Golden Earring

Band members                              Related acts

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

- Fred van der Hilst -- drums

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


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

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


  supporting musicians: (1967)

- Cees Schrama -- piano, organ, and vibes


 line up 4 (1967-1970) as Golden Earring
- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, keyboards, harmonica 

NEW - Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax (replaced 

  Franz Krassenburg)
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
NEW - Sieb Warner -- drums (replaced Jaap Eggermont)


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

- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, keyboards, harmonica 

NEW - Eelco Gelling - guitar

- Barry Hay -- vocals, guitar, flute, sax 
- George Kooymans -- vocals, guitar 
NEW - Jap Eggermont -- drums, percussion (replaced

  Sieb Warner)


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

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


  line up 6 (1977-78)

NEW - Eelco Gelling - lead guitar 
- Rinus Gerritsen -- bass, keyboards, 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 





- After Tea (Franz Krassenburg)

- The Atmospheres

- The Blues Connection (Eelco Gelling)

- Circle Brothers (George Kooymans and Barry Hay)

- Countdown All Star Band (Barry Hay and Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- Cuby and the Blizzards (Eelco Gelling)

- Duo Wubbles  (Robert Jan Stips)

- The Eelco Gelling Band

- Festivalband (Robert Jan Stips)

- Frits (Robert Jan Stips)

- De Geheelontkenners  (Robert Jan Stips)

- Rinus Gerritsen (solo efforts)

- Rinus' Garage (Rinus Gerritsen)

- The Haigs (Barry Hay)

- Barry Hay (solo efforts)

- Barry Hay's Flying V Formation (Barry Hay)

- Holland (George Kooymans and Barry Hay)

- Hu and the Hilltops (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)
- George Kooymans (solo efforts) 

- Koor Zonder Naam  (Robert Jan Stips and Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- Frans Krassenburg (solo efforts)

- Kroppo's Band ( Eelco Gelling)

- Labyrinth (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- Livin' Blues (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- The Motions (Sieb Warner)

- The Nits (Robert Jan Stips)

- Red White 'n Blue  ( Eelco Gelling)

- Rene and His Alligators (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- The Ricochets

- The Six Young Riders (Sieb Warner)

- Slangwerkgroep (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- Sloper (Ceasar Zuiderwyk)

- Stars and Stips (Robert Jan Stips)

- Starsound (Jaap Eggermont)

- Robert Jan Stips (solo efforts)

- Supersister (Robert Jan Stips)

- Sweet d'Buster (Robert Jan Stips)

- The Tornados

- The Tower ( Eelco Gelling)

- Transister (Robert Jan Stips)

- Vreemde Kostgangers (George Kooymans)

- Vriender  (George Kooymans)

- Willy and His Giants (Sieb Warner)

- Ceasar Zuiderwyk (solo efforts)



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Winter-Harvest

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2419-043

Year: 1967

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: 1976 reissue

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $40.00


As a teenager growing up during the mid-1970s, 'Radar Love' was a prime feature on my mix-tapes and at parties.  I can remember listening to it on a cassette player during cross country practices.  In large measure due to the fact their early releases were hard to find in the US, my exploration of the Golden Earring catalog was somewhat haphazard.   That meant I came to 1967's "Winter Harvest" very late in life.  


Still known as "Golden Earrings", the Fred Haayen produced album came as a massive shock to me.  Acclimated to the band's mid-'70s rock stance, never in a million years would I have suspected these guys started out with a distinctive Merseybeat fixation.  Recorded after the departure of rhythm guitarist Peter de Ronde, unlike previous material that had been recorded in London, their sophomore album was recorded in Hilversum's Phonogram Studios.  Co-written by bassist Marinus Gerritsen and guitarist George Kooymans, the 14 performances were uniformly good, incorporating strong melodies across a mixture of '60s pop influences with occasional nods to soul ('Smoking Cigarettes'), R&B ('Impeccable Girl'), psych (Happy and Young Together'), and harder rock moves like The Yardbirds-styled 'You've Got the Intention To Hurt Me.'  Elsewhere 'Lionel and Miser' reflected a distinctive Kinks influence.   As lead singer Franz Krassenburg sounded much more comfortable and capable this time around.  Courtesy of guest musician Cess Schrama the album also saw the band introducing keyboards and even an occasional horn arrangement to the mix.   As a big Merseybeat fan, I found myself quite impressed by the album (particularly side one).   At the same time  today the album sounds very dated.  Time after time material like 'Dream' left you comparing this to early-'60s Beatles, or also-ran acts like The Dave Clark Five or Gerry and the Pacemakers.  Again, that wasn't meant as a criticism, rather the album just sounded way more 1963, than 1967.  




