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Mother Superior jumped the gun: Unknown all female prog rock group from the 1970s
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prog rock
Mother Superior
Mother Superior jumped the gun: Unknown all female prog rock group from the 1970s

One of the first all-girl rock groups—and they were “prog rockers” at that—the UK-based Mother Superior recorded just one album in 1975 before going their separate ways. Apparently it was only released in Sweden.

From Prog Archives:

UK band MOTHER SUPERIOR was formed in the summer of 1974, when bassist Jackie Badger turns up for an audition to join UK band Cosmetix and finds the main members of that band in an almighty row that ends their history there and then. She opts to hook up Jackie Crew and Audrey Swinburne now formerly of Cosmetix, and through and ad in Melody Maker New Zealand musician Lesley Sly becomes the final member of the new band, and following a long session involving substantial amounts of alcohol they come up with the band name Mother Superior.

The band is actively gigging whenever and wherever they can, performing in pubs, at air-force bases and later on a number of gigs in Central Europe follows. While they do build up a regular fanbase, the UK record labels aren’t overly keen on signing this all girl band. As bassist Jackie Brewster revealed in her blog: “One night at the Golden Lion, the place is rammed with an audience of men and women, Sony have sent an A and R man down who says to us after two encores, that he can’t see who our market is, women would be jealous of us and men wouldn’t buy our records because their girlfriends wouldn’t like it. “

At that point in time this isn’t a great concern for the band. They have recorded their debut album in the usual manner of a new band their label doesn’t really think too much of - late night sessions handled by inexperienced studio techs promising that “it will be all right in the mix”. The album is subsequently released on a small Swedish label attached to their own label Polydor, which does give the band a good reason to tour Scandinavia the following year. That their label chose to call the album “Lady Madonna” just one more decision made that wasn’t approved by the band members.

Following extensive gigging, a label not really believing in the band, the usual on the road hassles and management problems, line-up alterations and day to day problems became the order of the day for Mother Superior. They decided to call it quits in 1977, their final gig performed on December 9th.

Seen here on an unknown TV show, the band does an original, almost Yes-like take on the Stephen Stills classic, “Love the One You’re With.” (Here’s a link to their interesting cover of the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna.”)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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