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National Health - Complete CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.18 | 40 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
5 stars An easy decision.

National Health are the best Canterbury band around. And this is the ultimate NH document. The first statement is debatable, but the second isn't. Complete collections all three of National Health's albums on to two CDs, complete with an extra or two. At the time, their main albums were either out of print, or just very scarce, which made this collection even more invaluable. And finally, the price was well worth it (assuming you buy from legitimate retailors...).

I won't go too in depth about the music here, as that would be better suited for the individual albums, but it is top notch Canterbury scene stuff. Jazzy, complex, wonderful keyboard arrangements/sounds, pleasing vocals, and a big dose of fun. The two other incentives for buying this album are the opener Paraclesus, a fun litter number that's a great introduction to their first CD (with Bruford on the drums to boot!), and The Apocalypso, a track that would feel right at home on DS Al Coda. Its hard to choose favorites when a band's entire studio repertoire is presented, but I'll make special mention for Tenemos Roads (with probably my favorite female vocals in all of prog), The Collapso (an exotic tinged number), and Squarer for Maud (which is just so damn infectious). There really isn't anything bad to say about Complete. Perhaps it would be annoying that their second album is spilt between two discs, and if you are listening to these in the conventional manner, a little more effort is required (and perhaps the mood broken slightly). But really, this is minor.

All in all, this is an excellent way to acquire the bulk of National Health's discog. (All that's left is an excellent live offering, and a collection of unreleased material.) The sound quality is warm and expressive, and the value is top notch (especially since the recent re-releases of National Health's first two albums are a bit on the pricy side, for single disc efforts). 5 stars. There is no better way to get to know National Health. Highly recommended.

Man With Hat | 5/5 |


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