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Pendragon - The History 1984-2000 CD (album) cover

THE HISTORY 1984-2000




3.44 | 26 ratings

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3 stars The least I can say, is that Pendragon is not very productive these years. Their superb "Masquerade" is already four years old, and after some live album, the resurgence of very old pre-Pendragon songs with "Once Upon, volume I and II", the Pendragon fan gets a "Best Of" with nine songs.

Their first album is covered with "The Black Knight" which is one of the two choices available (although "Alaska" should have deserved to be here as well) and the choice of "Total Recall" from "Kowtow" is probably not a good idea (but the only very good number was the title song clocking at over ten minutes). I think that they should have discarded this album.

"Voyager" is the best alternative to the suite piece "Queen of Hearts" (over twenty minutes) from "The World". Instead of choosing one piece of it (which they already did in a live album) we'll get the beautiful twelve minutes long "Voyager" which is really good. I am more reserved for the choice of "And We'll Go Hunting Deer". It was the closing number from this album and sounded a bit as a leftover (maybe because it came after the great "Queen of Hearts". It is too mellowish a song (although this is of course "Pendragon" 's trademark; but too much is too much).

This compilation is not really bad : you'll get tracks out of each of their albums, but some songs could have been ignored and I am not sure that the two acoustic numbers were really necessary; they were there to boost sales I guess, since fans are always keen on alternate versions of existing songs (but I am not; especially when it comes to acoustic versions).

From "Window...", we'll get the opener and the closing numbers. Again a great choice with "The Walls...", one of the most Floydian songs from the Pendragon repertoire. I liked "Am I..." for its marvelous guitar break at the end of the song but I did not really expected it on a "Best Of" effort. Of course all the other numbers were quite extended "Breaking The Spell" or the great "The Last Man on Heart" (almost fifteen minutes).

The more astonishing from this album, is that their most beautiful record (as well as commercial success) "The Masquerade" is only featured by two acoustic versions. One being from a track only available as a bonus track ("The King of the Castle") while "Paintbox" is almost cut by half ! To bad a treatment, really. Even if the Spanish sound of the acoustic guitar is quite nice. But if you are into acoustic, Pendragon will release a full acoustic set a little later...

The video for "The Last Waltz" is the one available on the video "Live At Last" or the DVD ""Live At Last And More".

Pendragon could have easily produced a five star compilation, but they won't. Only a matter of track list selection.

If you are new to Pendragon, my recommendation is that you get one album out their great trilogy ("The World", "Window..." or preferably "The Masquerade"). You will get the true Pendragon and avoid some useless songs. The presentation of the songs is almost random. This is not the best choice I guess for a compilation work which should be intended to people with less Pendragon knowledge and therefore a chronological listening would have been better.

The best Pendragon compilation is the one I have compiled out of their whole discography. It sits on three CD's, but that's because I like Pendragon a lot.

This one is not really great. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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