Signed to a US distribution deal by Capitol, the album was slapped with a new cover and new title "The Golden Earrings" (Capitol catalog number ST-2823)  In following with American record label beliefs that less-was-more, two tracks ('Another Man In Town' and 'Happy and Young Together') were also dropped from the US release.






"Winter-Harvest" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Another Man In Town   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:22   rating: **** stars

For anyone who grew up thinking 'Radar Love' represented the essential Golden Earring sound, 'Another Many In Town' was going to come as a major shock ...  I can distinctly remember being surprised to hear a quality slice of Merseybeat pop.  With Frans Krassenburg on lead vocals, the song was easily as good as most of the material being offered up by the band's British competitors.   This was one of two tracks dropped from the US version of the album. 

2.) Smoking Cigarettes   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:19   rating: **** stars

'Smoking Cigarettes' offered up a bluesy ballad.  The catch in Krassenburg's voice gave the song an interesting edge and the harmonies gave the song a smooth commercial edge.  The track also appeared as the flip side to their 'In My House' 45.  Interestingly the song remained in their live catalog through to 2000s.

3.) In My House   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:57   rating: **** stars

Awesome slice of Merseybeat pop ...  Showcasing a bouncy melody and a wonderful Cees Schrama organ solo, this time the product was even better than most of their UK competitors.  A massive Dutch hit, the song should have been an international success.





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








4.) Don't Wanna Lose That Girl   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:15   rating: **** stars

Sounding like something that might have been recorded in 1963, 'Don't Wanna Lose That Girl' found the band injecting a jazzy element into their Merseybeat sound.  Not sure why, but I've always found this one charming.  Might have something to do with the innocent lyrics, or the giddy refrain.  Shame the song was so short.

5.) Impeccable Girl   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:14   rating: **** stars

Toughening up their sound, 'Impeccable Girl' added a bluesy-vibe to the mix.  The big surprise this time out came in the form of Krassenburg's performance.  Hardly known as a killer singer, here he sound deep and dark.  One of his best performances.  For years I thought the title was 'Vagabond Girl.'  Another tune that would have benefited from being longer.

6.) Tears and Lies   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:00   rating: *** stars

The keyboard powered ballad 'Tears and Lies' had an interesting stuttering arrangement and another nice performance from Krassenburg.

7.) You've Got the Intention To Hurt Me   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:06   rating: **** stars

The song title was a bit cumbersome - Admittedly I'm sure an American band performing in Dutch would have encountered the same issues.  'You've Got the Intention To Hurt Me' found the band toughening up their sound; Kooyman's biting guitar giving the track kind of an early Yardbirds vibe, while Krassenburg seemed to be mining a Who vein of anger.  One of the album's highpoints.


(side 2)

1.) Dream   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:39   rating: **** stars

Powered by a propulsive Gerritsen bass line and some punchy Stax horns, 'Dream' returned to catchy Northern Soul territory.  Would have made a strong single.

2.) You Break My Heart   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:00   rating: *** stars

A fragile harpsichord-powered ballad, 'You Break My Heart' was also the album's first mild disappointment.  The song wasn't really bad, but just never seemed to click.  

3.) Baby Don't Make Me Nervous   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:25   rating: **** stars

Exemplified by the slightly ominous title, 'Baby Don't Make Me Nervous' was an early indication of the tougher, darker direction the band was going to pursue.  Always loved Cees Schrama organ washes and Kooyman turned in the album's strongest guitar solo.  Another album highlight.

4.) Call Me   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:17  rating: ** stars

Back to prime Gerry and the Pacemakers territory ...  Shame they didn't record and release it in 1963.

