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EGG

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Egg biography
One of the first bands from the Canterbury School (SOFT MACHINE or HATFIELD AND THE NORTH), EGG was a trio consisting of... Dave STEWART on organ, piano and tone generator, Mont CAMPBELL on bass and vocals (also organ, piano and French Horn), and Clive BROOKS on drums. The music is very structured and composed, with classical pieces (BACH) and some light jazzy influences. The band explored a variety of time signatures and key relationships, sometimes explored classical ideals, and even composed their own symphony.

Canterbury band that released three organ-prominent albums. "The Polite Force" was EGG's second release, and was better developed musically from their debut, a style that was carried on to the subsequent "The Civil Surface". If you like that, go on and get the other two eventually. (if you don't like it, then don't bother). Fans of organ-driven progressive rock with a perfect 70's atmosphere will eat it up. Although EGG is an essential part of any progressive collection. An historical band...!

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The Polite ForceThe Polite Force
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2008
Audio CD$9.20
$9.25 (used)
Civil SurfaceCivil Surface
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2007
Audio CD$15.98
$16.44 (used)
Polite ForcePolite Force
Import
Imports 2014
Vinyl$22.94
$32.74 (used)
Something to DoSomething to Do
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$9.86
$7.77 (used)
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EGG
~ USD $14.05
CD the polite force
EGG
~ USD $12.07
LP the polite force
EGG
~ USD $17.72


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EGG discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EGG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 170 ratings
Egg
1970
4.08 | 282 ratings
The Polite Force
1970
3.70 | 140 ratings
Civil Surface
1974

EGG Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EGG Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EGG Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 4 ratings
Seven Is a Jolly Good Time
1985
3.60 | 12 ratings
The Metronomical Society
2007

EGG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 4 ratings
Seven is a Jolly Good Time
1969

EGG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Polite Force by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 282 ratings

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The Polite Force
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Canterbury scene is one of prog's most fascinating sub-genres. It holds within it everything that makes progressive rock so great. The very nature of prog is to experiment, challenge and discover. Sometimes it is even a test of the listener's patience. The heart of Canterbury flows with a quirky seriousness that makes me as a listener to smile. It is a brave and bold take on rock music that simultanously is both endearing and challenging. All in a days work, one might say. As ever, Canterbury is also a genre of great warmth. The fairytale dreaminess of, say, King Crimson's early work is one reference but I feel that it does not hit the mark. It has a tone of it's own, one that is Canterbury's own. And yet this warmth is encircled by the most spiky and challenging, difficult creations ever made. I know that alot of subgenres might fit into this description but Canterbury is to me the optimum of them all. If I wa sto pick out any subgenre that fully embodies prog I'd say "Canterbury". I would. I swear.

Egg is one of the groups engaged in the Canterbury scene. The organ of Dave Stewart is as ever present and recognisable, not only by sound but very much in execution. The man is brilliant. The sound of Egg on this album (as I am reviewing it) is not easily defined. It all kicks off with the heaviest organ riff ever (sort of) but leads into this jazzy, laidback groove which manages to draw strength from an oozing power source. This source of power and might comes, obviously, from the musicians themselves. There is a restrained demonstration of power I find hard to describe. Anyway, the song is amazing and the best of the lot, I feel. It is the track I listen to more than the others, if that accounts for anything.

"Contrasong" is another very good track, built around chords and beats that sound hectic and askew. But all in a good way. "Boilk" is an experimental piece that is interesting and certainly very well performed. It is however very experimental and not one I retur nto with the same urgency as the first two tracks mentioned.

The B-side of the old vinyl, I suppose, is made up of "Long piece", a suite consisting of four pieces. It is also very experimental and complex but very enjoyable. They stretch out and showcases a musical vision that is really somethig to behear. (Is there such a word? I suppose not.) The parts are different, obviously, but when listened to in one long sitting the result is baffling. One might accuse them of noodling but I feel they never enter that empire of Boredom. I am intrigued throughout.

