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National Health - Of Queues and Cures (1997) Retail CD
1979's `Of Queues and Cures' shows the intrepid National Health developing the style of music that began with the experiments of The Soft Machine at the turn of the '70's, and hereafter known as the Canterbury sound. In fact none of these musicians belonged there but are part of the lineage that developed from the Softs through Egg,Matching Mole, Henry Cow and Hatfield and the North. The line up on this recording boasts members of all of the above.The over-riding feeling of this album is that of unmistakable Englishness rendered through tricky, wonderfully executed compositions largely from themore… pen of Dave Stewart (No not that one !). These musicians know their chops but the playing is graceful, inspired and humourous. As a whole piece the album works wonderfully, bookended by `The Bryden Two-Step For Amphibians', the compositions explore time signatures and chords lesser outfits can only dream of, but are executed with dedication and warmth rather than `Prog for Prog's sake' histrionics. `Collapso' is a bizarre set of time changes which somehow manages to incorporate a steel drum part and a smashed greenhouse amongst it's instrumental colours, whilst extended pieces such as Phil Miller's `Dreams Wide Awake' and Pyle's `Binoculars' demonstrate melody and unexpected development at every turn.Never less than entertaining and often beautiful, Phil Miller's languid guitar lines sound like no-one else could, Dave Stewart's chiming celeste chords and overdriven organ are perfectly propelled in all directions by Jon Greaves' Bass and Pip Pyle's crisp drumming. The arrangements are fleshed out further by several guest musicians, (Cello,Flute) and the overall sound of the album marks the end of the days when electric and acoustic instruments were blended to achieve a rich and varied whole. Within a couple of years DX7's, Simmons and slap-bass styles would exert their ugly hold on most forms of music. The irony of course being that the very same Dave Stewart would be standing like a pillock on `Top Of the Pops' doing a chart-topping cover version of `It's My Party' (The need to eat does strange things to a person !)Predominantly instrumental, this is an album to treasure and if you're already familiar with it's forebears, a must buy.....
|1||Bryden 2 Step (For Amphibians)|
|3||Squarer For Maud|
|4||Dreams Wide Awake|
|7||Bryden 2 Step (For Amphibians) (2)|
- National Health - Of Queues and Cures (1997) Retail CD
- 1405 x 1401 px
- 1,129 KB
- 185 (0 today)
- 13/05/08 by paragong
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