Saturday, November 5, 2016

"When the Lady Smiles" by Golden Earring

Song#:  1840
Date:  03/24/1984
Debut:  84
Peak:  76
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Nearly a decade after getting their first US chart entry, this Dutch band finally reached the Pop Top 10 with "Twilight Zone" (#10). The hit sent their album Cut to #24, which was their second best showing on that chart. Once again, they were poised to break wider in the US and hopes were high for this first single from their next LP N.E.W.S. The song did well at Rock reaching #9, but Pop didn't latch onto it and the single folded after a month in the bottom quarter of the chart. Of course, it was a big hit in their home country becoming their fifth #1. The album would be their sixth to top the chart there. Unfortunately, the lack of a hit single doomed the LP in the States and it disappeared quickly. This song would be the band's last one to reach the US Pop chart. They would continue to chart in their home country over the years with their 2012 album Tits 'n Ass becoming their seventh #1.

ReduxReview:  Regardless of the controversy about the video (see below), this was not going to be a Pop hit. Rock radio, yes, it would do well. But the song is just not strong enough to compete with the hook-laden top Pop hits of the day. There is a lot of good things happening with the song, yet I don't find it all that memorable. The production is top-notch and it sounds like it should be something really good. However, I'm just not catching on to it. They can blame the video all they want, but in the end, if you have a great song it will find an audience and sell. This just wasn't one of those songs.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Even though this song would end up getting to #3 in Canada, it was a no-go in the States. The blame for the single's performance was placed squarely on its video. It seems that MTV was not pleased with the video's content, which had band member Barry Hay playing a guy who was molesting women because he though they all looked like a beautiful redhead that was in his mind. Unfortunately, one of the women he attacks is a nun. Hay rips open her habit and starts kissing her, etc. This certainly didn't sit well with MTV and they refused to play the video unless cuts were made. In addition, there was also a part near the end where Hay's brain is operated on and a small portion is removed. This bit of brain is then tossed to a dog as a treat. The video was edited, but still MTV thought it was all a bit too much for a prime time audience and it would only get played after midnight. With practically zero support from MTV and little other promotion, the single sank.  2)  When Hillary Clinton was first running for the White House in 2008, her campaign folks began using this song at some of her rallies. Unfortunately, what Clinton's folks didn't do was check the history of the song and watch the video. Even the band when they found out their song was being used was a bit mystified by the choice. After discovering the contents of the video, the song was dropped from the campaign playlist.



  1. One of your few 0 rated songs. I can't wait to read your scathing review....."There is a lot of good things happening with the song, yet I don't find it all that memorable." What?

    1. Ha! Oops. Must have been in a rush and forgot to fill out the rating. Not the first time I've done that! Fixed - thanks for catching that!