I have to admit that until recently, I didn’t know any song by Golden Earring other than Radar Love. I didn’t even realize I had heard this song till I clicked on the video. They are good. They also put a lot of effort into their videos from the get-go with MTV.
This must have been something to see back in 1982 when this was far from the norm. Oh, and if you thought they might tone this down for later videos, then you’d be wrong. They only upped the ante. Turn The World Around has people in a concentration camp, people who have been hung, people being tortured, a black man being perpetually being beaten by cops, Jesus being crowned while Hitler is in the foreground snapping his fingers to the song, and much like this video, it has two different dimensions–the one in which the dark stuff is going on, and a bright, colorful, and otherworldly one. These videos remind me of Italian Comedy like Seven Beauties (1975). The dancers look like they belong in The Damned (1969) or The Night Porter (1974).
Here’s one tiny tangent since I mentioned Seven Beauties. I really hope Nathaniel R of The Film Experience is just ignorant of Italian Comedy and Lina Wertmüller because otherwise, getting a chance to see Seven Beauties is a “rare opportunity,” as he wrote in a recent blog post. If true, it’s a sad world when that film is a rare thing to see. That’s supposed to be reserved for things like Out 1: Spectre (1972), The Art Of Vision (1965), Douce (1943), and Rocker (1972), to name more mainstream films.
If you didn’t already know who Golden Earring is, then you might have guessed that they are from the Netherlands based on the name of the director. You’d be right. That means they did work with Anton Corbijn on a music video. It was for the song Quiet Eyes. Corbijn being the one who took credit for the singing ravens on the crucifix in the video for Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana. He chalked it up to “Dutch humor.” I took a class in college on the history of the Netherlands. I don’t remember a section on Dutch humor.
Then again, I probably should have known, seeing as Turkish Delight (1973) has Rutger Hauer wear a pubic hair mustache and The Dark Room Of Damocles (1963) has the lowly shop merchant dragged off as a traitor to his people after WWII even though he may or may not have been led into doing missions he thought would help his people by a secret agent–who is seen at the end living the high-life. Also, Water Power (1976) didn’t have to be edited for its release in the Netherlands, whereas it was in the United States. I guess it shouldn’t come as an surprise to me that these are the kind of videos a Dutch band would make.
Nevertheless, I’m impressed. And yes, the topless nudity was censored at the time. If Wikipedia is to be believed, then the injection scene was also censored. My favorite scene is when the little girl turns toward the camera and stares at you for awhile. It’s a nice little touch.
The song itself was apparently not inspired by the TV Show. It was based off of Robert Ludum’s book The Bourne Identity. That would explain the spy storyline.
30 Days Of Surrealism:
- Street Of Dreams by Rainbow (1983, dir. Storm Thorgerson)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Children by Dio (1985, dir. Daniel Kleinman)
- The Thin Wall by Ultravox (1981, dir. Russell Mulcahy)
- Take Me Away by Blue Öyster Cult (1983, dir. Richard Casey)
- Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler (1984, dir. ???)
- Do It Again by Wall Of Voodoo (1987, dir. ???)
- The Look Of Love by ABC (1982, dir. Brian Grant)
- Eyes Without A Face by Billy Idol (1984, dir. David Mallet)
- Somebody New by Joywave (2015, dir. Keith Schofield)