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Thread: Featured Album: Golden Earring - Moontan

  1. #1
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Featured Album: Golden Earring - Moontan

    http://www.progarchives.com/progress...22252018_r.jpg

    Golden Earring - Moontan

    Originally, I was planning for a Supersister album, but given yesterday's news...

    moontan.jpg

    Tracks Listing:
    1. Candy's Going Bad (6:13)
    2. Are You Receiving Me (9:29)
    3. Suzy Lunacy (Mental Rock) (4:22)
    4. Radar Love (6:21)
    5. Just Like Vince Taylor (4:33)
    6. The Vanilla Queen (9:14)


    Line-up:
    - George Kooymans / lead guitar, vocals
    - Barry Hay / flute, sax, vocals
    - Rinus Gerritsen / bass, keyboards, Moog
    - Cesar Zuiderwijk / drums, percussion
    With:
    - Patricia Paay / vocals
    - Eelco Gelling / slide guitar
    - Bertus Borgers / sax
    - Job Maarse / string & horn arrangements


    here is what Patricia O'Bee (AKA Queen By-Tor) had to sau about it on ProgArchives
    We've got this thing...

    Most people know Golden Earring for their big hit Radar Love made popular from everything from huge amounts of airplay to appearances on The Simpsons and the like. Of course the band had many, many songs beyond that, despite how many people actually knew this fact, Moontan is their 9th album as they were founded sometime in the early 60s. The album itself has far better moments than just this one song as well, and people who are familiar with it often call it the band's most progressive album. Looking at the track listing that ProgArchives has for the album it's pretty easy to see that the American version of the album is completely different than other versions of the album. But it's impressive none the less.

    Playing an excellent mixture of progressive rock and pure classic hard rock, this album can really catch your ear off first listen. Of course it opens with the hit tune, Radar Love, the pounding mini-opus with a driving bass and emotional voicing - and if you've only ever heard parts of this song and think it's a simple pop song do yourself a favor and really listen to it the first time you listen to this disc in its entirety, because it is very impressive in its whole form. Other songs on the first side prove to be just as impressive, and hey, there's only two of them. Candy's Going Bad is probably the most simple composition on the album, but it's still a good, lengthy hard rocker with an interesting story attached to it that makes it a worthy addition to the album. However, this is just where the album starts getting good, as from here on out no song will dip down bellow 8-minutes. Vanilla Queen is the next on the bill and it starts with a good 2-minutes of spaced out intro before it actually moves into the more hard rocking aspects. It falls back into a trance-like state just over the half way point and then takes a turn for the psychedelic once more as it moves into the brass and instrumental sections of the song.

    And yet, the best is still to come as we move into the second side of the album. Big Tree, Blue Sea is disturbingly absent from the non-American version of the album, which is a shame, because this is likely the album's best individual song. Folk influences are abound in melody, but also in that Jethro Tull-like flute that's used throughout. Sweeping keyboards give a typically progressive sound to the album as well as it moves through some moments that could have been taken strait from Genesis's Trespass in their haunting tranquility, before moving back into moments of pure hard rock. An excellent number that does justice to owning one half of the second side. Are You Receiving Me is the final track by the American listing and also the longest. This one is powered by a Captain Beyond-like guitar riff and some excellent percussion, once again it moves through several moods, speeds and tones without ever slowing down the momentum of the track. This pulls together the final track of the album and makes for a satisfying finish.

    If you've ever wondered about the reason for including Golden Earring on the Archives this album is probably not the only reason, but it serves as a great example. Multiple instrumental passages, complex arrangements, lengthy tunes, changes in speed and tone throughout each song - all the elements are there, and it even includes things like keyboards, flutes and brass instruments just to keep the people happy. Everything comes together so very well, and based on this one album it's actually a little difficult to see why the band wasn't added earlier.

    All that aside, this is certainly an album worth getting. Any progressive fan will be able to appreciate this album to a very large degree, and if you're going to be getting further into the band this is probably the best way to start. In terms of 'progressive-ness' this one ranks among the classics, and in terms of quality it does just the same. 4 stars out of 5 for a very impressive album that's worth repeated listens. Make sure you check it out, because it's certainly worth the investment




    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  2. #2
    I was sitting listening to Pinhas' Rhizosphere when you posted this, but then I went and fetched my ol' 80s reissue of Moontan and fired it off.

    It's a fabulous slice of "cerebral boogie/hard rock", if that means anything to anyone. At this point they still retained some of their post-psychedelic traits and knew how to meld them with the given mood required to make those lyrics and arrangements come alive. One of the great examples of how 70s rock music could be very obviously intelligent without having to be complicated or even particularly challenging. A track like "Are You Receiving Me" doesn't really remind of anyone else at the time. Kooyman's filtering of minor chords, followed by highly effective albeit simple unison lines with slightly distorted guitars and tenor sax - this is pure magic.

