Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Album of the Day

D.S. al Coda, by National Health (1982): This album is the last of three chronicled in the 2-disc set. As such, by the time it rolls around when I'm listening to both discs I tend to give it short shrift. It came about approximately four years after the outstanding Of Queues and Cures under unhappy circumstances. Band co-founder and keyboardist Alan Gowen (who left the band and then rejoined at the end for the last tour) died of leukemia. His band mates, as a fund raisers to cover funeral expenses, recorded this album of (mostly) unreleased Gowen compositions. Almost entirely instrumental, it suffers a little bit in comparison to the two other National Health studio albums by sounding more "80s." But beyond that surface, there's some really good music and some excellent playing. A very fitting, if somewhat somber, cap to the band's career.

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