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Twilight Zone ~ Golden Earring

golden-earringGolden Earring is a Dutch rock band, founded in 1961 in The Hague as the Golden Earrings (the “s” was dropped in 1969). They achieved worldwide fame with their international hit songs “Radar Love” in 1973, which went to number one on the Dutch charts, reached the top ten in the UK and went to number thirteen on the US charts,  “Twilight Zone” in 1982, and “When the Lady Smiles” in 1984. During their career they had nearly 30 top-ten singles on the Dutch charts; over the years they produced 25 studio albums. The band’s lineup currently consists of co-founders Rinus Gerritsen (bass and keyboards) and George Kooymans (vocals and guitar), along with Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone), and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion). All musicians in the present lineup of the band have been continuous members of the band since 1970, although other musicians have joined and left the band during the intervening years.

What became Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbor, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called the Tornados, the name was changed to The Golden Earrings when they discovered that the name The Tornados was already in use by another group. The name The Golden Earrings was taken from an instrumental called “Golden Earrings” performed by the British group The Hunters, for whom they served as opening and closing act. Initially a pop-rock band with Frans Krassenburg on lead vocals and Jaap Eggermont on drums, The Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their debut single “Please Go”, recorded in 1965. It became a hit on the charts in the Netherlands. While The Beatles had what some have called their “Fifth Beatle” in George Martin, the Golden Earrings often used session pianist Cees Schrama on their records. Dissatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band’s manager and co-discoverer Fred Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at the Pye Records studios in London. The record cut at Pye, “That Day”, reached number two on the Dutch charts.

In 1967, Barry Hay joined the band, replacing Krassenburg as frontman for the group. The following year, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the song “Dong Dong Diki Digi Dong”. In the United States, ground work for entering the U.S. market was being laid by East Coast FM radio disc jockey and music critic Neil Kempfer-Stocker, who is credited as the first radio DJ to play the band in the U.S. This single was followed by a successful psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an 18-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of the 1966 hit song by The Byrds.  The live version, which could last 45 minutes, was played during their first and second American tours in 1969. The band’s American records at this time period were issued by the Perception Records label in New York, and the band’s Golden Earring LP, known as Wall of Dolls, and single “Back Home” performed poorly in the U.S. but became a number 1 hit in the Netherlands.

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone” is a 1982 hit by the Dutch band Golden Earring. It was written by the band’s guitarist George Kooymans, who got the inspiration from a book by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity. “Twilight Zone” appears on their 1982 album Cut and pays tribute to the 1960s television series The Twilight Zone. It was the group’s sole Top 10 Pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart, the band’s only No. 1 hit in America.

The spoken lines in the introduction and first verse (ending with “the gun is still warm”) and the backing vocals in the chorus are performed by Kooymans, while Barry Hay sings the lead vocal part for the verses throughout.

In the 1990s, the song was included on a volume of Rhino Records’ New Wave Hits of the ’80s series. The music video was featured on Volume One of the VHS companion compilation.

In popular culture

“Twilight Zone” was used as the theme song in the 1993 hit pinball game The Twilight Zone (based on the classic TV series), made by Midway Manufacturing Company under the “Bally” label.

“Twilight Zone” is used as the theme song for the radio news show Wall Street Journal This Morning.

“Twilight Zone” was featured in the FX drama The Americans, during the second season finale.

The song plays during the credits of Team Four Star’s abridged version of Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone.

“Twilight Zone” was featured in the 2012 movie End of Watch.

“Twilight Zone” was featured in the “Raid the Arcade” music mix in Ernest Cline’s novel, Armada.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. used it as an entrance song whenever possible during the 2013 season.

Twilight Zone – Kooymans

(somewhere in a lonely hotel room,
There’s a guy starting to realize
That eternal fate has turned its back on him,
It’s two a.m………..)

It’s two a.m., the fear has gone
I’m sittin’ here waitin’, the gun still warm
Maybe my connection is tired of takin’ chances
Yeah there’s a storm on the loose, sirens in my head
I’m wrapped up in silence, all circuits are dead
I cannot decode, my whole life spins into a frenzy

Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
Soon you will come to know,
When the bullet hits the bone
Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone

I’m falling down a spiral, destination unknown
A double-crossed messenger, all alone
I can’t get no connection, can’t get through, where are you
Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind
This far from the borderline
And when the hit man comes
He knows damn well he has been cheated

Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far
Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone
Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone

  • Audio from the 1982 album, Cut:

Golden_Earring_-_Cut

Play Twilight Zone - by Golden Earring