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EGG Egg/The Polite Force
Esoteric (2008)


Evolving out of school band Uriel, teenage eggheads Dave Stewart (keyboards wizard), bassist Mont Campbell and drummer Clive Brooks dispensed cerebral sounds with a freefall experimentalism that brought them to the doors of Decca.

1969's quirky single 'Seven Is A Jolly Good Time', whose chorus is in 7/4 time, showed the way ahead and it and B-side 'You Are All Princes' are welcome bonuses on Eclectic's reissue of the band's eponymous debut.

As mature as it was bold, the album counter-pointed brief bursts of scrabbled modernism with the sidelong 'Symphony No 2'. ***

1971's follow-up, The Polite Force, was even more avant-garde and complex. Brooks' dry and restrainedly English voice (akin to Caravan's Richard Sinclair) served the drollery of 'A Visit to Newport Hospital' well but the demands of the likes of 'Long Piece' further confounded sales and the yolk was up. ***

Of course, revisionism finds Egg one of the most audacious acts of the progressive age and its rootedly invididual outlook has served this material well over the ensuing years. Worth eggsploring.


Review by Peter Muir

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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