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Pendragon - Red Shoes CD (album) cover





2.11 | 35 ratings

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3 stars This single is a bit of a prog sandwich - Searching is a vaguely neo-proggy guitar solo in the middle, and on either side of it you have poppier songs which were clearly pitched to show a more commercial side to Pendragon. A bit of a folly? Perhaps, but you can see why the band would have found it necessary to do this.

After the Elusive Records experiment - a bid by Marillion's manager to set up a neo-prog record label distributed by EMI - fizzled out, the band found themselves working under the auspices of Andy Ware's Awareness Records - a label Ware had originally set up to reissue otherwise-deleted Roy Harper material, and also with an EMI distribution deal. This saw Fly High, Fall Far and the Jewel get reissues, as well as the release of 9:15 Live, but Awareness couldn't justify keeping Pendragon on their books without a strong single; Red Shoes was their attempt at that.

The end result is a song which, perhaps, suits Pendragon better as a lightweight encore number than as a main attraction, and doesn't really reflect their best side. (There's a reason the compilation this is collected on is called The _R_est of Pendragon, after all!) It's kind of endearing and fun in a pop-rock sort of way - like a happier, less cynical take on Marillion B-sides like Lady Nina or Freaks - but it's not top flight Pendragon material. Worth a listen, but don't bankrupt yourself trying to track down the original release when The Rest of Pendragon has this and the Fly High, Fall Far and Saved By You EPs compiled in one tidy package.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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