So, when all is said and done I have to say that this album is an essential listen, if you at all is interested in the development of progressive music. If you're simply into good, challenging and diverse prog I'd say this is for you aswell. The impeccable musicianship and vision of the possibilities if musis is baffling, enjoyable and very much endearing. It has stood the test of time very well and offers a great listening experience.

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 The Polite Force by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 282 ratings

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The Polite Force
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars My progressive rock education has finally brought me around to the Canterbury scene this year. It began with hearing Dave Stewart on Bill Bruford's "One of a Kind" album and then led to the purchase of Hatfield and the North's "The Rotter's Club", also featuring Dave Stewart. And now I have come to Egg. Also featuring Dave Stewart. It was a tough choice deciding which of the three Egg albums to buy. Reviews here are favourable to all three, and listening to a few samples on YouTube had me thinking pretty much any album would be good. However, upon hearing the intro to "A Visit to Newport Hospital" I felt there would surely be something here for me to dig. That slow heavy music with a fuzz-toned organ is just too much like proto-doom metal for me to resist.

I feel the music on this album can be divided into three categories. One category is the lighter jazz feel that can be heard in the main song sequence of "A Visit to Newport Hospital" or "Long Piece No. 3 - Part 2". This music is very accessible with easy-on-the-ears sounds and smooth, light music. Expect some pretty organ and lovely piano.

The second category would be the more aggressive sounds of the intro to "A Visit to Newport Hospital" with the fuzz-toned organ or the intentional dissonance of "Long Piece No. 3" Parts 1, 3, and 4. The drums are more intense with deliberate enforcement of odd meters, and the bass rolls and grooves behind an array of keyboard sounds. This is where I feel the music deserves its progressive moniker. It's bold and gutsy, adventurous. It stays on the track while leaning far over. It's fun without being too crazy.

The third category must then be the experimental one. This is mostly to be found in "Boilk". My running commentary on this piece is:

"Running water for 39 seconds before a solitary organ note fades in and the water fades out. Some tubular bells. Very mellow like a cold winter evening on a desolate street when the snow is just starting to fall. Backwards cymbals? Starts getting weird like Pink Floyd's "Ummagumma". Our winter street is all misshapen and turning into a psychotic vision from the Outer Limits. Not my thing. Too avant guard. No proper song. Backwards music and voices. Just studio experimentation. Well, good for them. Now let's get back to something easier that sounds more like music. Wow! A stream of distortion static. Someone's playing with the oscillator. Ah, saved by a cheerless church organ."

"Long Piece No. 3" Parts 1 and 2 also include some of this stranger music. From my notes: "Now an intentionally mind-numbing performance on piano, organ and drums. Sounds mechanical, like a machine at work on the drums. I picture a bunch of black suited-musos with short cropped hair and thick, black-framed glasses stroking their goatees and subtlety nodding their approval." That's Part 1. Part 2 also includes some playing with oscillator knobs but that is situated between more enjoyable music.

A nod must go to the limited lyrics, which appear only in the first two tracks. The singing style is very Canterbury: English accent, not so talented vocals, and lyrics containing dry humour. From "Newport Hospital", a song about their early days as a four-piece in a band called Uriel: "We spent our time avoiding skinheads and the law / It was a freedom that we'd never felt before / And now we're doing this instead". "Contrasong", a fun song based on an interesting time signature and featuring trumpet and sax, includes a remark about pictures of horrible atrocities which were published in order to increase the paper's circulation.

I personally do not take to the weird experimentation parts but the rest of the album I rather like. I doubt I will be buying any more Egg albums. This one is enough for me. Glad I bought it, though. "A Visit to Newport Hospital" is my favourite track. Not an album to be enjoyed by all but a good example of a trio that were mixing jazz with rock and who were trying to branch out into new territory. The spirit of progressive music indeed. Almost four stars, but rounded down.

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 The Polite Force by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 282 ratings

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The Polite Force
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by Utnapishtim

5 stars Canterbury...a little city in the South East of England. A mysterious place that lives since before of Romans with one of the most famous cathedral in the world. The place where an astonishing musical wave suddenly flooded the basic rock concepts, bringing a storm of elegance destined to remain a mark unique forever.

