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 rock, the album is characterized 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. After the May 1981 death of Gowen, Stewart rejoined the remaining members 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.