5.) Happy and Young Together   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 3:04   rating: **** stars

The second tune excluded from the US pressing, 'Happy and Young Together' was a wonderful slice of '60s jangle rock with a touch of psych guitar added on for good measure - The Turtles would have been happy to have recorded it.  

6.) Lionel and Miser   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:29  rating: **** stars

The album's strangest offering, the folk-rocker 'Lionel and Miser' sounded like the band had been listening to more than their share of Ray Davies and the Kinks.  Yeah, the lyrics were a bit of a mystery to me, but as a Kinks fan I quite enjoyed this one.

7.) There Will Be a Tomorrow   (Marinus Gerritsen - George Kooymans) - 2:19  rating: **** stars

Opening up with some awesome Jaap Eggermont drums, 'There Will Be a Tomorrow' ended the album with a pretty Merseybeat ballad.  Would have made another nice single.







Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Seven Tears

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 810 854-1

Year: 1971

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $50.00


Golden Earring's seventh studio album and surprisingly difficult to find a copy given it did not see a US release ...  Also another album  I owe thanks to Mark F. for having the patience to steer my teenage ears towards.  Who knew there was more to these guys than 'Radar Love'?   Well, Mark did.


Produced by Fred Haayen, 1971's "Seven Tears" found Golden Earring stretching out in multiple directions.  Singer/guitarist George Kooymans was again responsible for most of the seven songs and the first couple of times I heard it the results were hit-or-miss.  Not that a unifying concept is a requirement for me to enjoy an album, but this one sounded like kind of an odds-and-ends package with the band gathering up stuff that hadn't made it on to the six earlier collections.  Luckily a couple of spins showed my original feelings were way off the mark.  Yeah the pedestrian blues-rocker 'The Road Swallowed Her Name' was a disappointment, but on a song-for-song basis the Rinus Gerritsen, Barry Hay, George Kooymans, and Ceasar Zuiderwyk line-up seldom sounded as tight and energized.  So what were the highlights?  The opening sci-fi themes ballad 'Silver Ships' was one of the prettiest ballads Kooymans ever wrote. 'You're Better Off Free' started out as a forgettable blues-rocker, but about two minutes in became a showcase for Kooyman's stunning lead guitar.  Released as a single 'She Flies on Strange Wing' was the album's most adventuresome number melding with a Pink Floyd-ish middle section.  I still don't understand why the album wasn't released in the States ...


"Seven Tears" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Silver Ships   (George Kooymans) - 5:43   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some beautiful acoustic guitar (that sounded a bit like something off of The Who's "Tommy"), 'Silver Ships' was one of the prettiest tunes Kooymans ever crafted.  The sci-fi lyrics were an acquired taste (Merrell Fankhauser fans should take note), but it was still a beautiful ballad showcasing the group's overlooked harmony vocals.  Elsewhere Rinus Gerritsen's bass work was stunning throughout.

2.) The Road Swallowed Her Name   (George Kooymans) - 4:15   rating: *** stars

A bluesy-bar rocker, 'The Road Swallowed Her Name' was built on some nifty guitar riffs from Kooymans and Hays, but failed to match the other three tracks on side one. 

3.) Hope   (Barry Hay - Rinus Gerritsen) - 4:48   rating: **** stars

'Open' opened up with a touch of Pink Floyd before blowing up into an interesting horn-propelled rocker.  Yeah, Hay's sax was unexpected, but not bad.  The song was also a nice platform for showcasing Hay's powerful voice.  The song's secret sauce came in the form of Ceasar Zuiderwyk's explosive drumming.

4.) Don't Worry   (Barry Hay) - 3:18   rating: **** stars

Powered by Hay's slightly ominous vocals, I've always loved the song's weird lyrics and the oddball structure ...   Once again Gerritsen's bass just crushed the song; essentially serving as the lead instrument.


