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Music / Golden Earring

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I've been drivin' all night, my hand's wet on the wheel,
There's a voice in my head that drives my heel,
It's my baby callin', says I need you here,
And it's a half past four and I'm shiftin' gear,
When she is lonely and the longing gets too much,
She sends a cable comin' in from above,
Don't need no phone at all.
"Radar Love"

Golden Earring is a Dutch Hard Rock band formed in 1961, making them the longest runner when it comes to Rock music. They had two big hits with "Radar Love" (1973) and "Twilight Zone" (1982) and enjoyed general international success in the '70s and '80s; other songs, such as "Candy's Going Bad", "Instant Poetry", "Sleepwalkin'", "The Devil Made Me Do It", "Quiet Eyes", and "When the Lady Smiles" were smaller hits. They are the most successful Dutch rock act by a fairly large margin.

Guitarist and founding member George Kooymans was diagnosed with ALS disease in February 2021; not wanting to replace him, the band decided to split up.

Band members

Founding members in bold
  • Barry Hay - Vocals, Flute, Guitar (1967–2021)
  • George Kooymans - Guitar and Vocals (1961–2021)
  • Rinus Gerritsen - Bass and Keyboards (1961–2021)
  • Cesar Zuiderwijk - Drums (1970–2021)


  • Just Earrings (1965)
  • Winter-Harvest (1966)
  • Miracle Mirror (1967)
  • On the Double (1968)
  • Eight Miles High (1969)
  • Golden Earring (a.k.a. Wall of Dolls) (1970)
  • Seven Tears (1971)
  • Together (1972)
  • Moontan (1973)
  • Switch (1975)
  • To the Hilt (1976)
  • Contrabandnote  (1976)
  • Grab It for a Second (1978)
  • No Promises...No Debts (1979)
  • Prisoner of the Night (1980)
  • Cut (1982)
  • N.E.W.S. (1984)
  • The Hole (1986)
  • Keeper of the Flame (1989)
  • Bloody Buccaneers (1991)
  • Face It (1994)
  • Love Sweat (1995)
  • Paradise in Distress (1999)
  • Millbrook U.S.A. (2003)
  • Tits 'n Ass (2012)

Troper of the Night:

  • Driving Song: "Radar Love" tells of a driver trying to return to his girl. The song contains multiple references to his driving.
  • Epic Rocking: Over the 8-minute mark:
    • "Eight Miles High", (19:00) from Eight Miles High.
    • "Vanilla Queen" (9:21), "Big Tree, Blue Sea" (8:15), and "Are You Receiving Me" (9:33) from Moontan. (The entire U.S. album consists of songs over six minutes long, but the European version swaps out "Big Tree, Blue Sea" for two shorter tracks).
    • "Violins" (10:21) from To the Hilt. (Four songs on this album top the seven-minute mark.)
    • Plus something like half the songs on most of their live albums (in particular, only the first song on their first live album is less than six minutes long, with "Vanilla Queen" being the longest track on the album at 11:45 and seven of the ten tracks topping the eight-minute mark). Also, their two biggest hits are examples in their album versions, with "Radar Love" clocking in at 6:24 and "Twilight Zone" at 7:58. Both also had shorter single edits for radio airplay, though.
  • Gratuitous French: "Kill Me (Ce Soir)".
  • Hard Rock: This has defined them over the decades, although they initially had a more pop-ish sound and sometimes tended toward a more Psychedelic sound.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Presumably the whole band by their breakup, since all four of the final band members were in place since at least 1970 and toured basically nonstop.
  • Literary Allusion Title: A lot of them, from "Last of the Mohicans" to "Twilight Zone" (although lyrically the song is more inspired by The Bourne Identity) to "Orwell's Year".
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Two of the final four were the founding members in '61, Hay joined in '67, and Zuiderwijk joined in '70, giving them a stable lineup lasting a half-century.
    • Actually, the group had multiple other members in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and were even a seven-piece at one point. Despite this, the group still remained the same from 1986 until they called it quits in 2021.
  • Long-Runners: The band was founded in 1961 and ran until 2021.
  • Mindlink Mates: "Radar Love" is about a motorist trying to get to his girl after she telepathically tells him "I need you here."
  • Progressive Rock: A lot of their mid-seventies work falls into this genre, particularly almost all of Moontan and To the Hilt. Their nineteen-minute version of "Eight Miles High" is also a conspicuous example, and "Twilight Zone" is at least a borderline case thanks to its lengthy instrumental break.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Big Tree, Blue Sea" (from Moontan) is a re-recording note  of a song from their 1970 self-titled album.
  • Sampling: "Vanilla Queen" samples Marilyn Monroe from the 1954 film There's No Business Like Show Business saying the lines "Well, in simple English I'm..." and "What's your name, honey?"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Radar Love" has one to singer Brenda Lee:
    Radio playin' some forgotten song
    Brenda Lee's comin' on strong.note 
    • "Just Like Vince Taylor" pays tribute to the singer of the same name, who was fairly well known in continental Europe both for his solo career and as frontman of the Playboys, but not as well known overseas (though The Clash did cover his song "Brand New Cadillac" for London Calling, and he was also apparently David Bowie's main inspiration for Ziggy Stardust).
    • Going the other way around, Devin Townsend's "Radial Highway" incorporates a few lines from "Radar Love" and in general qualifies as a tribute to it.
  • True Companions: When guitarist and founding member George Kooymans was diagnosed with ALS in February of 2021, the band decided to call it a day instead of continuing with another guitarist.
  • Uncommon Time: "Big Tree, Blue Sea" (at least the Moontan version) changes meter signatures several times and incorporates some examples of this. Probably not their only example. "Radar Love" is a subversion, as there's a fill that sounds like an example at the end of the instrumental break, but it turns out just to be really syncopated 4/4.
    • "You're Better Off Free" note  has a lengthy middle break entirely in 10/4.