Capitol electing to shorten the domestic release by dropping two of the songs: 'Another Man In Town' and 'Happy and Young Together'.  (This is a mid-1970s reissue of the original Capitol release.)

 

For anyone accustomed to the 'Radar Love' Golden Earring, this mid-1960s collection is liable to come as a major shock and not necessarily a pleasant surprise.  Mind you, I'm a gigantic fan of mid-1960s English rock so I liked the results, but if your tastes didn't lean in that direction, there was a good chance this album wouldn't do a great deal for you.  Their second studio LP saw the band working as a quartet featuring drummer Jaap Eggermont, multi-instrumentalist Rinus Gerritsen, guitarist George Kooymans, and singer Franz Krassenburg. With Gerritsen and Kooymans credited with penning all of the material, there wasn't a great deal of originality on this set, rather the pair used it as an opportunity to showcase their UK influences (love the mop-top hairdos).  While  Krassenburg's vocals were occasionally marred by his heavy Dutch accent (check out 'Impeccable Girl'), that really wasn't a major issue since the group's enthusiasm was apparent and more than compensated for the other minor flaw.

 

- 'Smoking Cigarettes' opened the album with one of the set's stronger rockers.  Yeah, Krassenburg's accent was a bit on the heavy side, but a strong melody and catchy chorus more than made up for that shortcoming.    rating: *** stars

- 'In My House' made absolutely no attempt to hide the band's infatuation with Mersybeat bands.  A keyboard propelled rocker, this one could have given folks like the Dave Clark Five and Herman's hermits a major run for their money.  Great pounding rocker with a fantastic electric keyboard solo that was very commercial.   Easy to see why Polydor tapped as a Dutch single.   rating: **** stars

- If  'Don't Wanna Lose That Girl' didn't scream Beatles fixation, I don't know what would.  Again, not a shred of originality, but with killer harmony vocals like this, who cared ...   Besides, how could you not smile when hearing a lyric that included a reference to a 9 pm curfew?   rating: **** stars

- For years I thought they were singing 'vagabond girl' - not even close since the title was 'Impeccable Girl'.  Nice pounding pop-rocker that would have sounded good on mid-1960s radio.    rating: **** stars

- Whereas most of these songs were pretty straightforward pop and rock numbers, 'Tears and Lies' underscored the fact these guys were capable of getting art.  Featuring a neo-classical piano and acoustic guitar arrangement, the stark ballad was actually one of the stand out performances.    rating: **** stars

- Opening up and propelled throughout by a nice fuzz guitar solo, 'You've Go the Intention To Hurt Me' was easily the hardest rocking number on the album.  Great tune and my only complaint was the fact lead singer sounded like he was being recorded in a toilet, or echo chamber.    rating: ***** stars

- Side two started with a nifty slice of Dutch blue-eyed soul.  Catchy and uplifting song that was bound to make the listener smile.  Great horn charts too boot.    rating: ***** stars   

- Propelled by a harpsichord, 'You Break My Heart' was a fragile ballad that sounded like they'd been listening to more than their share of Beatles material.    rating: *** stars   

- One of the album's best rockers, 'Baby Don't Make Me Nervous' sported a killer Kooymans guitar solo and an equally nice organ break from Gerritsen.  Unlike most of the album, this one had a slightly ominous feel to it.  Simply great.    rating: ***** stars

- Back to breezy pop, 'Call Me' was quite commercial in a throwaway, mid-1960s fashion.  Yeah, definitely had a Herman's Hermits kind of feel.    rating: ** stars

- Yeah the lyric was somewhat lost on me, but 'Lionel the Miser' offered up a dazzling slice of mid-1960s folk-rock.  Kicked along by chiming guitars and what sounded like an acoustic bass, Dylan and The Byrds would have been pleased with the performance.    rating: ***** stars  

