Monday, April 12, 2004

Album of the Day

National Health: Complete. Rather than an album proper, Complete is a two-disc set released in 1990 that contains the band's three studio albums (National Health, Of Queues and Cures, and DS al Coda) and a few assorted bits to flesh things out. Plagued by an ever-shifting membership and increasing record company resistance to all things prog (they formed in 1975, after all), the band lurched from one phase to the next. The music is breathtakingly complex Canterbury-style prog, mostly instrumental. Of Queues and Cures, released in 1978, was the best album of that year and, quite possibly, one of the best of all time. The package is rounded out by copious liner notes from keyboardist Dave Stewart who recounts the rise and fall of National Health with great humor.

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