Today I Listened To …

Indulging in a bit of nostalgia today, I listened to Supersister, a Dutch Prog band from the seventies. They were heavily influenced by their British contemporaries, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine first and foremost among them. Hints of Zappa and Erik Satie can also be found in their music. There is some heavy, serious stuff, mostly instrumental but some with lyrics reminiscent of the pompous, quasi philosophical musings that can be found on some Yes albums. The Dutch accent makes me smile! There are also humorous, shorter pieces.

The group evolved from a high school band in the late sixties and contained some of the heavy hitters from the Dutch music scene in the seventies. Robert-Jan Stips, one of the founder members, was (probably still is) a very talented keyboard player who was to play a major role in a few Dutch bands: Supersister, Golden Earring, Sweet d’Buster, Transister and The Nits. A good website, with an annoted discography, lyrics, and a history of the band is here: The history pages are in Dutch, but Google Translate provides some extra fun.

I cannot remember exactly when I saw them live. What I do know is that it was at one of my secondary school concerts in the seventies. We put some great bands and solo artists on: Focus, Livin’ Blues, American Gypsy, Scott McKenzie and many others. Not bad for a school in a small provincial town! I remember being part of the organising committee and talking to some of the band members in their dressing room, sometimes reminding them of their contractual obligations when they did not play for long enough, sometimes just having a a chat and a smoke…

Supersister – Iskander

Probably my favourite Supersister album is Iskander, more Jazz Rock than Prog Rock. At this time Charlie Mariano, an American saxophonist, was part of the band. One of the instruments he plays is the nadaswaram, which is supposed to be the loudest non-brass wind instrument in the world. Iskander, the Persian name for Alexander The Great (but now also the name of a Russian ballistic missile system), is a concept album about Alexander the Great that added to the group’s high brow status when it was produced in 1973. Here is the one of the tracks:

Confrontation Of The Armies





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