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AS GOOD AS GOLD

Pendragon

Neo-Prog


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars PENDRAGON was on the roads in November and December 1996 to present his "Masquerade Tour" in all Europe, when they released this CD-single. Besides "As Good As Gold" there are also 3 extra new tracks. This CD-single continuing the high standard of their previous album "The Masquerade Overture".

Every track on this CD-single makes the single worth buying. Especially the tracks "As Good As Gold" and "Midnight Running" (a very groovy song). As I have said before, PENDRAGON just keeps getting better and better. This CD-single is "As Good As Gold".

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#5758)
Posted Sunday, March 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars As good as. their album tracks

I'm not too sure what Pendragon hoped to achieve with their various singles, indeed mini- albums, such as this. They were never going to enjoy success as a singles band, and the faithful would have much preferred full albums.

That said, this is an excellent collection. The title track is an edited version of the one on "The Masquerade overture", and is of course an awesome piece of melodic prog. The other three tracks are much rarer, but are of a high standard. "Bird of paradise" has more than a passing resemblance to "Paintbox" from the MO album, which is probably why it was omitted from it.

"Midnight running" is introduced by what could well be (but isn't) Mike Oldfield on guitar. It manages to cram quite a few changes of pace into its 8 minutes, a bit heavy on the vocals, but true attention grabbing prog. "A million miles away" is a shorter softer, but more direct track, giving this brief set a beautiful counterpoint.

An excellent if short collection, the three previously unreleased tracks would have been worthy additions to any Pendragon album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#5759)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album a couple of years ago, unfortunatly I lended it to a "friend" and never got it back. So now I have to live without it for evermore, unless I find it somewhere, which I doubt (sigh).

An EP, designed to be a single, it encapsulates the very core of Pendragon's songwriting, soft lush swirling keyboards and quality guitarplay. Normally I would adress the songs, but because I don't have the album anymore I can't verify my thoughts about them. Suffice it to say that the vocal line of A Million Miles Away is still etched in my memorie, and Bird Of Paradise was my favourite track of the EP.

Recommended to all who like the regular albums of Pendragon. I for one am sure to buy it when I get the chance.

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#5761)
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is another more than decent offering from this excellent band. The title track is, of course, off "The Masquerade Overture" (the bonus disc on the special edition of that album also has this single version on it!) Although most fans will have it on the album, this EP is worth having for the other three tracks on offer here. "Bird Of Paradise" is a good example of Nick Barrett's songwriting skills. For all his blistering talent on guitar, he knows when to keep the instrument more in the background on some songs, and to let the melody and arrangements shine through. On this one there are no stunning solos, but simply some nice gentle playing throughout. A good song. "Midnight Running" is another typical Barrett effort. Nice guitar again, and a jaunty, pleasant rhythm from the bass and drums, which changes nicely for the chorus. The keyboards, as is usual with Clive Nolan, fill out the sound admirably. Last track is "A Million Miles Away". This is a slower number, almost spacey, with very little guitar, Instead, the strength of this piece lies in the haunting little melody. which suits Nick Barrett's voice superbly. The shortest track on the EP, this one is probably my favourite. It shows that Barrett can sing far better than his critics give him credit for, when the song and the mood take him. All in all, I prefer "Fallen Dreams And Angels", as that EP is very strong in all departments. This one is mellower and maybe doesn't stand out so much, but it is still worth having. Pendragon fans will love it.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#5760)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the last EP from a collection started with "Fly High, Fall Far" in 1984. It is the sixth one of this genre and, no doubt : it is the best one.

It has been mainly released to push the song "As Good As Gold" into the charts. The single edit featured here ignores the long and prog intro to allow radio broadcasting. The full original song clocking at over seven minutes was not the archetype of a chartable track. In the format presented here, it will.

