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SONG OF THE MARCHING CHILDREN

Earth and Fire

Symphonic Prog


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Earth and Fire Song of the Marching Children album cover
4.05 | 115 ratings | 21 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Carnival of the animals (2:42)
2. Ebbtide (3:06)
3. Storm and thunder (6:25)
4. In the mountains (3:00)
5. Song of the marching children (18:20)
...a) Theme of the marching children - 2:20
...b) Opening the seal - 1:10
...c) Childhood - 3:10
...d) Affliction - 1:30
...e) Damnation - 2:53
...f) Purification - 4:17
...g) The march - 3:02
Bonus tracks on Polydor cd release:
6. Lost forever (2:48)
7. Invitation (3:50)
8. Song for the marching children (single version) (4:08)

Total Time: 44:28

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Jerney Kaagman / lead vocals
- Ton van de Kleij / drums, percussion
- Chris Koerts / guitar, backing vocals
- Gerard Koerts / organ, piano, Mellotron, backing vocals
- Hans Ziech / bass

Releases information

LP Polydor 2925 003 / LP Polydor 2310 209 / CD Edison ERC 29243 / CD Polydor Universal 589 811

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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EARTH AND FIRE Song of the Marching Children ratings distribution


4.05
(115 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

EARTH AND FIRE Song of the Marching Children reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars EARTH & FIRE were one of the leading prog rock bands to come out of Holland, while at the same time, being able to rack up a bunch of hits in their homeland. "Song of the Marching Children", their second album, released in 1971, is by far their best one, as far as I'm concerned. The band was by far best known for female vocalist Jerney Kaagman, which her voice is put to good use on songs like "Carnival of the Animals", "Ebbtide", "Storm and Thunder", and the side-length title track. The album is also loaded with lots of great Mellotron work. Hard to describe their music, but I've heard it described as JEFFERSON AIRPLANE meets KING CRIMSON.

Anyways, the original Dutch LP on Polydor features a gatefold with some truly trippy artwork inside (although later pressings did not come with a gatefold).

This is truly one of my favorites to come out of Holland. (4 1/2 stars)

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#31569) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004

Review by Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars EARTH & FIRE's "Song Of The Marching Children" falls somewhere within the song-oriented prog category. The album consists of short tracks on side A, and a larger epic on side B (my CD also came with a bonus track, but there is another CD that features SOTMC, and Atlantis). All of the tracks on Side A feature some of the best qualities found in more adventurous progressive rock, and they end up sounding like miniature epics. The side- long track sounds like 5 songs pieced together. Overall, the music from this band has a strong European symphonic sound, meaning that Baroque, classical, and even circus influences are all over the place.

The band likes to weave in and out of major/minor chords and scales, so the music alternates between happy and sad moods. I also hear a noticeable early KING CRIMSON sound (heavy on the orchestral mellotron sound). EARTH & FIRE had a female lead-singer with one of the warmest, and charismatic, voice that I've heard in prog. She is usually mentioned first when people talk about the band. Some of her lyrics are silly in a surreal, counterculture, sort of way, but her beautiful voice quickly makes you forgive the naive lyrics. This is a majestic album that will please fans of early KING CRIMSON, PFM's "Per Un Amico", and FANTASY.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#31570) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars This album is generally pointed out by progheads as E&F's peak and I agree somewhat with them but as you can see by my rating , this is hardly the Everest , more like a foothill in Progressive Rock Mountains Range. E&F is one of those many Dutch band that obviously listened to a lot of classical music before starting a rock band (Focus , Ekseption , Trace etc..). The problem with that is that I see a great lack of originality/personality in those bands (Focus excepted) and prefer groups such as Supersister , Finch or Golden Earring . Since Holland is where I live during the week , I feel particularly con cerned to give a proper review and explain well why I appreciate a band or not.

E&F has one beautiful female vocalist that sings in accent-less English (as is often the case with the Dutch) sometimes brilliantly but at times also very annoyingly/irritatingly. The main thing about this album I would suggest here is that too much mellotron kills the mellotrons effects and here this is a lot more of an orgy ....... more like an indigestion. Use and abuse , where does one draw the line?!?! Well , it is not clearly drawn out but IMHO we are over the line by a few miles... If I was a music instrument dealer , I would use this album to clients as a sales brochure for the full spectrum of the capabilities of the instrument. But too much is toooooo much....

