Some consider the band to be the poor mans version of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and indeed Mont Campbell himself has cited them as a main influence, but working in roughly the same genre and having the same lineup of instruments is about as much similarities as these bands have sound wise. Campbell has also stated that he considered the later career of ELP to be a Sell-Out.
The bands sound is dominated by the hammond organ, quotations from classical music (Though Egg was more influenced by more modern classical music, especially Igor Stravinsky) mixed in with jazzy improvisation, quirky humorous lyrics (With a hefty dose of humor in the music as well) and constantly changing time signatures.
The band released two albums during their 'official' active years: Egg (1970) and Polite Force (1971). Having barely enough gigs to stay alive and unable to secure a contract for a third record they disbanded. In 1974 they reunited briefly to record unreleased material that resulted in The Civil Surface.
Their music can be found on Youtube and: http://www.egg-archive.com/
This band has the following tropes
- Cover Version: Of Bach's Fugue in d
- Epic Rocking: As per usual with Progressive Rock. The first album had the 20 minute (and appropriately named) Symphony no. 2 and the second one: Long Piece No. 3. Plenty of other pieces pass the 8 minute mark.
- Instrumentals: Plenty. In fact, only "While Growing My Hair", "I Will Be Absorbed", "McGillicudie", "A Visit to Newport Hospital", "Contrasong" and "Wring Out the Ground" even have lyrics (as does the "Seven Is a Jolly Good Time/You Are All Princes" single); the rest of their discography is all instrumental.
- Lampshade Hanging: Seven Is A Jolly Good Time is appropriately enough (partly) ... in 7/8.
- Lonely Piano Piece: "They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano" is possibly a Parody of this.
- Long Title: "The Song Of McGillicudie The Pusillanimous (or don't worry James, your socks are hanging in the coal cellar with Thomas)"
- Non-Appearing Title: All of the albums, Egg, The Polite Force and The Civil Surface, have those phrases nowhere in their respective lyrics.
- Progressive Rock: A very pure example of it.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: An element shared by bands of the Canterbury scene is lyrics that have to do with personal experiences. In particular, "A Visit to Newport Hospital" tells the story of how the band formed from the preceding quartet known as Arzachel or Uriel.
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" is heard in "Symphony No. 2".
- Rock Trio: An unusual example in that their music is mostly keyboards/bass/drums. This earned them occasional comparisons to Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
- Self-Titled Album: Their debut is called Egg.
- Tick Tock Tune: Germ Patrol starts with clock sounds.
- Uncommon Time: Even more exaggerated than with other Prog bands, with some songs featuring the same basic melody in several different time signatures.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "While Growing My Hair" features:While covered in inkI had time to thinkDaub here for a timeBut be clandestine