16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2006
I originally picked this album up in a budget bin in 1979 or 1980. They were phasing out 8 track tape players and everyone was converting to cassette tapes. My 1969 Olds Cutlass still had an 8 track player in it, so I was grabbing-up 8 track tapes for 99 cents each. Out of all the 8 tracks I picked up like that, this was the best one. After listening to this album, I became a big Golden Earring fan, and since then I have snatched up almost all their albums over the years (paying much more than 99 cents a piece because you could only get them as imports).
I can understand why this album did not do well as a follow-up to Moontan. In my opinion, Moontan is Golden Earring's best album, but Switch really grows on you. It just didn't have any hits and it doesn't have any hard rockers on it. But like I said, it really grows on you, and I would recommend it to anyone that wants to explore the Golden Earring sound beyound Radar Love or Twilight Zone.
One of the real problems with Golden Earring's album library is that their best of album "The Continuing Story of Radar Love" is truly flawed and the new "The Devil Made Me Do It" isn't any better. First of all the Continuing Story of Radar Love doesn't have "When the Lady Smiles" a sensational tune if you haven't heard it (and an even better video). And secondly, it doesn't have enough songs from Moontan, Switch, and Grab It for Second. They should release a 2 disc best of set, with the first disc concentrating on their 70's output (forget the 60's but maybe put the live version of Eight Miles High on it) and the second disc concentrating on their 80's (and maybe some 90's) output. Anyway, I don't think it's going to happen, so that's why I'm buying up the remastered versions of most of their albums.
I've heard some people say that Golden Earring is just a 2 hit wonder, and although that may be technically correct, if you are just listening to the hits then you really are missing out on some genuinely great music (try "Are You Receiving Me?" from Moontan, "Tons of Time" from Switch, and "Against the Grain" from Grab It For a Second).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2006
When I first bought this album, I had to double check if it was the same band that I knew and loved from the 'Moontan' album. I was not impressed to say the least. But after it spent a couple of months in my 'unplayed' pile, I was telling someone about the album (and my disappointment) when songs from it started popping into my head. I dug it out and put it on when I got home, and it's like I heard it with a new set of ears. This was awesome!!!
Though the drums and bass always seem to hold up their end extremely well (Great work, Cesar and Rinus), it is George Kooymans lightning guitar work and Barry Hay's eclectic vocal stylings that propel this set. As a whole, it's more diverse and progressive than the Moontan album, and almost as flawless.
'Intro/Plus Minus Absurdio' is an instrumental showcase with Kooymans blazing his lead guitar work so fast that you may be tempted to slow the CD down just to take it all in. The song ends. and before you can catch your breath 'Love is a Rodeo' blasts in with an energy all its' own - it really rocks. 'The Switch' starts out with a sort of jazz feel to it, and changes gears back and forth from that to straight-ahead rock and back again. It's quite catchy.
'Ce Soir' is the most dramatic song on the CD, and sort of a throwback to their 'Moontan' style. The way that the song builds in volume and intensity is just plain gripping. 'Tons of Time' has sort of a reggae feel to it, and is a nice divrsion from some of the harder edge songs. 'Daddy's gonna Save My Soul' is probably my least favorite track. It starts out with a riff that sounds like it was twisted from 'Vanilla Queen', shifte aimlessly into a heavy guitar-laden verse, climbs a scale during the bridge, and has a chorus that doesn't go anywhere. Despite all this, it
is not a truly bad song, but it pales compared with the rest of the set.
'Troubles and Hassles' greets us with a wall of rock on the verses, and then backs off teasingly when it hits the bridge. This song really stays with me for a long time after hearing it, it's quite infections. 'The Lonesome DJ' is a George Kooymans lamenting ballad that comes off as sincere and mournful, before finishing off with an uptempo rock ending that really works well.