- Perhaps the most overtly commercial song on the album, 'There Will Be a Tomorrow' would have been a perfect vehicle for any number of American or English pop-psych outfits - not hard to imagine The Association, or even Peter and Gordon having scored a massive hit with this one.  That's not to imply the original wasn't good.   Also love the raunchy guitar on this one    rating: ***** stars 

 

In Holland "Winter-Harvest" was tapped for a single in the form of:

 

  

 

- 1967's 'In My House' b/w 'Smoking Cigarettes' (Polydor catalog number S-1223)

 

Bottom line is this was a great album and you're left with the sneaky suspicion that had these guys been British (or American), the LP would have been a monster seller.  Far more accomplished and impressive than the stuff releases my most of the Mersybeat 'B' team.  Worth looking for given you can still find it on the cheap.

 

"The Golden Earrings" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Smoking Cigarettes  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:17

2.) In My House  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:57

3.) Don't Wanna Lose That Girl  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:15 

4.) Impeccable Girl  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:13

5.) Tears and Lies  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 1:56

6.) You've Go the Intention To Hurt Me  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:09

 

(side 2)
1.) Dream   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:38

2.) You Break My Heart  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 1:58

3.) Baby Don't Make Me Nervous    (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:24

4.) Call Me   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:15

5.) Lionel the Miser  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:27

6.) There Will Be a Tomorrow  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:18

 

 

In case anyone was interested, here's the original "Winter-Harvest" track listing.  Note the two additional songs missing from the US release.

 

(side 1)

1.) Another Man In Town   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) -

2.) Smoking Cigarettes  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:17

3.) In My House  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:57

4.) Don't Wanna Lose That Girl  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:15 

5.) Impeccable Girl  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:13

6.) Tears and Lies  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 1:56

7.) You've Go the Intention To Hurt Me  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:09

 

(side 2)

1.) Dream   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:38

2.) You Break My Heart  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 1:58

3.) Baby Don't Make Me Nervous    (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:24

4.) Call Me   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:15

5.) Happy and Young Together   (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) -

6.) Lionel the Miser  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:27

7.) There Will Be a Tomorrow  (M Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:18

 

 


 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Golden Earring

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2340 003

Year: 1970

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: Dutch pressing; gatefold sleeve; small sticker on front cover

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

 

I'm a big Golden Earring fan, but had never heard this album until last year ... Largely written by singer/guitarist George Kooymans,1970's "Golden Earring" stood as one of the band's more adventuresome and enjoyable releases. Musically the LP found the band shifting musical gears moving towards a heavier guitar-based rock sound. That said, the collection remained stylistically diverse, 'The Loner' and 'This Time of the Year' sounded like Paul Rodgers and Free.  In spite of the occasionally clunky lyrics (something clearly got lost in translating the concept from Dutch to English) 'I'm Going To Send My Pigeons To the Sky' provided a slashing anti-war diatribe, while 'Yellow and Blue' and 'Big Tree Blue Sea' recalled something out of Jethro Tull/Moody Blues catalog.  By the way, what's with the weird wall of dolls shown on the cover?

 

 

Throughout Europe 'Back Home' b/w 'This Is the Time of the Year' was released as a single.  Obviously it didn't happen in the States.

 

"Golden Earring" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Yellow and Blue   (George Kooymans) - 3:48
2.) The Loner   (George Kooymans) - 3:30
3.) This Is the Time of the Year   (George Kooymans) - 3:36
4.) Big Tree Blue Sea   (George Kooymans- Barry Hay) - 6:07
5.) The Wall of Dolls   (Rinus Gerritsen- Barry Hay) - 3:33

 

(side 2)
1.) Back Home   (George Kooymans) - 3:51
2.) See See   (Barry Hay) - 3:10
3.) I'm Going To Send My Pigeons To the Sky   (George Kooymans) - 5:57
4.) As Long As the Wind Blows   (George Kooymans) - 5:20

 

YouTube also had a couple related promotional video clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_2iQdIxB9U

