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FLY HIGH FALL FAR

Pendragon

Neo-Prog


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Pendragon Fly High Fall Far album cover
3.20 | 43 ratings | 8 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1:
1) Fly High Fall Far
2) Victims of Life
Side 2:
1) Dark Summer's Day
2) Excalibur

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Nick Barrett / vocals, guitars
- Rik Carter / keyboards
- Peter Gee / basses, guitars, bass pedals
- Nigel Harris / drums, percussion

Releases information

EMI Elusive Records (ARRMP 001)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to zowieziggy for the last updates
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PENDRAGON Fly High Fall Far ratings distribution


3.20
(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
28%
Good, but non-essential (47%)
47%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

PENDRAGON Fly High Fall Far reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record sound definitely like "The Jewel". There are tons of fast cymbals, loud and sophisticated bass (its sound is really unique and definitely not bland). The electric guitars are really good, and the keyboards are impressive too: many moog solos, floating keyboards streams (e.g. organ) and more modern sounds. The guitar rythmic is loud, aggressive and addictive. The four songs are very good, especially "Excalibur", which IMO started the neo progressive style: just listen to those guitar solos, full of pedal effects a la Steve HACKETT. The composition of "Excalibur" is very structured, elaborated and varied. The lead vocals are excellent, as always. The songs have something very addictive and catchy. It can sound like MARILLION-FISH era. Again, the sound is recorded too loud, so that the cymbals sound saturated. This record doesn't leave me indifferent. The style is very urban and tracks may be played in the car on a hot summer night.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#27983) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Arthurian

This was Pendragon's first release, a maxi single made up of four tracks. It lacks the sophistication we have come to expect from the band, although Nick Barrett's vocals are instantly recognisable.

The absence of Clive Nolan, who had yet to join the band, means that the guitar work is more up front with the keyboards further back in the mix.

The title track is a pretty basic loud piece of rock, but it does have a good if brief guitar then synthesiser break. "Victims of life" is a largely instrumental number, with a bit of a Genesis feel, especially on the Steve Hackett like guitar. "Dark summer's day" has clearer hints of what was to come, being much more progressive and melodic. The keyboards finally come to the fore here alongside the guitar, to create a beautiful piece, well ahead of its time. The final track, "Excalibur" is about as legendary as its namesake sword. There's hints of early Genesis ("The knife" etc.), although it is an instrumental piece.

A good early collection, signalling the way forward. The first two tracks subsequently appeared on "The Jewel" album.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#27984) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 14, 2004

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Contempory of Marillion and IQ, Pendragon distills a more poppish, easy and accessible music. Pendragon will need some time to establish their style. This EP was released before the line-up really stabilized.

Music here is pleasant but not sophisticated. What we'll get here are four good songs. Nothing less, nothing more. Barrett's unique tone is still hesitant, far from what he will be. His guitar play is not yet as symphonic and passionate as it will be.

This EP lacks in emotional moments, but do not worry : Pendragon will get you there.

The title track of this EP is a poppy and stright-forward song. Not a great track, but it has all the elments fo Pendragon with more keys than usual maybe. "Dark Summer's Day" is very romantic. Very subtle backing keys but childish chorus. I guess that detractors will call this a useless song. I just want to mention to them, that it does not hurt to produce just beautiful songs... I quite like it, obviously.

The most achieved song here is "Victims Of Life". It will be featured on their debut album as a bonus track on the remastered version. A very nice instrumental part opens this song : it is imposing, well performed and catchy. The so typical guitar play of Rothery (you know, these special intros of closings) is very much present here. The beautiful and so passionate voice from Barret is perfect here. It is by far the best number on this EP. Fully symphonic and just beautiful as Pendragon can sound.

I really like this band. Although it is categorized in the neo-prog genre, IMO it has more to do with the symph-prog one. I have had the chance to see them live and it was really an EMOTIONAL and exceptional moment (thanks again Francis for organizing this great concert at the Spirit Of 66 last year).

Very good intro again for "Excalibur" which is an intrumental piece. It sounds pretty much like Genesis but with less grandeur (Camel as well is not far away). A nice number.

