Golden 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, "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.
Despite the title of this two-CD set, WINGSPAN is actually a mix of Paul McCartney's solo songs and work created with his '70s band, divided into "Hits" and "History" discs. Material like "Silly Love Songs," "My Love," "Bluebird" and "Listen To What The Man Said" fully embraces Macca's reputation as the romantic, less intense half of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting juggernaut. While these fluffy smashes found many critics painting him as a pandering lightweight, McCartney also rocked the charts as hard as Lennon with numbers like "Band On The Run," "Jet," "Junior's Farm," and "Hi Hi Hi."
Fully 35 years after Open, to Love, Paul Bley's seminal solo piano recording for ECM (which stands as a watermark both in his own career and in the history of the label – i.e., unconsciously aiding Manfred Eicher in establishing its "sound"), the pianist returns to the label for another go at it on Solo in Mondsee. Recorded in Mondsee, Austria, in 2001, and not issued until Bley's 75th year, these numbered "Mondsee Variations" were played on a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano, an instrument that is, like its player, in a class of its own. Bley moves through ten improvisations lasting between two and just under nine minutes each.
Desert Poems both consolidates and expands Stephan Micus's solo quest to fashion a music of archetypal, world-ranging import: music–often modal in nature–which would be both as old as the proverbial hills, yet as fresh as tomorrow. If you've followed this multi-instrumentalist's musical odyssey of the past 30-or-so years (this is something like his 15th solo project) you probably won't need any encouragement to buy an album that finds Micus's mastery of such instruments as the sarangi, nay, shakahuchi, steel drum and humble flower pot enhanced by a range of solo and polyphonic vocals. His pan-global sources are filtered to create a somewhat sombre, strongly devotional sense of the deeper rhythms of life to which music may awaken us. Apart from the vocalising on pieces like "Contessa Entellina", standout tracks include the solo shakuhachi feature "First Snow" and an instrumental reworking of "Shen Khar Venakhi", a masterpiece of old Georgian polyphony.