"Bird Of Paradise" is another very beautiful yet simple song (but Pendragon delivers simple music, right ?). A jewel of a melody. A very quiet intro full of subtlety and beauty. Oh boy ! When it comes to release touching music, Pendragon really knows how to do it. "Bird..." is extremely passionate. A great Pendragon song. Thanks for having released it and avoid that such a good piece of music would have been lost.

The best song (at least my preferred one) is "Midnight Running". A wonderful symphonic one. Each aspect of Pendragon can be found here : nice background keys, mellow and gentle vocals, catchy melody, nice chorus and some great guitar work as well. We can't ask for more, I guess. The hypnotic rhythm is very effective.

I do not know why Pendragon did not include it on "The Mascarade". Maybe that it did not fit into the oncept or maybe it was not yet ready when the album was released. As I have written in my review of "Contagion" (from "Arena"), we'll get a live version of the whole of "The Mascarade" with these three new songs of this EP as well as the two ones featured on the special edition of the remastered version of this brilliant work.Anyway, I am very glad that Pendragon recorded it.

"A Million Miles Away" sounds a bit weak in this ensemble. Sweetened to the max. It is too monotonous to be really of interest.

Four stars for this very good mini-album.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#123582)
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Here we have the same kind of hidden jewel as Fallen Dreams and Angels. Well, not really as good as that one because that was an EP with 4 new songs whilst this has 2,5 and one from Masquerade Overture. Ok, bit insipid to say 2,5 because it's three of course but a 3 minute song by Pendragon almost makes you feel like we're back in the eighties.

Starting off with a short version of the great track from TMO and I'm sorry to say that it lacks the rich sound of the full version especially in the beginning with an almost pitiful keyboard riff by Clive (come on guys, what's this ?) . Later on the song gets better towards the usual standard (3* altogether). Next is a song that's somewhere between a ballad and a regular song, Bird of Paradise. Problem is that Nick has done so many great things up till now that this song should actually be called a mediocre one where Pendragon standard is concerned. A good maybe even very good track on itself but not as great as anything from TMO (3,5*). The third track is actually more of that great level and it could even be called one of the better songs in Pendragon's career. The great strength lies in its build up. It's a very good song in the first 5 minutes but just as you think it's over it starts with a second part that's even better than the first 5 minutes. Great song (4,25*).

Unfortunately it's the very highlight of the EP because the last track is more or less dispensable (2.5*). It always strikes me that Pendragon is not very good with short songs. It was already showing with the bonus disk of TMO which I hardly played through the years because these kind of short versions/short songs are wasted on me.

It will probably be the difference between a die hard fan and a fine weather (as we say in Holland) fan like me who only goes for the best stuff. All in all a nice addition to a Pendragon collection, I think every fan should have it but the general public .... tough call. It's a great song, a good song and two slightly disappointning ones. See for yourself what to do. It's overall by far not as good as Fallen Dreams and Angels, that's for sure. 3 stars (3,4).

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#185295)
Posted Saturday, October 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another fine EP from one of neo prog biggest names. Pendragon has never released bad material, but I really didn´t like the edit version of As Good As Gold (the whole slow introduction was cut out. Ouch!). I understand if they wanted to have some radio play they had to make some concessions, but as it turned out they did not get any extra radio airplay as far as I know. Anyway, I had the original version on The Masquerade Overture and the remaining three tracks were so good they more then compensate for the edited As Good As Gold.

The centerpiece of this EP is the wonderful Midnight Running, one of their classics. This is the first song I ever heard by Pendragon and immediatly won my heart and ears. Great guitar solo, excellent keys and a good driving rhythm. The vocals may be the most demanding Nick Barret ever tried (which may explains why I never saw him singong it live). Bird of Paradise is a very fine, melancholic, slow number, with a exquisite guitar and piano intro that develps into a mid pace rhythm midway through the song. Only A Million Miles Away is not up to the other tracks standard, being slightly less interesting. Still it has its merits and again Nick Barrett does a great vocal line on this tune (yes, he sings better than I initially thought).

