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Egg - The Polite Force CD (album) cover




Canterbury Scene

4.15 | 375 ratings

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4 stars The best Egg album of the lot; they still sometimes sound like a jazzed-up Canterbury version of ELP, but the songwriting is tighter and the musical range and experimentation broader and more satisfying. The basic Egg sound is spruced up by Mont Campbell switching to keyboards on Long Piece No. 3 to trade organ and piano lines with Dave Stewart, whilst a brass section appears on Contrasong and make a good contribution to its frenetic, fast-paced tone. A Visit To Newport Hospital is another standout track, lurching dizzily between heavy fuzzed-out organ attack and more lighthearted fare, with lyrics recounting the history of Egg and Uriel. Boilk ventures into King Crimsonish noodling and manages to provide just as much tension as Fripp's own group.

I wouldn't say Egg were ever a top-tier Canterbury band - Dave Stewart in particular would achieve greater heights in Hatfield and the North and National Health - but it's certainly important to the careers of its three core members, and of their three albums this is easily the best; the debut was not quite so well-realised, whilst The Civil Surface was a grab-bag of rerecorded versions of songs that didn't make the cut on the first two albums filled out with Mont Campbell wind quartets. Four stars.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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