Record #344: Golden Earring – Moontan (US) (1973)

Don’t be fooled by lead single “Radar Love” and commercial rock radio’s continued play of it: this album isn’t your typical classic rock fare…
There are bits and pieces of straight forward, macho, dad rock, sure, but most of the record is the sort of open-ended, spaced out sections that mark all the best psychedelic works. “Big Tree, Blue Sea” (exclusive inserts a five minute instrumental section laden with sleepy flute and guitar solos in between codas. The nine and a half minute Are You Receiving Me is half psych noodling, half balls-to-the-wall rock anthem (and is also one of the greatest psychedelic rock songs ever, in my opinion). 
Their ability to rock out while leaving space for sonic exploration is aided by the North American release, which wisely replaces the shorter, more straightforward Suzy Lucy (Mental Rock) and Just Like Vince Taylor with the eight minute Big Tree, Blue Sky. While I usually oppose adjusting the track listing between releases, in this case, it was the right move. The label’s meddling here transformed Moontan from a pretty decent psych-rock album with a few choice cuts into a sprawling psychedlic epic that stands toe to toe with Pink Floyd’s Meddle and King Crimson’s In The Court of the Crimson King in the upper echelons of psych greatness. 

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