To Mother

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To Mother
Babes in Toyland To Mother.JPG
EP by Babes in Toyland
Released July 1, 1991[1]
Recorded 1990
Studio Southern Studios, London, England
Length 22:17[2]
Label Twin/Tone
Producer John Loder
Babes in Toyland chronology
Spanking Machine
(1990)Spanking Machine1990
To Mother
The Peel Sessions
(1992)The Peel Sessions1992
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau(dud)[4]

To Mother is the first EP by American punk band Babes in Toyland, released July 1, 1991 by Twin/Tone Records. It consists of outtakes from their previous release, Spanking Machine, which were re-recorded and produced by John Loder in London in 1990.

It was a commercial success in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number 1 on the UK Indie Chart, remaining in the number 1 position for ten weeks.


The material on To Mother was recorded in 1990 by engineer and producer John Loder at his private home studio in the Wood Green section of London.[5]


A childhood photograph of Kat Bjelland's mother, Lynne Irene Higginbotham, appears on the album's cover.[6] Bjelland's mother died of pancreatic cancer at the time of the EP's recording, which influenced the decision of both the artwork and the title.[6]


To Mother was released on vinyl in the United Kingdom by the independent label Southern Records,[7] who at the time distributed Twin/Tone Records releases abroad.[6] In the United States, Twin/Tone released the EP on July 1, 1991[1] on compact disc, cassette, as well as vinyl formats.[8][9]

According to Twin/Tone's official catalogue, the album sold 1,260 vinyl copies, 1,792 cassettes, and 4,336 CDs before the band signed with Warner Bros.'s Reprise Records in 1992, with whom they released their breakthrough album, Fontanelle (1992).[8] The EP entered the UK Indie Chart at number 1[10], and remained there for 13 weeks, 10 of which it held the number one position.[7]

In 1993, the independent Australian label Insipid Records released "Catatonic" as a split-single with "Death, Agonies & Screams" by Poison Idea.[11]

Critical response[edit]

Critic Steve Taylor called the EP "more varied" than their previous releases, "opening with the ranting 'Catatonic' and closing with the soothing 'Quiet Room.'"[12] Rolling Stone awarded the album a two out of four-star rating in their 2004 album guide,[3] while Robert Christgau gave it a "bomb" rating, the lowest in his rating classification system.[4] John Dugan of AllMusic awarded the EP three out of five stars, noting that it is a "follow-up that's strong but not life-changing."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kat Bjelland.

2."Mad Pilot"2:51
4."Laugh My Head Off"3:34
5."Spit to See the Shine"2:45
7."The Quiet Room" (instrumental)2:38
Total length:22:17


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
UK Indie Chart 1 [10]


  1. ^ a b Bogdanov, Erlewine & Woodstra 2002, p. 42.
  2. ^ a b c d Dougan, John. "To Mother". AllMusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan et al. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-743-20169-8.
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Babes in Toyland". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  5. ^ Leon 2016, p. 114.
  6. ^ a b c Leon 2016, p. 110.
  7. ^ a b "Babes in Toyland: To Mother [Vinyl]". Southern Records. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Babes in Toyland - To Mother". Twin Tone Records. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Schoemer, Karen (March 27, 1992). "Pop/Jazz; Post-Punk Angst of Babes in Toyland". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2017. closed access publication – behind paywall
  10. ^ a b Leon 2016, p. 7.
  11. ^ Babes in Toyland/Poison Idea (1993). Catatonic/Death, Agonies & Screams (7" vinyl)|format= requires |url= (help). Insipid Records. IV-30.
  12. ^ Taylor, Steve (2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. A&C Black. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-826-48217-4.

Works cited[edit]

  • Bogdanov, Vladimir; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Woodstra, Chris (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation/Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-87930-653-3. OCLC 47823606.
  • Leon, Michelle (2016). I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland. Minnesota Historical Society. ISBN 978-0-873-51999-1.