    A fabulous but rightful excuse to pull it out again after many years. Usually when I hear the Earrings these days it gets to be To the Hilt, much for the contribution of R. J. Stips' keys. But altogether this is probably the better record.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Originally, I was planning for a Supersister album, but given yesterday's news...
    ================================================== ========
    I don't think people here know the news.

    Golden Earring stopped after 60 years,the Guitarplayer has ALS.

  4. #4
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    Had the US version, back in the day, even saw them live, when they recorded something for the Don Kirshner Rock Concerts... fun band...

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    Moderator Duncan Glenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcup View Post
    Originally, I was planning for a Supersister album, but given yesterday's news...
    ================================================== ========
    I don't think people here know the news.

    Golden Earring stopped after 60 years,the Guitarplayer has ALS.
    ...and as a consequence, the band has officially been discontinued
    Regards,

    Duncan

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    Ordinary Idiot Superfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcup View Post
    Originally, I was planning for a Supersister album, but given yesterday's news...
    ================================================== ========
    I don't think people here know the news.

    Golden Earring stopped after 60 years,the Guitarplayer has ALS.
    I heard the news today. Pretty devastating to say the least. George was a totally unique guitar player. When people talk about great players, his name doesn't get mentioned nearly enough. Most folks think their music begins and ends with Radar Love...they are very wrong.
    "The Bill of Rights says nothing about the freedom of hearing. This, of course, takes a lot of the fun out of the freedom of speech." - Pat Paulsen

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    Its more then 30 years ago since I've heared this album. A schoolfriend had it on vinyl.

    I only remember it vaguely but I will try to listen again this week.

  8. #8
    I cherish Moontan! Every song a sublime experience.

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    Casanova TCC's Avatar
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    Good call, sad news Trane/Friends!

    Best,
    Tomás.
    Last edited by TCC; 02-08-2021 at 12:55 AM.
    Pura Vida!.

    There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. ∞
    Duke Ellington.

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    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I listened to the album yesterday. A very enjoyable album of 70ies rock. I like it especially where they stretch out a bit. The instrumental part of 'Are you receiving me' is really good. Cesar Zuiderwijk really was a fine drummer.

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    Absolutely love this album. Radar Love even though over played is still a classic.

  12. #12
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    So sad to hear about George contracting this terrible and incurable disease. My favorite album is "Switch" over this one, never got to see them live unfortunately.
    I wish George Kooymans all the best.

    https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2021/0...osed-with-als/

  13. #13
    A band I always meant to check out, but for a stupid reason always forgot about it. I think Richard said it all: it's gritty and intelligent at the same time, it reminds me of early BOC on that matter.
    But basically it reminds me of no-one. Who would add such a beautiful and bizarre coda to a song like Candy's Going Bad? In our times this is inconceivable: no rock-'n'-roll band would even dream about it. There is simply no more room for a band like Golden Earring. Another proof that rock-'n'-roll music is basically over.
    Great record. Where should I move from here?

  14. #14
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Great record. Where should I move from here?
    You can either go backwards to Seven Tears, Wall Of Dolls or 8 Miles High.

    If you want to move onto the next albums I'd say Switch and Contraband.

    Or else the Live (77) double album is quite a definitive statement in itself

    ==============

    I just ealised tyhat the album artworks has great colour coordination with the site's colours.
    Last edited by Trane; 02-09-2021 at 03:22 AM.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  15. #15
    I love this album too, especially Are You Receiving Me. I don't know anything else about this band aside from this album and the song Twilight Zone. I had no idea they were still around, too bad about their guitarist.

  16. #16
    I haven't heard the album since it came out in the USA in the early 70's, but I remember liking the vaguely somber, minor-chord sounding choruses in many of the tunes. Or am i imagining it...if time allows will have a listen.

    BD

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    My CD is of the US version which does not have 'Just Like Vince Taylor' or 'Suzy Lunacy' but has 'Big Tree Blue Sea'. I believe I have seen the European version (at least the European cover) on CD though, maybe on Red Bullet who put Focus CDs out.

    It is the only album of theirs I am familiar with- I'd imagine this is the case with others, due to the break-out hit 'Radar Love'. However I like it quite a bit.

  18. #18
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    My CD is of the US version which does not have 'Just Like Vince Taylor' or 'Suzy Lunacy' but has 'Big Tree Blue Sea'. I believe I have seen the European version (at least the European cover) on CD though, maybe on Red Bullet who put Focus CDs out.