Side 1 is full of reworking the classical music and is rather tedious and sometimes sound like a third rate Focus or a second rate Ekseption, filled with mellotrons layers. Side 2 holds the side-long suite that gives its name to the album and is relatively pleasant with interesting KB lines (other than mellotrons that is) even though there are lenghts (the long March as pointed out heavily by the drumming) and the facts that there are borropwed themes (heard elsewhere). I just find it very much over-rated as much so thant the other side-long suite of the following album Atlantis.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#31574) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This top notch Dutch band from my hometown The Hague had their progressive pinnacle during the early Seventies when they delivered some unique symphonic rock LP's. The album "Song of the Marching Children" belongs to the best of the Dutch progrock history. The moving song "Storm and Thunder" (as a single it reached the #6 position) contains a sumptuous church organ sound intro, soaring violin-Mellotron and great vocals from Jerney Kaagman. The epic title track (almost 19 minutes) is wonderful: the sound is very warm and melodic with lots of changing atmospheres, accelarations and surprising breaks. The one moment you hear a mellow organ, twanging acoustic guitars and a fairy-like voice from Jerney, the other moment there are bombastic eruptions with majestic Mellotron, heavy floods of organ and powerful electric guitarwork, topped by Jerney's powerful voice. This album is a touch of international symphonic rock class!

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#31577) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars EARTH & FIRE were a band who had a string of hit songs, but at the same time created progressive music such as the side long suite on this record.The female vocals are very good, and the liberal use of mellotron only adds to the enjoyment.

Things get started with "Carnival Of The Animals", a catchy, organ driven tune with those beautiful vocals that for some reason remind me of the sixties. "Ebbtide" is a mid-paced tune with lots of (what sounds) like flute. "Storm And Thunder" opens with church organ followed by waves of mellotron that continue as the vocals come in on this slow paced passage. At 4 minutes the soundscape intensifies with more floods of mellotron at 5 minutes. Great song ! "In The Mountains" is an instrumental with lots of synths and organ, while guitar melodies come and go.

"Song Of The Marching Children" is about reincarnation, and is divided into 7 parts.The intro is very quiet and atmospheric .The vocals and drums are the focus during the "Childhood" section as the mellotron starts to flow. On the "Affliction" section the soundscape is spacey and dreamy, while mellotron and vocals make up the "Damnation" section. The vocals remind me of the style that THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS used to use, where they seem to sing for all their worth, giving it their all. The acoustic guitar introduces us to the "Purification" section, that also features gentle vocals on this pastoral piece.The last section "The March" is dominated by marching drums. My edition of this record has a bonus song called "Memories" which I believe was their first hit. It opens dramatically with lots of mellotron and turns into an uptempo, catchy song that closes with a guitar melody.

I don't think "Song Of The Marching Children" is for everyone, but I certainly recommend this excellent album.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#103691) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As with some other singers, it is a matter of hate / love story with Jerney. It will be a love one with me. This album holds several very good songs. For the Genesis fans of the early days, I can only recommend "Ebbtide" for its very Trespass-esque similarity (or ITCOTCK if you prefer). Jerney's very subtle vocals are just wonderful; the flute adding to the atmosphere of course.

The first great moment is "Storm and Thunder". It opens with a long classical keys introduction. The song builds then crescendo (I very much like this construction as you may know). It is maybe their most beautiful song. When I listen to Jerney, I am almost as biased as when hearing Grace or Patti (Slick or Smith of course). Shivering. The chorus is just magical. A truely symphonic song.

The instrumental "In the Mountain" is a bit naïve. Still, some nice guitar work will prevent it to be weak. It could have almost been a Camel song.

Now, the "pièce de résistance". Their eighteen minutes suite and the title track. Starting with a slow paced and instrumental intro, it gets more and more melodic, sentimental and symphonic. Some nice medieval-like keys sounds (which I usually do not like that much) before the entrance of Jerney's vocals. Once you get there; either you quit or you fall in love. Do I need to mention which is my option ?

Some psychedelia is suggested as well (did you say Grace ?). But gorgeous mellotron ranks this work in the fully symphonic style, no doubt. The middle instrumental part is a bit weak (for about a minute or five) but there is a great and bombastic finale that awaits you.

This is probably not the best prog epic you can think of. Just remember that it was written in 1971. Before "Supper's" and "CTTE". A bit of respect is highly appreciated. For this fact only. The single version featured as a bonus track is an option for those who just want to get the most commercial part of it.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#132574) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Take "In the Court" era King Crimson, mix with post Jefferson Airplane phrasings and some early Barclay James Harvest lead guitar, sprinkle in some Annie Haslam vocals (even though this came before Annie's Renaissance) and you have an approximation of the sound of Earth and Fire on this 1971 release. Not to imply that they were copycats; they had their own distinct style revolving around the voice of Jenny Kaagman and keyboards, especially the organ, of Gerard Koerts.

