The Netherlands' Golden Earring are best known in the USA for their mid-1970s FM radio hit Radar Love and the early 1980s hit The Twilight Zone, but they had been going strong since the early 1960s. Just Earrings is a cd version (originally reissued in 2002) of their first album from 1965, recorded when they were known as The Golden Earrings, and since I've been a fan of their's for many years, but had never heard these recordings, I was mighty curious to hear this cd. The album is complimented with 6 bonus tracks, recorded between 1965 and 1968, and these tracks add a lot to illustrate Golden Earring's early sound.
Golden Earring was one of the many bands world-wide emulating the beat group phenomenon that rocked the world following the British explosion in 1964. Following in the wake of bands like The Beatles, The Searchers, and The Who, Golden Earring have gorgeously strummed guitars with the flurried rhythms and strident vocal harmonies beat groups employed back in the day. What set them apart from most beat groups is the fact that they wrote most of their own material (with only one cover here of Titus Turner's Sticks and Stones, made famous by Ray Charles but covered by many a beat group).
A lot of the music from this golden era of Golden Earring is a slice of average beat with above average guitar playing. At this point, Golden Earring were honing their sound, inspired by the music around them. The best tracks include the 1965 Dutch hit, Please Go, which emulates The Zombies' sound quite well, as well as the rocking beat classic No Need To Worry with its rock solid rhythm, fiery Who styled guitar and it's angsty lead vocals; and Now I Have, a Pete Best styled rocker which is the kind of music bands like Thee Milkshakes were themselves emulating in the early 80s. Of the bonus tracks, What You Gonna Tell sounds like a lost Who song, and Smoking Cigarettes adds some Small Faces soul to the mix, for intriguing results.