My Favorite Record #3
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Earth & Fire: Weekend (Vertigo, 1979)

In the days before Shazam, I’d find my pockets full of restaurant napkins, scribbled with the lyrics I attempted to decipher from songs played in public. I first heard “Weekend” at a waffle restaurant in Amsterdam. The immediacy of the melodies and steel drums-intro cut through the crowd chatter, and I managed to catch the lyric “I don’t wanna be your lover for the weekend” (still my favorite part of the song). It turned out to be a massive hit by Dutch prog-rock band Earth & Fire, reaching #1 in Germany, Portugal, Denmark, and Switzerland as well as in their native Netherlands. Twin brothers Chris and Gerard Koerts founded the group in 1968. Singer Jerney Kaagman signed on a year later, and the band scored nine top ten hits throughout the ’70s, each getting progressively more pop. By 1979, Earth and Fire clearly got the memo that reggae was in, and managed to merge the ever-trendy style with melodies that even those disappointed with the band’s commercial direction couldn’t help but love. Some of you may recognize it by the 2003 cover from the very irritating German techno group, Scooter, who also took it into the top ten Europe-wide.

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