The Polite Force


Recorded at Morgan Studios, Willesden
Produced by Neil Slaven; Engineer: Robin Black; Asst Engineers: Mike Butcher, Simon Baron & Peter Flanagan
Released: 1970
Label: Deram
Cat. No. SML 1074

[Dave Stewart's comments]


Dave Stewart (organ, piano, tone generator)
Mont Campbell (bass, singing; organ & piano on LongPiece, Part One, french horn on LongPiece, Part Two)
Clive Brooks (drums)


Henry Lowther (trumpet)
Mike Davis (trumpet)
Bob Downes (tenor sax)
Tony Roberts (tenor sax)

on Contrasong


Side One

  1. A Visit to Newport Hospital (Campbell, Stewart, Brooks) (8.25)
  2. Contrasong (Campbell, Stewart, Brooks) (4.21)A basic 5/8 9/8 pattern developed throughout the number (not performed on stage)
  3. Boilk (Campbell, Stewart, Brooks) (9.23)incl. Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt (Bach)

Side Two

The outer parts are rhythmically based and the inner two harmonically.

"It's very difficult to say anything about a group these days without sounding pretentious and phoney, which is something Egg don't deserve. So it's great when a group gets appreciated for what it is. Richard Williams has called Egg "super-efficient rock musicians with the kind of enquiring minds which make the current scene so exciting." His namesake, Dave Williams, was more specific: "Egg are a group with profound faith in their musical ideals and a creativity of their own which should surpass any criticisms of similiarity to established groups that those who are newly-initiated to their music may put forward." Lon Goddard called their music "tastelessly predictable and persistently uninventive" - but then we can't all agree. It doesn't leave me much to add, except that I fully endorse Richard and Dave's opinions and I respect Lon's right to differ.

Individually and together, Dave, Mont and Clive are really fine musicians who are progressive in ways that other groups similarly-christened don't have the ability to be. They may not be leaders now, but they will be. That I firmly believe."
Neil Slaven - Sleeve note


by Mont Campbell

As on the album cover

A Visit to Newport Hospital

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 the 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.


Gazing quite vacantly into space one day sitting up in my bed surrounded by a few Sunday papers and their colour supplements all of them superficially interesting happily unaware that somewhere somebody was aware that somewhere somebody was awake and well undisturbed living on.

Glancing quite speedily through assortments of horrible illustrations of atrocities and apologies of editors but they felt it was necessary for people to see the pictures on no account were they attempting to boost their paper's circulations I felt a wave closed my eyes which was worse.

Nevertheless I was I suppose quite at ease at home with my food brought up at intervals to my bed with all the sympathy I could want and with all the time in the world to write thank-you letters to all the people kind enough to send Christmas presents when they knew I was really very insignificant.


"After recording The Polite Force Decca told us they didn't want to release it. Why the - had they let us record it? Because someone in the Sales/Marketing department had failed to tell someone in the Contracts department, presumably; but attempt to understand the workings of record companies' employees' minds and you'll end up as mad as they are.

This is the worst thing you can do to a band, though - let them sweat blood over recording an album they're proud of, with all its false starts, nerves, anxiety, eventual triumphant completion of good backing tracks, hours of overdubbing, problems with headphones, more nerves, the occasional brilliant bit of playing, arguing about the mix, persuading the drummer the snare's loud enough, getting through the mix without fucking up, making sure all the mixes are the right level, sorting out the running order - and then say, "Oh, by the way - we're not putting it out."

Dave Stewart
(from an article originally published in Ptolemaic Terrascope, 1990).

Transcription and HTML by Andy Murkin

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