"The Polite Force" represents a milestone of Rock, an example of pure experimentation mixed to a musical knowledge really impressive. Certainly this is not an uncommon skill into the existence of Prog, but I think here is so significant as to be never boring. This is a manifestation of oneness of the Canterbury Scene and its group identity to a really social phenomenon hard to reproduce. After intertwine of bands, departures, new forming bands and important first approaches between fundamental musicians (I recommend to deepen their biography!) In '68 was born "Egg" trio with Dave Stewart on organ and piano, Mont Campbell on bass and vocals and Clive Brooks on drums and vocals. This three guys are so inspired and integrated in Canterbury Scene context that quickly abandon the interpretation of other musician's song to present their real soul. In fact in 1970 they release both the debut album (same name) and the masterpiece "The Polite Force". The musical style unripe of the debut (however interesting) fades soon, growing up with its own structure in second album, where the personalities of musicians finally can express themselves. In this album the Classical influence is less marked than the first album. The sound became decisively Progressive Rock, based on organ composition and unpredictable add times masterfully followed by drums, without ever losing touch that characterized the genre. There is only one song with vocal parts very pleasant.

"There used to be a time when we lived in the van, We used to loon about with Janice, Liz and Ann Now looking back it seemed to be a happy time, And so we kid ourselves we didn't really mind The hang-ups and the lack of bread".

These words open the song "Visit to Newport Hospital". Memories of a recent past these, soaked of a sort of nostalgia and that only now that I have read them better, discover to be really in line with the atmospheres. With this I mean that the importance to understand texts is a constant that should never miss to appreciate a Prog Rock album. The song, with a renewing maturity starts with a strict organ riff that precedes a soft ride, where a pleasant bass underlines the organ melodies. Every time I listen to this song I have the impression that all my present and future thoughts, my dreams gather to dance confusedly in my head, and then quickly return to their positions with the final reprising of the main riff. It's a happening always the same where I lose myself, "short-changed" by its psychedelic atmospheres expertly arranged and Campbell's voice so calm.

These dreamy notes are abandoned to let free to explode the creativity in "Contrasong". Odd times and dissonant melodies pop like whipping behind the ears, by an insistent piano and the voice also here able to follow the rhythm. To embellish it there are two trumpets and two tenor sax. The addition of this instrument is really impressive, able to change completely the sound of the band. A real pleasant choice. Sometimes I try to imagine what would have happened if the trumpets and saxophones was inserted in all pieces? The A side ends with a musical experimentation born and bred into meanders of creativity (sometimes remember me Atom Heart Mother's Pink Floyd style) with the song "Bolik" which includes Bach excerpts. It's a soundscape of an old Krautrock painting soaked by psychedelic echoes and flashes of lucid insanity.

The B side is entirely occupied by the suite "Long Piece N°3" divided in 4 movements (Part 1-4), where mastery in composition and execution alternates to jazz experiments. With this long piece is possible to appreciate how Dave Stewart inspires his style to that of Nice's Keith Emerson, in fact the band is often considered like the ELP of Canterbury, a definition that personally I dislike. But is obligatory admit that there is a certain affinity between two keyboardist's style and similarities for two bands; naturally in two different styles. The result of the suite is an accurate research of avant-garde sonorities (which anticipates many future Prog works) with sudden changes of time in a dissonant way that alternates organ parts sometimes sweet and intimate, sometimes adventurous and galloping.

A memorable forty-four album able to be always current, new at every listening. A mix of musical skills in composition and execution, creativity, insanity, intimacy, psychedelia where all is perfectly structured to become a milestone of Progressive Rock. An intelligent way to express the creativity especially with this album forerunner and representative of Canterbury Scene and of an unbelievable Era where music was pure Art.

5 Stars - How cannot love it...

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 Civil Surface by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.70 | 140 ratings

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Civil Surface
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

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!

