Song of the Week

EHSDA Song of the Week: Radar Love

As Distracted Driving Awareness Month comes to close, the EHS Daily Advisor Song of the Week is going back to the mid-’70s for a classic rock staple: Golden Earring’s “Radar Love.”

Released in 1973 in the band’s homeland the Netherlands and the U.K. and in 1974 in the U.S., “Radar Love” is considered one of the greatest driving songs ever. The song is on the band’s ninth album Moontan.

The song’s protagonist feels he has a telepathic connection to his lover, who he has been separated from, and he’s speeding down the highway to get home to her.

“I’ve been driving all night, my hands wet on the wheel/There’s a voice in my head that drives my heel/It’s my baby callin’, saying, ‘I need you here’/And it’s half past four and I’m shiftin’ gears/When she is lonely and the longing gets too much/She sends a cable coming in from above/Don’t need no phone at all/We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love.”

The driver is distracted by the need to get home and he keeps speeding recklessly until he passes a car and crashes, dying. But the two lovers still have that radar love connection.

Musically, the song is powered by its pumping bass line and killer riff. It was a big hit for Golden Earring, who had been around since the early ’60s but were relative unknowns in the U.S. “Radar Love” went to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the band toured the U.S., with new acts like KISS and Aerosmith opening for them.

It took another eight years before they scored another U.S. hit with “Twilight Zone” in 1982 and again two years later with “When the Lady Smiles.” Golden Earring continued releasing albums and touring until 2021, when they called it quits after guitarist George Kooymans fell ill.

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