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Egg - Egg CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.78 | 245 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Considering their talent and importance, this fantastic group doesn't always get the love they deserve. Perhaps they were swallowed by the burgeoning English progressive scene in 1970. Or maybe the first record reminded people a bit too much of the Nice and it never took hold. Nevertheless, this is one of the very best debuts of a progressive rock band and is absolutely essential in the context of early Prog history.

Master keyboardist Dave Stewart, the underappreciated Clive Brooks on drums and bassist Mont Campbell were doing wild neo-classical organ rock when other acts like ELP were still developing and hadn't yet created a distinctive sound. They made an album for Zel records in 1969 as Azrachel (with a young Steve Hillage on guitar) before recording their first album proper at Landsdowne Studios, Holland Park in October 1969. Though clearly influenced by Keith Emerson's The Nice, Egg took classical prog to the next level and 1970's 'Egg' made 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer' sound average and reserved by comparison, with jazzadelic Soft Machinisms and brilliantly played passages in the manner of Stravinsky and J.S. Bach. The record starts off with the fun 'While Growing My Hair' and psychedelic 'I Will Be Absorbed' weakened only by Campbell's wan vocals. 'Fugue in D Minor' rocks the Bach beautifully and 'The Song of McGillicudie the Pusillanimous' gets the blood pumping with racing organ and a nod to the Doors. The centerpiece is 'Symphony No. 2', one of the first true symphonic rock compositions showcasing rhythmic counterpoint, swirling keys, and five sections including the marvelous, dark and previously unreleased Third Movement. 'Seven is a Jolly Good Time' brings a bit of English silliness to the party and the CD finishes with the great 'You Are All Princes', a melodic slice of commercial prog that gives ELP a run for its money. Though a touch less realized than their follow-up 'The Polite Force', this chronicles a priceless moment in rock and hinted at grand things to come.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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