(side 2)

1.) She Flies on Strange Wings   (George Kooymans) - 7:25   rating: **** stars

With Hay handling lead vocals, the pretty opening segment quickly morphed into one of the album's tauntest rockers, complete with a catchy refrain, some progressive moves and a Pink Floyd-ish middle section. Split across two side, the song was tapped as a single:

- 1971's 'She Flies on Strange Wings, Part 1' b/w 'She Flies on Strange Wings, Part 2' (Polydor catalog number 2001 237)

Taken from the DVD "The Devil Made Us Do It", and perhaps inspired in part by The Beatles' "Get Back" rooftop concert, YouTube has a promotional clip for the song: 

2.) This Is the Other Side of Life   (George Kooymans) - 3:20   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some backwards tape (apparently the song title run backwards), 'This Is the Other side of Life' may have been the album's most commercial tune - well, the weird chirpy refrain was certainly commercial.  Always loved the "sitar" like sound on guitar.   

3.) You're Better Off Free   (George Kooymans) - 6:45   rating: **** stars

Initially 'You're Better Off Free' came off as the album's first major misstep.  The song started out as a plodding blues-rocker with some ragged Kooymans vocals.  And then about two minutes in the song shifted direction with the Rinus Gerritsen and Ceasar Zuiderwyk rhythm section locking into a groove that allowed Kooyman' to launch into an extended and awe-inspiring guitar solo.  The song just kept building and building momentum.   I'm usually not a big fan of extended solos, but this is one of those exceptions ...




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 group's second studio set - 1967's "Winter-Harvest" (Polydor catalog 736 068).  Yes the title seems to be a reflection of the fact the materal was recorded during the 1966-67 winter months.   






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.


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    rating: *** stars

'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.

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






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






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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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: **** (4 stars)

Title:  On the Double

Company: Polydor

Catalog: 2670 259

Year: 1982 

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; reissue

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $50.00


I've always wondered how early and mid-career Golden Earrings/Golden Earring released were so overlooked by American record labels and music audiences.  1969's "On the Double" never saw an American release. 

In West Germany the collection was consolidated down into a single album entitled "Sing Our Song" (Karusell catalog number 2499 099).


Given the cost and marketing risk associated with a recording and releasing a double album, such packages were pretty rare through the early-1970s.  The Beatles got away with it in 1968 with their vaunted "The White Album", but then they were The Beatles.  Polydor must have had considerable faith in Golden Earrings to agree to finance a double album studio set.  Released in 1969, "On the Double" featured fourteen songs spread over four sides.  Ten selections were credited to singer/guitarist George Kooymans.  Bassist Rinus Gerritsen contributing the other four tunes.  Probably not a major surprise, musically the set was quite diverse.  There wasn't any particular theme, or concept here rather it appeared the band had stockpiled a bunch of material and was simply looking to publish it.  As you'd expect, not all of these tunes were treasures.  In keeping with Gold Earrings' reputation, 'Song of a Devil's Servant', 'Hurry, Hurry, Hurry' and 'God Bless the Day' were all hard rock oriented, but there were also stabs at other genres.   Overlooking the goofy titles, 'Pam Pam Poope oope Loux' and 'The Sad Story of Sam Stone' showcased the band's lighter, more commercial sound.  'Just a Little Bit of Peace In My Heart' and 'High In the Sky' showed off their ability to churn out radio friendly ballads.  The oddly titled 'Mudrock 9-6182' was a shot at Dylan singer/songwriter material.  Even better were Kooyman's 'Time Is a Book' and 'I'm a Runnin''.


"On the Double" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Song of a Devil's Servant   (George Kooyman) - 3:45   rating: **** stars

It's always surprised me that band's like Led Zeppelin generated so much publicity with their admiration of Aleister Crowley's world of the occult.  I'm not saving that The Golden Earrings were devil worshippers, but based of 'Song of a Devil's Servant' Page and company had nothing on their Dutch competitors.  Overlooking the lyrics (which actually seemed to underscore the dangers and costs of affiliating with the occult)), this was a killer rocker with Kooymans kicking the track along with some tasty lead guitar.  The "secret sauce" on this one was drummer Jap Eggermont.  The freak-out ending was actually kind of scary.  Opening up with Barry Hay's extended flute solo, the arrangement was quite different from the album version, but YouTube has an extended live performance of the song taken from a 1971 appearance on the Beat Club televisions show.  The vocal didn't kick in until about eight minutes in: 

2.) Angelina - 3:11   (George Kooyman)   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some gorgeous Flamenco-flavored acoustic guitar, 'Angelina" was one of the prettier songs in their catalog.  Yeah the frenetic vocals were heavily accented, but the pretty guitar and angelic backing vocals made up for it.

