Tag Archives: Playboy

45: “Memories” w/ “From the End Till the Beginning” by Earth and Fire. Polydor 2050 179. German edition. Recorded in 1972.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Earth and Fire were formed in 1968 by brothers Chris (guitar) and Gerard (keyboards) Koerts. Vocalist Jerney Kaagman joined in 1969, and drummer Ton van der Kleij joined in 1970. Once this lineup was established, the hits began.

At least, they did in Europe. A number of the 45s that I’m surveying at the archive right now seem to be German Polydor discs from the early 1970’s. Which is not to say that they are all from German artists—they’re German editions of artists from all over Europe, and occasionally the States. Earth and Fire were Dutch. “Seasons” gives a good example of the their early sound.

As does “Ruby Is the One.”

Lip syncing fails are always embarrassing, but in my opinion, drum syncing fails (2:27) are even worse.  Of course, that’s probably because I’m a drummer.

Their sound at this point is often referred to as Progressive Rock, but it sounds more like the Psychedelic rock of Jefferson Airplane than anything by King Crimson or Supersister. It’s just good, solid, post-Woodstock rock music. As is “Invitation,” from 1971’s Song of the Marching Children.

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45: “This Guy’s In Love With You” b/w “A Lonely Tear” by Herb Alpert. A&M 210 029. Recorded in Hollywood, 1968.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Image courtesy of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archive of Recorded Sound.

Anyone who has ever flipped through a box of LP’s at a thrift store has seen it: a gorgeous woman in a pile of whipped cream, licking a bit of it off of her finger. If you got past the image and to the words on the cover, you saw that the album was called Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass. It was symbolic of the decadent, swinging lifestyle espoused in Playboy magazine; you get the impression that every bachelor worth his single malt scotch would have this cued up on his Hi-Fi, ready to set the mood for seduction.

This may all be true. And discovering this 45 in the Archive certainly did little to dispel that impression. But Herb Alpert was also the A in A&M Records, a label that introduced the world to artists as varied as Sergio Mendes, The Carpenters, Styx, and The Police. Continue reading

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