'Back Home'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxP-jsZ8xSI

"Big Tree Blue See' from a 1974 performance on the Don Kirshner television show

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxtrIlOKKww

live performance 'As Long As the wind Blows'

 

 



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Switch

Company: Track/MCA

Catalog: MCA-2139

Year: 1975

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve and lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5581

Price: $10.00

 

 

With every western male under 21 humming 'Radar Love', Golden Earring's next album should have made them international superstars. It didn't happen. With cash-strapped Track in the process of being absorbed by parent company MCA, 1975's self-produced "Switch" proved aptly titled. With George Kooymans and Barry Hay providing the majority of the material, musically the set did little to tamper with the band's patented blend of metal and more commercial moves. (Anyone doubting Earring's interest in commercial success need only listen to the band's non-too-subtle tribute to disc jockeys 'The Lonesome D.J.'). Exemplified by tracks such as the instrumental 'Intro/Plus Minus Absurdio', the title track and 'Kill Me (Ce Soir)"' the collection proved loud, with an attractive ominous edge. Elsewhere, the reggae tinged 'Tons of Time' stood as one of the weirdest things they'd ever recorded. Personal favorite, 'Daddy's Gonna Save My Soul'. Hardcore fans were certainly pleased, but the LP lacked a killer cut to match 'Radar Love'. As a result the set proved a commercial disappointment peaking at # 108. 

"Switch" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Intro/Plus Minus Absurdio (instrumental) (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:03
2.) Love Is a Rodeo (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:32
3.) The Switch (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 5:22
4.) Kill Me (Ce Soir) (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - J. Fenton) - 6:17

(side 2)

1.) Tons of Time (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:16
2.) Daddy's Gonne Save My Soul (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:12
3.) Troubles and Hassles (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:16
4.) The Lonesome D.J. (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:36

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Mad Love

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA-2254

Year: 1977

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: includes lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5785

Price: $10.00

 

I use to buy tons of albums as a teenager, but having heard 'Bombay' on local radio, some four decades later I can still distinctively remember buying "Mad Love" and "Frampton Comes Alive" at the local base exchange in Mons, Belgium.  

 

Produced by John Kriek (previously one of their sound technicians) and the band, the album also served to introduce new lead guitarist Eelco Gelling.  Given their recent international sales successes, from a marketing perspective the album was interesting for it's tortured birth.  Originally released in Holland and Europe under the title "Contraband" (Polydor catalog number 2310 491), for some reason MCA management decided the album wasn't appropriate for American audiences; hence the new title; new (equally dull) packaging, and slightly revamped track listing; the George Kooymans - Barry Hay comparison 'Faded Jeans' was dropped from the US release and the track line up was switched around.  With Gelling onboard, tracks like the title track and 'Con Man' sported an even harder and slinkier rock sound, but remained instantly recognizable as Golden Earring product.

 

- Showcasing Barry Hay's growling voice, 'I Need Love' served as a perfect example of the band's ability to merge crushing hard rock moves with a commercial edge.  The song's chorus provided the irritatingly catchy hook (which parks itself in my head every time I hear it), while Gelling and Kooymans' dual lead guitars added a razor sharp edge to the sound.   rating ***** stars

- 'Sueleen (Sweden)' slowed the pace a bit, but also gave Gelling a chance to showcase his sterling slide guitar moves.   rating ***** stars  

- 'Mad Love's Coming' offered up a patented slice of the band's dark and  ominous sound.  Hard to adequately describe it, but there was just something dark and paranoid in Hay's tortured delivery.  Once again Gelling added wonderful lead guitar to the song, making it one of their overlooked classics.  Great iPod tune.  rating ***** stars  

- For anyone who doubted the band's ability to write a truly commercial number there was 'Bombay'.  Showcasing Gelling and Kooyman's dual guitar work, hard rock seldom came in as catchy a package, making it easy to see why it was tapped as a single, though you're left to wonder why it wasn't a mega hit for the group.   rating ***** stars    