While 'Switch' is not Golden Earring's best CD, it definitely is not far from it. This is a fine, ambitions set from a great rock band, and it is a pity that both the album and the artist are grossly underrated. Do yourself a favor, and give this album a listen.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2005
I bought this album in 1980 while on a Golden Earring binge. I was a happy man when I first slapped it on the turn table and it started to play. "Plus Minus Absurdio" is a great opening track, followed briskly by "Love is a Rodeo." I love this track! The opening guitar has a deceptive pattern going, making you think that the rhythm to the song is something different than what it actually is. It's neat to hear it slot into place when everything else comes in. The timing on the high-hat isn't the usual thing either. Great track!!! I'm afraid I have to deviate from the opinions of everyone else here though, as "The Switch" and "Kill Me (Ce Soir)" do absolutely nothing for me. "Tons of Time" is a great track. Definitely a reggae groove on the verses, and an almost Wings sounding chorus. The chorus is pretty and playful sounding. "Daddy's Gonna Save My Soul" is also good. I always thought that songs with this "feel" to them seemed to bring out some of their best lyric writing. In this case, it's not the music as much as the lyrics that grab me, but I do like the music too. "Troubles and Hassles" is good also. Again, I like the lyrics alot. "The Lonesome D.J." is a pretty good song. It uses a great line to close a rock album with: "I might as well have a ball and play some rock & roll." "Moontan," "To the Hilt," "Long Blonde Animal," "Cut" and so on are stronger than this album, but this is by no means a dud either. It's very strong when listened to with most of it's contemporaries (1975). It's for that reason that it receives 5 big ones!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2003
This is a classic GE album, and might even be their best. Ce Soir (Kill Me) obviously gets a lot attention because it's a cool song. It starts out calm and mysterious, and builds up with a nice intensity. Not to skimp on classiness, the band throws in cellos and strings to flavor the song. Lead singer Barry Hay sounds reminiscient of Mick Jagger at times.
Another great song is Tons of Time. This was the opening track for Side 2 in the record days. It sort of has a reggae-rock feel to it. Love is a Rodeo and The Switch are also noteworthy. But really all the songs are good. The album almost comes across with a bit of a concept album feel too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2002
Golden earring is an amazing band.Almost 40 years non-stop of touring and releasing albums, and not a single bad one!
Of course some are better than others, some are CLASSICS- Moontan(70's),No promises no debts(late 70's)Cut(80's) or their incredible Live Albums(especially the 2nd LIVE).SWITCH is a more experimental than most of their albums, but contains some of the most creative songs of G.E and even of the 70's Hard rock bands.KILL ME (ce soir) is THE ULTIMATE G.E. song, a bizarre long hypnotizing track(ending with a wonderful guitar solo).
For that song only, Switch is worth the cost, but this is not the only gem on SWITCH, in fact each song has its own life and identity, it goes from classic rock Love 's Rodeo, Troubles and Hassles to lighter but exquisite rock-soul tunes-Switch, Tons of Time.Still the album doesn't sound like a musical patchwork, it remains very entire.
If you're looking for some classic Hard rock G.E. go for Moontan, Together, Seven tears, Grab it for a second or their latest releases.You'll find the exciting experimental G.E. on albums from the SWITCH period such as To the HILT or CONTRABAND (both 5 stars to me).SWITCH is the most experimental of all G.E.'s albums but it reaches a point of grand maturity.
If you don't know GOLDEN EARRING at all, I would also recommend a more classic album.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2005
I'll never understand why this album gets so many bad reviews. This is absolutely one of my favorite GE albums. I cannot listen to Love is a Rodeo without reaching for the volume control to crank it up. The intro, Kill Me (Ce Soir), the Switch, Lonesome DJ, etc. they're all great songs. I think too many people were expecting a repeat of their last album, but one of the things I love about this band is they never sound the same twice. Great album!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2003
One day, I was busy listening to 'Queen II' on LP when my friend's dad came down and took over the record player. I was ok with this....there was always other time. So he pulled out 'Switch' and started playing the A-side. I was stunned. It was terrific! I must have played that entire A-side until it skipped so bad it was unplayable. 'Love Is A Rodeo' and 'Kill Me (Ce Soir)' are undoubtably some of the best songs I have ever heard.
The only reason I gave this 4 stars was because I wasn't as impressed with the B-side. I mean, it wasn't BAD, but just not as great as the first side...which was, to me, incredible.
If you share the same tastes as me, then go ahead! :)
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2003
I have owned three copies of this album -- once on LP and twice on CD -- and I have always been disappointed by it. After selling it or having it stolen, I seem to buy it at ten-year intervals, half-hoping that I'll find something new and scintillating in 'Switch' that I missed on previous occasions.
But the sad fact is that after 'Moontan', 'Switch' was a terrible let-down, and Golden Earring suddenly had a lot of explaining to do. How could a band something so near-perfect as 'Moontan', with extended singles on Side 1 and the gig-like performances on Side 2, produce something so run-of-the-mill afterwards? Granted, tracks like 'Ce Soir' and 'Troubles' weren't half-bad, but whereas 'Moontan' showcased a band at the summit of achievement and maturity, 'Switch' seemed a retrogressive step, the sort of portfolio put together by a new band struggling to find their own style and form.
