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Egg - The Civil Surface CD (album) cover

THE CIVIL SURFACE

Egg

 

Canterbury Scene

3.79 | 184 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
5 stars Usually reunions happen a decade or more later, by which point their new material just never stacks up to the old and is forgotten. For example, Cream reuniting in 2005, but the old bad blood resurfaced (Ginger Baker has serious issues on how to get along with people and he still continued showing his contempt for Jack Bruce). At least they didn't try to embarrass us with new material that will be very substandard and never comparing to their classic material. Crosby, Stills & Nash (with Young sometimes) had frequently reunited through the years and gave us mediocre album after mediocre album. Egg, on the other hand, reunited in 1974, not too long after they broke up in the first place, so obviously not too much time has passed and was able to create another wonderful album worthy of your collection. Dave Stewart was busy with Hatfield & the North, but he felt there was enough Egg material that hasn't been recorded to be recorded and The Civil Surface is the results. While the Canterbury scene was becoming more fusion-oriented (witness the Soft Machine albums from the same time period, and of course Hatfield & the North, and later on National Health), Egg retained it's early '70s sound, it could have easily passed as a 1971 followup to The Polite Force. There are a couple of pieces dominated by wind instruments (Henry Cow members Lindsay Cooper, Tim Hodgkinson and Jeremy Baines appear here) but the rest is classic Egg. Themes from Hatfield & the North's debut show up, probably to let everyone know Dave Stewart's presence, or the fact Hatfield & the North hasn't broken up (and they hadn't, once The Civil Surface was released, Hatfield & the North released their final album The Rotter's Club). I didn't exactly know what to expect from Egg in 1974. The music by this time seemed behind the times, more fitting for 1971, but in the case of Egg, this works on their behalf. I was expecting a more full-on fusion brand of Canterbury more in tune with the likes of Hatfield but instead get more of the great early '70s Egg sound. I can only say that if you have their first two albums, you need this one as well!
Progfan97402 | 5/5 |

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