3.) Pam Pam Poope oope Loux   (George Kooyman) - 2:44   rating: **** stars

Hum, wondering what the title actually meant ...  Seems like the Dutch-to-English  translation might have broken down.  Kicked along by one of Jap Eggermont's funkiest drum tracks the melody was certain catchy and commercial with radio potential, but I'm clueless as to what the song was about - did I hear the word "witch" in there?.

4.) Hurry, Hurry, Hurry   (George Kooyman) - 4:23  rating: *** stars

Powered by Rinus Gerritsen's melodic bass, 'Hurry, Hurry, Hurry' sported a wonderful melody with a catchy chorus.  On this one Kooyman's snarling voice has always reminded me a little bit of The New Radicals Gregg Alexander.


(side 2)

1.) My Baby Ruby   (George Kooyman) - 3:18  rating: ** stars

The first disappointment, 'My Baby Ruby' didn't have much of a melody; suffered from sophomoric lyrics "my baby Ruby she is groovy"; Kooyman sounded like he was struggling with the English lyrics and the horn arrangement sounded out of place.

2.) Judy  (Rinus Gerritsen) - 1:44  rating: ** stars

The first of four Gerritsen compositions, 'Judy' was a stark ballad - basically Gerristen with some acoustic guitar accompaniment.  The song was pretty, but Gerritsen's voice was pretty raw and limited.  The song was also very brief, clocking in at under two minutes.

3.) Goodbye Mama   (George Kooyman) - 3:09  rating: *** stars

Built on one of the album's more attractive melodies, Kooyman's vocal on the bouncy 'Goodbye Mama' sounded a bit like a Dutch Lou Reed.  Not sure why Kooyman felt the need to try to scream his vocal chords out.  Funny but the rest of the band seemed to be singing "Ju-bah mama" on the chorus.

4.) Mudrock 9-6182    (George Kooyman) - 3:12  rating: *** stars

Geez, Kooyman and company trot out their Dylan impressions ...  A stark acoustic ballad complete with harmonica solo, it really wasn't bad, but I always wondered about the title.  Was that the way Dutch phone numbers were set up in the '60s?  No idea when or where it was filmed, but YouTube has a brief live clip of Kooyman performing the tune.  The camera man seems more interested in the attractive blond than Kooyman. 

4.) Just a Little Bit of Peace In My Heart   (George Kooyman) - 5:20  rating: *** stars

The heavily orchestrated 'Just a Little Bit of Peace In My Hear' was a radio friendly "big ballad" with a catchy refrain and a nice Kooyman's vocal.  With sort of a Moody Blues feel to it it's easy to see why it had previously been released as a single, providing them with a massive Dutch hit.. 

- 1968's 'Just a Little Bit of Peace In My Heart' b/w 'Remember My Friend' (Polydor catalog S-1291)

 I believe the song remained in their live repertoire for years and years.  YouTube has an early-'80s performance of the song: 


(side 3)

1.) The Sad Story of Sam Stone  (Rinus Gerritsen) - 2:26  rating: *** stars

Written by Rinus Gerritsen and showcasing his keyboards, 'The Sad Story of Sam Stone' was not quite bubblegum, but was a very pop-oriented performance. It sure sounded like an earlier track.  Another track where the title seemed lost in the English translation.

2.) High In the Sky  (George Kooyman) - 3:22  rating: *** stars

Opening up with some pretty acoustic guitar and light percussion, in spite of a ragged Kooyman vocal, 'High In the Sky" was probably the album's best ballad.

3.) Remember My Friend  (Rinus Gerritsen) - 2:57  rating: *** stars

The best of Gerritsen's four songs, 'Remember My Friend' was another pretty and atmospheric ballad.  It was also another track that had been previously released - in this case it served as the "B" side to the 1968 single 'Just a Little Bit of Peace In My Heart'.  

