National Health

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National Health
Origin Canterbury, England
Genres Progressive rock, Canterbury scene, jazz fusion, psychedelic rock, experimental rock
Years active 1975–1981
Past members Dave Stewart
Alan Gowen
Amanda Parsons
Phil Miller
Phil Lee
Mont Campbell
Bill Bruford
Steve Hillage
John Mitchell
Neil Murray
Pip Pyle
John Greaves
Georgie Born
Lindsay Cooper

National Health were an English progressive rock band associated with the Canterbury scene. Founded in 1975, the band included members of keyboardist Dave Stewart's band Hatfield and the North and Alan Gowen's band Gilgamesh, the band also included guitarists Phil Miller and Phil Lee and bassist Mont Campbell as original members. The band was named after Stewart's National Health glasses. Bill Bruford (previously of Yes and King Crimson) was the initial drummer but was soon replaced by Pip Pyle. Campbell was replaced by Neil Murray and then John Greaves.

A frequently changing line-up, they toured extensively and released their first album, National Health in 1978. Although it was created during the rise of Punk, the album is characterised by lengthy, mostly instrumental compositions. Their second record Of Queues and Cures, which included Peter Blegvad (recitation on "Squarer For Maud") and Georgie Born (cello), is held as one of the best records ever on the Gnosis website.[1] After the May 1981 death of Gowen, remaining members reconvened to record the album D.S. Al Coda, a set of compositions by Gowen, most previously unrecorded. The original albums and additional archival material have subsequently been released on CD.

The intro of National Health's 'Binoculars' was used as a sample on American rock band Deftones' Black Moon.


Studio albums[edit]

Other releases[edit]

  • Complete (1990; all three studio albums plus bonus tracks)
  • Missing Pieces (1996; archival material)
  • Playtime (2001; live recordings from 1979)
  • Dreams Wide Awake (2005; selected tracks from the first two studio albums)


External links[edit]


  1. ^ ranked #10 as of 2012/09/13, the Gnosis search facility