The albums roars to life with a progressive children's song, one of the few I can think of. Borne by the psychedelic era, "Carnival of the Animals" is innocent enough to be played for children while their parents can sit back and enjoy the early progressive feast. It utilizes circus-like rhythms effectively and is the right length at 2:44 - no need to meander or expound upon the silly premise. "Stornm and Thunder" begins with a lengthy and enjoyable organ segment before it settles down and sounds for all the world like early Haslam Renaissance, even before such a beast existed. But then more buildup and organ resume. Definitely the second most progressive song here. "In the Mountains" is a short but sparkling melodic instrumental where the soaring leads are evocative of John Lees, who was really just starting to ply his trade at the time.

The highlight both quantitatively and qualitatively is the masterful title cut, 18 minutes of bliss that surely would never have existed if not for early King Crimson, but Earth and Fire manages to place their own stamp on it, thanks again to the organs. After the opening ambient section, we are thrust into the main theme, a simply stunning mellotron led melody. A variety of other instrumental and vocal sections alternate fluidly from here, with things really picking up in the last couple, as the main theme returns briefly, including a gentle buildup on acoustic guitar, to which gentle vocals are added, followed by martial drums blended with ethereal mellotrons. One of the bonus tracks is a shortened version of this epic which captures the key points, in case you want a fix but don't have 18 minutes, but the other two bonuses are without consequence.

An excellent album, somewhat dated due to the organs and the dramatic early 70s feel and psycedelia, but highly recommended to those who want to connect with their inner marching flower child.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#169843) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 04, 2008

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars To be honest female fronted bands aren't my cup of tea...But as usual every rule has its own exception...And in my case EARTH AND FIRE is the exception...Excellent band,not to be missed,at least on this album...Jerney Kaagman's voice isn't exactly one of those female voices my ears are used to listen to...Definitely she sings melodic sometimes but her voice has range,power,expression and somekind of wrath as well...A pleasant surprise forme...As for the musicianship, this is just excellent and the influences are numerous...The organ playing seems like it came out of a KING CRIMSON masterpiece,symphonic arrangements that can only be compared with the best of GENESIS or KAIPA,melodic passages including flute moments similar to early CAMEL...And all this package refined in a personal style...Outstanding!...Closing to a symphonic masterpiece,''Song of the marching children'' by EARTH AND FIRE comes highly recommended to all true prog rock fans...At least 4 stars...

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#182278) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars My lp record suplier garuntied me this was a good album. Lead singer Jerney Kaagman however was jury of the Dutch Idols and a pain in the ass for Dutch television. How could she ever have made music that was interesting? (contrary to the popscene were she was being active now).

Song of the Marching Children stars with Carnival of the Animals. It ain't a bad song, but it isn't like the best song on the album. The stupidious happines of this track sometimes irritates me. (7/10)

Ebtide. Here starts the album for me. A nice track with guitar effects and flutes. Jerneys voice sounds a bit like she's searching for controll, but can't find it. Here voice can be as low as a man and as high as female vocalist get. One thing has to be said however; you will never find a vocalist that sounds like Jerney Kaagman. (8/10)

Storm and Thunder. Yeah now were talking. A great sinister organ intro shows us what this band is capable of. The title is as dark as the song. Again vocals using a broad spectrum of the voice, the song evolves into a true masterpiece. This is atmosphere! (10/10)

Song of the Marching Children. Is this what we came for? Yes it is! Actually this is at 2.0 version of Storm and Thunder. More complex, more mellotrons, more musical themes, more atmospheres and more extravaganza! The intro is a bit long though. A symphony of mellotrons is used in this song, so mellotronfreaks (like me) will enjoy this! The main theme makes the same inpression like In the Court of the Crimson King. It is as strong as a maintheme of an epic can be! The band explores this nice finding with us with great patience (as King Crimson would do too). This song is the highlight of the career of Earth and Fire and the reason they will be remembered here on this site! Like all good epics the song also has a moment of consideration (as I call it). A peacefull moment were the lyrical theme of the song is discussed in it's most serious way. After this the maintheme ends the symphony and we can hear the children marching. And ending that fulfills you emotional expectations. So.. (11/10)..huh?.

