Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Golden Earring - N.E.W.S.

Today (February 11th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of N.E.W.S., the seventeenth studio album from Golden Earring. This one peaked at number 107 on the US Billboard Album chart, yet it went all the way to number 1 in the Netherlands from where the band hailed.

Side one begins with "Clear Night Moonlight", which hit number 13 in Belgium and number 6 in the Netherlands. This one has a strong beat and a funky rhythm to it; it was definitely not what I was expecting at all but I liked it.

"When the Lady Smiles", the first single, went to number 76 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 3 in Canada, and number 1 in Belgium and the Netherlands. I honestly do not recall this arousing rocker at all; if it played much on the radio here in the States it must have come and gone very quickly. The video on MTV featuring controversial imagery pushed it into a post-midnight showing (until an edited version could be put together).

"Enough Is Enough" features very distinct imagery in the lyrics and a catchy musical arrangement. This might have made a good single.

The band switches back to a funk-filled grind for "Fist in Glove".

Side two starts with "Mission Impossible", a track that seems a sibling to their hit "Twilight Zone" from their 1982 album Cut (click here for that review). Ironically, both songs share titles with classic American television shows. Coincidence? Perhaps.

"I'll Make It All Up To You" is next. I like the strong bass line here.
The title track "N.E.W.S.", which stands for the four directions on a compass, went to number 48 in the Netherlands. It makes a commentary on world situations, set to a driving beat. It is a shame this one didn't get much play in the US as a single because I think it could have done well also.

The album closes with "It's Over Now", a calling-it-quits rocker.

The later CD release of the album shuffled around the tracks on the second half and also added a tune called "Orwell's Year", a fitting song for a 1984 released album. It was the B-side to the first single.

N.E.W.S. was very much new to me as of this review. The guys from Golden Earring play around with a couple different styles here with some good results. This is definitely one of those forgotten 80's records that deserve to be dusted off for a spin. You can check it out over on Spotify if you are interested.

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