My Favorite Record #3

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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