4.) Time Is a Book  (George Kooyman) - 4:06   rating: **** stars

'Time Is a Book' opened up with a great melody and became even more interesting with Kooyman's husky mumbling vocals kicked in.  They sweet lyrics, nice chorus, slide guitar riff and harmonica solo all made it one of the album's most commercial and attractive performances.

5.) Backbiting Baby   (George Kooyman) - 5:37   rating: **** stars

Yeah I'm a sucker for songs that start out with church organ so 'Backbiting Baby' had my ear from the opening chords.  I also loved the title.  It made perfect sense though grammatically it was a little ragged.  Another first rate rocker, this one pushed the band towards '60s garage rock.  Great hook.


(side 4)

1.) I'm a Runnin'   (George Kooyman) - 3:27   rating: **** stars

Hum, this will sound strange, but 'I'm Runnin'' sounded like the band had absorbed a touch of Motown into their influences.  Is there such a thing as Dutch blue-eyed soul?  Maybe because it was so different and unexpected I really liked this one.  I can picture The Spencer Davis Group covering it.  I wonder if Kooyman even know where South Carolina is ...

2.) I Sing My Song   (George Kooyman) - 4:00   rating: ** stars

I'm not sure if Barry Hay was handling lead vocals, but 'I Sing My Song' was the album's most MOR-isg composition and performances.  It wasn't a stretch to imagine Tom Jones, or perhaps Mark Lindsay and the Raiders doing a cover.   Not that I particularly liked it.

3.) Mitch Mover   (George Kooyman) - 3:00   rating: * star

Geez, someone should have told them that doing anything with a music hall flavor was a bad idea.  Perhaps they were under the impression this would be something along the lines of 'Rocky Raccoon'. My advice woould have been that if it would have sounded okay on a Spanky and Our Gang, then it probably wasn't a good idea.  Clearly they thought this was cute.  It wasn't.  And even though the song was awful, I had to admit they were great harmony singers.

4.) God Bless the Day   (George Kooyman) - 3:20   rating: **** stars

As displayed on 'God Bless the Day' drummer Jap Eggermont was a major ingredient in their sound and growing commercial successes.  Shame this was his final album with the band.  This one managed to mesh hard rock, an appealing melody and  some of Kooyman's most entertaining lyrics.  Another album highlight.

4.) The Grand Piano  (Rinus Gerritsen) - 3:26  rating: *** stars

Kudos to the band for truth in advertising.  'The Grand Piano' was exactly what you got - a stark piano powered ballad with rhythm guitarist Barry Hay featured on lead vocals.  The vocals were a bit heavy-handed, but Gerritsen's melody was very pretty.






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:

'Back Home'

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

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.  Co-produced by the band and John Kriek (previously one of their sound technicians), 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 release.  Originally released in Holland and Europe under the title "Contraband" (Polydor catalog number 2310 491), for some reason the band's American distributor decided the album wasn't appropriate for American audiences.  MCA subsequently repackaged the album with a new title; new (equally dull) packaging, and slightly revamped track listing.  Who knows why but the George Kooymans - Barry Hay composition 'Faded Jeans' was dropped from the US release and the track line-up switched around.  Was it worth all the time and effort?   Seems unlikely.  With Gelling onboard, material like the title track and 'Con Man' sported an even harder and slinkier rock sound, but remained instantly recognizable as Golden Earring product.  Largely a result of Barry Hay's wiry voice, the whole album had a slightly dark and ominous feel.  I can remember running cross country practice with this one playing on my small cassette player.   It's an album where virtually every tack is enjoyable - the lone exception being the bland rocker 'Fighting Windmills'.  


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   rating **** stars

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.

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

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

3.) Mad Love's Coming   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 7:44   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 disconcerting and paranoid in Kooyman's tortured delivery.  Once again Gelling added wonderful lead guitar to the song, making it one of their overlooked classics.  Great iPod tune with not a moment of the seven + minutes wasted.   For anyone interested, YouTube has a nice live performance of the tune at:


(side 2)

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







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







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

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

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



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




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:

'Long Blond Animal'

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



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  N.E.W.S.

