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Pendragon - Fly High Fall Far CD (album) cover





3.32 | 63 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Lift off

Pendragon was formed already in 1978 but they didn't release anything until this four track EP in 1984 (and their first full length album came in 1985). This EP was thus the very first release ever by Pendragon which together with IQ, Pallas and Marillion and a few other bands spearheaded the Neo-Progressive movement in the early 80's. However, unlike Marillion it took a while for many of these bands to create anything of high quality. The first couple of albums by IQ, Pallas and Pendragon were relatively weak when compared to what these bands would go on to do in the 90's and 2000's. Indeed, it almost seems to be symptomatic of Neo-Progressive bands that they needed many years to mature and reach their respective musical peaks. This tendency seems to be very general, just look at the Top 100 of Neo-Prog albums and you will find that a very large majority of the top albums are from the 90's and 00's and only very few from the subgenre's early days (the reverse is true in other subgenres).

What we have here then is one of these immature releases along with the full length debut The Jewel from the following year. Two of the four songs from this EP resurfaced of that album while the other two songs can only be found here (and on the compilation The Rest Of Pendragon that brings together the songs from three of the band's early EPs). Personally, I think that the two songs that did not end up on The Jewel are fully up to par with the songs that did. Dark Summer's Day is a decent Pop song that would have fitted very well on that album but it is the instrumental Excalibur that is the best moment on this EP and the only reason that this is recommended for fans and collectors. This long instrumental features very nice keyboard and guitar play even if the great Clive Nolan was yet to join the band and Nick Barrett was yet to find is own guitar style. Sadly, the sound quality is quite weak and very far from the high sonic quality of later albums from the 90's onwards.

Relative to the decent but hardly great full length debut album The Jewel and the poor second album Kowtow, Pendragon actually did fly comparatively high here musically speaking, and oh how far they fell! (Before reaching ever new heights in the 90's and 00's).

This EP is worth finding (the best place is probably the compilation I mentioned above) for the two tracks not available elsewhere, but really only recommended to fans and collectors of early Neo-Prog and Pendragon in particular. Very nice cover art too!

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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