Saturday, October 3, 2015

Supersister - 2000 - M.A.N


01. Present from Nancy -live (7:23)
02. Radio - live (2:20)
03. Mexico - live (6:23)
04. Judy goes on holiday - live (9:07)
05. (2x3=) 6 Blauwe dwergen (1:16)
06. Hommage (3:35)
07. Sweet suicide (2:32)
08. Modest man (4:12)
09. Wine melody (2:44)
10. Nothing is real (3:56)
11. Workman's song (3:10)
12. House in the country (3:29)
13. Seven ways to die (3:05)
14. Woods of frustrated men (3:41)
15. Corporating comboboys (0:48)
16. Manke boerenwals (1:08)
17. Psalm (2:13)

- Marco Vrolijk / drums
- Sacha van Geest / flute & vocals
- Ron van Eck / bass guitar
- Robert Jan Stips / keyboards & vocals
- Rob Douw / trumpet, ideas & vocals (lead on track 5)
- Gerhard Smid /guitar & vocals

Tracks 1-5 are live recordings from 1973. Tracks 6-12 were recorded with the NDR Orchestra in Germany on 4/10/71. Tracks 13-17 are early recordings from the 60's and 70's including previously unreleased studio recordings from 1967

Listening to the first four tracks here, which are the live ones, you can get a sense of the energy they put into their set. There are no dates for when the live tracks were recorded, but a note on the Supersister section of R J Stip's site, it mentions 1971. The album opens with a muscular version of "Present From Nancy" from their album of the same name. This is followed by a very nice version of "Radio" from Pudding En Gisteren, which so seamlessly glides into "Mexico" that if you aren't a Supersister expert, you might think its an extended jam on "Radio." Okay, at least I did, until I actually checked the tracking timing and the CD player. The production is very clear here, allowing the fullness of the arrangement to shine through. "Judy Goes On Holiday" is sharp-edged even with the fuzzed organ; in fact, it is that fuzzed organ that gives it that rough, ragged edge. "Hommage" is the second of the previously unreleased tracks, and is a symphonic, classically influenced piece with beautiful keys and flute, somewhat tinny percussion and barely perceptible bass. This track and those that follow were recorded in 1971 with the Tanz-und Unterhaltungsorchester des NDR. "Sweet Suicide" has a playful feel, with stuttering keys, trilling flute, energetic percussion...and then the swell of the orchestra just opens it open. I'm brought to mind of Moody Blues, actually, and UK pop bands of the late 60's - Herman's Hermits is what springs to mind. "Modest Man" as well, though I couldn't help but think of "The Little Drummer Boy" while hearing this, as it slowly develops. It is a rather dark track, and the orchestra swell a third of the way through made me think of the incident music composed for movies made in the 30's and 40's, used to underscore a melancholy moment. "Nothing Is Real" will sound familiar, as it forms one of the middle parts of "Judy Takes A Holiday," though it has more instrumentation and a lighter feel. Instead of deep bass taking the lead, it is the flute and keys. "Workman's Song" returns to the obvious humour of other tracks - imagine if Shirley Temple sang sweetly about committing violent acts...well, Shirley Temple with a bit too much testosterone singing sweetly about committing violent acts. "House In The Country" also takes that happy feel and twists it with dark lyrics. "Seven Ways To Die" is psychedelic...I'd say almost stereotypically psychedelic, but with Supersister one can't be sure if that's part of the point. "Woods Of Frustrated Men" is psychedelic as well, in the way that The Doors' "The End" fact, I think "The End" is a very good comparison here, at least for part of it, as the track moves in so many directions. Strangest here is "Psalm," where you're not quite sure whether they're laughing or crying through a familiar psalm. Actually I think it's both, one of those "we should be sad, but we can't help giggling" kind of things.

Great Supersister stuff that was never released. Don't start here if you don't know them but if you do then this is a great find! Wacky tunes and weird arrangements as well as some nice surprises of new takes of older songs. Totally needed if you love their music as much as i do!

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