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IQ - Living Proof CD (album) cover





3.09 | 93 ratings

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3 stars I purchased the CD of this live album dated back in 1998 for USD 22.49 (quite expensive for me especially the dollar rate against IDR at that time was 50% higher than now; plus USD 5 shipping cost). But, I never regret having this in my prog collection. Not that the show was superb, it's was just a matter of loving the music of the band. Honestly, the recording quality is not that excellent but I enjoy spinning this CD because it gives me another nuance having owned all studio versions the band had ever made. The story of this live album started when in 1985 IQ received a phone call asking them to play a concert which will be filmed for the "Live From London" television series. So in just three days from that phone call the band played a concert at the Camden Palace on May 13th before a hastily- gathered home crowd . Later that same year the band discovered that a live album of the show had been released without any consent or artistic input from the band. Despite the poor aural and visual presentation of the product, it proved to be a popular and collectable item even after its deletion in 1987. This edition of "Living Proof" has been re-mastered and "tidied-up" and the booklet features previously unreleased photos from the performance. The performance was finally released also in DVD format.

The live set kicks-off with soaring keyboard sound of Martin Orford with "Awake and Nervous" from the band's debut album. The band played this song energetically and the song is suitable for opening act of the live performance. Composition-wise it's no different with the original version, only that I notice the drum work by Paul Cook is more dynamic in variation. Peter Nicholls sings excellent voice. The song projects good live vibes through the combination of musical instruments they play and voice line. Nicholls communicates with the audience in between tracks indicating what song the band will play. "Outer Limits" from The Wake is another track performed excellently by the band.

As with the original studio version "The Wake" is continued seamlessly with "The Magic Roundabout". The Wake was the first song I knew IQ for the first time and it blew me away at first listen. I like the energy and the dynamic of this sort track. It starts with a great combination of keyboard and guitar, augmented with bass and drum. "Singing praise was never a feature encouraged in me or y kind ." - oh what a wonderful voice line entrance! I also especially like when Nicholls sings before great guitar interlude by Holmes: "I come drifting through the draughting Dropping out of sight. I'm not begging for love. I'm empty as I am ." [continued with hard edge guitar solo by Mike Holmes]. Really nice. "The Magic Roundabout" is specific in a way how the howling guitar sounds melt together with long sustain keyboard sounds. I also enjoy this track especially during interlude part with guitar solo and keyboard sound that follows at the background. It's very seventies, I would say.

Another all time favorite of IQ music is a song titled "Widow's Peak" from "The Wake" album. This song is very strong in composition especially in the way how melody and harmony were put together nicely. You may find an early Genesis music style but it has different kind of melody and singing style. IQ music to me is very unique and it can be identified easily as no band is similar with IQ. The opening guitar fills of "Widow' Peak" is really killing! It has a very catchy melody that bring the music into full blown symphonic prog style just before Nicholls sings "Garden over me, the secret I love most .". Oh man .. what a great composition! The music seems like containing two parts with the other part starts with a long sustain howling guitar sound augmented with keyboard and cymbals at the back. The music continues with a the like of Pink Floyd Music just before the lyrical part says "I want to see you I want touch you .etc". The music reaches its ultimate "orgasm" right after lyrical part "You couldn't get that, yeah!" when guitar produces wonderful soft riffs augmented with soaring keyboard sound, drum and bass. Oh .. what a wonderful composition!!!!! Imagine if all prog music has this kind of tight composition and melodic segments. I'm dying man .

Overall, this is a recommended live performance by one of the finest neo progressive band, IQ. It's recommended that you own a copy of the band's previous albums "Tales From The Lush Attic" and "The Wake" before proceeding with this CD so that you have a fair chance listening to the studio version before this one. Happy New "Prog" Year 2006. May the year 2006 is a shiny year for prog and . keep on proggin' .!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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