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IQ - Forever Live CD (album) cover





3.91 | 111 ratings

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3 stars IQ was rather discreet in terms of records those days. Three years since they have released their last studio album "Ever", the come-back one for Peter Nicholls. So, what do you do when you have no new material ? A live one, right ?

At least, we can't say that IQ will reject their Menel days (which were not the best ones IMO). Four songs out of these two albums will be played.

From "Nomzamo", the long "Human Nature" (one of the very few average song of this album). I have to admit that I prefer this live version : a bit more dynamic and above all, more dramatic. "No Love Lost" was definitely one of the poorest with its AOR oriented style. It is still the weakest number of this double live set.

From "Are You ...?" two songs as well, presented in a medley. The choice from this album is definitely better. "Nostalgia" and "Falling Apart at the Seams" were amongst the best ones ("Wurensh" being my fave one).

I really believe that they should have skipped completely "Nomzamo" from their setlist. These songs really do not belong to their good repertoire and since Nicholls was not in charge, I guess every would have understood.

On the contrary, the inclusion of "Wurensh" might have been a good idea since the only live version available is to be found on "J'ai Pollette D'arnu" (with Menel) and sounds terrible. But we'll never know how it will sound like with Peter on the vocals (even if it is featured on the album "La Maroquinerie" but this one is really difficult to grab).

Now, what do we get from the Nicholls days ?

Almost two songs from their debut album : "The Enemy Smacks", the second longest piece (being slightly extended here to clock at almost sixteen minutes). It was not my fave of the album. Too long and repetive even in its initial format; so I'm afraid that this feeling can only be increased in this live version. Still, far much better than the "Nomzamo" ones of course.

But what did they do with one of their greatest songs ? Cut it into two pieces and record only two-third of this great musical moment! It is pretty weird since there was a full version of this marvelous song available on their studio live album "Nine a Pond Is Here" (again with Menel on the vocals), so it would have been a good idea to play it for the Nicholls come back.

But nothing as such. Fans will have to wait for their twenty anniversary tour to get it played life in its entirety. I was even lucky to see it be played in in its full lenght in 2005 as well as the whole of "Harvest of Souls". All this during the same concert ! My best of two IQ concerts, of course. Almost three hours of music !

Still, these two portions of a song remain one of my fave moments on this work.

The four numbers from "The Wake" are really good ones (except "The Thousand Days"). The title track is very catchy and "Widow's Peak" is probably one of their all- time best while "Headlong" is one of their most emotional song. Peter is especially brilliant in bringing you emotions. He is a very pleasant guy while on stage, always caring for the audience : he even speaks some French while in France / Belgium (you know like the other Peter started to do in the seventies...).

This tour was set up to promote their last studio effort "Ever". I have expressed my thoughts about it in my according review. It was a bit of a disappointment for me, but fortunately they will pick up the best songs from it of which "Leap Of Faith" and its sad and melancholic side always pleases me. My favourite song "The Darkest Hour" is also featured, which can only make me happy as well of course. This live rendition is slightly shorter than the original, although IQ sounds pretty similar on stage and in the studio.

The rocking mood of "Out Of Nowhere" is very welcome. It is a bit of a change; while when listening to "Fading Senses" is another very emotional song. A bit too much of a sad feeling (up till the "Big Ben" sounds when the rhythm catches up a bit).

This album is globally a good one, but when you listen to it all in a row, a feeling of monotony prevails. Too much similar, too uniform. That's why I think it would have been better to have released a single CD one.

When you look at its lenght, if they would skipped the very avearage numbers I have been referring to, the one CD format would have been sufficient and the album would have been much appealing. As such, I will rate it with three stars and I do believe you need to be an IQ fan to fully get into this one.

If you should only pick up one IQ live effort, I would suggest either their twentieth anniversary one (for the emotion linked to the event) or their "Dark Matter" tour one (although it does not feature the whole of "Human Gateway" while they played it at "Spirit Of 66". Ooouh, what a lucky man, I was).

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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