A good companion for the other great Pendragon EP (Falling Dreams and Angels). I´m glad I bought it and I recommend it to any Pendragon or neo prog fan.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#190075)
Posted Friday, November 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars As Good As Gold (EP): 2 stars

To be considered part of The Masquerade Overture 'As Good As Gold' as stated for 'The Masquerade Overture' review this is far too short a version one assumes this was for radio play not that I recollect it being played. 'Bird Of Paradise' not Snowy White. Rather a mish mash of other songs elements of 'Paintbox' and 'Good as Gold', amongst others rather disjointedly put together. It never really sound coherent. 4 minutes in the listener is teased with what might be something going somewhere, but it never materialises. 'Midnight Running' more in the style of Pendragon, a solid chunky rhythm section supports the vocal together with a Mike Oldfield sounding guitar. Probably the best of the tracks on offer here. 'A Million Miles Away' a short track with vocals over lush keys together with some backing vocals. One can't help feeling that this belonged to something else and was removed?

Not quite what I had hoped for? sorry only 2 stars

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Send comments to huge (BETA) | Report this review (#228495)
Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Pendragon decided to follow up The Masquerade Overture with this EP, much like they followed up their masterpiece The Window of Life with the Fallen Dreams and Angels EP. In this case, I don't think the EP is such good value compared to Fallen Dreams - that one was an all-original collection of songs, whereas here you have a radio edit of the least interesting and most irritatingly repetitive song from The Masquerade Overture and three songs which didn't quite make the grade for the main album.

To be honest, if you're willing to shell out for a collection of songs this sparse that probably means you've already worked your way through Pendragon's full-length albums, in which case you'll want to hear this one regardless of what I have to say; either way, I think this is most definitely one for collectors and fans only.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#627090)
Posted Sunday, February 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well this is an EP, so must be judged as such. This contains 3 non-album tracks and an edit of As Good As Gold.

As Good As Gold is an OK track. Depending upon your point of view, this shorter version is either good news of bad news. It makes my iPod, so I prefer the full length version.

Bird Of Paradise is pretty weak to be honest.

Now on to the real gems. Midnight Running is as good as any Pendragon song. Worth buying for this alone.

A Million Miles Away is also album quality.

So 11 minutes of very good non-album material, 7 minutes of poor stuff, 3 minutes or rehash. Probably only for Pendragon fans only.

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Send comments to gingernut (BETA) | Report this review (#627481)
Posted Monday, February 06, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Exactly as they did with ''The window of life'' album, Pendragon decided to follow the release of ''The masquerade overture'' with a short EP.While the band was hitting the road for promoting the new album in the fall of 96', the 4-track ''As good as gold'' was launched on Pendragon's Toff Records.

This mini-album kicks off with a radio version of the eponymous track, beginning from the organ into and on, which is nevertheless a great symphonic track, but anyone owning the original version on the full-length album will find no interest in it.The true value of the EP starts with ''Bird of paradise''.Classic Pendragon stuff with soaring synthesizers and dominant guitars to go along with Barrett's warm vocals and the huge organ parts of Nolan.The changes between the synths and organs along with the splendid guitar parts are sure to reward any fan of the style.''Midnight running'', clocking at almost 8 minutes, is another superb piece.Some of the prettiest guitar melodies and most sensitive vocals appear on this track, which remains grandiose from the first to last minute, based on Nolan's dominant keyboards and the pounding rhythm section along with the orchestral breaks.The closing ''A million miles away'' does not hold any particular interest, being a vocal track led by Barrett' voice and the dreamy background synths of Nolan, working as an emotional outro to this EP.

Definitely Pendragon's inspiration was at its peak around mid-90's.Even the material that did not make it to a full-length release is lovely and well-arranged and if you have the chance to grab this mini-album, do not let it escape you.Recommended, especially for the pair of great tracks in the middle.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#964638)
Posted Friday, May 24, 2013 | Review Permalink

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