Golden Earring

  • Dutch progressive rock band formed in 1961, from The Hague, Netherlands. The main members during the 70s and 80s were Rinus Gerritsen (bass, guitar, keyboards, harmonica), George Kooymans (vocals, guitar, songwriting), Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute, saxophone, songwriting) and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums).
  • Kooymans and Gerritsen were neighbor kids – ages 13 and 15 respectively – when they formed a band called The Tornados in1961. They soon learned that that name was used by another band, so they changed their name to The Golden Earrings. The name was taken from an instrumental song by the British band The Hunters, for whom Kooymans and Gerritsen performed for as an opening act. With Frans Krassenberg on lead vocals, Peter De Ronde on guitar and Jaap Eggermont on drums, they were signed to a recording contract and released their debut album, Just Ear-rings, in 1965. Their first single, Please Go, made it to the Dutch music charts – their first of 9 songs that charted in the Netherlands before any of their music charted in another country.
  • Hay replaced Krassenberg in 1967, becoming the frontman for the group. In 1970, Zuiderwijk joined, and the foursome has remained together ever since. That year, they released their sixth album, the self titled Golden Earring (the ‘The’ was dropped in 1967 and the ‘s’ was dropped in 1969). It was their first to reach #1 in their home country, but it did not chart in the U.S.
  • Two more albums were released in Europe but not in the U.S. Then in 1973, Moontan was released. With this album, they became an international sensation, thanks to their classic rock anthem, Radar Love. The song reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and many polls put it in the top 3 driving songs of all time. It has been covered more than 500 times by other artists, including U2, White Lion and R.E.M., and in 2011 the Dutch postal service issued a postage stamp that plays Radar Love when a smartphone with a special app is held up to the stamp.
  • Seven albums followed before Golden Earring finally had another hit single in the U.S. In 1982, on their 16th studio album, Twilight Zone was released. The song received heavy airplay on MTV, which helped sales, and it reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Top Album Tracks chart (it was their fourth song to top the Dutch charts).
  • Golden Earring would only have 1 more song make it into the Top 40 – Quiet Eyes peaked at #31 in 1986. They remained popular in The Netherlands for many more years – their most recent studio album, 2012’s Tits ‘n’ Ass, reached #1 on the Dutch album charts. They released a total of 25 studio albums, 8 live albums and 74 singles (60 charted in The Netherlands, only 6 were in the Hot 100 in the U.S.).
  • They continue to perform today, with 23 concerts in 2018 in The Netherlands.
  • Radar Love is one of my all time favorite songs – in my top 10 of all time – certaining appealing to a teenage kid in the 70s who wanted to listen to progressive rock more than pop music. Here’s a clip from a TV performance – it’s rather funny/strange in that the audience sits there just listening, without any reaction to the music at all. The boys are looking very 70s on stage. It must be lip synced, because it sounds identical to the studio version. Plus, it’s the long version of the song, not the radio edit – so much better than the radio version, complete with extended drum sections. The psychedelic special effects on the video are coordinated with the drum solos, which makes it even cooler. Oh my…those drums…they make this song so good!

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