CD To the Highest Bidder (CD 1215806),
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To the Highest Bidder

  • 1. Girl Named You, A
    2. No Tree Will Grow (On Too High a Mountain)
    3. Energy (Out of Future)
    4. Higher
    5. Girl Named You, A
    6. Missing Link
    7. No Tree Will Grow
    8. Groupies of the Band, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 2057

  • Credits
    ProducerHans Van Oosterhout

    Personnel: Robert Jan Stips (keyboards); Marco Vrolijk (drums); Sacha Van Geest (wind).
    Audio Remasterer: Ben Wiseman.
    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. To the Highest Bidder was reissued on CD as a two-fer together with the group's first album, Present from Nancy. ~ Franois Couture

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