- While it wasn't bad, 'Fighting Windmills' was the weakest track on the album.  To my ears it sounded like it was patched together from a series of song fragments, though the fuzz guitar backing was pretty cool.  Anyhow, this one just kind of dragged on and on and the turning windmill sound effects were merely irritating.   rating ** stars

- 'Con Man' was a return to prime guitar rocker form, though clocking in at over seven minutes the song would have benefited from heavy editing.  Gelling turned in one of his hottest solos towards the end of the track.   rating **** stars  

- 'Time's Up started out as an atypical ballad, before exploding into a rocker showcasing some beautiful acoustic slide work from Gelling.  Nice double tracked vocals from Hays and Kooymans.   rating **** stars  

 

The album was also tapped for a single in the form of:

 

 

 

- 1977's 'Bombay' b/w 'Faded Jeans' (Polydor catalog number 2121312)

 

For some reason the set was greeted with indifferent critical reviews and mediocre sales.  Shame since I'm a big fan of this one.

"Mad Love" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Need Love   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 6:23

2.) Sueleen (Sweden)   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay)- 5:40

3.) Mad Love's Coming   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:44

(side 2)

1.) Bombay   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:51

2.) Fighting Windmills   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay )- 4:39

3.) Con Man   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:09

4.) Time's Up   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:55

 

 

For anyone interested, here's the information on the original Dutch album:

 

 

"Contraband" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Bombay (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:51

2.) Sueleen (Sweden) (George Kooymans - Barry Hay)- 5:40

3.) Con Man (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:09

 

(side 2)

1.) Mad Love's Coming (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:44
2.) Fighting WIndmills (George Kooymans - Barry Hay)- 4:39

3.) Faded Jeans (George Kooymans - Barry Hay

4.) Time's Up (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:55

 

For anyone interested, YouTube featured a live performance of 'Mad Love's Coming'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJnNdixQqu0

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Live

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA2-8009

Year: 1977

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 6330

Price: $10.00

 

As a high school and college kid in the mid-to-late 1970s, I was in my prime record buying phase and I acquired more than my share of double album, concert sets.  Surrounded by the likes of Fleetwood mac, Peter Frampton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Seger, etc., etc., I'll tell you that Golden Earring's "Live" stands as a personal favorite in the double LP, live marketing niche.  It stands as an album I've literally listened to hundreds of times over the years and every time I listen to it I hear something that impresses me even more (the last time around it was Rims Gerritsen's bass work on 'Mad Love's Comin').  So in the interests of full disclosure I'll tell you that if you were looking for something fancy, then this wasn't the place to turn since these ten extended tracks made no attempt to sweeten up the band's in-concert sound.  The ten tracks included occasionally flat vocals (though Barry Hay's instantly recognizable voice seldom sounded as good), and various other minor missteps, but that merely added to the collection's power.  What you got was the band's classic mid-1970s line-up showcasing lead guitarist Eelco Gelling (still fairly new to the band), bassist Gerritsen, singer Hay, guitarist George Kooymans, and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk relentlessly working their way though a mixture of hits and a couple of lesser known numbers ('Fightin' Windmills'). And that's always been one of the things I've loved about Golden Earring - maybe it's just their Dutch DNA, but these guys simply didn't demonstrate any of the BS, or pretense that plagued so many UK and US rockers.  Looking for a needless, never-ending drum solo ?  Not here.   Looking for 30 minutes of flat scat singing ?  Not here.  Looking for a walk on appearance by a 50 piece orchestra ?  Not here.  This was five guys with very little post-production clean up and with the exception of the epic and seemingly endless 'Radar Love', very few needless notes.  Curiously the abbreviated liner notes didn't give you any details as to when, or where the set was records (all is said was "in Europe"), though Hay's between-song patter mentioned the concert was being recorded for Radio Canadian radio.  I'm sure someone out there has the actually recording information ...

