The Polite Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Polite Force
Polite force.jpg
Studio album by Egg
Released February 1971
Recorded May 1970 (Morgan Studios)
Genre Progressive rock
Length 42:20
Label Deram
Producer Neil Slaven
Egg chronology
The Polite Force
The Civil Surface
(1974)The Civil Surface1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Classic Rock 2/5 stars[2]

Released in 1971, The Polite Force is the second album by British band Egg. It is often regarded as the band’s best work and displays an advance in compositional maturity which moves away from the lingering psychedelic-pop sensibilities of their debut album toward a more avant-garde instrumental approach. The music is a fine example of early English progressive rock, bearing many similarities to Soft Machine. Although the music of Egg does have occasional singing, it is mostly instrumental and as such relies on tight ensemble playing and interesting thematic and melodic material with extended chordal harmonies and irregular time signatures.

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "A Visit to Newport Hospital" - 8:19
  2. "Contrasong" - 4:19
  3. "Boilk" - 9:15

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Long Piece No. 3 - Part 1" - 5:07
  2. "Long Piece No. 3 - Part 2" - 7:37
  3. "Long Piece No. 3 - Part 3" - 5:02
  4. "Long Piece No. 3 - Part 4" - 2:51

The tracks all appear separately with spaces in between them on both the long playing record and the Compact Disc. On the original long playing record from Deram, "Long Piece No. 3" is listed with the four parts. A time of 21:57 is given as the overall length of the piece, with separate incremental lengths of time given for each of the parts. The reference to the side number and tracks therein is the same as the vinyl album. In turn, the compact disc has 7 tracks.

Notes: The song "A Visit to Newport Hospital" tells the story of the band's origin:

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

There were four of us then, the group was Uriel
We played five nights a week at Ryde Castle Hotel
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

It was a way of life that was completely new
And so we found that we had quite a lot to do
The time passed slowly and each day was much the same
We ate and loved and slept and no one was to blame
For saying things better left unsaid



  • Henry Lowther - trumpet (2)
  • Mike Davis - trumpet (2)
  • Bob Downes - tenor saxophone (2)
  • Tony Roberts - tenor saxophone (2)


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Egg The Polite Force review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  2. ^ Henderson, Paul (February 2005). "Egg 'The Polite Force'". Classic Rock. 76. London, UK: Future Publishing Ltd. p. 102. 

External links[edit]