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Pendragon: The History 1981-2000

Poland's Metal Mind Productions have released their version of a Pendragon greatest hits titled The History; 1981-2000, chronicalling nearly 20 years in the career of one of progs longest running acts. Appearing on the European prog scene in the early 80's alongside Marillion, Pallas, IQ, and Twelfth Night, Pendragon have continued on strong for many years, releasing a slew of popular albums and keeping their sound intact through it all. While there's no doubt that many fans of this classy neo-prog fans will balk at the idea of a nine song compilation, there are some standout tracks here, like the soaring "The Walls of Babylon" and the symphonic "The Voyager". For the most part these are all great songs, but there could have been so much more. Thankfully, Metal Mind have included a nice booklet with a detailed history on the band, with photographs, all housed in a nice digipack. This is a nice have for the casual Pendragon fan who might want a small sampling of the sounds created by Nick Barrett, Clive Nolan, Peter Gee, and Fudge Smith, but if you really want to experience the music of Pendragon, check out their individual CD's instead. The Jewel, The World, The Window of Life, and The Masquerade Overture are all great places to start.

Track Listing
1. The Walls Of Babylon
2. The Shadow
3. Total Recall
4. The Voyager
5. The Black Knight
6. And We'll Go Hunting Deer
7. Am I Really Losing You?
8. The King Of The Castle -bonus acoustic version
9. Paint Box -bonus acoustic version
10. The Last Waltz-bonus video

Added: October 6th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Pendragon Website
Hits: 2623
Language: english

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Pendragon: The History 1981-2000
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-10-06 10:09:48
My Score:

When this album was originally released back in 2000, it became my first introduction to the British neoprogressive band, and I came to the conclusion that the group's sound is an acquired taste. Well, six years later just in time for this North American reissue I've finally acquired the taste. History: 1984-2000 offers nine tracks (plus a live video of "The Last Waltz") -- a skimpy sampling of this band's output, to be sure, but sometimes 70 minutes of neoprog is all you need to get your fix. Clive Nolan's majestic keyboards, Nick Barrett's youthful voice and a subtle yet wholly effective rhythm section helped Pendragon stand apart from its peers not as commericial as Marillion, not as bizarre as Pallas and not as boring as IQ. And as 2001's Not Of This World and 2005's Believe prove, this band only seems to be getting stronger with age. History stands as a document (although clearly not a definitive one) of Pendragon up to the point when those two albums were recorded. If you're new to the band, get this, get Not Of This World, and get Believe before delving into the back-catalog. If you're already a fan, you may not need this although the acoustic versions of "The King of the Castle" and "Paintbox" may be tempting, especially in light of the successful Barrett/Nolan acoustic gigs last year.

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