Monday Morning Music: Golden Earring, “Twilight Zone”

A couple of remarkable things about Golden Earring:

– They’ve had the same four-man lineup since 1970, and they’re still active. As I know all too well, that’s 40 years. The only band I know anywhere near that territory is Rush, with the same three since 1974.

– They’re Dutch, and yet their English lyrics are far more refined than so many English artists.

Consider their 1974 hit Radar Love. Can you remember the opening line? Of course. And the rest of the song puts you in the car on that long drive.

Their second big U.S. hit came eight years later, and again, the descriptive lyrics are brilliant. We don’t know exactly what went down, but we know it was serious. “The gun’s still warm,” and “the night weighs heavy in his guilty mind.” And then the question with no answer: “Where am I to go now that I’ve gone too far?”

The video is compelling in its own right, but it also undoes some of the narrative, adding a gratuitous sex scene in an apparent flashback to earlier in the evening. But we still get a sense of the unfortunate turn taken in the life of a guy who has been done in by forces beyond his understanding. The song fades as the camera pulls away from our unlucky protagonist.

It’s great storytelling. Even if I still have no idea what they mean about all the clones.

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