Friday, 17 August 2012

Golden Earache

Written by Victor Young, Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the eponymous 1947 Marlene Dietrich movie, Golden Earrings is a classic which has been covered by everyone from Keith Jarrett, Dinah Shore and Peggy Lee (who had a number two hit in the US charts with the song in the same year as the film) to the Del Rubio Triplets.
Perhaps unsurprisingly another cover version made some 30 years after the original recording, failed to set the British charts alight. Listen to this and I’m sure you’ll understand why: who in their right mind thought this absurd recording would ever be a hit? It's throroughly insane - but I have to admit I absolutely love it.
You might have never heard of The Enid, the British rock band who are about to enter their 40th year of existence, but I’ll bet you at some point or another you’ve hummed, whistled or sang along to one of their performances: they may have a reputation for ridiculous, overblown prog-rock nonsense but they were also the backing band for Kim Wilde, playing the vast majority of the music on her debut album (Water on Glass, Kids in America).

Formed in 1974 by Robert John Godfrey, who had been the musical director for prog-rockers Barclay James Harvest, and John Francis Lickerish, the band released their first album, In the Region of the Summer Stars, in 1976, just as punk was tearing up the rule book. Their recording of Golden Earrings first appeared as an A-side the following year, around the time of their second album Aerie Faerie Nonsense, although the track did not appear on either album. The single bombed…yet for some warped reason EMI decided to re-issue it three years later as the B-side to another non-album single 665 The Great Bean (a re-recording of their earlier album track the Devil). It too sank without a trace.
The band, in various guises but always fronted by Robert John Godfrey, has continued to record (and perform) sporadically ever since: a farewell gig in 1988 proved to be a pause to their career rather than an end to it as the band reformed in 1995 and since then they have released several new albums. As far as I know none of them has included a re-recording of this piece of bombastic drivel.


  1. This song is GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!
    Although the chanting at the end loses some of the effect..

  2. This sounds like Skeletor from He-Man dropped acid with David Bowie and decided to sing some old show tunes. Genius!

  3. So over the top - love the "classical" piano at the 3:00 minute mark.

  4. It's so (knowingly) completely over the top it comes over the other side into bonkers genius territory - yes, even the "ear-rings" chanting at the end (to give the rest of the band the chance to give it their all vocally). This single is one of my most treasured possessions. newelectricmuse


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