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IQ - Forever Live CD (album) cover





3.91 | 111 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars High IQ!

This live album was recorded on the tour in support of the Ever album in the early 90's and offers a very nice cross-selection of material from IQ's first five studio albums. I would say that, at the time of its release in 1996, this live album was the ultimate IQ release and it remains today a very good introduction to the band's first decade as an album releasing unit (1983 to 1993). It brings together such classic IQ numbers as The Wake, Widow's Peak and The Last Human Gateway from the early days of the band's career with newer (at the time) songs primarily from Ever. The two albums they did with Paul Mendel on lead vocals are represented with the ten minute plus Nostalgia/Falling Apart At The Seams from Are You Sitting Comfortably? and Human Nature and the show closer No Love Lost from Nomzamo. All of the songs sound better here than on their respective studio albums. This is especially true of the oldest songs since those early 80's IQ albums were badly produced and sounded quite horrible even by early 80's standards. This live recording, on the other hand, has a very good sound.

The Last Human Gateway is wisely somewhat edited and split up into two separate parts played at different places in the set which is indeed a great idea as I have always considered the original version to be too long and lacking in focus. This is something I think is true of many of the longer compositions by IQ. And it is the longer tracks, like Human Nature and The Enemy Smacks, that are the weakest on Forever Live. There is a good case for saying that the first disc of this two CD set is superior to the second disc. Indeed, from the second disc, only a few tracks like Leap Of Faith and No Love Lost are up to par with the standards set by the first disc.

Still, this is one of IQ's better releases and even if I prefer the more recent live DVD Stage, Forever Live is different enough to be worthwhile on its own merits. If all you know from IQ is from the new millennium, then this double live album might be a good introduction for you to the earlier works of the band.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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