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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Canterbury Masterpieces ?
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...
Published on 13 July 2001

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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Clever By Half?
Although founder-member Dave Stewart (keyboard player & NOT the Eurythmics Dave Stewart!) prefers this album to the first National Health album ("National Health"), I must humbly disagree. There's a lot of very technically clever compositions on this album, but it lacks the lyrical quality of the first album, in my view. A particularly regrettable absence is that of...
Published on 13 Nov 2002 by D.A.Roberts


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last of the Canterbury Masterpieces ?, 13 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Of Queues and Cures (Audio 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 the 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.....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone but not forgotten - a rare gem, 9 Dec 2010
This review is from: Of Queues And Cures (Audio CD)
I have owned this album on LP and on cassette, and it is a rare gem. It will be a long time before we hear music of this quality of musicianship. Also check-out the first album National Health and DS Al Coda. Fantastic!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars National Treasure, 12 Dec 2006
This review is from: Of Queues & Cures (Audio CD)
This album came out in the middle of New Wave post Punk UK and was not the type of music that the majority of people were listen at the time. Since I was trying to remain cool and was certainly not going to follow the rest of the sheep along the mainstream road, this was just what I was after. Clearly there was a lot of mainstream stuff I really liked but I kept it under my hat (I didn't actually wear a hat beacuse that was a trendy this to do at the time too) This album is just great music. No concessions to fashion or indeed songs just brilliantly executed Avant-garde, as it was then, or was this band a member to the Canterbury Scene, I know Dave Stewart does not like that tag but it does work. The latest in a line of bands that included Egg, Hatfield and the North, Arzachel, Khan... If you like this then check out these and also check out the fantastic range of Soft Machine albums and live sessions that are available. Music that will shift your brain out of neutral.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IT DOES CURE YOU., 14 July 2012
This review is from: Of Queues And Cures (Audio CD)
" Of Queues and Cures" I bought this masterpiece of "Canterbury Jazzrock "when it first came out, i was in the front queue for this, after hearing there first album, more rockier than the first album but has a strong Canterbury Prog workout with the imaginative Keyboard Genius of Dave Stewart, Phil Millers guitar playing always blows my mind with his brilliant fuzz guitar and soft sharp angular guitar and rhythm work and John Greaves fluent solid bass playing and Pip Pyles sharp Superfast canterbury styled and delicate complex Drumming and i must mention guest musician Jimmy Hastings with his great canterbury flute playing.

A Healthy Gem.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Clever By Half?, 13 Nov 2002
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D.A.Roberts (Hastings, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Of Queues and Cures (Audio CD)
Although founder-member Dave Stewart (keyboard player & NOT the Eurythmics Dave Stewart!) prefers this album to the first National Health album ("National Health"), I must humbly disagree. There's a lot of very technically clever compositions on this album, but it lacks the lyrical quality of the first album, in my view. A particularly regrettable absence is that of vocalist Amanda Parsons (or any other Northettes). However, if you like very clever English jazz rock, there is not much around to better outfits such as National Health & Hatfield & the North, so it's probably a good idea to get this while it's still available.
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