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National Health - National Health CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 383 ratings

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4 stars Hatfield and the North in 1975.Initially they started as an 8-piece offshot,including also Phil Miller and Phil Lee (guitars, ex-Hatfield and Gilgamesh respectively),Mont Campbell (bass, ex- Egg), Bill Bruford (drums, ex-Yes and King Crimson) and Amanda Parsons on vocals.National Health survived from numerous comes and goes,Campbell and Bruford left about a year after,Pip Pyle and Neil Murray jumped in and the basic line-up was actually shortened to a quartet with various guest musicians helping out.Their self-titled debut was out in 1978 on Affinity Records,consisting of Stewart/Gowen compositions.

To fully and succesfully describe National Health's sound is a total risk.It's basically National Health's personal approach on Canterbury Rock music.Trully progressive music with plenty of Jazz elements and endless interplays.''Tenemos Roads'' is actually one of the best examples of introducing someone into intricate prog.A complete 14-min. masterpiece with fantastic guitar hooks and excellent moog piano performances,not to mention the ethereal vocals of Amanda Parsons.''Brujo'' starts off slowly with keys,vocals and flute before flirting with the free forms of music,featuring excellent drumming,complex bass lines and professional keyboard solos.''Borogoves Part 1'' is more of the same with full bass and guitar soloing close to Jazz Music but with a very rich and adventuruous sound.''Borogoves Part 2'' has a more melodic twist,even a somewhat symphonic sounding intro,but again complex time signatures shine throughout the more harmonic cut of the album.''Elephants'' is definitely the darkest and most complex number in here with the band in full shape offering dramatic interplays and virtuosic solos in 14 minutes of pure progressive orgasm,borrowing also some notes from the opener.

To pass by this work is equivalent of a deadly crime.''National health'' is a great release and a work far beyond the limited ears of Progressive/Jazz Rock.It's a shining pearl of the Canterbury scene,not the absolute masterpiece of Progressive Rock,but certainly an outstanding effort by these English musicians,who back in late-70's tried to keep the spirit of challenging rock music alive.Highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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