Golden Earring

Just Earrings

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Golden Earring were hailed as one of the hottest new bands in America when the song "Radar Love" from their album Moontan was released in 1973. Funny thing was, Golden Earring were hardly a new band; while they weren't well known outside the Netherlands, in their native Holland they were major stars who had been scoring hits for eight years. Just Earrings was their first LP, recorded in 1965 when they were still billed as the Golden Earrings, and it's fine British Invasion-style beat music that suggests the group was still formulating a sound of its own, but had absorbed the influences of the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Zombies, and the Hollies and had fashioned the bits and pieces into a sound that was powerfully tuneful and engaging. The Golden Earrings wrote nearly all their own material at a time when even the U.K. bands they modeled themselves on performed a fair percentage of covers, and "Now I Have" and "Lonely Everyday" show they knew how put together a potent rock & roll number, while "I Am a Fool" and "When People Talk" are effectively moody downbeat tunes and "I Hate Saying These Words" is a light but effervescent pop song. George Kooymans and Peter De Ronde were a great guitar team, bassist Rinus Gerritsen and drummer Jaap Eggermont push the music forward with energy and imagination, and Frans Krassenburg's vocals show both attitude and aptitude, especially since he's singing in English (though the lyrics don't always survive close scrutiny). If Just Earrings had been recorded by a British band, chances are good the group could have scored that first hit in America a lot sooner -- the album is certainly on a par with the work of most of the U.K. bands that were storming the U.S charts at the time, and if it took longer for America to warm to rock & roll from Holland, this is fun stuff that swings in any time zone.

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