Twilight Zone (Golden Earring song)

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"Twilight Zone"
Single by Golden Earring
from the album Cut
Released 1982
Format 7" (45 RPM)
Genre Hard rock, space rock
Length 7:58 (album version)[1]
4:49 (single)
Writer(s) George Kooymans
Music sample

"Twilight Zone" is a 1982 hit by the Dutch band Golden Earring. It was written by the band's guitarist George Kooymans, who got the inspiration from a book by Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Identity. "Twilight Zone" appears on their 1982 album Cut. It was the group's sole Top 10 Pop single on the US Billboard Hot 100 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart, the band's only No. 1 hit in America.[2]

The spoken lines in the introduction, the first verse (ending with "the gun is still warm") and the chorus are performed by Kooymans, while Barry Hay sings the lead vocal part for the verses throughout.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Dick Maas, features a storyline with lead singer Barry Hay as an espionage agent who is inevitably apprehended by three henchmen (played by the other members of the band).

The music video was one of the first to feature a cinematic storyline and dance choreography and was a hit on the fledgeling MTV network, helping the song to become the second international hit for the band. Golden Earring followed the success with an extensive tour of the USA, Canada and Europe. MTV commissioned the band to shoot a movie of the final 'homecoming' concert of the tour in the Netherlands. The concert film, also directed by Dick Maas, included a brief introductory segment which was a parody of the TV series The Twilight Zone. The concert was released in 1984 as Live from The Twilight Zone, aired on MTV and published as video and DVD. To date this concert is regarded as one of the best live shows of the band.

The Cut album cover's iconic image of the jack of diamonds playing card being shredded by a bullet is used in the video and represents the life of the rogue agent.

The original version of the "Twilight Zone" video was censored by MTV because of a shot of a topless female "hitman" in a hotel room.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

"Twilight Zone" was used as the theme song in the 1993 hit pinball game, "The Twilight Zone" (based on the classic TV series), made by Midway Manufacturing Company under the "Bally" label.[4]

"Twilight Zone" is used as the theme song for the radio news show Wall Street Journal This Morning.[5]

"Twilight Zone" was featured in the FX drama, The Americans (2013 TV series), during the season finale of the second season.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
Dutch Top 40[6] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 10
US Billboard Top Tracks[7] 1
Can RPM Magazine 12

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This song length refers to the full album version. The edited single version was 4:49.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits',' 9th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 259.
  3. ^ Thelen, Christopher (29 March 1998). "Cut: Golden Earring". Daily Vault. Retrieved 2009-05-10. The video for this track is probably more notable for the one scene featuring a topless female for all of one or two seconds - then again, what was shocking in 1982 in the world of music videos would hardly cause any notice in 1998. 
  4. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Midway Twilight Zone". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  5. ^ "WSJ This Morning". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 37, 1982". Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  7. ^ a b Golden Earring Billboard Singles Charts Performance at Allmusic

External links[edit]