EARTH AND FIRE - Memories (2017)
The group Earth and Fire (originally Opus Gainfull) was founded in 1968 in the Hague by the Koerts twins, Chris (vocals, guitar; ex-Swinging Strings) and Gerard (guitar and keyboards, also ex-Swinging Strings); bassist Hans Ziech (ex-Soul), drummer Cees Kalis, and Lisette on vocals. All of them had had prior experience in music. Lisette soon became ill and had to leave the band; she was replaced by Jerney Kaagman in 1969. Kaagman had only sung in school bands prior to joining. Kalis was also replaced - by Ton van der Kleij (drums, ex-Summer) - in the following year. It was this line up of the band that supported Golden Earring on their tour. (George Kooymans landed Golden Earring their first hit in January 1970 with "Seasons".) With Chris Koerts as the principal songwriter, the band forged ahead with new original material. "Ruby is the one" and "Wild and exiting" became enormous hits in the group’s homeland. Their newfound success instantly brought so many booking requests that the band decided to turn professional. An unbreakable string of very successful hits followed with "Invitation" (71), "Storm and Thunder" (71), "Memories" (72), "Maybe Tomorrow Maybe Tonight" (73), "Love of Life" (74), "Only Time Will Tell" (75), "Thanks For The Love" (75), "What Difference Does It Make" (76) and "7, 8th Avenue" (77), as the fans noticed the group's material deviating from the hard-edged progressive rock sound towards mainstream 70s pop.
The band’s early hit singles were distinguished by the heavy use of mellotron, and they are generally considered to be the best of the bunch in Holland, and abroad. With later LPs, Earth and Fire lost some of their charm, compared to the earlier days, by sounding increasingly more poppy, mainstream, and pretentious, thus gradually losing most of their popularity towards 1977. However, through the years, the band evolved, rather than lost its identity.....
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