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IQ - Seven Stories Into 98 CD (album) cover





3.43 | 148 ratings

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2 stars IQ has released quantities of live albums as well as compilation ones. They were probably uninspired at the time and decide to release a double album with very old material (81-82).

The boolet is quite informative as to the formation of IQ (and its predecessor "The Lens"). Instructive and interesting for the fan. We'll learn that Martin and Mike were rather interested in bands such as "Brand X" and their first number had definitely this jazz mood ("Capital Letters).

The whole story of the production, recording and copying of this first cassette is explained and shows how difficult it can be for a band in their early days. The next number "About Lake Five" sounds as if it comes out of "The Snow Goose" (Camel). Very peaceful and melodic instrumental music. It is clear that they haven't yet decided which would be their orientation.

"Intelligence Quotient" has been already released on "Nine A Pond Is Here" (in 85) as well as on "J'ai Pollette d'Arnu" in 91. So, even if I like this song I believe it is a bit too much. Anyway, this might well be considered as the first true IQ song. Typical and heavy keys, a Genesis mood of course and a good guitar intro. Strangely enough, Mike wrote the lyrics while Martin is the lead vocalist.

"For Christ's Sake" is a medley of "The Lens" songs. Not too bad. We will learn as well that "Barbell" was their first attempt (and only they say) to produce a white reggae song although I do not agree. They have produce the infect "Corners" on their second album "The Wake". This track is not really a good one.

"Fascination" will be the first "real" IQ song. Written as they all will be later. Peter being responsible for the lyrics (often not really understood by the other members - this reminds me another Peter's story...). This song was also available on "Nine A Pound...". One of the best of this album.

I guess that "For The Taking" will be the only IQ's protest song. It is a tribute to the last US soldier executed for desertion. it is a gentle acousitc song. Not really essential.

As for "IQ", "It all Stops Here" was also already released twice. This version is probably the best one. The only track that is not available on disc II is "Eloko Bella Neechi". This song has never been released before and although it did hold some lyric parts in its original format, they were dropped later on. Peaceful and very much keyboards oriented for about two minutes, the whole band then joins to perform a classic IQ song : powerful, a bit heavy. This version features some vocals (but limited to a few words). Mike's guitar is very pleasant during the second half of the song.

Disc one deserves two stars. It can not really interest people outside the circle of die- hard IQ fans.

Disc two is made of the same tracklist in their original format (81-82). These are really demo tape quality and can only be interesting for completionists (one star). As a whole I would say that this album is interesting for the devoted fans. The entire album is much more instrumental than what IQ will release later, and therefore being somewhat different. Their later work will be strongly (even too much) lyrics oriented with Nicholls almost always there leaving little place to intrumental parts.

Two stars for the whole but I'm rounding up here (three out of ten would be more logic).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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