 

- 'Candy's Gone Bad' has always struck me as being one of the band's most ominous rockers and this time out the performance showcased Gelling's blazing lead guitar.  Yeah, Hay's vocal wasn't perfect, but again, their decision not to fix everything in post-production added a nice edge to the collection.  rating: **** stars

- Largely unknown to American audiences, 'She Flies On Strange Wings' was a nice nod to their early-1970s catalog (as I recall the song was originally featured on their "Seven Tears" LP).  Musically it started out as a nice dreamy rocker with one of Gelling's prettiest solos and then exploded into a full-ahead rocker with one of Hay's most Frenetic vocals.   rating: **** stars

- One of their biggest commercial hits, if anything the live version of 'Mad Love's Comin'' managed to up the studio versions sense of urgency.  Incorporating one of rock's best guitar riffs certainly didn't hurt with the combination of Gelling and Kooymans' double lead guitar literally sizzling throughout.  One of those rare songs that actually managed to sound better in an extended, live setting.   Don't forget what I said about Gerritsen's bass work ...   rating: **** stars

- I guess you could excuse them for turning their signature tune into a mini-epic ...  In this case 'Radar Love' clocked in at a full 12 minutes, though judicious editing could have cut it down to about seven minutes without any loss.  Still, I'll admit a fondness for the funky Gelling and Kooymans guitar showdown and it was a blast to hear the audience singing the refrain.   My goodness these guys could play some guitar !!!    rating: **** stars

- The album's first disappointment, to my ears 'Just Like Vince Taylor' simply wasn't a very good song.  Yeah I can appreciate their tribute to the English singer (one of rock's sadder acid casualties), but musically this was a pretty pedestrian slice of boogie.   I didn't like it on 1973's "Moontan" and didn't like the extended concert version any better.   rating: ** stars

- The studio version off this 1969 "Eight Miles High" LP was better since was shorter and far tighter than this 10 minute rendition, but those comments are not intended to take anything away from this performance.   Once again Gelling and Kooymans were fantastic and hearing it live must have been a major blast.   Roger McGuinn would have been proud !!!   rating: **** stars

- Another track originally found on 1973's "Moontan", 'Vanilla Queen' was one of the band's rare steps into progressive territory ...  well, progressive in a Golden Earring sense of the word.  Always loved the mid-song guitar solo ...  After that brief segment the song shifted gears back into win lead guitar hard rock territory, sporting one of their catchiest riffs.   I've always been surprised someone didn't come along and nab the riff for their own use.   rating: **** stars

- Golden Earring doing a country tune ...  yeah, that would seem to be an acquired taste, but the addition of Gelling to the line up gave the live version a much tougher rock edge.  Still not one of my band favorites, but I can at least sit through it.   rating: *** stars

- According to Hays stage patter, 'Fightin' Windmills' was written for another Dutch band, though he didn't mention which one.  The song originally appeared on "Mad Love" and while it wasn't bad, to my ears the studio version sounded like it was patched together from a series of song fragments, though the fuzz guitar backing was pretty cool.  The live version was quite a bit better - far tougher and more focused, though clocking in at eight minutes it would have benefited from a bit of editing.   rating *** stars

- One of their less distinctive compositions, maybe because it was the closer, 'Con Man' struck me as ending the album on a disappointing note.     rating ** stars

 

If I had a complaint it would stem from the fact four of the ten selections were off of their "Moontan" LP which was okay, but ignored vast swaths of their earlier recording catalog.  One of those bands I wish I'd had the opportunity to hear in a concert setting ...   Guess this documentary is about as close as I'll get.

