Mother Superior, besides being a rare and qualitatively beautiful Prog album, has the characteristic of being a group made up only of women. The album was produced in a period in which the Prog was going to its end, nevertheless, this band offers an interesting and mature album that follows the traits that have characterized its best period. The opportunity is given to the girls by IBC Studios, and in addition to the studio sessions, the band boasted a constant presence both at festivals and concerts, mainly in the London area and Germany.
An incredible thing is that the album was never released in a UK version, leading the band to look elsewhere for a Label that would produce this wonderful work. It was therefore, in Scandinavia that they had the greatest appreciation and the right value for their efforts. It was produced by the small Label SMA, in many reduced manners, making this album practically impossible to find today. Then in modern times it was reprinted on CD, preserving the original graphics. Following the lack of interest from the record companies, the girls decided not to continue the project. They abandoned both the hopes and the scene, convincing that the musical path could not become a livelihood base. A pity because the quality expressed on the record is of a high standard, highlighting technical ideas, good ideas and an excellent vocal. They didn’t have the luck on their side, or they were such a unique project, which was an unfavorable weapon, instead of being helpful. The only who continued the musical career was bassist Jackie Badger, by joining Snips with the ex-Wild Turkey Mick Dyche. Also Guitarist Audrey Swinburne continued and joined the Brandy. In 1976, they recorded a video, but for which there is no info, even the TV channel that hosted them is unknown.
The track proposed in the video was “Love the one you’re with,” in which they show not only their value, but also an excellent stage presence. The long work to get to the album and the trournèe preceding it, are described in detail in the blog of Jackie Badger, in which he tells very interesting anecdotes.
First part Mother Superior 1974/1975: http://jackiebadgersblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/1974-mother-superior.html
Second part Mother Superior 1976/1977: http://jackiebadgersblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/1976-mother-superior.html
Out of respect for his work, I refer you to his blog without copying or extracting any part of his wonderful article/exhibit. Returning to the album, the original vinyl version produced for the Swedish SMA is very rare. It has never been reissued on LP, while the CD version was edited by Audio Archives and dates back to 1996. In addition to the cover of “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles, which also gives the title to the album, this work is composed of other six tracks, all exquisite workmanship. More aggressive moments alternate with more melodic ones, in a pleasant combination, and outstanding vocal performance. There is not a prominent piece, as the whole record is excellent, and to signal a track only once would diminish the beauty of the others. So, listening in which I did not find weaknesses, a pity that they have not been able to get the right and deserved recognition and acclaim, as at the time also in modern times. Groups like these pleasantly enter in the editorial “Hidden Rarities,” being a real pearl in the vast world of Prog. A hidden masterpiece, which once discovered I believe, makes you fall in love too.
(1974) Lady Madonna [SMA]
1. No Time Toulouse Lautrec (5:46)
2. Just One Look (5:57)
3. Mood Merchant (7:00)
4. Love the One Your With (4:38)
5. Ticklish Allsorts (5:19)
6. Lady Madonna (4:37)
7. Years Upon Tears (5:55)
Lesley Sly / Vocals, Keyboards
Audrey Swinburne / Vocals, Guitars
Jackie Badger / bass, Vocals
Jackie Crew / Drums, Vocals