Twilight Zone (Golden Earring song)

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"Twilight Zone"
Golden Earring - Twilight Zone single.jpg
Single by Golden Earring
from the album Cut
B-side "King Dark"
Released

November 1982 (U.S.)

July 10, 1982 (International)
Format 7" (45 RPM)
Genre Rock
Length 7:58 (album version)[1]
4:49 (single)
Label 21/Polygram
Songwriter(s) George Kooymans
Producer(s) Schell Schellekens
Audio sample

"Twilight Zone" is a 1982 hit by 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 and pays tribute to the 1960s television series The Twilight Zone. It spent more than half a year (27 weeks) on the U.S. Pop charts. 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 and first verse (ending with "the gun is still warm") and the backing vocals in the chorus are performed by Barry Hay. Hay also sings lead on the second half of the verses. Kooymans sings the lead for the first half of the verses and the lead in the chorus.

In the 1990s, the song was included on a volume of Rhino Records' New Wave Hits of the '80s series. The music video was featured on Volume One of the VHS companion compilation.

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Dick Maas, features a storyline with lead singer Barry Hay as an espionage agent who is 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 fledgling 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 an extension of the Twilight Zone video. The concert was released in 1984 as Live from The Twilight Zone along with an album of the concert titled Something Heavy Going Down: Live From The Twilight Zone, it aired on MTV and was published as video on VHS, Beta and Laserdisc. To date this concert is regarded as one of the band's best live shows.[citation needed]

The Cut album cover's 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 and the injection of a syringe at the end of the dance sequence.[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.[citation needed]

"Twilight Zone" was featured in the FX drama The Americans, during the second season finale.

The song plays during the credits of Team Four Star's abridged version of Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone.

"Twilight Zone" was featured in the 2012 movie End of Watch.

"Twilight Zone" was featured in the "Raid the Arcade" music mix in Ernest Cline's novel, Armada.

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. used it as an entrance song whenever possible during the 2013 season.

The song was also frequently played as bumper music by paranormal talk radio host Art Bell on his shows.

Chart performance[edit]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 37, 1982". Retrieved 2008-02-18. 
  6. ^ a b Golden Earring Billboard Singles Charts Performance at AllMusic
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 39, No. 17, December 24 1983". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  8. ^ Musicoutfitters.com

External links[edit]