The group Earth and Fire (originally Opus Gainfull) was founded in 1968 in the Hague by the Koerts twins, Chris (vocals, guitar; ex-Swinging Strings) and Gerard (guitar and keyboards, also ex-Swinging Strings); bassist Hans Ziech (ex-Soul), drummer Cees Kalis, and Lisette on vocals.

All of them had had prior experience in music. Lisette soon became ill and had to leave the band; she was replaced by Jerney Kaagman in 1969.  Kaagman had only sung in school bands prior to joining.  Kalis was also replaced - by Ton van der Kleij (drums, ex-Summer) - in the following year.  It was this line up of the band that supported Golden Earring on their tour. (George Kooymans landed Golden Earring their first hit in January 1970 with "Seasons".)  With Chris Koerts as the principal songwriter, the band forged ahead with new original material. "Ruby is the one" and "Wild and exiting" became enormous hits in the group’s homeland.  Their newfound success instantly brought so many booking requests that the band decided to turn professional.  An unbreakable string of very successful hits followed with "Invitation" (71), "Storm and Thunder" (71), "Memories" (72), "Maybe Tomorrow Maybe Tonight" (73), "Love of Life" (74), "Only Time Will Tell" (75), "Thanks For The Love" (75), "What Difference Does It Make" (76) and "7, 8th Avenue" (77), as the fans noticed the group's material deviating from the hard-edged progressive rock sound towards mainstream 70s pop.

The band’s early hit singles were distinguished by the heavy use of mellotron, and they are generally considered to be the best of the bunch in Holland, and abroad. With later LPs, Earth and Fire lost some of their charm, compared to the earlier days, by sounding increasingly more poppy, mainstream, and pretentious, thus gradually losing most of their popularity towards 1977. However, through the years, the band evolved, rather than lost its identity.

And then there were no more hits… In 1978, drummer Van der Kleij was the first to leave, followed shortly by bassist Theo Hurts. They were replaced by Appie Tamboer and ex-Focus bassist Bert Ruiter (Jerney's new boyfriend) respectively.  The band didn’t play live much anymore, at the end of the 70s, and the demos for the new album were rejected by Jaap Eggermont, their producer. Earth and Fire then proceeded to switch their record labels from Polydor to Vertigo, with which they recorded and released 1979’s "Reality Fills Fantasy", produced by Gerrit Jan Leenders. This album, which was once deemed by Eggermont as "not having enough commercial potential", became the band’s greatest succes to date!  The single, "Weekend", hit the top of the charts and stayed at No.1 for weeks, in several countries!

However, in early 1980, Chris Koerts left the band.  His position was taken by Ronnie Meyes (previously with Brainbox). With him in the fold, the band recorded their significantly less successful "Andromeda Girl" (1981), but the followup, "In A State of Flux" (1982), scored fairly big!  On this album, the group returned to their funkier roots.  It combined punchy, concise, melodic rock with some symphonic arrangements, at last making an overdue comeback.  "Twenty Four Hours", a song by Gerard Koerts, subsequently became a hit. The Spring of 1983 saw Earth and Fire reduced to a trio.  Meyes went on to join The Millionnaires, Tamboer, and Het Goede Doel.

The band finally split up at this stage, and didn’t reform until 1987, with Ton Scherpenzeel (ex-Kayak) to record the powerful and popular comeback album "Phoenix" (1989), featuring the hit single, "French Word for Love". Meanwhile, brothers Koerts released an all-instrumental new age album, "Frames" (88).

Article taken from OOR's Eerste Nederlandse Pop Encyclopedie (OOR's First Dutch Pop Encyclopedia), 10th Anniversery Edition".  ISBN 90-6882-237-3

01-1970: Seasons/Hazy Paradise (Polydor S1335) 
04-1970: Ruby is the one/Mechanical Lover (Polydor 2050 019) 
09-1970: Wild and exciting/Vivid shady land (Polydor 2050 044) 
02-1971: Invitation/Song of the marching children (Polydor 2050 084) 
09-1971: Storm and thunder/Lost forever (Polydor 2050 133) 
04-1972: Memories/From the end till the beginning (Polydor 2050 179) 
02-1973: Maybe tomorrow, maybe tonight/Theme from Atlantis (Polydor 2050 084) 
06-1974: Love of life/Tuffy the cat (Polydor 2050 322) 
04-1975: Only time will tell/Fun (Polydor 2050 359) 
10-1975: Thanks for the love/Excerpts from ''To the world of the future (Polydor 2050 376) 
02-1976: What difference does it make/What difference does it make instrumental (Polydor 2050 411) 
11-1977: 78th avenue/Dizzy raptures (Polydor 2050 498) 
11-1979: Weekend/Answer me (Vertigo 6012 968) 
02-1980: Fire of love (single mix)/Seasons of the falling leaves (Vertigo 6012 971) 
10-1981: Dream/Jerney's day off (Vertigo 6198 490) 
12-1981: Tell me why/What more could you desire (Vertigo 6198 517) 
02-1982: Love is an ocean/You (Vertigo 6198 529) 
11-1982: Twenty-four hours/Strange town (Dureco Benelux 4663) 
02-1983: Jack is back/Hide away (Dureco Benelux 4709) 
05-1983: The two of us/Love is to give away (Dureco Benelux 4709) 
10-1989: French word for love/Gemini (CNR 7860019) 
1990: Keep on missing you/Under a burning sky (CNR 860019) 
1990: Good enough/Under a burning sky (D&K 7860019/3)
Special singles
1981: Rally Monte-Carlo/No total loss (Kayak) (Qcumber 198103) 
02-1982: Love is an ocean (12 inch)/Love is an ocean instrumental (Vertigo 6840 181)
1970: Earth and Fire (Polydor 2441 011) 
1971: Song of the marching children (Polydor 2925 003) 
1973: Atlantis (Polydor 2925 013) 
1975: To the world of the future (Polydor 2925 033) 
1977: Gate to infinity (Polydor 2925 065) 
1979: Reality fills fantasy (Vertigo 6413 509) 
1981: Andromeda Girl (Vertigo 6399 271) 
1982: In a state of flux (Dureco Benelux 88 050) 
1989: Phoenix (CNR) cd


She was the first singer in Earth & Fire in 1968.

It's the little things/I know

Discography submitted by: Tim Treffers
Article translated by: Louis Rentrop (

Back to Alex's Home Page
Back to the Nederpop index

To Earth & Fire Web Site