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IQ - J'ai Pollette d'Arnu CD (album) cover





3.30 | 71 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars IQ only have released three studio albums at the time, but two "live" ones and this hybrid one which will both feature live and studio tracks (equally distributed). I also do not really understand why they needed to mix both eras of their short life (Menel and Nicholls).

As far as the studio recordings are concerned, there is a bit of redundancy. "It all Stops Here" and "IQ" could already be found on a previous studio live effort "Nine a Pond Is Here". Version of the former being more dynamic on this album. I also prefer this version of "Intelligence Quotient", a bit harder and with a much better sound recording (this can be clearly heard in the intro, but not only) here.

"Dans Le Parc du Château Noir" is a beautiful song, full of emotion and with a definite sound of hope. There is a sublime guitar break from Mike towards the end. Great work. He is not often put in the forefront, since IQ depends very much on the keys from Martin. This number comes from the sessions of "The Wake" and is availble on the CD edition as a bonus track. Nothing new here.

"Sera Sera" is a pittyful ballad which should have been remained unreleased, believe me.

Now, the live recordings.

I have seen IQ twice live (both with Peter on the vocals). I actually prefer Peter even if Paul sounds similar at times. Peter sounds more desperate and has a more emotional tone (and I guess that you know that I like emotions quite a lot).

There is an attempt to please early IQ fans with "The Medley" featuring (amongst others) two of their legendary tracks from their first two albums "The Last Human Gateway" (from "Tales"), and "Outer Limits" (from "The Wake").

One can discuss the use of such "Medley". These two song alone were almost clocking at thirty minutes. To reduce them so much is not in line with my expectations. But Genesis will do the same with their Gabriel era songs while they were three or four on stage. So, if the master does it ...

From "Nomzamo", we'll get the AOR-ish and very poor "Promises" (pretty much extended here) and "Common Ground" only saved by a great guitar break at the end.

And yes, a great original track will almost be ruined ! "Wurensh" featured on "Are You Sitting Comfortably ? and which was, by far, the best track of the album is poorly rendered here. It is also shortend by a minute. Not really great to say the least. Almost a massacre.

As you can figure out, there is really nothing extraordinary on here. Average to good tracks (and even or two or three poor ones depending on your feeling about "Wurensh") and that's it !

No audience participation, no little stories to introduce the tracks (as Peter - Nicholls often does) during the live "set".

I would not recommend you to buy this record (it does not even sell for cheap). IQ won't really produce studio compilation as such but their live CD "Forever Live" or their great DVD's "IQ20 - The Twentieth Anniversary Show" or "Stage" are definitely a better choice.

This one is for die-hard fans and therefore I will rate it with two stars (and I am generous).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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