BOX SET: GOLDEN EARRING - The Devil Made Me Do It (4 CD Box set)

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4 CD box, Dutch only release from 2000 which is amazing deep dive into one of the great 70s rock bands. This one features a treasure chest of rarities. Goes for $88 on Amazon.

Golden Earring are one of those great bands largely lost on American audiences. Most of their albums are only available on import and most Americans knowledge of the band does not go beyond "Radar Love". If you have not previously been exposed to these great Dutch rockers this box set is a perfect overview of their 35 year career.
Disc One titled "Hand's Wet On The Wheel" overviews their Sixties output which is quite folk influenced. Excellent songwriting and performances characterize this period of the band. Not heavy metal at all...very Beatles influenced. Starting with "Back Home" the band starts its Rock and Roll period...this track sounding like Jethro Tull crossed with early-era Who and Kinks. "Radar Love" and "Instant Poetry" close out the first disc and are unlike the preceding tracks. These tracks signal the entry of Golden Earring into their heavy metal period sounding like early Deep Purple or Uriah Heep.
Disc Two is entitled "I Do Rock And Roll" and chronicles 1975-1984 era Golden Earring. Perhaps this disc gives some indication of the reasons for Golden Earring's lack of Stateside success---the band being overly eclectic, some songs ("Just Like Vince Taylor") being country-influenced rock numbers, others sounding like straight ahead Who-influenced rock ("To The Hilt"), others sounding like Deep Purple {"Sleepwalkin'). All four members of the band are accomplished musicians and they tend to explore different textures and genres of rock....never settling into a "voice" for the band. Whereas bands like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Jethro Tull were easily recognizable, Golden Earring never developed a sound whereby you could identify any particular song as being a "Golden Earring song". The song "I Do Rock 'N' Roll" is a stripped down rocker sounding very much akin to prime Richard Thompson. The full 7:54 version of "Twilight Zone" appears on this disc (Earring's second best known song). The disc closes with several songs from their synthesizer seventies period...proving much less interesting than previous incarnations of the band.
Disc Three entitled "There Goes The Old Neighborhood" chronicles the period from 1986-2000. "Quiet Eyes" kicks things off...a very polished rock number sounding not unlike same period Scorpions (without the screaming vocals). "They Dance" is Golden Earring meets the Bangles. The band hits its stride beginning with "My Killer, My Shadow". That song and the following four show off the band as the mature accomplished outfit that they have become. Hard to imagine how these songs didn't catch on in the U.S. Any one of these would have sounded at home on American AOR radio. The disc follows with three live tracks proving that this band is now in the same league with the Who, Kinks, Stones....survivors of three and a half decades. The remainder of the disc is uniformly excellent....clearly there is way too much great material from this era to fit on this box set.
Disc Four entitled "From The Treasure Chest" contains outtakes and previously unreleased tracks and maintains the high quality of the preceding three discs covering every period of the band from 1966 to 2000.
If you do not own any Golden Earring discs this box set is THE place to start. If you already own several of the band's records you need the box set for the outtakes and unreleased tracks.
All in all this is an EXCELLENT box set. The essays are written in Dutch but the music is the point!