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Civil Surface Import, Original recording remastered

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, September 17, 2007
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Vinyl, Import, 1974
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Editorial Reviews

2007 digitally remastered edition of this 1974 album. Egg were exponents of the so-called "Canterbury" style of Folk/Rock music and were focused around the compositional and keyboard playing skills of Dave Stewart (later in Hatfield & the North) and Mont Campbell and Clive Brooks. In 1974, they recorded their final album for the Virgin Record label. Featuring guest musicians such as Steve Hillage (Gong) and members of Henry Cow, the Civil Surface is now regarded as a classic of the "Canterbury" and Progressive genres. Esoteric.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Germ Patrol
  2. Wind Quartet 1
  3. Enneagram
  4. Prelude
  5. Wring Out The Ground (Loosely Now)
  6. Nearch
  7. Wind Quartet 2


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 17, 2007)
  • Remaster ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Esoteric
  • ASIN: B000TV4MNQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,517 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Egg Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I was pleased to find this album on Amazon's site - even at the prices indicated (it's a pretty rare item), more folks should be aware of this band's contribution to the UK progressive music scene. Their recordings are some of the most challenging - and rewarding - in a field crowded with talent. Emerging from the Canterbury scene - along with Caravan and the Wylde Flowers (who evolved into Soft Machine) - Egg have shown over the course of their career that they have stimulating, intelligent music to offer. This is the third album they released (originally in 1974), and it's a great one - and their most accessible to new listeners, I think.
Led by the keyboard work and composing abilities of Dave Stewart (and NO, not the same Dave Stewart who played in the Eurhythmics with Annie Lennox...), Egg also enjoyed the amazing contributions of Mont Campbell (these days calling himself Dirk Campbell) - on bass, French horn, piano and vocals; and the equally-able Clive Brooks on drums and percussion. The group is joined here by several very capable co-conspirators: Lindsay Cooper (oboe and bassoon) and Tim Hodgkinson (clarinet) from the great band Henry Cow; Jeremy Baines (`germophone' and `bonk' - he's a flute player, and often gives whimsical names to his contributions to various albums); Amanda Parsons, Ann Rosenthal and Barbara Gaskin contribute WONDERFUL vocals (they are credited as `The Northettes' on later albums by Hatfield and the North, Dave Stewart's later project); Steve Hillage (of Gong, guitar on `Wring out the ground); and, finally, performing the two wind quartets with Mont Campbell are Maurice Cambridge (clarinet), Stephen Solloway (flute) and Chris Palmer (bassoon).
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Format: Audio CD
Often compared to early Soft Machine, Egg were probably compositionally a more consistant band. The trio of bass drums and keyboards were a seriously technically adept band, especially Dave Stewart, whose skilled extravagance is simply dazzling and unsurpassed.

On this effort, their is a cohesive and organic flow to the wide range of changes and the improvisations tend to be even more provocative in the range of contrast and color. Their music categorized in the Canterbury - prog toward experimental/avant garde but very harmonically and melodically pleasing with a great deal of subtle humor, much better than similar contemporaries such as Gong or Matching Mole.

Their lack of commercial success is regrettable in that they were as talented as any band at the time and the potenetial was unlimited had they stayed together. this, however, represents the greater challenges and artistic rewards which distinguishes the progressive rock medium.

The Virgin Jap remaster is THE definitive cd vrsion to have, the Brit import sounds rather compressed and flat.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anybody who's heard works by '70s English prog bands National Health or Hatfield and the North knows what to expect here. Egg keyboardist Dave Stewart was in both those later bands and contributes his usual screechy Soft Machine-ish keyboards here. Much of the album is taken up by classical-flavored woodwind pieces that bassist/French-horn player Mont Campbell contributed to take up space. Though whimsical in the Canterbury vein, much of this seems harsher on the ears than later work in the same genre.
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Format: Audio CD
Dave Stewart's work of the seventies was always surrounded by obscurity. I remember i had to get my copy of this incredible album right there in London and even then it was hard to find (and expensive). The same could be said of his other bands , The hatfields, National Health and Arzachel. Other keyboard players such as Emerson or Rick Wakeman always had more exposure and were more 'recognized'. But now, 35 years later it is Stewart's work that really stands out as a more fresh take on the whole' progressive' thing. His work is still being sought after and re-released as new fans meet with this man's great music. This is an album by his Egg band with UNIQUE composition style even for Egg. Here he unites with Hillage, future Hatfield "Northetes" choir and some Henry Cow members supplying winds (!). This was recorded when he was already in another band (Hatfield & the North) and it sounds like nothing else but also like everything he was involved with after Egg. Get it before it goes out of print again!
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