Saturday, 21 December 2013

Mother Nature (1971-1972)

The origins of hippy pop band Mother Nature, has had collectors puzzled for many years. Presumed by many, including myself for a long time to be a European act due to the songwriting credit,"Steepy Rojo". The band were actually British and their continental sounding name is made up from the forenames of the four band members, Steve Norchi (Bass), Pete Reynolds (Drums), Rod Copping (Guitar) and Jon Reeves (Guitar).

Despite their debut single's 1971 release date, the song was written back in 1968. Both sides of the 45, produced by David Hitchcock (Mellow Candle, Genesis, Caravan) are stoned, psychedelic pop of the highest order, ultra melodic but a few years behind the times. The A-side is reminiscent of the Moody Blues in their hippy prime, armed with a pure summer of love chorus, "Orange days and purple nights, flying pastel coloured kites, and the flowers in your hair, scent the evening air". This song would have been huge had it been released in 1967

The B-side "Where Did She Go" is even better and surprisingly, uncomped. It almost sounds like it was written purposely for a Fading Yellow compilation 40 years in the future. Despite any kind of promotion by records label, B&C, Anne Nightingale and Jimmy Young both gave the single some airplay on their shows on Radio One in the UK, but failed to secure a hit record. 

Steepy Rojo aka Mother Nature know where the grass is.
An attempt to record something more contemporary for their next single, this time on the Kingdom record label, resulted in another hippy ballad "Once There Was A Time", again sounding about 4 years out of date. This time with lyrics about the effects of pollution and pesticides, "Where is the sunshine, where are the fields and the grass and the woods and the trees?". The dazed look on the four band members faces on the French single's picture sleeve makes me think they knew exactly where the grass was! The flip side "Clear Blue Sky" has an inherent Crosby, Stills & Nash influence and is the most upbeat of their four officially released songs.

There was a privately released CD compilation called "Far Over And Booby Gravy" put out back in 2003 as Steepy Rojo, which collects three of the four released songs ("Where Did She Go" is missing for some reason) as well as 15 unreleased demos, a couple of which have turned up on my Bite It Deep mixes.

Just dig that guitar sound on Where Did She Go...

1 comment:

  1. I've heard "Orange Days" on youtube but I don't think it's the complete song, ends very abruptly. I agree it's a fine 45, do you know where we might find the whole song please Pete?