Egg toured the UK and recorded two highly acclaimed albums (Egg, The Polite Force). After struggling for over a year with hardly enough gigs to survive, Egg eventually broke up in July 1972, leaving almost an album's worth of unrecorded compositions. So when the opportunity came, in the summer of 1974, to record a third album for the Virgin sub-label Caroline Records, the trio was re-united for "The Civil Surface", but the band was not in existence anymore.
The first album shows some Soft Machine influences and a focus on unusual time signatures that Dave Stewart would also explore with later bands Hatfield And The North and National Health. Egg and Stewart's other projects tend to get lumped into the 'Canterbury Scene' with the extended Soft Machine and Gong families of musicians.