    It is the only album of theirs I am familiar with- I'd imagine this is the case with others, due to the break-out hit 'Radar Love'. However I like it quite a bit.
    The US version of Moontan features a fairly longer version of Big Tre Blue Sea

    On the Wall Of Dolls AKA self-titled of 1970 (another very good album), the track clocvked just over 6 minutes, while on Moontan, it's just over 8 mins. I'd say it's a good trade-off for the two shorter (and skightly weaker) tracks of Suzy Lunacy & Vince Taylor) on the European realases, especialmly if you don't have that Wall album). The downside is that you have a lesser single-sleeved artwork instead of the naked gatefold sleeve.

    However,n it's sad that most of the CD version still made a difference instead of compiling all tracks and sleeves.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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    The AC/DC albums are like that- the hodge-podge ones for the US market are the most widely available. Although yes I've heard it said that the US version of Moontan is technically an improvement.

    I don't know the song but it's interesting what a cult figure Vince Taylor was in Europe. I did know he put out a lot of singles in France. He was also one of Bowie's inspirations for Ziggy Stardust.

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    Excellent album, but I think my favorite GE album is Seven Tears.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Great record. Where should I move from here?
    s/t (aka Wall of Dolls) is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever. Seven Tears is also excellent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    s/t (aka Wall of Dolls) is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever. Seven Tears is also excellent.
    I agree, Wall of Dolls is where the band really found it's groove. And Seven Tears, Together, (of course) Moontan, Switch and To The Hilt (my favorite) are all excellent.
    "The Bill of Rights says nothing about the freedom of hearing. This, of course, takes a lot of the fun out of the freedom of speech." - Pat Paulsen

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
    s/t (aka Wall of Dolls) is one of the greatest hard rock albums ever. Seven Tears is also excellent.
    No doubt, this is one of the great rock bands of the 70's. I have been listening extensively these last days to:

    - Eight Miles High. Pretty strong and frantic piece of European psych.
    - Seven Tears. Some fantastic tracks (Silver Ships, Hope, She Flies on Strange Wings), some less so
    - Golden Earring s/t. Yeah, this one is pure gold. Maybe it starts a bit lazily, but by the time we reach Big Tree Blue See everything is taking-off. What a scorching song.

    Would I call them a hard rock band? I don't know. Is The Who a hard rock band? (a rather obvious influence on GE) Of course they're a badass rock band - but I wouldn't place them next to Zeps, Purple, or Sabs. They're more subtle, or more sophisticated in a sense. I think in attitude they're closer to a band like Spirit (which could also rock the boat when they wanted too).

    Guitars are stellar, but a special mention is needed for the vocals too. I believe they had two vocalists, and I don't know who is singing what, but these are perfect, extra-powerful vocals for a rock band.

    As for my criminal negligence of not connecting earlier with this music, I can only say "better late than ever".

  24. #24
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I agree, Wall of Dolls is where the band really found it's groove. And Seven Tears, Together, (of course) Moontan, Switch and To The Hilt (my favorite) are all excellent.
    you can add the book-ending 8 Miles High and Contraband to that string of good albums, but the weaker ones are (IMHO) Together and To The Hilt


    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    No doubt, this is one of the great rock bands of the 70's. I have been listening extensively these last days to:

    - Eight Miles High. Pretty strong and frantic piece of European psych.
    - Seven Tears. Some fantastic tracks (Silver Ships, Hope, She Flies on Strange Wings), some less so
    - Golden Earring s/t. Yeah, this one is pure gold. Maybe it starts a bit lazily, but by the time we reach Big Tree Blue See everything is taking-off. What a scorching song.

    Guitars are stellar, but a special mention is needed for the vocals too. I believe they had two vocalists, and I don't know who is singing what, but these are perfect, extra-powerful vocals for a rock band.
    I got a sweet spot for Contraband, though I will say that its songs featured on the ensuing Live album (Con Man, Fighting Windmills, Mad Lover's Coming, are better than the stidio counterpart.

    Barry Hay is/was the main/dedicated singer, a bit like Daltrey was in The Who. TBH, I didn't even realize GK sang other than backing vocals and the odd track here & there.
    Unusual, but I find Barry's vocals and lyrics some of the easiest understood in rock/pop, and his dutch accent is pretty neutral when he sings.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  25. #25
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    Today the RRHOF nominees were announced.

    I do NOT think Golden Earring was EVER on a ballot and so deserve to be not only on it but also inducted as well, so sad and such a pity.

    Great band with a great catalog, some Euro bands like them never get the recognition and respect. But maybe if you are Abba?

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