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National Health - Dreams Wide Awake CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

2.24 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars There are two main points to make about this 2 CD collection.

The first is to remind people what a valuable 'link' National Health provide in the Canterbury family tree. This package features members of Matching Mole, Soft Machine, Gilgamesh, Gong, Hatfield & The North. Caravan Of Dreams, Whitesnake and Caravan......along with countless others.

The second is that NH only released two albums in their lifetime, with a third issued posthumously. This collection features tracks from the original two albums only. So why the hell not just package the two albums together and release them as a 2 x CD package !!!!!!

So, if you're a fan of cerebral jazz rock with a smattering (but not much) of whimsy and some phenomenal organ and guitar playing then this will be your bag.....but I'd recommend tracking down the original albums so you can enjoy the artwork and the correct track order. Incidentally, this collection features some dreadful sleevenotes by Chris White (?) which certainly don't add to it's value.

Personally I find National Health's music too chaotic. I tend to enjoy the shorter, whimsical songs of Caravan and Matching Mole, rather than the jazz infused lengthy instrumental epics, but hey, that's just me. Highlight for me would be 'Binoculars' which features (unusually) lyrics but even here, with Canterbury music so full of masters like Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt and Richard Sinclair, we have the vocals of Neil Murray who I'm sure would be the first to admit he's not the greatest or most original singer in the world.

Treat with caution folks but track down the originals as valuable historical wibblings.

raggleman | 2/5 |


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