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IQ - Tales from the Lush Attic 2013 Remix CD (album) cover





4.63 | 99 ratings

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5 stars (9/10)

Well, I've been saying for years that all that it would take to push this album up to 5 stars would be a decent re-recording. So I guess my prayers have been partially answered in 2013 when Mike Holmes, took it upon himself to remix (not re-record) "Tales From The Lush Attic", and add a bunch of other goodies to the package.

Those who have been following IQ's progress throughout the years will know that Mike Holmes has been getting steadily better at mixing records throughout his career, and with 2009's "Frequency" he really reached a tremendous sonic high point. Presumably 30 years on from the original, he now felt he was ready (and had the time) to have a go at remixing. He's done a great job here, keeping what made the original such fun whilst brightening and cleaning up a lot of the sound, as well as adding a few new twists here and there.

It's not the first time IQ has revisited old material, the are re-recorded songs from before "Tales" on "Seven Stories Into 98", and even re-written and re-recorded material from The Lens. This is just a remix though. I was blown away seeing IQ live, performing "The Last Human Gateway Live", by how much they improved an already brilliant song, so a re-recording is what I really wanted, but to be honest this is easily good enough. The 'raw' vocals (and a few other instruments) are still present but actually I liked it then and I like it now. This 2013 version still captures the youthful joy of the original and I like that a lot.

The bonus material should please long-time fans of the band, or those interested in the history. My favourite of the lot is probably the 2012 version of "Wintertell", a compact and beautiful little piece that I really enjoy. The demos are fun too, full of Mike Holmes' melodic guitar. It's all of a good standard really. There's so much of it as well! More IQ than you can shake a stick at, they've really tried to give you a lot for your money.

I won't repeat myself on the actual content of the songs, you can read my review of the original if you want to know, but basically I though it was excellent: full of excellent melodies, complex rhythms, ambition and progressive vision, at a time when most of the 'classic' prog bands were giving up (KC excluded). This album (massive package really) cements the place of "Tales From The Lush Attic" as one of the most important Neo-Prog albums of the 80s (sorry Martin!), and should be owned by all IQ fans. I still think some of the definitive versions of these songs are the live recordings though, and that's why the DVD material is probably the most exciting thing about this album. I wonder if we will we get a similar treat for "The Wake"; that would really be fantastic.

ScorchedFirth | 5/5 |


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