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 The Polite Force by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 282 ratings

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The Polite Force
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars The second record of the Canterbury band "EGG" is called "The Polite Force" and it was released 1971 even if it was recorded the year before. The cover is mystical and intriguing even if I have hard to see what it is. My guess is that is is a plastic bottle in which the light reflects. The musicians are the same than before with Mont Campbell on bass, vocals, piano, organ and french horn, Dave Steward on organ, piano and tone generator and Clive Brooks on drums. They also had brass guest on "Contrasong", the trumpet players Henry Lowther and Mike Davis and the saxophoners Bob Downes and Tony Roberts.

This second record of Egg is more experimental than the last one and not as good, in my opinion. Though it starts with a fantastic prog song "A visit to Newport Hospital" which is a marvelous Canterbury piece, absolutely in parity with the best moments of Caravan. Here you can hear brutal bass and virtuous organ, just as good as it can be in prog and I also think you'd like Mont Campbell's voice. He should have sung more on the album! (10/10). Then comes the second best track on the album and the last with lyrics: "Contrasong"(9/10) with a special a little wrong tune that takes all of my body with is and the perfect spice is the brass section. The "Long Piece No.3" is very experimental and partially also great. They show their skills as master musicians with great integrity and especially the second part of it is great(8/10). The first though is too experimental for me(6/10) even if I hear it's great performed. I don't find this record an improvement from the first one, unlike many others, mostly because of "Boilk" which I find ruins a lot. I don't let it spoil the record, but I'd rather avoid that very progressive thing than hear it.

The Polite Force was a little decline from the record "Egg" but is also contains a pair of the best Canterbury songs available and an experimental symphony. I will give it four stars! (3,7 to be correct)

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 Egg by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.69 | 170 ratings

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Egg
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars I have been occupied by this record some days now and finally I write my review. I like music with this interesting and professional sound and I really like the early seventies and especially the British music. This is the British rock band Egg's first record and it was recorded 1970. The cover is very black but we can see an egg in the middle of a wooden frame. The record is just called "Egg" and the musicians are Dave Stewart at the organ, piano and tone generator, Mont Campbell at bass and vocals and Clive Brook at the drums.

This music is guitar free but I don't miss the guitar. Even if there are just three musicians there they did very rich music which opens up for a new music experience. If I should describe it I would mention Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Caravan and Van der Graaf Generator and suggest that Egg is a mixture of those. That explanation is too simple, I know but it's what I feel. The organs are played in the same virtous and classical way such as Keith Emerson did and I think Mont Campbell sings not very unlike Peter Hammill and if we some poppy melodies and a soft jazz touch of Caravan we get the music of Egg and the result is very good.

"Egg" has a lot to praise. The first side is both very playful, funny, yes a little silly and musically quite complicated and well done. The band blends classical piano with the rock sound of the late sixties. For example "I will be absorbed" and "The song of McGuillicudie the Pusillanimous" are great prog rock songs with heavyness and "Fugue in D minor" is of course inspired (and adapts) by classical music. The B-side is a long prog rock symphony in different parts. He we can both experience well known harmonies and experiemtal drum solos. I do not exaggerate when I say this is qualified and high class music. I am absolutely interested in investigate this band further. I give their debut album four solid stars!

I also like the two bonus tracks very much. They are older and a little bit more enthusiastic than the others.

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 Egg by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.69 | 170 ratings

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Egg
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Dusty,moldy and memorable.

Yes this record sounds dated, just how I like them. Just the right amount of scratchy production and bad drum miking. But this is where all the charm lies: it's a terribly British record. Even the cover is sober. A subtle 'up yours' to the snobby English class who only listens to Stravinsky and Rachmaninov.

This is a record that probably fell under the radar at the time but to this day, still delivers charm and irresistible attraction. Keys, drums and bass is a formula that got worn out in the 70's, but this one is tearing up my heart and melts in tiny notes of nostalgia. It's not a pompous load of look-at-me, it's just 3 guys with bad hair and moustache who couldn't score with the ladies after a show....'cause not girls came to see them. Feel like and old pair of slippers, am I right?

