Egg - The Civil Surface (1974)

With Dave Stewart as leader of the band you might have expected that this album would have a strong influence of Canterbury music. The combination of his organ style, energetic drumming by Clive Brooks, bass guitar and French Horn (oboe, bassoon, clarinet) delivers a really good music harmony with its unique sound. As Dave Stewart also helped Steve Hillage’s band KHAN who produced only one album “Space Shanty”, the music has no major difference between the two. It’s probably the vocal part that’s different because Khan “Space Shanty” was a song-oriented album while EGG’s “Civil Surface” is a full music-oriented album. The other bands that similar to EGG are: National Health, Hatfield & The North, Steve Hillage.

Song like “Enneagram” flows beautifully with variations of chords produced from organ accentuated with drum work and insertion of oboe, clarinet and bassoon. The music varies between simple and complex arrangements with excellent composition, overall and it moves from slow to relatively medium/fast tempo music with jazz/ fusion influence in addition to Canterbury. “Germ Patrol” continues the tradition of organ-oriented music with great drumming and bass lines. Piano and French horn improvisation have also enriched the textures of the music. For me it’s rewarding experience whenever I play this album especially with nice flow of the music combining unique sounds of individual instruments and the melody. In some parts I can sense an exploration to avant-garde and repetition of certain segments but with different textures. “Prelude” explores Dave Stewart’s organ solo in multi-layered sounds followed excellently with a stream of music resulting from bass, drum, organ and some choral section. “Wring Out The Ground Loosely Now” features Mont Campbell on vocal Organ work characterizes this track and it has variety of styles – being a Canterbury and avant-garde. I like the solo organ continued with unique arrangements of the accompanying music that features organ as lead melody.

Provided that you are familiar with Canterbury, this album is an excellent addition to your prog collection. The music is original. The composition is neat and great. Keep on proggin’ ..!

Progressively yours, GW - Review by Gatot (Gatot Widayanto)



Track Listings

Side 1
1. Germ Patrol (8:31)
2. Wind Quartet 1 (2:20)
3. Enneagram (9:07)

Side 2
4. Prelude (4:17)
5. Wring Out The Ground (Loosely Now) (8:11)
6. Nearch (3:22)
7. Wind Quartet 2 (4:48)

Total Time: 41:36
Line-up/Musicians

- Dave Stewart / organ, piano; bass (6)
- Clive Brooks / drums
- Mont Campbell / bass, voice, French horn and piano

Guests:
- Jeremy Baines / Germophone & Bowle
- Lindsay Cooper / oboe, basson (1-6)
- Tim Hodgkinson / clarinet (1-6)
With Help of:
- Amanda Parsons / singing (4)
- Ann Rosenthal / singing (4)
- Barbara Gaskin / singing (4)
- Steve Hillage / guitar (5)

Wind Quartet performed By:
- Mont Campbell / French horn
- Maurice Cambridge / clarinet
- Stephen Solloway / flute
- Chris Palmer / basson
Releases information

LP Caroline Records C 1510-UK-1974
CD Virgin Records CA 1510 (1990)



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Good album, I agree. I'd probably consider Mont Campbell leader of the group, though--at least compositionally, since most of the songs are written by him. Just reviewed this one too on my music blog.

5 de agosto de 2011 15:13  

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