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National Health - Missing Pieces CD (album) cover


National Health


Canterbury Scene

3.67 | 67 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Most "rarities and unreleased"-type of releases are pretty appalling; floor-sweepings that should never have been released in the first place. WORKS VOL. 2 springs immediately to mind. This album is something else, though. Since National Health had a lot more output than they were able to record, hearing these tracks, particularly the earliest work, is revelatory.

The music here is better than it has any right to be. Most of the tunes contain the original seven-piece lineup of two keyboards (Stewart, Gowen), two guitars (Phil Miller, Phil Lee), bass (Mont Campbell), drums (Bill Bruford) and vocals (Amanda Parsons). Stewart and Campbell are responsible for the bulk of the material, and it's absolutely outstanding, good enough to have appeared on their "real" albums. The sound quality is a bit on the garage-y side, but isn't bad enough to make it unlistenable.

Some of the later tracks feature the later, John Greaves quartet lineup, and "Starlight On Seaweed" is a "re-creation" by Stewart and Barbara Gaskin. It does peter out a bit towards the end, frankly, but there's enough quality music to make this worth owning. An precious artifact, one I wish had been unearthed a long time ago.

Progbear | 4/5 |


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