 

"Live" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Candy's Gone Bad (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 5:00

2.) She Flies On Strange Wings (George Kooymans) - 7:13

3.) Mad Love's Comin' (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 9:45

 

(side 2)
1.) Radar Love (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 12:00

2.) Just Like Vince Taylor  (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:00

 

(side 3)

1.) Eight Miles High  (Jim McGuinn - David Crosby - Gene Clark) - 10:00

2.) Vanilla Queen (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 12:40

 

(side 4)
1.) To the Hilt (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 6:40

2.) Fightin' Windmills (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 8:00

3.) Con Man (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 10:00

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  No Promises - No Debts

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6223

Year: 1979

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5786

Price: $10.00

 

As seemed to be standard marketing procedure for Golden Earring, 1979 saw the release of another studio set with different European and American variants.  In Europe the album featured a blurred video still group photo, while the US release saw MCA package the album in a non-descript black and white group photo; the European cover relegated to the flip side of the US release.  You were left to wonder why MCA went to the trouble.     

 

      

      Polydor catalog number 2344 142

 

Produced by guitarist George Kooymans, 1979's "No Promises - No Debts" found the band retrenching.  Lead guitarist Eelco Gelling was gone, leaving the group as a quartet with axe responsibilities once again in Kooymans' hands.  Musically the album marked a return to a more straightforward, hard rock attack - in other words, patented Golden Earring.  One major change - whereas Kooymans and Barry Hay had been the band's longstanding creative mainstays, this time out all eleven tracks were credited as group efforts.  Admittedly there wasn't anything spectacular here, though Hay and Kooymans seldom sounded as good in the vocal department and the four seemed relieved and reinvigorated to have returned to a quarter format.  Admittedly this one took awhile to grow on me.  The first couple of times around the tracks struck me as being competent, but seldom inspired.  However with repeated spins, the album grew on me to a point where I've got it on my iPod.  

 

- The blazing rocker 'Heartbeat' was easily one of the best things they recorded in years.  Kicked along by some slick Kooyman fuzz guitar and a tasty Gerritsen keyboard solo, the result was highly commercial and should have provided them with a massive hit.   rating: ***** stars

- With chiming acoustic guitars and pleading lead vocal, 'Need Her' was almost as good; in fact it had an even stronger melody with one of those patented hooks that you quickly found yourself humming throughout the day.  As if the song needed anything else, Kooymans also saw fit to turn in one of his all time best solos.   rating: ***** stars

- 'Sellin' Out' was one of the album's most straightforward commercial songs.  Instantly recognizable melody, great harmony vocals (rare on late-1970s Golden Earring albums), and another likeable hook with top-40 potential.  That's probably why I didn't like it quite as much as the others.   rating: **** stars  

- The title's always been a mystery to me (maybe something got lost in the translation), but 'Snot Love In Spain' was a gas.  Complete with harmonica solo, bluesier than your standard Golden Earring track, how could you not like a song that mentioned calvados?   rating: ***** stars

- With a myriad of time changes (it even included a flute solo) and some atypically out of tune vocals, 'Save Your Skin' did far less for me.   rating: ** stars  

- Side two started out with another atypical poppy track in 'Weekend Love'.  Even though it sounded kind of unfinished (checkout the end of the song), it was still quite commercial explaining why it was tapped as a single, but unlike most of their material, it featured some heavily accented vocals that at least to my ears were a distraction.   rating: ** stars  

- 'D-Light' returned the band to stripped down, jittery hard rock with good results.  The highlight was a gorgeous Kooymans guitar solo.   rating: *** stars

- For hardcore fans, right down to Hay's growl and the gritty guitar, 'Tiger Bay' harkened back to 'Radar Love'.  Good song, but if I want to hear 'radar Love' I'll just put it on.   rating: **** stars   

- Personally I've always thought these guys were at their best when they managed to merge hard rock moves with Hay's dark and ominous atmospheric voice.  'Don't Close the Door' got the mix down perfect.  In fact my only complaint was that the song faded out just as it was starting to kick into second gear.   rating: **** stars     