Company: 21 Records

Catalog: TL-1-9008

Year: 1984

Country/State:  Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; includes original lyric inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 294

Price: $10.00


With 1982's "Cut" having re-energized their American sales, you would have expected 1984's "N.E.W.S." (odd title for an album),  to have done even better.  Produced by Shell Schellekens, musically the album wasn't all that different from its predecessor.  With George Kooymans and Barry Hay's again responsible for all of the material, the album offered up a driving collection of slightly ominous hard-rockers with an occasional touch of disco ('Fist In Glove'), or jittery new wave angst thrown in for good measure ('N.E.W.S.').  While Hay handled most of the lead vocals with his instantly recognizable snarl (he really did have one of rock's best snarls), Kooymans was featured on a couple of the stand-out performances - notably the single 'Mission Impossible'.  


1.) Clear Night Moonlight   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

With a '50s rock edge, 'Clear Night Moonlight' was one of those goofy tracks that was somehow far better than you would ever have expected.  There wasn't a single original note or thought throughout the track, but it was exceptionally catchy (the title refrain was incideously infectious) and the accompanying video was a total hoot:  A chart topper in Holland, the song was also released as a single in the States, but did nothing.   rating: **** stars

2.) When the Lady Smiles   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

Also released as a single, 'When the Lady Smiles' was another classic Golden Earring rocker.   The accompanying video certainly didn't help American sales - in fact MTV was reluctant to play it, opting for a heavily edited version (attacking a nun certainly didn't help the band's cause).   rating: **** stars

3.) Enough Is Enough   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

The first mild disappointment, 'Enough Is Enough' shared the same nervous, slightly ominous edge of the two previous songs, but lacked the same commercial edge.  Interestingly there's a 1984 live version that absolutely crushes the studio version.  Shame they didn't include it on the album.   rating: *** stars

4.) Fist In Glove   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

Hum, Golden Earring getting funky ...  Well, I'll give them credit for daring to try something a little different on 'Fist In Glove' but it just didn't do a great deal for my ears.   


1.) Mission Impossible   (George Kooymans) - 

With it's top-40 refrain 'Mission Impossible' has always reminded reminded me a bit of a Flash In the Pan track.  Kooyman's voice was a dead ringer for Flash in the Pan's .  While George Kooymans turned in a killer solo, t o my ears the song actually belonged to the Rinus Gerritsen - Ceasar Zuiderwyk rhytnm section.  They simply slayed the song.  Judging by this 1984 Dutch concert, this was another one where the live version was even better than the studio track:   rating: **** stars

2.) I'll Make It All Up To You   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

Say what you will about these guys, but you had to admit that Hay's had one of rock's best snarling vocal deliveries.  They guy could read a nursery rhyme and make it sound threatening.  Coupled with a great Kooyman's guitar, this was another album highlight. Geez, I even liked the flute solo on the live performance:   rating: **** stars

3.) N.E.W.S.   (George Kooymans) - 

One of two George Kooymans penned numbers, 'N.E.W.S.' found the band trying out a skitterish new wave attack. Strange song and I can't say I particularly liked it.  Dumb promotional video didn't help it:   rating: *** stars

4.) It's Over Now   (George Kooymans - Barry Hay) - 

My pick for the album's best track, 'It's Over Now' was the set's most pop-oriented number.   rating: **** stars



As mentioned, three singles were spun off the album:



- 1984's 'When the Lady Smiles' b/w 'Orwell Smile's' (21 catalog number T1 112) # 76 pop

- 1984's 'Clear Night Moonlight' b/w 'Fist In Glove' (21 catalog number T1 112 )

- 1984's 'N.E.W.S.' b/w It'sOver Now' (21 catalog number )


All three singles were also released as 12" pressings:

   US pressing

- 1984's 'When the Lady Smiles' b/w 'Orwell Smile's'   (21 catalog number PRO 251-1)

- 1984's 'Clear Night Moonlight' b/w 'Mission Impossible' (21 catalog number PRO 277-1)


   Dutch pressing

- 1984 's 'N.E.W.S.' b/w 'It's Over Now' (21 catalog number # 2.126)


An overlooked charmer.  In spite of some American publicity, including an appearance on Dick Clark's television show, the album only hit # 107 in the US (it topped the Dutch charts).