Conclusion: Important symphonic atmospheric prog album from the Dutch. A great result of the discovery of the mellotron. And... last but nog least.. Jerney Kaagman did realy make good music! Four stars!

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#182789) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Very pleasant and with some great musical soundscapes along the way. It took me quite some time to get into Earth & Fire´s music. Maybe the sound quality has something to do with that, after all, I heard all CD versions are bad. And since the only copy I got was one of the first reissues in that format it is little wonder that most of the album sounds muddy. Nevertheless, it is still quite impressive and good, specially if you take in consideration it was recorded in 1971!

I did not find the music particularly striking at first (again, the sound quality?), it seemed a bit dated. Still I enjoy Jerney Kaagman´s voice a lot. She reminds of Annie Haslam (Renaissance), to me one fo the best female singers ever. Gerard Koerts is quite proeminent on his keyboards and his brother Chris is an excellent guitarrist (loved the solo in the instrumental track In The Mountain. a good mix of Focus and Camel). The music in general is very good, but not as great or groundbreaking as some reviews indicate, even the 18+ minutes celebrated title track. Maybe my expectations were too high. Anyway, let´s say that with all its faults I still think this a very good album that deserves to be heard by any prog fan. And please, tell me if there is a real good remastered version out. For what I heard my rating is 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#184208) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review by HolyMoly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams
5 stars 4 Stars for the Album, 5 Stars with the Bonus Tracks!

Earth and Fire's second album is their most celebrated by prog fans, and with good reason. The band discovered the Mellotron in a big way prior to this album, and Gerard Koerts uses it to very nice effect in addition to his well-established organ work. Jerney Kaagman has fully matured as a vocalist, and assumes a gothic, icy persona here that is very seductive. They've backed away somewhat from the heavy guitar focus of the debut album, and the rhythm section moves effortlessly into a more symphonic mode as opposed to the blues rock mode of the debut. And yes, there is a Side-Long Epic on side two!

About the title track - It's good, but I personally don't find it to be the knockout punch that it could have been. Definitely a 4-star song, it just doesn't cohere as well as it could, and doesn't leave me breathless by the end (translation: I hold side-long tracks to a higher standard, since they take up a high percentage of the album's running time) .

The shorter songs on side one, on the other hand, are uniformly successful, thoroughly enjoyable and well crafted. "Carnival of the Animals" is a lovably playful ditty, with a skipping beat and some comical oscillator sounds providing links to the sections. Kaagman sings what sound like two different "characters" in the song, one deep and grave, the other high and coquettish. At just over 2 minutes, it's a wonderful little thing. "Ebb Tide" has prominent flute, and shuffles along at a leisurely pace, reminding me a little of Jethro Tull's song "Inside" (which rhymes with "Ebb Tide"... hey! conspiracy time!). And then there's the Gothic single "Storm and Thunder"... ohhh this song is wonderful, probably the album's standout track. Phantom of the Opera-style cathedral organs, a sad, slow melody intoned perfectly by Kaagman, followed by the devastating, loud chorus that repeats until the song fades, carried by thick coats of keyboard majesty and Kaagman's soaring vocal. If you think Annie Haslam is the bee's knees, you should hear Kaagman's performance on this song. The side ends with a short instrumental called "In the Mountains", which reminds me a lot of Focus (e.g. "Focus II").

But we're not done yet. Earth and Fire excelled throughout the seventies at writing strong, catchy singles, and the latest CD reissue includes a couple of these. First, there's "Invitation", and its B-side, a re-recorded and concentrated version of the album's title suite. This single stands as one of my absolute favorite moments by the band -- "Invitation" is absolutely beautiful and powerful, with a chorus that throws in a "trick chord" that just floors me (an E7 with a G# bass actually, but it's HOW they place it that's so great). This was a band that knew how to write a damn good chorus, as they proved again and again. One of my favorite songs of all time, period. The 4.5 minute single version of "Song of the Marching Children" is, in my opinion, even better than the 18 minute version - like they added some extra "oomph" in their playing. Then there's the single edit of "Storm and Thunder", which merely cuts off the long intro from the album version, but doesn't diminish its power. Its B-side, "Lost Forever", is an uncharacteristically simple guitar-riff-based song, more befitting the debut album, but it's still pretty good for a b-side. "Memories" follows, which I understand was one of the band's biggest hits in the Netherlands, and it's not hard to see why. If you ever wondered what an early Motown single would have sounded like with a Mellotron as the lead instrument, look no further than this song. Bizarre, but undeniably catchy. Lastly, its B-side, "From the End Til the Beginning", a spooky gothic Mellotron song that sounds similar to "Song of the Marching Children", but lacks just a little bit of glue to hold it together better. Still, individual passages are really nice, and could have made it a monster song if they'd worked a little more at it.

