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Supersister Present from Nancy album cover
4.04 | 266 ratings | 33 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

Present from Nancy:
1. Introduction (2:57)
2. Present from Nancy (5:14)
Memories Are New (Boomchick):
3. Memories Are New (3:47)
4. 11/8 (3:16)
5. Dreaming Wheelwhile (2:52)
6. Corporation Combo Boys (1:21)
7. Mexico (4:21)
8. Metamorphosis (3:27)
9. Eight Miles High (0:22)
10. Dona Nobis Pacem (8:35)

Total Time 36:12

Bonus tracks on 2008 Esoteric remaster:
11. She Was Naked (single A-side) (3:45)
12. Spiral Staircase (single B-side) (3:06)
13. Fancy Nancy (single A-side) (1:48)
14. Gonna Take Easy (single B-side) (2:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Jan Stips / lead vocals, keyboards,vibes
- Sacha van Geest / flutes, vocals
- Ron van Eck / bass, fuzz bass
- Marco Vrolijk / drums, percussion, vocals

- Gerhard Smid / guitar, vocals (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Nico Venneker (photo)

LP Polydor - 2441 016 (1970, Netherlands)
LP Polydor - 2419 061 (1977, Netherlands)

CD Polydor - 843231 (1990, Germany) With "To the Highest Bidder"", remastered by Hans Brethouwer
CD Esoteric records - ECLEC 2056 (2008, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman w/ 4 bonus tracks
Other reissues

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SUPERSISTER Present from Nancy ratings distribution

(266 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

SUPERSISTER Present from Nancy reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Going as far back as 66 in a group called The Bulbs (oh the humour in Tulipland, probably in homage to Zappa's Mothers) then Q-Provocation, this The Hague group became a sextet when mentor Rob Douw joined them on trumpet, inspiration and vocals and started experimenting and exploring underground avenues, which was just fine with the young Dutch hippies. Poets, dancers and body painters shared the stage with the group and a lightshow was put in works a few months after the Swinging London scene had started. This forced the musicians to improvise and their music naturally veered towards early Soft Machine and Barrett's Floyd, particularly through Stip's organ playing. The band took on its final name from their aborted hippie musical called Sweet Okay Supersister, and when two members left (including their Douw mentor) and let the group secure a contract with the Dutch national Phillips label through Polydor, while establishing their own cultural club in The Hague called "Provadia?", performing at the Woodstock Dutch-equivalent festival and recorded two singles prior to the release of their Present From Nancy, a non-existing English Girl. Black forest-y artwork and an un-mistakenly innerfold filled with

Opening with the title-track suite on a demented drumbeat, forcing a bare piano to keep up and later a flute, this upbeat track is an instrumental that gets you to think of a better-sounding Egg and has some of that neat Hatfield features to come. The three-part Memories Are Few starts quickly as well, and then veers to a nightmarish space rock, somewhere between Floys and some insane guitar-driven Hawkwind. Its aptly-titled middle section 11/8 tells you what it's about with a fuzz organ solo, while Wheelwhile has a quiet flute heading the bass and cymbals.

On the flipside, after the weird & short (but good) Corporation Combo Boys, the three-part Metamorphosis is full of sombre riff and breaks in its opening movement, while the second eponymous is reminiscent of Gentle Giant at times and insane binary drums and fuzzed-out organ and ends in a spoof Eight Miles High (a wink and a nod to countrymen Golden Earring who had made this Byrds song their bravado in concert and in the studio a few months before). The closing Dona Nobis Pacem is easily the album's best track, a quiet almost eerie dronal organ, sometimes over-ruled by synth lines or delicate percussions, and in the middle, the track suddenly speeds up in a classical music ritournelle, only to die out in its original drone and a loud crash

The remastered version comes with four bonus tracks, two non-album singles that preceded the PFN album and reflect the group's full lunacy and wide-spectrumed influences: the hypnotic She Was Naked (actually a rework of the album's Dona Nobis Pacem) is a calm Floyd-like track with Van Geest's flute the featured instrument until a sold guitar intervenes, while it's B-side Spiral Staircase is a silly ditty with mostly-spoken narration and silly repetitive binary piano. The other single is a spoof-boogie Fancy Nancy is almost a doo-wop track over Jerry Lee Lewis piano extravaganza, backed a just-as-weird Gonna Take Easy track that zooms towards Zappa; this second single is a little too painstakingly different and actually sound hollow. So with these four tracks added on, PFN now makes a fairly normal release length, but no matter how short, Supersister's debut is definitely worth hearing, despite its sometimes rough edges and over-silly humour, although we're still faraway from Pudding En Gisteren's madness..

Review by loserboy
4 stars SUPERSISTER were a Canterbury'ish 4 man act from The Hague who managed to release a few real beauties with "Present From Nancy" being one of the standout albums. Drawing on aspects of GENTLE GIANT and EGG this band get in to some real musical predicaments. The line-up: on this album was Robert Jan Stips (vocals, keyboards), Ron van Eck (bass, guitar), Marco Vrolijk (drums, vocals) and Sacha van Geest (vocals, flute). SUPERSISTER's music is quite varied and complex with an original mix of progressive, jazz, rock, classical and fusion genres never really resting. Musically this is actually shares some of the musical shifts reminiscent of the work of Frank ZAPPA. Also at times I get an early PINK FLOYD (aka "Ummagumma") vibe which may rest more in their use of percussion and keyboards. SUPERSISTER blend complex drum and fuzz bass interplay with keyboards and flutes and really create a wall of fantastic music for your mind. Surprisingly this album does not really feature any dominant guitar work and yet feels so lively and fresh. Very much recommended to all lovers of Canterbury prog.
Review by Proghead
4 stars I had just finally got in to SUPERSISTER. I was aware of this group for ages, but for some reason, I never got any of their stuff until now. Just the name SUPERSISTER might be enough to scare any self-respecting prog rock fan, as someone stated, you might think they were a black female disco group or one of those mellow '70s rock groups like Player or Pablo Cruise. Luckily all that isn't true about SUPERSISTER, and one thing, they pre-dated disco, and were instead one of the finest prog rock bands to come out of the Netherlands. I heard they were a Dutch answer to the Canterbury scene, and after hearing "Present From Nancy" they are right. They are frequently compared to CARAVAN, but CARAVAN tended to be much more accessible, and SUPERSISTER tended to be much more twisted, like many of the other Canterbury bands.

The band consisted of keyboardist/vocalist Robert Jan Stips, flautist Sacha van Geest, drummer Marco Vrolijk, and bassist Ron van Eck. The band didn't feature a guitarist, but the heavily fuzzed organ (that brings to mind Mike Ratledge or Dave Stewart) more than makes up for that. The title track brings to mind SOFT MACHINE circa "Third" especially became of the piano and the drumming that's very much like Robert Wyatt. "Memories are New" is a great vocal track with a strange, Krautrock-like experiment in the middle. "11/8", which I presume is the meter the song is played in, features some electric piano, and parts of this reminds me of MATCHING MOLE circa Little Red Record (although MATCHING MOLE had yet to exist, and as everyone knows, Robert Wyatt was still with SOFT MACHINE). "Corporation Combo Boys" is another vocal track with references to Frank ZAPPA's "Mothers of Invention", letting people know one of the band's influences. "Mexico" is a more aggressive number, a bit KING CRIMSON-like but with that heavily fuzzed organ. The song remains like this until the vocals kick in and the band gets jazzy. "Metamorphosis" is an odd piece with this strange choppy fuzzed organ, when then segues in to "Eight Miles High", which is 20 seconds long. This is not exactly an excerpt of the BYRDS song, but rather the BYRDS song combined with George Gershwin's "Summertime", in other words the song goes, "Eight miles high, and the living is easy". I really liked the organ and the psychedelic vibe that went with this short piece. There are also two rather moody experiments that seem at odds with the rest of the album, that is "Dreaming Weelwhile" and "Dona Nobis Pacem". These are basically experiments with organ, the former also featuring flute. The latter has a rather sinister feel to it, and even a little chanting in Latin. Then unexpectedly this piece suddenly turns in to cheesy circus music that lasts about a minute, before fading and the gong closes the piece and the album.

SUPERSISTER sounds pretty untypical for a Dutch band, especially if you're familiar with such groups as FOCUS, EARTH & FIRE, ALQUIN, KAYAK, TRACE, and EKSEPTION. You might not get "Present From Nancy" upon the first listen, but it's a real grower, and it comes with my highest recommendation.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With their debut album "Present from Nancy", Supersister started what would be one of the most amazing prog musical careers in the Netherlands. Heavily influenced by Soft Machine, Supersister managed to come out with an original approach to their jazz- tinged prog stuff: in no small degree was van Geest's vivacious flute playing a crucial factor for the band's originality, since his bucolic style complemented beautifully the jazzy vibrations delivered by his three partners. In this way, the quartet fulfilled a delicious sonic amalgam, seasoned by abundant touches of witty weirdness - the sense of humor that comes out in many passages of the album (and in general, throughout the band's whole repertoire) helps to enhance the sense of excitement that all four musicians seem to be genuinely enjoying while they move across the complex melodies and rhythm patters. Perhaps this is the key to understanding Supersister's peculiar genius: a combination of demanding musical intelligence and easy-going dadaist irony. Main writer R. J. Stips makes his keyboard and vibraphone deliveries take center stage, with van Geest assuming the role of creative interlocutor while the duo of van Eck and Vrolijk lay down a robust rhythm foundation for the complex frame of each track. Supersister is practically a well-ordained organism in which every individual portion challenges the others in a most playful way while its heart pumps frantically fiery blood through its veins - a funny organism, indeed! The 2-part namesake opener sets the general mood for the album: a sheer display of pure energy delivered through neckbreaking performing and interplaying. Things get even more frantic in the first two sections of 'Memories are New (Boomchick)' - a sort of SM on steroids - until its last section takes us to a more languid ambience. 'Corporation Combo Boys' is a brief musical parody including some silly ensemble chanting and a final applause. A merry joke that serves as a prelude to 'Metamorphosis', another typical Supersister number that includes the densest passages in the album, together with other playful ones: there is a frantic jam that reminds me of a pursuit scene in a WB cartoon. 'Dona Nobis Pacem' closes down the album in a most extravagant way (yet!), focused on a twisted use of Gothic ambiences. Stips' electric organ provides lots of successive phrases and layers for quite a long time before, near the end, an unexpected shift brings in merry- go-round motif, as if we ere being transported to some kind of funfair: finally, with a gong bang the song ends, and so does the listening experience. I recommend any of Supersister's first two albums as a starting point for the uninitiated; I also regard "Present fro Nancy" as an indispensable item in any good prog collection.

[I respectfully dedicate this review to the memory of Sacha van Geest]

Review by slipperman
5 stars Total genius. Some will tell you different, but I say a perfect album is NOT impossible. When I'm listening to Supersister's 'Present From Nancy', I can't imagine how it could possibly be better. I wouldn't want it to be any different than the way it already is. It's perfect enough.

Coming along in 1970, Supersister offered a debut of considerable depth, mixing the familiar Canterbury sound of a band like Caravan with their own brand of humor, a wide range of tones and sounds (the keyboards sound wonderful and the fuzz bass sounds even better!)...and a healthy taste for the perverse. Running order is a major consideration for a band once they've completed work in the studio, and 'Present From Nancy' is a marvel of faultless design, with a distinct beginning, middle and end, with climaxes, pauses, bursts of hyperactivity, diversions and calming moments placed in all the right places. The jazz-rock beginning of "Introductions" and "Present From Nancy" gives way to the grittier edge of "Memories Are New", which halfway through sinks into a deeper level of composition, signalling the twists and turns to come. The appropriately-titled "11/8" follows, a tense and intense display of jazz-meets-symphonic prog (in hell). "Dreaming Weelwhile" offers the first moments of solace, with a cosmic melody elongated throughout its 2:50 length drone. "Corporation Combo Boys" is silly, but thankfully short enough to be an acceptable opening to the album's second half...

"Mexico" is one of those songs that convinces me Trey Spruance and the rest of Mr. Bungle must have a thorough education in '70s prog. It rests on a rhythm not unlike some of Pink Floyd's best early-'70s epics, offering melody and dynamics that make you feel like you're in the deep Mexican desert at night. It sounds harmless on the surface but there's something sinister bubbling underneath (like much of Mr. Bungle's 'California'). "Metamorphosis" is 3:26 of proto-thrash, a jarring, relentless drum attack giving a firm foundation to the insane keys and bass that rape the ears in one of prog's earliest moments of proto-metal violence. "Eight Miles High" is a short play on the Byrds song, exploding in an abrupt death 20 seconds later, birthing the contemplative final track, "Dona Nobis Pacem". Awash in keyboard ambience, haunting deep-space harmonies move the exotic droning hypnosis along with purpose. It somehow seemelessly evolves into a circus-organ jig (all of a sudden I see clowns and those sickening orange marshmallow peanuts! Yikes!), then it floats back onto its former self. Some have called this part silly, but they way it's welded into the structure makes it more disconcerting than anything. This signals the end one of the most eventful and enjoyable prog albums I've yet heard. Highly recommended to fans of the Canterbury sound, symphonic prog, fusion, jazzrock, psych, and just plain weird music...Supersister does it all.

Review by Menswear
4 stars To me, this is true progressive music. Few bands can pretend to earn that title, if not the 5 bands that makes the pentagon of progressive music: Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Gentle Giant.

Well, there's probably more space in many minds, right?

Camel, Gryphon, Focus, Caravan, Le Orme, R.D.M. or Nektar: more obscure bands that didn't made much ruckuss but stepped into the great underdogs of underground...better add Supersister in the bunch.

As I said, this is truly music that transcend the jazz/rock combo. Supersister is pushing forward to stretch the psychedelica style and grabbing the Canterbury sound by the horns. But I find those close. Even if this band is NOT from England, it influenced so many people, I declare them forefathers of bands like Camel or Soft Machine, and of today's Blur weirdest albums.

For mature ears only, we're just out of the psychedelia era, and the traces of Strawberry Alarm Clock or early Pink Floyd are tastable. Amateurs of flute, organ and jazzy jams with gloomy moods will love this.

Crazy and at the same time, sparkling.

Review by hdfisch
4 stars Admittedly I came across this wonderful Dutch band quite late in my life and I'm really wondering why I never heard their name in the old days. I purchased as well their Supersisterious-DVD just recently and I found the live performance there absolutely stunning. This one here had been their very first album and offered rather swinging jazz rock played on flute, bass, organ and drums with occasional vocals by Robert Jan Stips. Guitar is almost absent (apart from a short appearance in the funny "Coorporating Comboboys" but as well not really missing. Bass and organ play is quite reminiscent of Hopper und Ratledge from Soft Machine wheras Stips' vocals are bringing rather Richard Sinclair of Caravan into one's mind. But despite all comparisons due to Geest's brilliant flute play and some piano being used every now and then Supersister had primarily their very own sound. In some way this band created a perfect cross between the harmony of symphonic Prog and the disposition for experimentation and flamboyance of Canterbury sound. Everything is there on this excellent and versatile album: sections with distorted organ and fuzzed bass ("Memories Are New", "Metamorphosis"), swinging jazzy moments with cheerful flute play ("Present from Nancy", "Memories Are New") and relaxed soaring parts with elegiac flute, soft soundscapes by keyboard and occasional vibraphone ("Dreaming Wheelwhile", "Dona Nobis Pacem"). This had been a very well-done debut by this usually overlooked band and I think any fan of Canterbury style should own it, especially since it's available as 2 on 1 CD re-issue together with their second one for good value-for-money ratio. I wouldn't hesitate to rate it with 4 stars!
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Hard to believe these guys were all under 18 when this was recorded. I would describe their music as jazzy and light, in the Canterbury style with a lot of quirky, funny and whimsical moments. Hard also to believe that Danile Denis (UNIVERS ZERO) was briefly a part of this band. I was reminded of CARAVAN at times, although these guys are not as accessible or melodic in my opinion. "Introductions" opens with drums and piano as flute follows in this uptempo number. "Present From Nancy" is another uptempo tune.This one is light and breezy with the flute taking a prominant role. "Memories Are New" has vocals in the Richard Sinclair style, as the song becomes experimental and eerie sounding. "11/8" features distorted organ and drums, as piano comes in later. "Dreaming Weelwhie" is a pastoral, dreamy (haha) song with flute."Corporation Combo Boys" has a silly vocal melody to open, and the rest is silly as well in the Canterbury style. "Mexico" has fuzzed organ and drums with whimsical vocals.Gotta love the organ work here. "Metamorphosis" has some fast paced drums, and it actually chugs to a stop. "Eight Miles High" is like a 20 second ode to THE BYRDS. The final song "Dona Nobis Pacem" is slow paced with keys. An atmospheric, eerie tune that totally changes 6 1/2 minutes in to an uptempo, circus-like melody. A great Canterbury styled album from The Netherlands circa 1970. I do prefer the follow-up "To The Highest Bidder" but both are essential for Canterbury fans out there.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a great album from Supersister. This is a band I have discovered after reading about them on Prog Archives. Present from Nancy is Supersisterīs debut album. I think this is an album that deserves much wider recognition than what it has gotten so far. Itīs a bit difficult though as it is a hard to find album, it took me a while to find it.

The music is in the Canterbury prog rock style. Light jazzy progressive rock with a soft sound. Influences must be bands like Caravan and The Mothers of Invention. There is even an ode to The Mothers of Invention in the song Corporation Combo Boys where the kazoo lick from Hungry Freaks, Daddy is sung a capella. Beautiful just beautiful. There is also some Uncle Meat sounding instrumental passages played on Hapsichord. The music is mostly instrumental but there is singing on some tracks which reminds me of the way the singing is done on the early Camel albums. I really enjoy the memorable vocal lines. Very subtle and soft.

The musicians are outstanding and very inventive. There are lots of different organ and synth sounds used and the drum playing is really excellent.

The sound quality is very good and considering that Present from Nancy is from 1970 the quality is excellent.

This is one of the best Canterbury scene albums that I have listened to and I would rank it up there with the best of Caravan. This one deserves either a 4 or a 5 star rating, but cheap as I am I will only rate Present from Nancy 4 stars. It might be upgraded to 5 stars in time though. Itīs pretty close to a masterpiece in my ears.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I have a special relationship with "Supersister". In the early stage of my musical discovery, I was hooked every week to "Top Pop". A Dutch musical programme comparable to TOTP from the BBC.

I saw their clip from their hit-single (in The Netherlands) "She Was Naked" and I liked it an awful lot. This was my introduction with the in...1970.

Their debut album holds some very innovative sounds, strange music and highly progressive orientation. To mention that the album is a masterpiece is another step of course.

Mostly jazz-rock oriented, this debut album indicates very high technicity (virtuosity at times) and rather complex song writing. At times, they remind me of the great VDGG. Even if their type of music is not the one I praise, I have to admit that creativity and uniqueness brought them to another musical sphere.

The highlight here holds in "Memories Are New". A perfect example of a "Supersister" song. Fine melody, nice instrumental passages combined with complex yet interesting moments. Let's just forget about the short and useless "Corporation" and get concentrate on "Metamorphosis" which is probably the best out of this album.

I should normally never have been interested into this sort of band, but I admit that their original sound (although way too jazzy for my ears) attracted me some thirty seven years ago.

As always, Dutch prog bands were way ahead their counterparts on continental Europe. This album is of course not dedicated to the mass audiences. It is difficult to approach, needs several listening and an overall open mind to be appreciated.

Three stars.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Look out, this sister is twisted in a different way

Holland's Supersister is most often noted as being the purveyors of the "Dutch Canterbury" for what such terms are worth. Recorded in the summer of 1970, "Present From Nancy" is an interesting debut for a band that will attempt to merge the Soft Machine/Caravan influence with perhaps some Scandinavian ideals and a distinct sense of humor. Humor will play a constant part of their approach over the years occasionally becoming too much for some fans of the music, a problem that some fans have with Zappa and Gong as well. Supersister has a unique sound forged by replacing guitar as a lead instrument with a fuzzed-up bass guitar and organ or piano. On top of that they throw plenty of flute and sax , some vocals, and crisp, accomplished percussion. Songwriting is like a Pandora's box, you really never know what you going to be accosted with. It may be a laid-back jazzy sequence with nothing but pleasantry made for martinis with friends, it might be zany vocal chant with handclaps meant for bongery with friends, it could be a spaced-out free-form thing made for lying in bed with lights is all of the above. It sort of all blends together into one long track that shifts directions constantly and is frequently amusing and interesting as an occasional listen. There is much here to appreciate but it falls a bit short of putting all the pieces together for a truly masterful work. Certainly a must for Canterbury nuts but for other simply a respectable debut in the "good" range. 6/10

Review by friso
4 stars Supersister is a Dutch progressive group led by Robert Jan Stips (who would later also play in Golden Earring and the Nits). Often compared to early Soft Machine, the band actually shared common roots citing Frank Zappa as their main influence. The band started as a high school coverband and transformed in a psychedelic pop group in the late sixties. When their main songwriter, Rob Douw, left the band it was quickly transformed into a progressive jazz rock group, but not before recording the (unexpected) psychedelic pophit 'She Was Naked'. 'Present From Nancy' is a high paced record with Stips playing unique patterns on his slightly distorted organ, drowsy vocals, melodic jazz flute, thumbing bass-lines and always fast-paced drums by Marco Vrolijk. The band has its own light-hearted psychedelic edge to it. In combination with the jazzy swing vibe and the experimental song formats the record is likely to impress fans of Canterbury type prog. The album plays non-stop, but one has to admit that on the second halve of the second side the band is slowing things down considerably with the spacey organ loops of 'Dona Nobis Pacem'. The production is nowhere near perfect, yet it does captures a charming & fun young band on fire, at the turn of decade. Supersister is an amazing little group that made some amazing little albums that have regained some well deserved popularity among collectors with the rise of the internet in the 21th century.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.5 stars for this unique band...

Among the most significant prog bands ever to come out of The Netherlands, SUPERSISTER's story begins in mid-60's at the Grotius College in Hague,when some young students begun a band named ''The Bulbs'',led by Robert Jan Stips.The band adopted constantly new styles and influences and this was the reason for the numerous changes of the band's name (from ''The bulbs'' to ''Q-Provocation'',shortened to ''Provocation'' and in 1968 to ''Sweet okay supersister'').Their lives were absolutely amazing with dancers and body painters on stage and ,as Pete Sjadin from ''Group 1850'' saw them one night,he helped them release their first single in 1970,followed by the recordings of their debut ''Present from Nancy'' the same year.

Already performing under the name SUPERSISTER,''Present from Nancy'' is an album way beyond its time with obvious references to SOFT MACHINE and CARAVAN,but more importantly with a personal approach to energetic complex rock music.The album is mostly instrumental,offering awesome interplays between the musicians and furious grooves,hard to get into with a single listen.You can easily been blown away by the battles of Sascha Van Geest's flutes with the tight performance of Ron Van Eck on bass and Marco Vrolijk on drums/percussion.Rob Stips' piano and organ are almost everywhere,performing delicate passages,later exchanged with dynamic interplays with the rhythm section.The most energetic passages will just leave you speechless with their professionalism and pure inspiration,the smoother ones contain psych leanings and jazzy arrangements with great flute work and dark guitar playing,not far from the Canterbury-based bands.This is certainly one of the best early progressive rock releases and a personal highlight for me,regarding the year 1970.A highly recommended album of maximum historical and musical importance!

Review by The Quiet One
2 stars Not a very nice Present from Dutch pals, Supersister

Supersister's debut, Present From Nancy, is a forgotten gem when it comes to technical musicianship; these guys right from the start in 1970, delivered some extremely demanding music which very few of the classic Prog bands could do at such an early stage. However, when it comes to composition and songwriting, there's a good reason why Present From Nancy has been forgotten.

The album can be splitted in two halfs musically: on one side there's the impressive, though unpleasant complex material, while on the other side there are some tranquil material reminiscent of the British Canterbury Scene, but rather forgettable.

When it comes to the impressive tunes from a technical point of view, these are Introductions, Present from Nancy, Memories are New, 11/8 and Metamorphosis. All of them showcase odd time signatures throughout and the ocassional dissonant bit to sound even more extreme than they already are. All of them are led by Ron's fuzzy bass and Robert's organ. Surely very innovative for the time, but that's really the only merit I can give them, overall they're very unpleasant tunes to listen to, they have zero meaningful ideas with the exception of the already stated time signatures.

Then, when it comes to the less freaky tunes which are Dreaming Wheelwhile, Corporation Combo Boys, Eight Miles High, Dona Nobis Pacem and Mexico, you'll find Supersister playing without their overdose of caffeine. With the exception of Mexico, they're all tuned-down tunes which recall Canterbury Scene's humor. While on these tunes Supersister didn't focus on the technical side of music, they still didn't manage to deliver any meaninful music.

As a conclusion, I'll just say that this album should be taken in consideration when it comes to innovative albums from 1970, but other than that I really can't say. It's neither a good introduction to the Canterbury Scene nor actually a good album per se.

2 stars: poor compositions with impressive musicianship to take in consideration.

Review by Warthur
4 stars A more than competent mingling of influences ranging from late-period Mothers of Invention to Volume Two era Soft Machine, with a big hit of Caravan mellowness here and there, Supersister's first album is not an absolute masterpiece, but it's more than deserving to sit in the company of its influences. No mere imitators, the band prove willing to experiment a little and surprise the listener (such as when they throw in a super-brief partial cover of the Byrds' Eight Miles High at one point), and match their heroes in technical expertise to boot; Stips and Vroljik on vibes and percussion in particular are a joy to hear. Four stars.
Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator

Supersister. Yes, I'm one of those who heard of the band, saw the jacket of Present From Nancy, and said "no". It wasn't the name itself because I'm all for some funkified Pam Grier worship, but with those long haired dudes on the cover I knew I wasn't going to get any of that. The photo itself is interesting as well, since it appears that this physical stance the members display on the cover seems to be a necessary pose to find any semblance of comfort while suffering from an unusually severe case of jock itch. Thus I did feel pity for these boys with the oddly titled band name, but not enough to buy the actual album. Morbid curiosity did eventually win though. I had a particularly rough day at work and then, after getting splashed by a passing vehicle on the way home, I knew that I needed Supersister in my life.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but whatever it was, I didn't foresee these guys playing with such virtuosity. By the time the third track "Memories are new" kicks in with its wonky time signatures I was already floored. This is some tight jazz rock, baby. When singing does occur, the vocals favor that pleasant mellow Canterbury delivery combined with lyrics that have little interest in changing the world or getting some fine young woman into bed (unless she's nuts). Supersister also possesses a fulltime flute player as opposed to a guitarist. Yep, they're another of these early prog bands that eschewed guitars in general, and as far as I can tell basically dissolved after awhile with not much of a glorious legacy. I swear, having a guitar in your band is a key point in rock. A few (very few) rockish bands can live long and prosper without one, but most can't, and despite this album really not needing one, it's to no surprise that I knew so little about these guys despite a longtime interest in prog rock.

SUPASISTA DON'T TAKE NO JIBBA JABBA FROM NOONE, but Present From Nancy is a bit uneven at times. It starts off great with some high energy tempos and musicianship, but a bit of a lull settles in around the middle portion of the album until "Mexico" brings back the goodness. As an aside, it's always nice to hear a song named after a country while not plundering its native musical culture, although a breakdown into a Mariachi hat dance would've been hilarious. "Mexico" combines their two styles quite well: the difficult and entrancing jazz patterns and the fun rollicking soft rock & slightly psychedelic attitude to create a nice little mini-epic. Another song I should mention is "Dona Nobis Pacem". Mostly it's a moody sluggish keyboard piece before morphing into carnival music and ending with a loud gong. It's one of those long numbers that really try my patience at times, and every time I give it a chance I wind up yearning for that gong because it's an exciting noise and it signifies the tune's end.

So yeah, I can kinda dig the Supersister. They seem to know what time it is, and definitely do on their next slab of vinyl which improved their capabilities as songwriters. Present From Nancy has some real highpoints and a few borderline miserable lowpoints, but that's the way of a lot of debuts by bands arriving at such a tricky era as the end of the 60s and dawn of the seventies. Early Canterbury from nowhere near Canterbury. If you dig that scene, check it out.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Present from Nancy is one of the most upbeat, happy-happy, joy-joy albums of the Canterbury subgenre of progressive rock music. From it's opening notes of Latin-sounding drum rhythms played on the toms to the rocket speed piano and breathy staccato flutes and rolling bass lines, the first two songs, "Introductions" (2:58) and the title song "Present from Nancy" (5:15) flow one into the other while maintaining the happy jazzy breakneck speed until the final 15 seconds. (10/10)

3. "Memories Are New (Boomchick)" (3:48) is another fast-paced piece, this time organ-driven and supporting a very Canterbury-sounding vocal. At 1:35 the music shifts into scary-weird land with some odd organ/keyboard noises being supported by a steady rapid-fire cymbal play on the hi-hat. At 3:20 we return to the opening section with vocals as if nothing had happened there. Weird but great! (9/10)

4. "11/8" (3:17) sounds like one of Robert FRIPP's guitar and tempo exercises. Screeching dissonance! I love it! (8/10) You can really see how much THE SOFT MACHINE influenced these guys.

5. "Dreaming Weelwhile" (2:53) is a floating meditative play on Ravel's "Bolero" flute melody using flanged bass, cymbal crescendos and soft organ to support the distant-seeming solo flute. (10/10)

6. "Corporation Combo Boys" (1:22) opens as an a cappela exercise with several male voices singing "Do-do-do-do-do" in harmony before a humorous play on a Bond theme with lyrics takes over. (9/10)

7. "Mexico" (4:22) opens with "buzz-saw" organ and tribal drumming pattern before everything quiets down in a soft movie soundtrack-like organ instrumental. The song proceeds with opening "tribal" Section and second "movie soundtrack" themes alternating equally until at 2:35 it turns into a BACH-like organ and flute duet with light tongue-twisting Canterbury lyric sung over and with. This C "waiting" Section plays out to the song's end. (8/10)

8. "Metamorphosis" (3:28) is a very metronomic drum, bass and left hand of the organ play while the "buzz-saw" playing the jazzy, improvisational lead on the right. At the start of the third minute the left channel organ takes over the lead--at times two-hands mirroring one another. (8/10)

9. "Eight Miles High" (0:23) is a funny 23 seconds of the final measure of the classic BYRDS song blending into the famous "and the living is easy" lyric of GERSHWIN's "Summertime." Funny!

10. "Dona Nobis Pacem" (8:36) is a slow tempo solo organ exercise for its first three minutes. Then the flute enters giving the song truly a Porgy and Bess feel to it. Some of the incidental and background melody ditties around the five minute mark and thereafter have YES "Awaken" and "Nights in White Satin" sounds. At 6:30 the tempo picks up as the song transforms into a carnival-like/Nutcracker-like sound with ever-increasing tempo. Interesting--and humorous--but not my favorite. (8/10)

An album that starts off so strongly and melodically, but then begins to falter and slide after the sixth song, still rates as one of the best Canterbury albums--and one of my favorites--ever.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars Sporting a dreadfully embarrassing band photo, this looks like it could be the stuff of nightmares.

Pleasingly they use a variant of 'Futura Light' as the header font which is always pleasing to my eye and one typeface that name droppers 'Nurse With Wound' have used with dramatic effect for over 35 years.

Typography tomfoolery out of the way, I have to admit that this is an excellent album which detonates into life almost immediately. Full of quirky upbeat piano, fulsome flute and a drummer with his head firmly screwed on sideways.

Dutch Prog bands aren't exactly at the top of many lists but this just hits all the right buttons for me. It's very 'Canterbury' in sound and the 'Dutch' sounding 'Robert Jan Stips' has a set of vocal cords guaranteed to NOT upset English listeners despite singing in this language. The jammy gits somehow get away with it. I guess it's the soft affected vocal style. Considering this was recorded in in 1970 I have to say that it's stood the test of time very well.

'Present from Nancy' is playful and experimental, with some passages sounding like Floyd's 'Ummagumma'. There's also quite a lot of use of that weird stylophone keyboard sound used to great effect by 'Egg' and 'Caravan'. There's a nice airy and light feel to most tunes where you feel you're floating on candy-floss clouds. At times it all gets quite manic as on 'Metamorphosis' which keeps things fresh and lively.

Of particular note is the wonderfully po-faced 'Mexico' which has a superb combination of keyboards and big stompin' drums which hammer away before those cool vocals and complex bass guitar lines frantically batter everything in sight like the big bully in the school playground.

Supersister comfortably deal with odd time signatures in a way that sounds completely effortless which is a commendable achievement in itself. It's also very surprising to hear such a well produced and clear recording from this era when many similar bands sounded like they were playing inside a closed cardboard box with the microphones on the outside.

'Present from Nancy' is 'Supersisters' most energetic release. A cheery upbeat album, which at the same time displays a lot of originality and experimentation. It's made all the better by the distinct lack of guitar which was quite uncommon for Prog bands of this era.

Review by ALotOfBottle
4 stars Despite a relative success of Soft Machine's and Caravan's debut and sophomore albums, the Canterbury scene bands didn't get a lot of attention in the United Kingdom. They soon found, though, a great following in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The Netherlands in particular was a vibrant place at that time - a perfect place for a young, inspired musician. A young conservatory student, who specialized in keyboard instruments Robert Jan Stips teamed up with a bass player Ron van Eck, a vocalist and a flautist Sacha van Geest and a drummer Marco Vrolijk. That's how Supersister came to life. Soon after releasing a single in 1970, the band was offered to play Kralingen Music Festival (also known as "the Dutch Woodstock") alongside acts such as Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane, Caravan, Soft Machine, The Byrds, Mungo Jerry, Fairport Convention and Stone The Crows, just to name a few. With plenty of material, they decided to release their debut album Present From Nancy.

Supersister's sound is to a very high degree shaped by Canterbury scene bands such as Soft Machine, Caravan or Delivery. Even a bit of Egg influence is to be heard. However, their music goes beyond just these influences, it's notably different. Without the goofiness of Caravan and improvisational factor of Soft Machine, the group has a distinct sound only of their own. The psychedelic aroma is almost entirely absent. Furthermore, the band incorporates a flute, making a particularly good use of the instrument on smooth dreamy passages. Machine-like fuzz organ, reminiscent of Egg and Emerson Lake & Palmer is commonly used, giving this organ-driven quartet a welcome variety from lush, well-known Hammond organ sounds. A fuzz bass tone as used by Hugh Hopper is also present. Similarly to their Canterbury contemporaries, Supersister utilizes odd time signatures. As I mentioned, improvisation and jams do not play an exceedingly important role in their music, as opposed to Soft Machine.

Present From Nancy consists of 10 tracks, some of which are linked together. What is worth attention is that all of the tracks are different from one another. A good part of them is instrumental, only some include vocals, which remind a bit of Richard Sinclair's voice. The title track, "Present From Nancy" presents the jazzy, Soft Machine-inspired style, "Memories Are New" and "11-8" are kept in odd time signatures, sharing similarities with some of Egg's pieces, "Dreaming Wheelwhile" has a dreamy ambience to it, while "Corporation Combo Boys" features harmony vocals, in a similar vein to Gentle Giant. "Eight Miles High" is a 25-second tune with a lyrical allusion to "Summertime", a widely known jazz standard. "Metamorphosis" is probably the most experimental of all, based on a rapid "Sabre Dance"-like tempo. Together, the pieces create a beautifully twisted whole, so much that none of the tracks could justifiably be regarded as a "highlight" of the album.

Although I consider myself a Canterbury scene fan, I often find many bands' material a bit sterile and therefore uninteresting. That is definitely not the case with Supersister's debut album Present From Nancy. For a debut album, this is a very solid and consistent effort, which does not show musical indecision. Highly eclectic and more importantly unique, this is an essential album of the sub-genre, capturing the true spirit of Canterbury scene's early days. A one-of-a-kind work, recommended! 4.5 stars!

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars The origins of SUPERSISTER go all the way back to The Hague, Netherlands in 1967 when Robert-Jan Stips (vocals and keyboard), Sacha van Geest (flute), Marco Vrolijk (drums) and Ron van Eck (bass) started the band under the moniker Sweet O.K. Supersister (the name they would release their final album "Spiral Staircase" under). In the few short years between their formation and the release of their debut release PRESENT FROM NANCY, a collection of absurdist musical tales of a fictitious girl having tea with the giant staircase gnome, the band honed their chops to become one of the biggest surprises of the nascent progressive rock scene in 1970 by taking the Canterbury traits of Soft Machine, Egg and Caravan and marrying them to the whimsy on steroids approach of The Mothers Of Invention all the while throwing in some Miles Davis and John Coltrane jazz effects mangled up in a classically infused compositional approach. All in the spirit of the wild experimental odometer years of the 60s turn 70s era.

While mere teenagers, this quartet dished out some of the most adventurous music of the early prog scene that literally took their influences to the next few levels and unleashed a truly bizarre mishmash of Vrolijk's military styled percussive drive (offering a somewhat cartoonish effect), blitzkrieg keyboard virtuosity delivered by the frenetic fingers of Robert Jan Stips (who simultaneously nailed the Robert Wyatt vocal style), the Caravan inspired fuzz bass of Ron van Eck and Van Geest's sensual flute performances that somehow provide a grounding to the electric performances that make up PRESENT FROM NANCY, one of the ultimate gifts of 1970 indeed and one of the Netherlands' finest hours. In the world of progressive rock PRESENT FROM NANCY simultaneously offers some of the most complex musical deliveries with outlandish humorous touches that even finds the band members cracking up!

The album starts off with a robotic percussive drive with a classic Canterbury jazzed up piano run, a juxtaposition of styles that carries on throughout the album's entire run, never lets up and offers only the unexpected after a sense of comfort dares creep in. The album could be thought of as taking up the continuation of Soft Machine's first two albums. While the Softs were hell bent for leather to jettison their Canterbury pop rock origins in favor of stodgy and whimsy-free jazz fusion, SUPERSISTER gleefully picked up where "Soft Machine II" left off and then found myriad avenues of creative liberties to breath new life into it by taking the most extreme elements of the musical landscape and finding a way to incorporate them into the greater scheme of things.

SUPERSISTER managed to deliver the whole package with pleasant, even addictive melodies teased out into elaborate compositions that simultaneously exhibited a caffeinated youthful energetic drive together with mature and thoughtfully laid out musical motifs that took all the best aspects of the English Canterbury sound along with jazz-rock, classical and even managed to throw in some ridiculously cool psychedelia via electronic freak outs over exquisitely complex time signatures. The sheer audacity on display in "Memories Are New" for example, a construct of three segments that make a greater whole runs the gamut of sweet Canterbury laced jazzy melodies, relentless fuzz bass stabs, electronic feedback run amok and even sizzling guitar leads on par with any heavy rock of the day. The "11/8" part takes the best aspects of Egg and Mike Ratelege only to more extreme levels.

"Corporation Combo Boys," right out of the Frank Zappa playbook finds jazz-rock and tango romping together but only a brief appetite whetter for "Metamorphosis," another three part suite that sounds like a pronto-punk band experimenting with jazzy lounge lizard exotica that slowly ratchets up the intensity until it implodes with the closing segment "Eight Miles High." "Dona Nobis Pacem" goes even further and finds the band displaying some of the most interesting electronic techniques made more famous by Tangerine Dream as ethereal organ runs taking a ride into space in a slow unwinding prancing session between the stars, a track that belies the frenetic and whimsical nature of the album as a whole. Some sort of calming effect perhaps for the unsuspecting audience of the day? Who knows but a perfect way to end the prog expresss that unapologetically wends and winds through both the known and unknown prog universe of the day.

With so many elements freewheeling around the racetrack at a million miles an hour, PRESENT FROM NANCY shows a keen sense of stylistic balance which allows the album to hum along in perfection. The frenetic aspects are tamped down by the sensual moments of introspection. SUPERSISTER became quite the sensation in their native country even spawning hit singles but once English DJ John Peel started promoting them on his BBC Radio One Show, the band found a wider audience following in all of Europe and successfully captured hearts in their live performances. While stylistically straddling the line between Canterbury, jazz, classical and psychedelia, SUPERSISTER's debut delivered one of the most diverse sounding albums of the early progressive rock years in the vein of King Crimson's mighty debut "In The Court" which boldly straddles the musical soundscape into hitherto unvisited nooks and crannies of sound. This was very much a grower for yours truly. What started out as a WTF type of album has slowly sunk in to become an all time favorite. Patience, my friends. All good things come in their due time. A PRESENT FROM NANCY is the gift that keeps on giving.

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars There are so many bands hailing from the Netherlands and so many of them are extraordinarily good, at that. I mean, look at Focus or Mr. Albert Show or Earth & Fire or Ekseption, to name but a few. One of the really great and inventive of these was Supersister. This band made a grand and spectacular journey among the grassy knolls of the progressive landscape. One could argue that they seemed to adopt alot of elements from the Canterbury scene and I suppose that wouldn't be an unfair statement to make. However, their identity and sound is certainly recognisable as one of their own.

On this, their first, album they draw an almost equal amount of influences from jazz, rock and (not the least) psychedelic scene and thus creating a very juicy, loud and complex piece of progressive rock. The opening "Introductions" is a nice jazzy track with great flute and piano over energetic drums. A fine way to open up an album, if you ask me. The title track introduces more jazzy complexity with a prominent piano. The fuzz bass makes a great complement to the "clean" sounds of piano and drums. It's a wonderful piece of jazzy prog. Things go decidedly proggy in a grand way on "Memories are new (Boomchick)" which is also great. The oddly named "11/8" is a wonderfully weird affair that's filled to the brim of odd time signatures (hence the title) and sounds. It would be a fitting soundtrack to a horror movie where someone is chased through the dark by whatever creature you prefer. "Dreaming wheelwhile" offers some breathing space and is a lovely, beatiful flute driven (and no, not in a Tull-ish kind of way) piece. And then it's time for some pure fun. "Corporation combo boys" opens up with some doo wop style vocals but goes in to a distorted pop fashion with a few crazy ideas thrown in just for the heck of it. "Mexico" is utterly brilliant. Just stunning! Beautiful, powerful and omnipotent it stands as a giant amidst the tracks on the album. "Metamorphosis" is probably the most powerful of the tracks. Distorted, with oppressive drumming and chaotic vibes it is a treat. To celebrate their native land I suppose they thought it funny to include a cover, but not in the sense you think. "Eight miles high" by Golden Earring sounds, with it's 26 seconds, like nothing you've heard before. The closing track, "Dona nobis pacem", is a fitting way to end this album, on a quiet (almost) note. It's like you would enter a medieval monastery and find the monks exercising a psychedelic workout using a prominent organ and some other effects and inventing (at the end) circus music. (If you listen to it you will know what I mean.) It is here where the psychedelic elements come to the fore. A bit like Pink Floyd interpreting the music of a distant age.

I find this album to be quite challenging but in a good way, as it is supposed to be. There is alot to discover and while my first listens circled round the idea of putting things in order, working stuff out and finding some order in a seemingly chaotic album I eventually came to the conclusion that this is a truly wonderful album. It is very much of it's time, since it incorporates so many psychedelic elements but having said that it is important to stress the progressive geniuses at work here. If you're into Canterbury, jazz-rock or, simply put, great progressive rock I think you might want to lend your ears to this slice of great dutch cheese.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The excellent debut album of these young lads brings us partly very energetic and frenetic Canterbury sound but also touches of classical music. The closest connection would be Soft Machine around 1969 but Supersister had slightly less jazz feeling, were more accessible, less academic, and had ... (read more)

Report this review (#2448133) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, September 16, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Supersister is an amazing band, and after my experience with To The Highest Bidder, I get into the rest of their albums. Present For Nancy was 1970 Supersister's debut, and it's actually a great, fully developed album from this "canterbury-scene dutch band". The album consists of 3 suit ... (read more)

Report this review (#1013192) | Posted by VOTOMS | Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one of the records that mark the beginning of the continental progressive rock. Supersister -while not being located in the Canterbury area- falls under the Canterbury scene because of the comparable soundscapes. This record sounds much like the early Soft Machine releases and is also ... (read more)

Report this review (#745127) | Posted by the philosopher | Friday, April 27, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Huge debut for Supersister, one the best prog band ever. We can say they have Cantebury influence and this is right, but this album is much more than Cantebury, very fresh, playful and changeful, much more twisted than band like Caravan or Soft Machine. They can be easily compared to the french b ... (read more)

Report this review (#266681) | Posted by bungle77 | Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Was the best Canterbury scene band from Holland ? Well, Supersister is among the five best Canterbury scene bands, based on their first four albums and the live album. I reviewed that one year ago and simply forgot the rest of their album. I was therefore very pleased to finally dust this al ... (read more)

Report this review (#249825) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Brilliant record by these Dutchmen. Although some changes might be a bit sudden. The whole record is very fun and never provided me for an annoying listen. The organ sounds really agressive, which also reminds me of Egg. At other times the organs are less agressive and more melancholic, like ... (read more)

Report this review (#210590) | Posted by Foolsdrummer | Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Maybe you didn't know yet, but the best Canterbury music in the (very) early seventies came from... The Hague, Holland. Though there are also influences of Frank ZAPPA, the best comparison of the music of SUPERSISTER, and especially of this unique debut album from 1970(!), is with early SOFT MAC ... (read more)

Report this review (#132252) | Posted by Paul de Graaf | Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Supersister is definitely one of the best dutch progressive rocks bands, if not the best. With their debut album "Present from Nancy" they put themselves on the map. It is not only a highlight in dutch recording history but also for the Canterbury scene. Because if one should categorize Supers ... (read more)

Report this review (#74576) | Posted by Agemo | Monday, April 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me, one of the most amazing debut in prog. Some gold middle between Frank Zappa's humor and freedom and Canterbury melodical line. Many people say that Focus is the best Dutch band, but I think Supersister is the best. Espessialy because they original sound. The increase the borders of Can ... (read more)

Report this review (#71418) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I am in the process of rounding out a Canterbury collection that is getting pretty respectable (if I do say so my self). In an effort to do this I have purchased the first two albums by the lesser touted Canterbury band, Supersister. I also went out on a limb and bought Soft Machine's Third- ... (read more)

Report this review (#71383) | Posted by fragile43k | Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars supersister were said to be a dutch example of the budding canterbury style of progressive yet they actually predate many of the canterbury acts and bear more than a passing resemblance to contemporaries Egg with more overt humor but every bit as much musical sophistication. punctuated with ac ... (read more)

Report this review (#52854) | Posted by | Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After hearing the notorious single: She Was Naked, I bought the album; (Vinyl of course, remember 1970?). It really took me some time to get used to it. But as it's been 32 years now since the release "Present From Nancy" is one of the most oustanding progressive albums I know. P.S. Hooray for F ... (read more)

Report this review (#24110) | Posted by | Saturday, January 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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