Garage-rockin’ record-collector recidivists will call this one an easy layup, but most U.S. rock fans living outside that niche fraternity are (probably blissfully) unaware that the Dutch rock band Golden Earring was more than the sum of “Radar Love” and “Twilight Zone.” In fact, they formed way back in 1961 in their early teens as the Golden Earrings.Á‚ There was a long trail of obscure recordings en route to their 18-minute psych-fest cover of the Byrds’ “Eight Miles High” in ’69, which earned the band its first international, er, notoriety and coincided with them becoming singular, so to speak, dropping the S from the end of their name.
Enter us garage-rock geeks, who love uncovering “before they were stars” recordings from legit bands. Why do we do this? Because there’s a lot of totally obscure crap out there that was never a hit for good reason — it sucked. So when a band had a major hit or two later in life, chances are their youthful stabs at rawk were better than the stuff made by their peers, who realized their true calling involved not musical endeavors but stuff like accounting, garbage collecting, tuna fishing, and rock blogging.
With that, I give you the Golden Earrings’ “That Day” and its semi-related spin-off recording, “Things Go Better (With Coca-Cola),” both off Rubble Collection, Volume 9, the mammoth 20-CD collection of Euro-garage that every true rock fan should hear before dying.