Though many believe this is the band's "One Shot at Brilliance Before Going Down the Toilet", this album is just another of several great albums by this fantastic Dutch band. This is the first one to get if you love the Mellotron (and who doesn't?), and it is deservedly considered a symphonic prog classic. But don't miss those bonus tracks!

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Send comments to HolyMoly (BETA) | Report this review (#770156) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Metamorphosing into a confident and symphonic progressive rock band, `Song of the Marching Children' sees Dutch band Earth and Fire moving on from the punchy pop/rock of their debut album for something more grand and sophisticated. Lead singer Jerney Kaagman stepped up from being the tough sexy seductress to transform into a gothic chanteuse displaying endless variety and maturity, while the Koerts brothers added layers of thoughtful arrangements and emotional depth. With several shorter songs and one side long piece, this album is usually considered the band's greatest musical statement, and it probably remains their most popular album.

`Carnival of Animals' sounds the closest to the previous album, with that same thick organ and a prancing 60's melody. Jerney plays the fairytale princess here, with circus-like melodies and nonsense `Alice In Wonderland' style lyrics reminding again of the Jefferson Airplane comparisons from that wonderful debut.

`Ebb Tide' also recalls the debut album, a soft and atmospheric slow pop/rocker with breezy flute, gentle organ and hazy guitar effects. Like much of this album, there's some oddly unnerving and bleak lyrics. But just listen to how Jerney's voice seems to be right behind the speakers, purring directly into your ear. We can dream, right?

"The blackbird sings her song at dawn...". Brrr...The richly gothic `Storm and Thunder' shows that above mentioned style shift to great and commanding effect. A somber and serious ballad with lush orchestration, Jerney is a dark mistress with haunting vocals (especially powerful on the chorus sections) recalling vivid words of surreal isolation. It's a stirring and grim work of sinister desolation, fuelled by doomy Mellotron, and I'd like to think this track influenced other somber female fronted modern acts like Paatos and Portishead, with the cinematic styled strings heightening the drama and tension in a similar style to much of those artists' work.

Instrumental `In The Mountain' reminds of fellow Dutch proggers Focus, with tasteful virtuoso organ displays and a dreamy floating melody. The guitar work sounds a lot like Andy Latimar with that lovely fluid guitar style he uses in Camel, and strangely, little parts of this track remind me of the psychedelic Beatles track `Flying' and the gentle washing Beach Boys instrumental `Cool, Cool Water'!

The side long epic title track is full of somber symphonic passages and a hazy psychedelic air. A delicate moody introduction, before booming Mellotron strings and oppressive organs blast the listener. There's plenty of pitch-black lyrics, with Jerney's urgent and threatening vocals pleading. Listen to how confident and commanding her voice has become! Marching percussion, bubbling spacey synths, murmuring bass, reflective acoustic segments and a grandiose and dramatic finale - this track really has it all!

Check out one of the CD reissues with the bonus track `Lost Forever' - ever wondered what Black Sabbath might have sounded like with a ballsy and sultry female singer? Look no further! It's got sludgy chugging dirty guitar and classical metal riffs, and sounds like nothing else on the main album. Extra track `Invitation' is a 60's leftover rocker that switches between slightly moody and downbeat verses with a playfully upbeat and sexy chorus.

Like an unholy alliance of King Crimson and Jefferson Airplane, `Song of The Marching Children' is an exciting and intelligent work by a talented band with a hugely charming lead vocalist. The experimentation and symphonic leanings would progress even further on their next two albums, and it remains a hugely important and well-renowned Dutch progressive album. I still hold more love for their energetic debut, which is a very special album to me, but this is anything but a dud follow up! It's a near faultless album, and Mellotron freaks or fans of female-fronted prog bands need look no further!

