Fly High Fall Far is a very aggressive prog rock song with great tempo breaks and outstanding keyboards by Rik Carter.
Pendragon – Fly High Fall Far
Label: Elusive Records – ARRMP 001
Format: Vinyl, 12″, EP
Genre: Prog Rock
A1 Fly High Fall Far 4:45
A2 Victims Of Life 6:40
B1 Dark Summer Day 5:20
B2 Excalibur 6:15
Bass, Guitar – Peter Gee
Drums – Nigel Harris
Keyboards – Rik Carter
Producer – Pete Hinton, Will Reid Dick*
Vocals, Guitar, Lyrics By – Nick Barrett
Written-By, Arranged By – Pendragon
Victims Of Life is a very melodic instrumental piece with superb guitar parts and again a lot of tempo breaks in the song! Dark Summer Day later appeared on the 9:15 Live album. Excalibur is an instrumental piece with a very nice keyboard sound in which Pendragon shows their skills, I think this is the song with the most authentic Pendragon sound of all!! Two of the four songs from this EP resurfaced of that album while the other two songs can only be found here. The two songs that did not end up on The Jewel are fully up to par with the songs that did. Dark Summer 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 Pendragon actually did fly comparatively high here musically speaking, and oh how far they fell! This EP is worth finding for the two tracks not available elsewhere!
This was Pendragon´s first official release, an EP with four tracks. I was quite surprised to find it so good for such a new band. It´s 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 Barret´s unique voice.
The title track is quite heavy on parts and show the group´s versatility since the early days. Victims of Life is a more familiar symphonic prog track, being mostly instrumental 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 instrumental Excalibur, 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.