Golden Earring - 1986 The Hole

Lee South AfricaLee South Africa South Africa
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: Golden Earring
ALBUM: The Hole
LABEL: 21 Records
SERIAL: 210.018 (vinyl), 90514-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2001, Red Bullet, RB66218

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image image

LINEUP: Barry Hay - vocals * George Kooymans - guitars, vocals * Rinus Gerritsen - bass, keyboards * Cesar Zuiderwijk - drums

Additional Musicians: Wim Both, Peter Kuyt - trumpet * Piet Dolder - trombone * Dionys Breukers, Robert Jan Stips - keyboards * Rudi Van Dijk - horn arrangements, saxophone * Julya Lo'Ko, Patty Paff, Lisa Boray, Loa Boray - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 They Dance * 02 Quiet Eyes * 03 Save The Best For Later * 04 Have A Heart * 05 Love In Motion * 06 Jane Jane * 07 Jump And Run * 08 Why Do I * 09 Shout In The Dark


This Dutch institution will forever be associated with their towering 1973 classic 'Radar Love', but is there not more to them than this one memorable track?

They hit the limelight again in '82 with the storming AOR comeback album 'Cut' and shimmering hit single 'Twilight Zone'. 1983's excellent follow up 'N.E.W.S.' was unable to maintain the commercial momentum in the USA, although it found great favour in their home country and surrounding territories.

A 1984 live album (plus one quite handy studio track) containing their 80's AOR gems followed, but it would be a further two years until 'The Hole' appeared on shelves sporting it's pitch black cover.

Probably not the wisest move considering the recent Spinal Tap phenomenon and how Utopia's pitch black 1984 platter 'Oblivion' had failed spectacularly despite being a decent album. So what about the songs?

The Songs

'They Dance' is not a great start I'm afraid, a bit busy and jumpy not to mention the unwelcome brass section coming across on the shrill side.

'Quiet Eyes' is the business though. Lyrically it's a ballad but interpreted as midtempo AOR with very clever, almost sideways melodies that are a little less immediate especially in the chorus. Classy track for sure.

'Save The Best For Later' comes roaring down the tracks, an addictive hook and candy coated chorus built on a powerful backbeat - could be a cousin of 'Inside Information' era Foreigner.

'Have A Heart' continues the AOR with some startling bursts of guitar and 'on the one' drumming here and there, the chorus flowing as smoothly as the Orange River though. The AOR win column and coffee meter both get another tick, and I'm left with a craving for 80's Blue Oyster Cult!!

'Love In Motion' could be a dead ringer for mid 80's 38 Special, it just needed to lose that occasional horn blast.

'Jane Jane' is considerably stronger, although comparable to period AOR in general GE seem to have their own melodic twist and it's in full effect here. Possibly a reference to the 'Jane' from Jefferson Starship's outright classic?

'Jump And Run' is nothing special, but the closing one two punch of 'Why Do I' and 'A Shout In The Dark' really nail this down as a sterling AOR disc - the former bonding straight ahead AOR with acoustic shimmer, the latter a tour de force in AOR song construction, many layers leading to a chorus just left of Boston.

In Summary

Not surprising that 'The Hole' charted outside the Billboard top 100, three years was a considerable time between albums in the 80's.

Sadly it was the last to receive a domestic US release, but did find favour on the Continent where both 'Quiet Eyes' and 'Why Do I' were hits.

Synth maintains a warm presence throughout the album, and digital drum effects are in play as well so the sound is pretty much trapped in 1986, but anyone still fond of their mid 80's Starship should find this easy to overcome!

It would be a further three years before 1989 ushered in 'Keeper Of The Flame', a strong and slightly harder AOR outing that set the scene well for their classic 1991 effort 'Bloody Buccaneers'.

In the meantime though, 'The Hole' turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.

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