Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Golden Earring

On my list of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs [1], a few people suggested that I add Golden Earring to the list.  At first, I pondered to myself that I had never heard of them and had no idea of any of their songs.  Yet after investigating their songs and their career it turns out I do know Golden Earring, from two songs several years apart that have endured even if the name of the band itself has largely been forgotten except by its devoted and loyal fans.  And, it should be noted, the band still produces music forty years after the band started, and remains one of the best Dutch rock bands of all time.  How a Dutch band managed to conquer the American charts not once but twice between the mid 1970’s and mid 1980’s and managed to keep a successful going in their native Netherlands before and after their brief time on the hit parade is a remarkable story, and Golden Earring provides a worthwhile test case as to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s seriousness in addressing the rock and roll outside of its anglophone heartland [2].  To those who kept on suggesting that I write about Golden Earring, this examination is a tribute to your persistence in the face of my reluctance to talk about them.

The Influence Of Golden Earring

It should be noted that my reluctance to write about Golden Earring was not based on any hostility to the band.  For example, one of these days I will likely have to write about Nickelback, a band worthy of induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame despite being one of the worst bands of all time.  There is nothing bad about the career of Golden Earring, nothing that any band would be ashamed of.  Their influence consists of a few different threads.  One of these threads is the band’s music itself.  The band’s music has been covered by such diverse groups as U2, Blue Man Group, White Lion, REM, Def Leppard [3], and has also served as theme music for a variety of television and radio shows and even a NASCAR driver [4] that is partly responsible for bringing The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum [5] to the public consciousness.  Not only has the band’s music been well-regarded and has served to remain in the public memory, but the band has managed to be a consistent standard bearer for Dutch Rock & Roll, a phenomenon that is all too easily neglected [6].

Why Golden Earring Belongs In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The biggest reason why Golden Earring belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is because their music remains vital and important today, especially their hits “Radar Love” and “Twilight Zone,” which capitalized on its sophisticated music video at the beginning of MTV.  This band were pioneers of Dutch Rock and managed somehow to have two hits despite uneven support from labels in the United States, and their music has stood the test of time.  Outside of those two hit singles and the hit albums they were on, the band has recorded twenty-five studio albums which have been consistent hits in their native Netherlands and between 1973 and 1986 their albums managed to chart in the United States.  Golden Earring represents a chance for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to step outside of its comfort zone and reward a band that has toiled diligently if often in obscurity and with a fair amount of tragedy over the course of its career.  Besides their two hit singles in the US, they have managed to have hit singles in a diverse group of markets including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium [7].  This is a band worthy of recognition and honor.

Why Golden Earring Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

It’s likely that many people just may not be aware of the awesome career of Golden Earring.  While I knew their two songs, and had thought well of them since I heard them in my youth, I did not connect the two songs to each other or to their band, and it is likely that many other people are in the same boat as I was.  It is hard for people to be up in arms about a snub when they are not aware of how awesome the band’s music is, or aware that they already know a few of a band’s prominent songs.  At least when we are talking about more familiar bands, we have a known body of work that we are dealing with and we can debate whether or not it is good enough or influential enough for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  With Golden Earring, one has to be informed of their career and discography to begin with, and that adds a bit more time to the process of defending their candidacy.

Verdict:  Put them in, the core foursome.  Why not make a Germanic induction group with Kraftwerk and a band like A-Ha?

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/rock-roll-hall-of-fame-snubs/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/02/19/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-kraftwer/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-gloria-estefan-the-miami-sound-machine/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-celine-dion/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/why-arent-they-in-the-rock-roll-hall-of-fame-luis-miguel/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radar_Love

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_Zone_(Golden_Earring_song)

[5] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2011/07/20/book-review-the-ambler-warning/

[6] https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/06/10/we-might-as-well-be-strangers-for-all-i-know-of-you-now/

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Earring_discography

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Golden Earring

  1. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Def Leppard | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Bill says:

    Been listening to GE since ’74. They freakin rock! They surpass many groups already inducted. The fact is they have evolved as time has. Play stuff from the ’60’s and you’d think your listening to American pop radio. 70’s they just jammed! Long hair hippie Zepplin type. ’80’s weird time for all bands lol. And yes, they endure today. Go to ebay and get the 50 year compilation. 5 discs. Pop em in, sit back, and in the end, write the hall of fame and campaign for their induction. Yes, you’ll be hooked.

  3. BRIAN MAGUIRE says:

    If you had never heard of Golden earning prior to writing this article, it is a sign that you should not be writing articles about rock and roll. Radar love and twilight zone are just but two songs on an album nearly like Quadrophenia. If you did not know that or had not spent an hour of your life listening, you have no business even having an opinion.

    • I had been familiar with a couple of their songs “Twilight Zone” and “Radar Love,” and wrote about it based on the request of a reader, which turns out to have been a good idea. Their music is really solid and I plan on writing more about them in the future.

  4. George Glenn says:

    Mountain is one of the best albums ever. Even though Radar Love is considered their big hit on this album, I think Are you receiving me is better.

  5. George Glenn says:

    Mountan not mountain. Hate spellcheck

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