Friday, July 27, 2018

Supersister - To The Highest Bidder (1971 holland, spectacular canterbury prog rock, 2008 extra tracks remaster)

Supersister's unique group sound truly flourished on their second LP. Keyboardist Robert Jan Stips had taken control of all the songwriting and managed to work out the obvious influences -- for instance, exit the organ lines too reminiscent of the Canterbury scene. At this point, the group is not borrowing ideas from others, it is developing its own ideas alongside the big progressive rock acts. To the Highest Bidder doesn't sound like this or that; it is pure Supersister, namely in "A Girl Named You," the group's first true classic. Stips' composition combines elements of rock and jazz with a circular me-and-you message that brings to mind early Gong (the way he handles the melody also evokes Daevid Allen).

Everybody gets a technical workout, yet the piece unfolds gracefully, striking a balance between the melodicism of Italian progressive rock and the witty character of the Canterbury flavor of the genre. This balance is what will set apart this album and the next one. The ballad "No Tree Will Grow (On Too High a Mountain)" is a brilliant fluke -- witness the collective burst of laughter at the end if you thought the guys were serious about this progressified '60s pop pastiche. By then the group's longest composition, the 15-minute "Energy (Out of Future)" tries to do too many things at once, with very difficult passages tied together by comical vocal episodes. A bit excessive, it still has its share of fine moments that are fun and clever, but what it mostly accomplishes is to exorcise the group's interest in studio experimentation, paving the way for more focused songwriting on the next LP. 
by Fran├žois Couture
1. A Girl Named You (Robert Jan Stips) - 10:06
2. No Tree Will Grow (On Too High A Mountain (Robert Jan Stips) - 7:40
3. Energy (Out Of Future) (Robert Jan Stips) - 14:56
4. Higher (Robert Jan Stips) - 2:52
5. A Girl Named You (Single Version) (Robert Jan Stips) - 3:19
6. Missing Link (Supersister) - 2:57
7. No Tree Will Grow (On Too High A Mountain) (Single Version) (Robert Jan Stips) - 4:27
8. The Groupies Of The Band (Supersister) - 4:34

The Supersister
*Robert Jan Stips - Keyboards, Vocals, Vibraphone
*Sacha van Geest - Flute, Vocals
*Ron van Eck - Bass Guitar, Fuzz Bass
*Marco Vrolijk - Drums, Percussion, Vocals

1970  Supersister - Present From Nancy (2008 remaster and expanded) 

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