Underrated and perfect.

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 Egg by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.69 | 170 ratings

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Egg
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by Xonty

5 stars Egg's debut album is one of my favourite Canterbury albums. It displays great levels of musicianship from the 3 very talented members Mont Campbell, Dave Stewart, and Clive Brook, all of which are very underrated performers in the prog rock world. The band isn't shy to be entirely experimental in their musical direction, which could have alienated them from larger audiences, and are therefore a truly innovative progressive group. They explore many different approaches to creating music, and use the album as a subtle 2 fingers up to their classical forefathers and instructors. In addition to this, jazz and psychedelic music are very influential to the album, and teamed with excellent compositions, they produce an outstanding signature sound to run throughout the work. Very sophisticated and matured, yet still managing to hold onto a rhythmic and powerful rock feel - not getting bogged down in lifeless snooty drivel, the likes of which they are trying to get away from.

"Bulb" is an extraordinary way to begin the band's back catalogue, and immediately proving their experimentality and willingness to work with intriguing effects to the listener, and setting them distinctly apart from the guitar-brandishing "Good Times Bad Times" of bands like Led Zeppelin. Lasting only a few seconds, takes you more or less straight into the first real song: "While Growing My Hair". A quite psychedelic piece, displaying the signature tone of Egg's pulsing organs, pianos, percussion and a definite bass line blending with a unique and unconventional voice by Mont Campbell. Also introduces delicious chord progressions and time signatures that can be heard all through the album. "I Will Be Absorbed" is more airy piece, like a more laid-back "Growing My Hair" with a more provident and offbeat rhythm. The track creates a lovely texture for your ears to relax and indulge into, with some very echoing vocals and lyrics that are just pretentious enough for my liking. It reaches more fiery rock climaxes, proving its worthiness as a rock album more than anything else, and just a great track!

"Fugue In D Minor" is a great cover Bach's famous organ piece (beautifully underplayed here) with some fantastic tones resonating through the speakers, plus a sort of liquid touch when the keyboards are played, and a basic drum beat and bass line to once again keep it directed to rock music. I love the simplicity of it, and the prominent reverb that I believe should have been included more on the album. A brilliant contrast to their next track: "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano". This is one of those pieces that just seems to connect with (me) and only me. I actually find it incredibly emotional and vivid, especially when the electric tears enter, almost testing how easily distracted you are from the blissful piano playing. One of the most played songs on my iPod apparently, probably because there's so many notes in those 2 separate instruments of indescribable relationship and I constantly have to hear it again to work it out furthermore. Just tremendous and so key to the album - my favourite track.

The next piece (can't be bothered to type out that title :P) is musical insanity at its best for me; feels like you're trapped inside one of their overly-talented brains trying to escape. Those monstrous keyboard chords coming over that rolling bass line on the intro takes you straight out of the odd tranquility of the last track and into something heavy again, with any spectacular riff to back Campbell's very progressive lyrics and melodies. Goes through a crescendoing middle section, reminiscent of King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man", but surprisingly more organised in its chaotic nature, expressing youthful rawness in a very well-written and developed manner. Afterwards, a very experimental "Boilk" enters, showing all sorts of muffled and destructively offbeat tunes that acts as a brilliant prelude to the final piece of the work...

"Symphony No. 2" is very musically demanding to play and write; therefore wins me over as an early progressive rock epic! The first movement immediately exhibits this virtuosity, especially in those crazy time signatures. I must have heard it about a hundred times but I still can't nail the rhythms anywhere near as easily as ELP's "Karn Evil 9" for example. After covering "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" with legendary talents by ALL of the instrumentalists working together in an magnificently well rehearsed manner to play this very underrated rock symphony. The Second Movement enters with more twisted melodies than the relatively "sweet" ones of the first. Some more astounding effects are present here, and the track goes off on an eccentric tangent to say the least. "Blane" is then one of my favourite "non-musical" tracks of all time! So indulgently experimental, and very few actual notes, and such a majestic chordal appearance arises from the noodlings about 5 minutes through. The Third Movement (on CD editions) acts as a nice 3 minute break from the demented dissonant musical ramblings of "Blane", and sets you up splendidly for the similarly remarkable 4th movement. Retreating a little more towards blues roots perhaps, and more discernible tunes than previously on the album, with some solos to show off their capabilities to a more accessible audience. Unfortunately, ends rather suddenly on 2 blasted chords, acting as an anti-climax in sorts. Of course, still an absolute progressive masterpiece, and their best album by far, in my opinion.

