Golden Earring – Radar Love

I’ve heard this one a lot but I still love that simple bass line that drives the song. They did manage to get 8 songs in the Billboard 100 but with only two top twenty hits. Radar Love is a great driving song.

This song peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 and #7 in the UK in 1973.

Golden Earring was founded 1961 and into the ’00s was still playing with the same lineup since 1970, doing 100+ shows a year in The Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The group is from The Netherlands, where this was a #1 hit. They had only one other hit. It didn’t come until 1982, with “Twilight Zone.”

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the band, Golden Earring recorded a new track in October 2019, titled “Say When”

The time signatures to this song are quite different than your normal songs. I found this about it…so Jeremy if you are reading…you might be interested.

The song is all in 4/4 time, and the original tempo is around 100 BPM. It’s a very clever arrangement: the intro is on the beat of each bar at the start. The shuffle on the snare is semi triplets which give the illusion of the song speeding up. You have to quantize drum machines to a 6th beat. Consequently, the chorus is doubled up to give the impression that the tempo has speeded up to 200 BPM. You have to transpose the 4/4 bar so it can be played with in 1 beat of the bar. It does take a bit of lateral thinking to get your head around the math, but the song is all 4/4 at 100 BPM. 


From Songfacts

Before you could send a text message or call someone in their car, there was no way to communicate to a driver – unless you had a certain telepathic love that could convey from a distance your desire to be with that person, something you might call – Radar Love. In this song, the guy has been driving all night, but keeps pushing the pedal because he just knows that his baby wants him home.

Like many of Golden Earring’s songs, this began with the title and grew from there. Originally intended only as an album track, it turned out to be the only cut on their US debut album Moontan that they could whittle down to a single for radio. It became their showstopper at concerts, and provided a striking moment for their drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk, who would take a few steps back and leap at the drum kit near the end of the song.

This song is featured in the movie Detroit Rock City, about four teenage boys and their struggle to finally see the band KISS play live.

White Lion had a minor hit with their cover of this in 1989.

UK radio station Planet Rock carried out a survey of their listeners in 2011 regarding their favourite tracks for in-car listening. This song came out top with Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” the runner-up and AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” in third place.

The line, “The radio’s playing some forgotten song, Brenda Lee’s coming on strong” is a reference to the 1966 Brenda Lee song “Coming On Strong,” which made #11 US. 

Radar Love

I’ve been drivin’ all night, my hands are wet on the wheel
There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel
My baby call said I need you here
It’s half past four and I’m shifting gears

When she gets lonely and the longing gets too much
She sends a cable coming in from above
Don’t need a phone at all
We got a thing that’s called radar love
We got a wave in the air
Radar love

The radio’s playin’ some forgotten song
Revelry’s coming on strong
The road has got me hypnotized
As I spin into a new sunrise

When I get lonely and I’m sure I’ve had enough
She sends comfort coming in from above
Don’t need no letters at all
We got a thing that’s called radar love
We got a line in the sky

No more speed I’m almost there
Gotta keep cool, now, gotta take care
Last car to pass, here I go
The line of cars drove down real slow
The radio plays that forgotten song
Brenda Lee’s coming on strong
The news man sang his same song
One more radar lover gone

When I’m feeling lonely and I’m sure I’ve had enough
She sends the comfort coming in from above
Don’t need no radio at all
We got a thing that’s called radar love
We got a light in the sky
We got a thing and its called radar love
We got a thing that’s called
Radar love

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

12 thoughts on “Golden Earring – Radar Love”

    1. Off topic…
      You may already know but a John Entwistle book is being released April 7…and the audio version March 15… by Paul Rees

      The Ox: The Last of the Great Rock Stars: The Authorised Biography of The Who’s John Entwistle


  1. honestly never much liked this one nor their other big hit, but have to give them credit for breaking into a foreign language market and having two hits stand the test of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is like THE best driving song in the world. I like Twilight Zone, too. It’s amazing that the two songs they are known for are nearly a decade apart with two completely different sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: