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Earth And Fire - Reality Fills Fantasy CD (album) cover


Earth And Fire

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars This may or may not be one of the first 'Digitally' recorded Earth & Fire Album in London. 'People Come, People Go' is the track which is the title one although not the title. It is a long track which the lyrics are years ahead about how we should treat each other and the state of the planet. 'Fire Of Love' another song I heard this time in the day on Radio Mi Amigo. 'Weekend' was available in the UK as a single but not many were sold a pity as the UK should have seen Earth & Fire in those days. 'Where Were You' has a fantastic false start which is almost a track in itself. As albums go it was a little short but again it was another Earth & Fire Album. I would miss not having this album as it can be turned up loud.
Report this review (#31588)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I'm not certain which is odder: "Reality Fills Fantasy" being reviewed here in the first place, or someone having given it a positive review.

Granted, Earth & Fire was a superb progressive rock band in its earlier days; and granted, most of the later pop-oriented albums contain at least some progressive moments. This, however, is the exception: "Reality Fills Fantasy", simply, is a disco record.

Earth & Fire was always a major influence on Abba, and it was little coincidence that both bands' fascination with disco saw them releasing a whole album in the style in 1979. Abba's "Voulez-Vous?" wasn't brilliant, either, but whereas Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus were versatile enough songwriters to turn their hand to most styles with aplomb, the Koerts twins here prove themselves incapable of writing good disco music.

Only the vaguely Jefferson Starship-like "Fire Of Love" is halfway listenable; the remainder (including the eleven minute opener "People Come, People Go", which one might expect to be the token progressive cut) is an assemblage of dreadful disco cliches, more dated and hackneyed today than a white suit with ten inch flares.

The album's defenders may cite the success of the reggae/pop single "Weekend", which reached number one in at least one European chart. Then again, the "Crazy Frog" ringtone is top of the pops here in the UK as I write this.

Report this review (#35324)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Easy Listening Prog

Under normal definition of prog music, Earth and Fire might not be one of styles that those other fellow progheads like Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, King Crimson etc. delivered their music. In fact this band has its own category which you might call it prog pop or other attributes with popular music. Remember Kayak? Kayak also delivers a bit of pop prog but in different pathway. Earth and Fire approaches their music in a way that pop music is augmented with a flavour of symphonic elements. I started to pay attention to this band when I first listened to their wonderful song ever: "Fanfare". Since then I explored other albums by the band. Not matching my expectation, actually, but I don't know why I keep collecting their albums. It's probably their music is quite unique.

From this album, you may agree with me that "Oeople Come, People Go" is a good track where the band really explores the symphonic elements and in fact a bit of jazz elements into the music. "Answer Me" does not sound like a stand-out track but when you look into deep on the subtleties it produces, you will find its beauty.

Overall, this is a good album that you have to have an open mind in accepting the kind of music this band delivers. I cannot find any band like Earth and Fire. For sure, they are not really pop outfit as they add more value to their music. But also, it's definitely not a regular (or normal) prog music that you might have expected. Anyway ... keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#126956)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars When you listen to an interview from Jerney about this record, she will say that they had a very hard time in those days. After the infamous "Gate To Infinity" their label Polydor "did not believe in our new project and we had to find another label to record it". I bet you !

We received an advance fee form another record company (Vertigo) so that we could pay the studio with it. We couldn't even pay the restaurant during these sessions (what did they do with all their money ?) so we were mostly cooking at the place of a band member (she wouldn't mention whom) who was living in the surroundings.

To pay as less possible for the recording (remember they are Dutch !), they repeated intensively so that less studio time would be needed. Still, she has a good souvenir from these sessions.

Now, about the "music". I have to admit that this album is not any better in comparison with their previous one. Same poor disco stuff. The only positive thing is that Jerney is more on the front end as in "Gate To Infinity". Actually, the record company understood the huge potential of her voice...oups, not only I 'm afraid. They will use her wonderful silhouette (see the covers - front / back) and capitalize on it.

When you look at the video clip from "Week-End" you will understand. This very special tight-fitting dress she wore is definitely there to attract some young kids or some young girls willing to look like her. Apart of this aspect of things (which has barely anything to do with music) there is unfortunately nothing to say. Still week-end has a catchy melody and it is by far the best track of their two last albums (you can imagine how the rest sounds like!).

I wonder where is the progressiveness that some reviewers are mentioning, but maybe we were listening to different albums. This album is as poor as "Gate". Same rating : one star.

Report this review (#132625)
Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars 2.5 really

By this time Earth & Fire goes almost disco in places with pop elements and with less then before prog arrangements. This is their sixth album from 1979 named Reality fills fantasy. Almost on same level with the predecesor, this band almost lost all the prog ingredients of Atlantis and psychedelic moments of first album. The album is not really bad, the opening track, almost 12 min People come , peoples go, goes from pop to a more symphonic arrangements, always good, but not fantastic, the overall atmosphere is kinda icey but manage to keep my intrest for all 12 min, the best track from here together with the instrumental Answer me, kinda spacey filled with good keys and guitars, the rest is more on pop side , even in parts close to ABBA fashion , just listen to Weekend but more complicated in arrangements. So, 2.5 is the fair rate, not bad really, less convinceing then before but not bad album. Anyway I prefere this one over Gates to infinity.

Report this review (#283849)
Posted Friday, May 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars By the time the band released their sixth studio album, in 1979, things have changed a lot. The only remaning original members were vocalist Jerney Kaagman and the Koerts brothers. They were dropped by their former recording company and got a new contract. I wonder if the new songs had anything to do with their losing their former label. Their music by now had shed away all the experimentalism and, unfortunatly, much of their musical personality. Not that everything here is bad. In fact, the first three tracks are really very good: the 10 minute People Come, People Go is probalby the LPīs highlight, with a terrific melody line, excellent guitar and keys and a nice build up, even if an intrusive saxophone makes it a little bland at parts. Fire Of Love is another powerful number highlighted by its ominous guitar riff and strong rhythm section. The caribbean tinged Weekend is another fine pop song led by steel drums and timbales, it has a irresistable chorus.

However, from then on, itīs all little more than mediocre disco stuff. Disco was already passé in 1979, but it seemed that the band (and/or recording company) did not notice it. And the quality of the songs take a nosedive here: Canīt Live Without You Anymore is definitly their worst tune thus far. So slick and overproduced it sounds like Kaagman is singing solo accompained by a studio disco band, not the former prog group. Where Are You could be a good ballad if the arrangements were a little more creative. The same goes for the more uptempo Season Of The Falling Leaves and the instrumental Answer Me. In fact, the only reason I could hear the whole album more than once is because Kaagmam is an extraordinaire singer and capable of bringing some life even to the lamest stuff. She is the one who makes this album bearable and even pleasant (if you forget their past and have an open musical mind, of course)

Conclusion: itīs really a shame to see a fantastic band like this, which seemed to be in 1976 at the brink of becoming something really original turning up with such weak album in 1979. They were hardly the only ones to do so at the time, but it was still a big disapointment. With only 3 good songs and a few more embarassing moments, this is by far their lowest point in the 70īs. Definitly for collectors and hardcore fans. Two stars.

Report this review (#761673)
Posted Friday, June 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
2 stars Earth and Fire's sixth album was a pretty big departure for them. After enjoying pretty good sales of their first few albums, the band struggled for a couple of years, apparently hitting a commercial low point with Gate to Infinity (an album I happen to love). Disco and Europop had already started to infiltrate the band's sound, but with this 1979 album they went headfirst into commercially-minded pop music. If the very thought of that turns you off, chances are you won't be very sympathetic to this album. But put it side by side with, say, Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees", and you'll see it holds its own pretty well in that arena.

And this approach worked for the band. They earned the biggest hit of their career in "Weekend", a track that's admittedly hard to stomach -- very light, fluffy faux-reggae with some of the sappiest lyrics you will ever hear -- but after a couple of years I'm willing to accept it as an occasional guilty pleasure. It's not that typical of the album, either. Sure, every song is silky smooth, slick LA-styled studio pop, complete with disco beats and saxophones. But Earth and Fire never really lost their gift for a good melody and a good chorus, and there is still evidence of that on this album. "Can't Live Without it Anymore" and "Season of the Falling Leaves" are sweet and melancholy, music that takes me back to the summers of my youth. The opening track "People Come, People Go" shows some remaining prog rock inclinations, stretching out to 11 minutes through an elongated intro that slowly builds into the song, and the rest of the song at least tries to build some dramatic tension - though I'd be hard pressed to honestly call this a "prog song" overall. But at least it acknowledges their proggier past.

Overall, not one of their best albums, even from my drooling fan-boy point of view, but it's decent pop music. It doesn't sound the least bit like their early 70s work, so tread carefully if you're coming from that angle. But it's an enjoyable low-calorie listen, with the possible exception of "Weekend". I'm giving it 2 stars, mainly to distinguish it from my 3-star rating of their next album Andromeda Girl, which I enjoy more.

Report this review (#845527)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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