A(-): Undoubtedly one of the most dexterous albums of this post-psychedelic era, employing all sorts of musical devices to produce a timeless yet somehow extremely underrated album.

Bulb: **** While Growing My Hair: ***** I Will Be Absorbed: ***** Fugue In D Minor: ***** They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano...: ***** The Song Of McGillicudie The Pusillanimous (Or Don't Worry James, Your Socks Are Hanging In The Coal Cellar With Thomas): ***** Boilk: **** Symphony No. 2: *****

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 Egg by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.69 | 170 ratings

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Egg
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by Eria Tarka

4 stars Egg's self titled effort was acctually one of my first encounters with Progressive Rock in general, so this record is very dear to me. Egg didn't sound quite like anything else, the production quality was't great, but Dave Stewarts organ work gives the album a certain sound that can't be described. The stand out tracks on this record (for me) are "While Growing my Hair", "Fugue In D Minor", "The Song of McGuillicudie the Pusillanimous" and of course the grand "Symphony No. 2". The band show incredible time signature changes and they really left me amazed with their unique sound.

I will hold back from giving this album 5 stars because their are points on the album that aren't perfect, so I'll give Egg a solid 4 star rating. This album should be experienced by all fans of the Canterbury Scene.

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 The Polite Force by EGG album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.08 | 282 ratings

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The Polite Force
Egg Canterbury Scene

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, especially those looking to dip a toe or two in the Canterbury scene, could do no better than experiencing Egg's The Polite Force. I quite admire Dave Stewart's approach to the organ; while it's less flashy than the likes of Keith Emerson or Rick Wakeman, it has a glossy and charming element. On this record there are some bizarre tonal experimentations to be found, most of which I do not care for, but others may. Overall, this is a marvelous album and an absolute must for the organ lover.

"A Visit to Newport Hospital" The Polite Force begins with a menacing, plodding tone that suddenly morphs into smooth organ-led symphonic music. The dynamic bass playing complements the downy organ passages perfectly. There's some sparse, inoffensive vocals and occasional blasts of fuzzy distortion. The layers of sound congeal into psychedelic excellence. The main theme is one of the most amazing passages in progressive rock.

"Contrasong" With odd rhythms and brass, this is something like "Bitches Crystal" if early King Crimson performed it.

"Boilk" "Boilk" is the most glaring flaw on this diamond of an album. It is an experimental thing that opens with the sound of water. The piece proper starts off enchantingly enough, with low organ and distant church bells. Unfortunately, it adopts fluttering noises with a Mellotron tone that's pitch is manipulated in painful ways. Further directionless noises follow. Those who appreciate the stranger side of avant-prog will not view this as a failing, but for me, the album is worse for it- a real pity. "Long Piece No. 3, Part 1" The first part of this suite has a jarring and disorienting character. Like ELP's "Tank," it is both melodic and full of discord, but highlights the drumming.

"Long Piece No. 3, Part 2" The second part returns to the more palatable music found in "A Visit to Newport Hospital." There are, however, plenty of adventurous melodic twists throughout the opus. The main motif in this is fantastic, almost rivaling that of the first track.

"Long Piece No. 3, Part 3" If forced to draw a comparison, I would consider this the predecessor of "Karn Evil 9, Third Impression" by ELP; this third part has a refreshing fusion of harmonic intensity and drive while remaining compositionally sound.

"Long Piece No. 3, Part 4" The final moments of the album are a symphonic Canterbury treat, with pulsating rhythms and organ.

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