- 'Don't Stop the Show' was a pedestrian and ponderous slice of boogie rock.  Shades of late inning Savoy Brown zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz   rating: * star  

- A rare instrumental, 'By Routes' was a pleasant surprise in a number of ways.  On one level without vocals it offered up a chance to hear how good these guys were as players.  Given some space, the song also showcased their knack for writing strong melodies.  Finally, Kooymans was given an opportunity to showcase his first-rate guitar.  Very nice !   rating: ****

 

As mentioned above, the album was tapped for a single in the form of:

 

        

                           Dutch picture sleeve                                   US promo copy

                        Polydor catalog 2001 886

 

- 1979's 'Weekend Love' b/w 'Weekend Love' (Polydor catalog number PD-2004).

 

Final comment - given this one's readily available on the cheap, well worth picking up.

 

"No Promises - No Debts" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Heartbeat   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:00

2.) Need Her   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:08

3.) Sellin' Out   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:47

4.) Snot Love In Spain   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:52

5.) Save Your Skin   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 6:44

 

(side 2)

1.) Weekend Love   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 4:16

2.) D-Light   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3;34

3.) Tiger Bay   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3;20

4.) Don't Close the Door   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:30

5.) Don't Stop the Show   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 2:40

6.) By Routes   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 2:56

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Long Blond Animal

Company: Polydor

Catalog: PD-1-6303

Year: 1980

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5580

Price: $10.00

 

 

Released throughout Europe with the title "Prisoner of the Night", for some odd reason Polydor's marketing department decided to modify the LP for American releases.  That meant a new title - "Long Blond Animal" and a minor modification to the cover art.   Since there were no changes to the songs themselves it made you wonder why they bothered.

 

UK pressing: Red Bullet catalog number RB66213

Dutch pressing: Polydor catalog number 2344 161

Produced by singer/guitarist George Kooymans who also co-wrote most of the nine tracks with guitarist Barry Hay, "Long Blond Animal" wasn't a major change in direction for the band as they entered their third decade.  At least to me that consistency has always been part of their appeal.  Powered by Kooymans' growling, accented and somewhat ominous vocals, these guys have always had a sound that's been instantly recognizable to my ears.  The other thing that's always appealed to me has been their ability to meld hard rock moves with a catchy pop edge - witness the top-40 chorus on the title track, the pounding 'No For an Answer' (which boasted another incideously catchy chorus) and the pop-oriented 'My Town' - how could radio have overlooked this one?  Sure there wasn't a great deal of originality in these grooves, but with so many killer songs these guys easily beat the crap out of American and British AOR competitors which made the album nothing but a joy from start to finish.  Great tunes, nice guitar solos courtesy of Hay, and one of rock's under rated rhythm sections in bassist Rinus Gerritsen and drummer Ceasar Zuiderwyk made for one of the early 1980s overlooked classic albums.  Highlights included the atypical pop oriented 'Will & Mercy', 'Come In Outerspace', and the group-composed rocker 'Cut 'em Down To Size'.  Polydor tapped the album for a pair of  Dutch singles:

 

  

 

- 1980's 'Long Blond Animal' b/w 'Triple Threat' (Polydor catalog number 2001 988)

- 1980's 'No for an Answer' b/w 'Annie' (Polydor catalog number 2002 015     

 

"Long Blond Animal" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Long Blond Animal   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:33

2.) No For an Answer   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:12

3.) My Town   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:07

4.) Prisoner of the Night   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:50

5.) I Don't Wanna Be Nobody Else   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:40

 

(side 2)

1.) Cut 'em Down To Size   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk) - 3:22

2.) Will & Mercy   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 3:35

3.) Come In Outerspace   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:25

4.) Going Crazy Again   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 4:57

 

 

YouTube had a couple of related performance clips:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7F9d2BcHIg

'Long Blond Animal'

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF4yxS9xI_o

A live 1982 performance of 'No for an Answer' from the German Rockpalast television show

 

 

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