To rate this short work is rather difficult. It is of course not a must own (even for Pendragon fan since half of it will be featured on their debut album "The Jewel". Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#120000) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 27, 2007

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well, last week I wrote a review on this site about Pendragon their latest effort, the DVD entitled Past And Present. Then I discovered that I still had not reviewed their first effort, this mini-LP. I remember vividly that I bought it when it was just released in the days that Fish Marillion ruled. They speerheaded the neo-prog rock movement with IQ as second best but in my opinion Pendragon should be considered as the inventor of neo-prog rock because Pendragon sound more neo-prog than the more symphonic prog inspired Marillion and IQ: more pure rock elements, a more accessible and straight-forward sound, more head-and- tail guitar - and keyboard soli and more song-oriented compositions. After all those years I am still delighted about the four compostions on this mini-LP: very melodic and pleasant atmospheres, strong soli on guitar and keyboards (great Minimoog flights) and I still love Nick his vocals. If you take a look at the Past And Present DVD you will notice that keyboard player Nick Carter delivers an splendid job after all those years, full circle!! My rating: 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#127746) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, July 06, 2007

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars PENDRAGON's first album is a fair product if you consider the year/decade and if you add the debut label, even with the acknowledgment that "Fly High Fall Far" isn't in reality a full album. Anyway, knowing now a little better the band's history we notice that they weren't properly rookies in the prog scene since they had amassed a certain number of years on the road, which explains the reason they show pieces of seniority throughout this short release.

Having absorbed convenient doses of classic prog-rock taken directly from the fountain of the 70s, PENDRAGON show an apparent typical neo-prog album which in truth is tinted with neat symphonic and space/psych prints - something that should become, at least for my ears, a kind of band's signature. The reference to FLOYD's "The Wall" heard in the intro of 'Fly high, fall far', the opening song, is a clear testimony of their roots and background. The song itself is pleasantly average, with some good hard-rock parts and hearable keyboards, drumming and vocals actions - not groundbreaking but interesting.

'Victims of life' sports that characteristic neo-prog atmosphere responsible for the disdain of so many old prog-fans; guitar does a great work compensating a few the excessive flow of synth sounds. Soft segment is catchy and amusing enough to make worth the listening of the whole track. 'Dark Summer's day' seems a follow-on of previous song, but now things become weary and expendable; the weakest point in this mini-album. 'Excalibur', the closing song, on the other side is the strongest point - really a fine moment and where band demonstrate their ability and musicianship.

This mini-album could be considered only a specific item for fans and collectors however if one looks forward at PENDRAGON's career life it becomes essential which points to the middle course. Good.

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#129695) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 21, 2007

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#253410) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This was Pendragonīs first officiail release, an EP with four tracks. I was quite surprised to find it so good for such a new band. Ok, it lacks the sophistication of their 90īs material of course, but if you look closer itīs easy to see that all the basic elements that made Pendragon one of the best prog bands to emerge from the so called neo prog movement are right here: the Gilmour/Hackett influenced guitar lines, the fine symphonic keyboards (although it would take a little over than an year for Clive Nolan to take over those duties), excellent rhythm section. And, sure, Nick Barrettīs unique voice, love it or hate it.

The title track is quite heavy on parts and show the groupīs versatility since the early days. Victims of Life is a more familiar synphonic prog track, being mostly isntrumental and showing off clearly Genesis influences. Dark Summer Days on the other hand is quite different, with its jazzy guitar, slightly bossa nova rhythm, dreamy keys and fine melody. The last track is the isntrumental Exclibur, where the Steve hackett influence comes to the fore again. Very nice!! Production was only average, but the energy and passion of the performances were so strong they overcome such small detail.

Like Marillion Market Square Heroes EP, Fly High Fall Far proved once and for all that progressive music was far from dead. In fact, a whole new generation of prog artists would show that not only the style was alive and well but they had a lot of new sounds to offer. Small wonder Pendragon is still making fine and relevant music almost 30 years after they appeared. They were truly special from the get go.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#541049) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 03, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars An appealing but rather lightweight little EP from Pendragon - their debut in fact, and very much in keeping with the approach they would take on their first full-length album, the Jewel, in that there's a combination of more approachable, jaunty, mainstream tracks (the title cut) and murky meanderings through neo-prog territory. Nick Barrett's guitar work gets a decent outing on the closing instrumental, Excalibur, and the opening track is catchy as anything, but the intermediate tracks are rather forgettable. Still, it's a decent effort, and even though it might follow the lead of Marillion's Market Square Heroes a little too closely it's still an enjoyable enough listen if you're a neo-prog fan.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#579035) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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