Writer(s): George Kooymans, Barry Hay (see lyrics here)
Released: August 4, 1973
First Charted: December 8, 1973
Peak: 13 US, 10 CB, 9 HR, 7 RR, 1 CL, 7 UK, 10 CN, 10 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.25 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 32.7 video, 141.04 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“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.” SF
“Radar Love” is certainly in the running as one of the ultimate driving songs. In 2011, it topped a survey done by UK radio station Planet Rock of favorite songs to listen to in the car. SF “Built around an insistent rhythm and riff, the song rides alongside its protagonist, who has been ‘driving all night, hands wet on the wheel’ while listening to Brenda Lee’s ‘Comin’ on Strong’ – a pretty driving little number itself.” UCR
The band Golden Earring formed in the Netherlands in 1961 and “had been releasing a string of fantastic records for nearly a decade, but nothing that took hold in the U.S. market. Their…1973 album Moontan changed that, as FM radio began spinning cuts like ‘Vanilla Queen’ and ‘Candy’s Going Bad.’” UCR Of course, it was with the “driving rocker ‘Radar Love’” UCR that “Golden Earring drove into full view of the U.S. record-buying public.” UCR
The song reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, but fared even better on the three major U.S. competitors (Cashbox, Hit Records, Radio & Records) in the pop chart world, hitting the top ten on all three of them. It was also a top-10 hit in the UK, Australia, and Canada. The song also hit #1 in the band’s native Netherlands as well as Belgium and Germany. SF Their only other top-40 hit in the United States was 1982’s “Twilight Zone,” a #10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song has been covered more than 250 times by notables such as Bryan Adams, Crowded House, Def Leppard, R.E.M., Santana, and U2. White Lion charted with their cover of the song in 1989 (#59). It has also been used in TV shows The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, and My Name Is Earl. It was also used in the movies The Break-Up, Pushing Tin, and Wayne’s World 2.
First posted 7/24/2022.