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Egg - The Polite Force CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.16 | 389 ratings

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5 stars Egg's next album, The Polite Force was one of the strangest and essential canterybury Prog Rock albums to ever came out in the DERAM label in 1971. Admired by punk-prog lover Captain Sensible, They were different than the gigantic and bombastic version of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. They were more of a Canterbury trio prog version of The Soft Machine meets ELP in a twisted way. Everything on this album is Classical, Avant-Garde, and Mike Ratledge fuzztone organ related sounds to get your blood pumping.

The opening heavy jazz fusion of A Visit to Newport Hospital gives the listener an introduction of Egg's roots in the Canterbury circuit as Arzachel as Mont Campbell sings about doing little club gigs in London as the group tries to avoid being beaten up by the Skinheads and the law while Dave Campbell does a little fusion sound on the Hammond Organ and Clive Brooks does a 4/4 time signature on the drums. Contrasong is back to the Jazz roots again with a horn section similar to Miles Davis's In a Silent Way sessions while the next track Bolik is almost an homage to the Beatles Revolution no. 9 from the White Album with Tape loops, a Mellotron appearing out of the blue, twisted and strange noises coming out of the sky. And then on the last 2-minutes of Bolik, Dave Stewart does his homage to Bach again on this number similar to the Fugue in D minor from the self-titled debut album released in 1970.

The last track is the 20-minute classical prog suite Long Piece No. 3. This here you badly need to turn it up really loud because if you want a prequel to ELP's epic Tarkus or Genesis's Supper's Ready, this is your starting point right here. Time signatures coming out of the roof like crazy and classical music meets Zappa in a Canterbury way, is ultimately cool. Egg would release one more album which was The Civil Surface before calling it quits in 1975. The Polite Force is your starting point to get into the mad, mad world of Egg. Fast-speeding fuzztone organs, Bass becoming more like a Rickenbacker and Drums flying off the wall? They got the scrambled eggs cooking like crazy for Breakfast!

Nathanson | 5/5 |


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