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Send comments to Aussie-Byrd-Brother (BETA) | Report this review (#850871) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 04, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Earth and Fire's Song of the Marching Children finds the Netherlands outfit playing in a style reminiscent of the first three King Crimson albums. In particular, the title track's suitably march- like rhythms can't help but remind me of the "Mars, Bringer of War" references on In the Wake of Poseidon, and indeed the album has the same combination of lofty symphonic goals and psychedelic counter-culture hippyism that seems to characterise Wake of Poseidon and Lizard. Whereas Crimson only occasionally tipped their hat to the psychedelic in this phase though (see songs like the whimsical Happy Family on Lizard), Earth and Fire seem much more comfortable with it, creating a mashup of Crimsonian majesty and hippy-trippy playfulness which sets them apart from their influences.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#960551) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 17, 2013

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Not what I expected.........It's much better

Despite the years I've been listening Symphonic Prog, never played special attention to EARTH & FIRE, mainly because the reviews I read spoke about a strong KING CRIMSON influence, and to be honest that's not my cup of tea. But about a year bought several old albums for a very good price, among which I found Song of the Marching Children, which I recorded in my cellular and didn't listened.

Last month I was in a plane and while playing with the phone, found this album and played it...What a great surprise, the sound was simply delightful from start to end, the delicate fusion between Psychedelia and Classic Symphonic caught me from the start. Of course the organ sections by Gerard Koerts impressed me, but the highlight of the album lies in the composition and the delicate voice of Jerney Kaagman.

To be honest I couldn't find any KING CRIMSON reference (thanks God for that), but a slightly JEFFERSON AIRPLANE with Baroque fugues and that acid Hammond so reminiscent of the mid 60's, just a perfect combination of the best of two decades.

The whole album is impressive, but if I have to select my favorites, will start with the magnificent Carnival of the Animals, a song that represents perfectly the essence of the band, being that the music is oriented towards Symphonic while Gerard Koerts with his Hammond and Kaagman take us back to 1965 with such delicacy that I couldn't find any collision of genres.

Also have to mention Ebbtide and that haunting Hammond intro that reminds the listener of Bach. But about the mark of 2:29, Kaagman takes the lead and transports us again to the 60's in Carnaby Street? Baroque and Psyche perfectly blended.

Of course, no review of this album would be complete without mentioning the 18:20 minutes Song for the Marching Children, a brilliant suite that has everything a Prog listener wants to listen, but also the moment in which Jerney Kaagman discovers she's not only a Psych singer with hints of Grace Slick and Mama Cass, but also a fantastic Symphonic vocalist with one of the most solid voices I ever heard.

The rating is easy, 5 solid stars for an almost perfect album.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#1079257) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is one of the classics of Dutch symphonic rock. With its huge orchestral mellotron parts, the full Gibson Les Paul sound of the guitar and the astonishing vocals of female singer Jerney Kaagman, "Song Of The Marching Children" is certainly one of the most symphonic albums in history. Along ... (read more)

Report this review (#749922) | Posted by Life Line Project | Monday, May 07, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Arguably their very best work, this album manages to combine the power of mellotron-drenched King Crimson with melodies that will have you returning to its charm again and again. If you like dynamics in your prog, this is a place to turn. Storm and Thunder is a great example of this, beginni ... (read more)

Report this review (#182802) | Posted by Jeff Carney | Thursday, September 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is no ordinary album E&F made here, it is certainly one of their most progressive albums next to Atlantis and To the world of the future. This album is the second one and does not have anything to do with the other music they made which was pure rock. The title song ''Song of the Marching ... (read more)

Report this review (#98720) | Posted by proggieman | Tuesday, November 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Earth & Fire has been dear to me for for many years,beeing a prog-fan i prefer this record,their next and a few songs on "To the world a future". The creativity and the symphonic style that was produced in the first part of the seventies is to be found here on this recording.The mellotron(an ... (read more)

Report this review (#31576) | Posted by | Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Earth and Fire were a stunning band, which really knew how to combine catchy pop with powerful and original prog rock. Some of the attraction is no doubt due to the soaring vocals of the female lead singer, sounding like a better version of Annie Haslam of Renaissance. However, they succeeded ... (read more)

Report this review (#31575) | Posted by EMinkovitch | Sunday, January 09, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's a great album. It was in the seventies and still it is. I discovered a few month's ago again. I still think it's one of the best albums of the Dutch prog culture. The long version of the titel song and the longer version of "Storm And Thunder"are great. Both songs are classics for the Dut ... (read more)

Report this review (#31572) | Posted by | Sunday, September 26, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A cool art rock work. Breezy and gentle to the limit. The main suite is just excellent. No bad words may be uttered about the shorter songs as well. Carnival of the animals (2:42) is simply the best song here ... (read more)

Report this review (#31571) | Posted by | Monday, August 09, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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