I believe Golden Earring always were arch-copyists. If you listen to albums of the time by the likes of Deep Purple, the Who, Argent etc, you can detect traces and influences that feed into this record, and indeed, 'Moontan'. There's nothing wrong with learning from other bands, but I feel Golden Earring should have trusted more in themselves to come up with the goods, rather than look to the US and particularly the UK for the styles they wanted to emulate.
This album claims to be remastered, but there's no strong evidence to my ears. The CD packaging is lamentable: gatefold inlay card, but the inside of the card are used entirely for an ad for other Earring albums on the Red Bullet label. I'm pretty sure the original LP came with a lyric sheet. This version of the CD doesn't even tell you who provided the orchestration, let alone who did the alleged remastering.
Basically what I'm saying is this album is OK, but if you only buy one Golden Earring album, ignore this and all the compilation albums and go straight for 'Moontan'. But make sure you buy the right 'Moontan' -- there is a rogue 'remastered' version that doesn't include all the original tracks.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
You know, over the years I've actually heard more classic albums from the 60's and 70's than I care to mention, and it never ceases to amaze me just how many of these great albums have completely missed the public's attention. Now in the case of Golden Earring, well let's be honest- ever since "Radar Love" (or "Twilight Zone" if you wish) they NEVER got the kind of appreciation in America they so rightly deserved. A band that's now celebrating 50 YEARS together and only a small amount of short term respect in the early 70's and early 80's. It's pretty unfair if you ask me.
However, I really wish people WOULD check into some of Golden Earring's older albums, and specifically Switch. I was honestly NOT expecting such a terrific album, but that's exactly what it is- terrific, creative, inventive, different, ahead of its time, a songwriting adventure, etc. It's everything I like about rock music.
I just got done hearing another early 70's album I consider a masterpiece (The Incredible String Band's U album) but Switch deserves the "masterpiece" tag as well. If you think Golden Earring is some typical forgettable hard rock band, forget it. These guys are like a combination of Blue Oyster Cult, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane. However there is most definitely something unique about these guys, despite some comparisons to more popular artists. It has to do with the lead singers style. His voice is just about perfect and does *exactly* what it should. He's got a pretty good range, too. An underrated rock singer.
However it's the slight experimenting that never feels like overkill and never feels like too little that REALLY blows me away about these guys. They never sound pretentious, and they never lose sight of a great melody or creative invention. Golden Earring does everything just right- that's why their lack of popularity over the years has really amazed me. Don't just assume they are some hard rock band that focuses on guitar riffs, drums and horns because that's only one small element to this groups style.
Anyway, Switch is truly a fantastic album. It begins with a song that goes by the title "Plus Minus Absurdio". Words can't even describe THIS songs weirdness! It's downright creepy and cool at the same time. The female vocals sung overtop some amazing guitar licks is just wonderful and actually reminds me of a Mahavishnu Orchestra song released around the same time. "Love is a Rodeo" and especially the title song contain REALLY catchy vocal melodies, garage rock-sounding guitar riffs, excellent guitar solos, and better songwriting than you'd ever imagine. Furthermore, the entire album contains songs that have REALLY good beats and top notch production.
"Kill Me (Ce Soir)" is a moody, slow paced song. The orchestration near the end is definitely on the creepy side, putting pictures in my head of walking through a forest during prehistoric times and witnessing wild and colorful vines rising to the surface. Great atmosphere too. A song like "Lonesome D.J." is just a fantastic pop song similar to the stuff the Tubes would do a year later. I was NOT expecting a straight forward well-written and highly memorable normal song from Golden Earring, but I shouldn't be surprised obviously. These guys can apparently do it all.
Overall yes, make the switch (hehe) from your typical classic rock albums and check THIS out. You'll love it. Golden Earring rocks, as does Lynyrd Skynyrd!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2012
Golden Earring "Switch" #108 (1975)
The follow up to the platinum "Moontan". "Switch", I think this is Golden Earring's best album, in their catalog. This has kind of a progressive sound, but it still sounds fresh 37 years on. It starts off with the instrumental "Intro: Plus Minus Absurdio". "Love Is A Rodeo", is a thrilling electric guitar workout, very Blue Oyster Cult like. The title track is killer, I can hear a little "Radar Love", here. "Kill Me (Ce Soir)", is a classic from GE, should of been a monster hit! (this is a mix tape dream song). "Daddy's Gonna Save My Soul", good rocker with nice piano by new member Robert Jan Stips. They get it going with "Troubles And Hassles" and end the album with the eloquent "Lonesome D.J." Great album ******.