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IQ - