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SUPERSISTER

Canterbury Scene • Netherlands


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Supersister biography
SUPERSISTER had a sound very much in the Canterbury scene, and if I had to compare them to another band it would with no doubt be CARAVAN. They blend their own Dutch ideals and a touch humor into a unique mixture of progressive rock. Plenty of flute or sax or both can be heard weaving in and out of the varied organ and piano. Influences from FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION, some WIGWAM (lots of organ) and from THE SOFT MACHINE (especially from the time when THE SOFT MACHINE was a trio) can be heard.

"Present From Nancy" (1971) is a incredible debut-album featuring greats tracks, lots of flute and distorbed organ and a vocalist who sounds quite a bit like Richard SINCLAIR. "Present from Nancy" and "To the Highest Ridder" are generally the recommended starting places and work your way forward. One of the absolutely best groups from the Dutch progressive rock scene.

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To the Highest BidderTo the Highest Bidder
Import
Esoteric 2008
Audio CD$11.29
$8.69 (used)
Present From NancyPresent From Nancy
Import
Esoteric 2008
Audio CD$11.29
$8.98 (used)
Pudding En GisterenPudding En Gisteren
Import
Esoteric 2008
Audio CD$11.47
$10.37 (used)
Iskander/Spiral StaircaseIskander/Spiral Staircase
Import
Universal Argent/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$28.28
$21.99 (used)
IskanderIskander
Import
Esoteric 2008
Audio CD$11.45
$39.00 (used)
Pudding En Gisteren/SuperstarshinePudding En Gisteren/Superstarshine
Import
Universal Argent/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$31.69
$10.95 (used)
Long Live Supersister!Long Live Supersister!
Import
Pseudonym Records
Audio CD$20.38
$16.50 (used)
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SUPERSISTER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SUPERSISTER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 136 ratings
Present From Nancy
1970
4.23 | 135 ratings
To the Highest Bidder
1971
3.85 | 76 ratings
Pudding En Gisteren
1972
3.59 | 63 ratings
Iskander
1973
3.15 | 44 ratings
Spiral Staircase
1974

SUPERSISTER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 13 ratings
Supersisterious
2001

SUPERSISTER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.14 | 8 ratings
Sweet OK Supersister
2006

SUPERSISTER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.70 | 13 ratings
Superstarshine vol. 3
1972
2.61 | 5 ratings
m.a.n. (Memories Are New)
2000
3.65 | 4 ratings
Universal Masters Collection
2002

SUPERSISTER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SUPERSISTER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 To the Highest Bidder by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.23 | 135 ratings

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To the Highest Bidder
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by sinslice

5 stars Slowly Grow on Me.

Supersister include a select group of bands that did not attract me too much ( if anything ) the first times I heard, it was not ' love at first sight '. Although in most cases a complex and elaborate musical product needs time to be fully appreciated and gradually discovering it, with this Dutch band I almost give up. But fortunately I did not.

When I first heard it over twenty years ago, I was expecting a Camel style with guitars (no guitars here) and similar emotions conveyed in the music. It was a mistake. While it was a good influence to Latimer, Bardens and company, Supersister is more inclined to a Canterbury sound, to give a reference, but with a personal touch.

The sound of the first two albums is similar, but here the songwriting is stronger, almost no fillers, and ironic humor is less present. There are good tunes, well-structured and more than acceptable vocals.

" A Girl Named You" is the best work of the band, from my perspective. Ten minutes of musical ecstasy. Start with great energy, a driving hammond and electric piano, an electrifying Bass and perfect jazzy drums. Paragraph for the great performances of flute, wich is heard in the background accompanying almost all song.

"No tree will grow" contains an intriguing atmosphere and is more psychedelic, starting with keyboards to create suspense. Then Robert Jan Stips starts singing with a piano accompanying beautiful and skillfully; the song progresses slowly in intensity, without losing the initial atmosphere.

"Energy (Out of Future)" begins with a percussive base, then keyboards and flute. The rest is pure instrumental delight; accurate, with many changes and some interesting vocals. An experimental and space end.

Higher is as simple as beautiful.

Simply Essential.

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 Iskander by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.59 | 63 ratings

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Iskander
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Iskander represents Supersister taking a more serious turn than usual, delivering a Canterbury concept album about Alexander the Great's Eastern conquests ("Iskander" being how Alexander was known in some of the regions he conquered) that draws more from the third Soft Machine album (sans Moon In June) than the whimsy-heavy first two. Those who prized Supersister's playfulness and sense of fun in their previous albums may find this stab at serious prog rock credibility dull by comparison, but to my ears they actually do a decent job of delivering a quieter and more thoughtful take on their sound which doesn't deserve to be in the shadow of Pudding en Gisteren.

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 Pudding En Gisteren by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.85 | 76 ratings

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Pudding En Gisteren
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Supersister were one of those bands who liked to keep the sense of humour in Canterbury- inspired progressive rock, and Pudding en Gisteren is an excellent example of that. The first side consists of a range of shorter, more whimsical tracks (well, "Shorter" is a relative term - Judy Goes on Holiday is 12 minutes long), whilst the title track is a side-long experimental number that gives the more serious side of the group's music a workout. Even the most commercial-sounding of the shorter songs, opening track Radio, has some unexpected twists and turns, and on the whole it's a solid followup to their classic first two albums.

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 To the Highest Bidder by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.23 | 135 ratings

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To the Highest Bidder
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by rogerthat

4 stars At the outset, let me declare my strong personal bias towards this album, or, specifically, the style of music employed here. I am a total sucker for baroque counterpoint as well as walking basslines. This peculiar combination is down to my adolescent experiences with music, which consisted of absorbing the works of a composer who happens to be my favourite musician of all to date. Being that said musician is not a prog rock musician, I won't get into the details of who he is and what he has done here. But let me just say that there are many moments on this Supersister album that evoke the style and approach of said musician to me. This perhaps blinds me to some extent to the flaws of this, their second album "To The Highest Bidder".

Both the mini-epics on this album, Girl Named You and Energy (Out of Future), lack organisation and resolution. It's not that the music is chaotic but there are places where it drifts into tangents, albeit rather busy and entertaining ones. And the resolution in both tracks feels a bit forced, as if stuck on to the end as an appendage for want of better alternatives. Both the other tracks, No Tree Will Grow and Higher, don't suffer these problems but are also lightweight in terms of structure (not that that's necessarily a problem). And...that's it. In essence, this album, not counting the bonus goodies on the remastered edition, consists of four tracks of which only exceed 10 minutes. In total, 35 minutes. That means while there is no danger of this album dragging on and losing the listener's attention, it is also a bit too short and 'light' to be truly sumptuous, at least from my perspective. Awarding a 5 stars is a long shot already and I can even empathise with those reviews that denied the 4 stars to it. As entertaining as this album is, one may well end up feeling, "What the fuss" when he is through with the album.

And, yet, oh, the entertainment. This Dutch outfit has a great sense of humour. It may not manifest itself quite so much in the lyrics but certainly in the musical decisions made. It is hard, at least for me, not to listen to this music without a big smile on me. They do get quirky and weird, as one would expect with most Canterbury, but in a funny and enjoyable way. Though there are some dissonant passages of music in the album, the mood rarely ever exudes dissonance. It's just the sound of a band having tons of fun.

And they do know how to have fun. The bass, drums and flute are superb throughout the album and the keyboard contributions are great too (check out the very baroque keyboards just before vocals kick in in Girl Named You). Robert Jan Stips sounds pretty close to Richard Sinclair in lots of places, notwithstanding some downright strange voice box-aided passages. The band's sense of fun, added to my partiality to their baroque harmony and hyperactive basslines, makes it easy going for me. I can nitpick and be critical but I don't feel particularly inclined to for the most part. Oh, it helps that, as such, I love Canterbury and Supersister, though they may be Dutch, nail the quintessence of Canterbury I would not be too far off the mark to suggest it's like listening to a quirky version of Caravan.

And any doubts I have for how much I have been engaged by the album are washed away by the brief but lovely Higher. This under three minute track has a very delicate and haunting refrain and the rendition, both vocals and instruments wise, is pitch perfect (emotionally, that is). To me, this track, in spite of how short it is, is a lot more substantial than anything else on the album and makes a much more lasting impression. The rest of the album is very entertaining to listen through; Higher has that elusive quality which persuades me to want to listen again...and then again and again.

With more tracks of the quality of Higher, Supersister would have pushed me to consider a 5 stars, overriding its notable flaws. But there's just one and as beautiful as it is, it does not push me to throw all objectivity out of the window.

In summary, it's got that classic 70s prog feel and unless you strongly dislike Canterbury, it's hard to go wrong with this album. But with that said, that's as far as it goes too. 4 stars.

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 To the Highest Bidder by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.23 | 135 ratings

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To the Highest Bidder
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars This album is quite the trip. I choose to listen to progressive rock because I believe it is rock music at it's most creative and melodic - Supersister's "To the Highest Bidder" is certainly an example that supports this belief. Canterbury spirit with Zappa sensibility would be how I'd describe this classic. Exceptional interplay layers endless creative passages, enthralling the listener. The end result is a Thirty Five and a half minute joyride. For me, anyways. In my rotation forever.

It's almost as if Caravan had a cool younger brother. Different, yet definitely originating from the same genes. This young band escalated their creative passions into a form of art. A masterpiece.

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 Present From Nancy by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.00 | 136 ratings

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Present From Nancy
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by VOTOMS

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 suites (Present For Nancy, Memories Are New and Metamorphosis) and 2 isolated tracks (Corporation Combo Boys, Dona Nobis Pacem). Everything fits perfectly fine: the wacky Humor, catchy flute, the canterbury-like keys and the calm vocals. An excelent and addictive album. Present From Nancy Introduction starts with sick tribal drums mixed with symphonic melodic piano playing. That's totally awesome. After few minutes the drums attack and the flute is presented. When the main track begins, it reminds me of Emerson, Lake and Palmer - the impressive drums & keys (piano sound) combo. It's an instrumental suite. A beautiful one. Memories Are New (boomchick) starts smooth and great with that cathcy keys and melody lines. At the middle of the first part, the song breaks to a dissonant, chaotic thriller mood. I like this 'scene'. The second part of the suite, 118, is dark and evil, with the same thriller vibe. It's strange in a good way, because the track is angry, but smooth. So the final part of the suite is a chill out track. So we have the pretty vocal jokes at the short Corporation Combo Boys. After this one, the album shows the last trilogic suite from a trilogy of suites. Metamorphosis first step is called Mexico. The first half of this track is "heavy" (in their smooth way, of course). When the vocalist starts to sing, the riffage becomes fast and technical, but calm. I really like the way these guys use to make hard dynamic stuff with such a quiet and calm spirit. But the Metamorphosis title track is finally, the opposite. The oldschool death metal drums is a great surprise, and very different and innovative into this kind of canterbury sound. It's a great instrumental track. After the canterbury death fusion, Eight Miles High is somthing like a grindcore: only 25 seconds. It's good, if you are looking for good short songs like "You Suffer". But this one is smooth again. The last instrumental track adaptation, Dona Nobis Pacem, sounds a filler at first, but it has funny moments at the second half and ending.

Reccomended to any prog rocker. I really can't choose between Present From Nancy and To The Highest Bidder.

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 To the Highest Bidder by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.23 | 135 ratings

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To the Highest Bidder
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Between unique atmospherical sounds, canterbury scene and Camel, there is a band called Supersister, and the most beautiful work, To The Highest Bidder. This album is catchy as hell. And the songwriting ways... It's just impressive so many masterpieces fit together. I need to talk about this album.

I wasn't wondering something really awesome when I first pick up for the first time To the Highest Bidder. Never heard of them (Supersister) before, but I did not need any review to notice what a brilliant album I was listening to. The first track, A Girl Named You, starts the album, and it got me from the very first few seconds. The soft and expert sound accompanied by flutes are amazing. When the calm vocals begins, a soft but grinding keyboard riffage strikes together. Flawless, the song follows until a caunterbury breakdown around 6:00'' and returns slowly, beautiful and lyrical around 8:00''. And hell, what a full-speed song ending. No Tree Will Grow starts creating a mood to the singing time. Great and catchy melody. You will find some laughter soundbanks at the ending.

Energy's opening cames with a drum leading (at the very beggining) dark fantastic mood, and the flutejob is hard here, heh. Around 3:40'' the song changes and it makes the listener happy. From the middle of this track, caunterbury evoked again, in the keys tune. The ending is a musical trip. Awesome track, really. And we reach Higher, the final and smooth track, that makes me dream... higher. I used to listen to this album when I could not sleep, cause it's soft and good. Even when I did not sleep while listening to, it was great.

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 Spiral Staircase by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.15 | 44 ratings

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Spiral Staircase
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars While many assume this is the final SUPERSISTER album it was actually released under the name SWEET OKAY SUPERSISTER and is really a Sacha Van Geest solo album with SUPERSISTER members. So I guess it's close enough to be considered part of their catalogue ? Well on the official SUPERSISTER web-site you won't find this album but personally I don't have a problem with this being listed under SUPERSISTER.

After the lack of success with their previous album "Iskander" Charlie Mariano left, eventually going back to Germany where he would play with Eberhard Weber. It is a shame that "Iskander" didn't do better because it was so good. The band asked Elton Dean to take Charlie's place and Elton accepted only to see the band eventually implode. On the official SUPERSISTER web-site Elton Dean is still listed as a former member. Man i'd loved to have heard an album with him on board in the same style as "Iskander". But again I have to say that Charlie was fantastic on "Iskander". Anyway "Spiral Staircase" sees the band continuing where "Pudding En Gisteren" left off but even more sillier. In fact Frank Zappa and GONG are good examples of what we get here. Hey with Sacha back you know that humour would be back too.

"Retroschizve" opens with the sound of traffic before the piano and more takes over. Spoken words from Sacha after a minute with pleasing music. Some chipmunk vocals join in too. Get used to it (haha). It blends into "Jelly Bean Hop" where it turns fuller right away. Great sound. It settles with spoken words. The tempo keeps changing and we get more chipmunk vocals. "Dangling Dingdongs" is such a good song. Sparse intricate sounds before it picks up with bass 1 1/2 minutes in. Drums join in too. Killer stuff, especially the drumming. Vocal melodies help out. Samples late of horses walking and whistling. Then we hear someone walking away before it ends with chaotic sounds and breaking glass. "Sylver Song ( Graon, Stamp, Shock, Hoot)" opens with whispered words then some silly singing in the GONG style. Music before 2 minutes as it kicks in to a full sound. Chunky bass too. Back to silliness after 2 1/2 minutes to end it.

"Cookies, Teacups, Buttercups" opens with mandolin and water sounds. Bag pipes eventually lead with marching styled drums and vocals. Catchy. "Gi, Ga, Go (Gollumble Jafers)" opens with piano and multi-vocals. An Island vibe comes in and a singer who sounds like Kevin Ayers. Horns replace the vocals but not for long. Chipmunk vocals and laughter end it. Too funny. "It Had To Be" is piano and reserved vocals. Backing vocals and vibes too. "Nosey Parkers" is piano, drums and vocals with silly background vocals. I like the drumming and sound 1 1/2 minutes in with those GONG-like vocal expressions. "We Steel So Frange (Eplogue)" is a catchy mid-paced tune with vocals. We do get an instrumental break later.

A must for fans of GONG and Zappa.

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 Iskander by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.59 | 63 ratings

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Iskander
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Major changes for this album as original members Sacha (flute) and Marco (drums) have left the band. Enter a jazzy drummer and also Charlie Mariano who is fresh off playing on EMBRYO's "We Keep On" album. Charlie will play sax, flute and clarinet on this record. His stint with SUPERSISTER will be just this one album then he'll go back to Germany and play with Eberhard Weber ( "Yellow Fields" & "Silent Feet" ). This is a concept album about the life of Alexander The Great and the band seemed to take the approach here to make a serious jazz record with avant leanings much like SOFT MACHINE. I think when Sacha left he took the band's humour with him.

"Introduction" is a mournful, almost dissonant clarinet solo. "Dareios The Emperor" is a top three for me. There's this cool rhythm with electric piano and horns. Love the deep bass lines as the sound turns fuller. An uptempo lighter section is contrasted with this then the vocals come in after 2 minutes as it settles. It kicks back in. Intense after 3 minutes as the sax blasts over top. A calm a minute later to end it. "Alexander" opens with light keyboard sounds as a rhythm then dissonant horns take over. I like it ! Piano only after 2 minutes then the organ and sax joins in. This is fairly dark and still laid back. Passionate sax 3 1/2 minutes in and then silence before 4 1/2 minutes. Electric piano comes in followed by bass, drums and sax that kick in after 5 minutes. Some crazy sax late. "Confrontation Of The Armies" opens with flute then the piano joins in. It kicks into an uptempo soundscape before a minute. Vocals follow. Lots of fun !

"The Battle" is a top three. It opens with drums rolling then the clarinet and floating organ takes over in a melancholic manner. A beat 2 1/2 minutes in then it picks up after 3 minutes. The drumming is fantastic ! Horns too. Silence before 5 minutes then it slowly builds with bass, organ and more. It kicks back in at 6 minutes. Great sound ! The sax is blasting a minute later. "Bagoas" is excellent. I just love this one. It becomes uptempo with vocals and chunky bass. "Roxane" is led by flute and piano throughout and there's more passion late. "Babylon" is my final top three. Electric piano as chunky bass as crisp drums join in. Vocals too and this sounds amazing ! Sax a minute in as the vocals stop. Drums only after 3 1/2 minutes as the bass joins in. Sax follows and it's dissonant. Electric piano joins in too. It's speeding up after 6 minutes. The dissonant sax sure bring SOFT MACHINE (Elton Dean) to mind. Some killer drum work during the final minute. "Looking Back" is a mellow and dreamy track with reserved vocals.

An easy 4 stars and one that might be closer to 4.5 stars. Just a killer record that should be rated much higher than it is. A classic that SOFT MACHINE fans should check out.

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 Iskander by SUPERSISTER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.59 | 63 ratings

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Iskander
Supersister Canterbury Scene

Review by Life Line Project

5 stars One of the most brillant and daring albums of Dutch progressive rock and the major work of Supersister. For their last album they have assembled a great line up, consisting of master mind and band genius Robert-Jan Stips on keyboards, bass player Ron van Eck, drummer Herman van Boeijen & jazz-ace Charley Mariano on saxes and similar stuff. Iskander is, as the name well implies, a concept album about the life and times of Alexander the Great. The music on the album isn't easily accessible and it misses the familiar sense of humor, so well known from their previous albums. I think, that just because that absence of this often too adolescent "humor" the "Iskander" sounds far more mature than the other albums. The playing is impeccable and the compositions and arrangements are perfect. The music on "Iskander" ranges from complete Crimsonian chaos in "The Battle" to soft and gentle songs like "Roxane" & "Looking Back" with some fine flute parts to enjoy.The flute part in "Looking Back" is still played by the band's previous flute player Sacha van Geest. The album even contains a track that was released as a single "Bagoas", but that one didn't really reach the charts, although the band could be seen playing it in several rock shows. The band is classified as Canterbury, but I think they sound different. I can advise anyone who wants to discover the Dutch masters of progressive rock and who isn't affraid of a solid dose of jazz added, to try out this great album. Erik de Beer.

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