song of the day – “Twilight Zone” | GOLDEN EARRING | 1983.

There are some songs from the 80s that I never liked when it came out (and in the case of “Rhythm Of The Night” by DeBarge, Chicago’s “You’re The Inspiration”  or Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly,” I still don’t); there are some 80s songs I didn’t like initially but grew to like, such as Charlie Dore’s “Pilot Of The Airwaves” (though it hasn’t aged very well); there are some songs from the 80s I liked initially but don’t like now (like the recently-unretired Phil Collins, and his song, “Sussudio”); and then, there are songs that I abso-bleeping-lutely LOVED LOVED LOVED the first time I heard it and still effing LOVE LOVE LOVE, including David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” INXS’ “The One Thing,” U2’s “Desire” and one of my all-time favorites, “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring. 

My introduction to the Dutch band Golden Earring was like most folks – the 1973 hit, “Radar Love,” though it was years after its release when “Radar Love” caught my ear.  And, BTW, if there are any radio programmers of classic rock stations out there reading this post, cut it out with the bullshit edited versions of songs like “Radar Love” already!?!  The album version is only a minute and 14 seconds longer, c’mon!  Play the whole thing dammit!  I shouldn’t have to get angry about this shit.

Sorry, got sidetracked there.  “Twilight Zone” (from Golden Earring’s 16th album, CUT) was released in late Summer 1982, and was actually inspired by the 1980 Robert Ludlum novel (and later, the Matt Damon film), THE BOURNE IDENTITY. 

twilight zoneAfter reaching No. 1 in their Holland homeland back in September 1982 and No. 5 in Belgium, “Twilight Zone” found its way here to the U.S. in late 1982, and the BILLBOARD Top 40 on the Hot 100 in late January 1983.  I bought the 45 as soon as I was able, and loved all 4 minutes and 44 seconds of it.  Then I heard the 8-minute album version.  Ho-ly shit!  I mean, the way the single version was edited was smart and it worked, as “Twilight Zone” spent a couple of weeks at No. 10 on the Hot 100 in late March / early April 1983, and spent over half a year on the chart.

I confess that the album version of “Twilight Zone” doesn’t ever stray too far from me.  Similar to the kick-ass drum solo in “Radar Love,” whenever I hear the 2-minute-plus bass and guitar solos in “Twilight Zone,” the volume gets cranked, the air guitar kicks in, my head starts banging about, and if I’m listening to this in the car, anyone who happens to be in the car will risk serious embarrassment being next to me.  I can’t help it.  I’ve been digging this song for 33 years, and every time, it’ll bring me back to my 16-year-old self.  Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be with me, you know, when I step into the “Twilight Zone”…  

golden earring


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