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Egg - The Civil Surface CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

3.79 | 192 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This was one of my sweetest experiences of prog in a long time. Egg's third record is also, in my opinion, their best, and I mourn their exit from the prog scene with this record. I am not at all in line with other reviewers who say that the second is best and the first is worst. I would say that the third is the best and the second is the least interesting one, even if they all impressed me a lot.

In many ways this is how I want prog to sound. The record is varied. It contains some tracks with not very usual instruments which are played with splender and the harmonic feeling I get is equal to what classical music such as Bach and Stravinskij can give the listener. Other tracks just have bass, organ and drums and it's totally enough. The best prog poesn't need more than that. Egg uses to be conpared with Emerson, Lake and Palmer but unlike them Egg is not extravagant. They have easy melodies and they are not so symphonic, but they are so interesting.

I think I see a big egg on the cover and the musicians are the same: Clive Brooks(drums), Dave Stewart(organ, piano,bass) and Mont Campbell(bass, vocals, french horn and piano) BUT they also got help from very talanted guests such as Lindsay Cooper on oboe and basson, Tim Hodgkinson on clarinet and Jeremy Baines on germanophone and bowle and Steve Hillage on guitar(track 5), the singing of Amanda Parsons, Ann Rosenthal and Barbara Goskin(track 4) and Maurice Cambridge(clarinet), Stephen Solloway(flute) and Chris Palmer(basson) on the tracks 2 and 7.

The most ordinary song is "Wring out the ground" which also is the only to consist of common vocals, great appearence of Mont Campbell. It is a powerful track, the album's most symphonic and it has a chorus with bruning slogans, even if this track also has experiental and virtous parts as well(10/10). The two very classical sounding "Wind Quartets" are totally amazing, I love every second of them, they caress my skin. They give us something else that hasn't been the same with bass, drums and organ(10/10x2). "Enneagram" is perhaps the most experimental track here but I don't have problems with that such as on their last record. The coherence is perfect and the musicians work so well together(10/10). Three tracks haven't got my highest rating but it could be fortuities. "Germ Patrol"(8/10) is absolutely qualified and the experimental "Nearch" has so fantastic basson in it(8/10). First I didn't enjoy "Prelude" but I relistened and had to change my mind. I hear Stravinsky in it and a progressive chorus by some ladies(8/10).

All a whole I don't doubt to call this record a masterpiece, absolutely in parity with those of Caravan, Camel, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes. Egg brought me a flavor of the essential prog. This is a must-listen-album and the very best by Egg. I also must praise the participation of the bassonist Lindsay Cooper who died this autumn. She brought this band the fifth star!

DrömmarenAdrian | 5/5 |


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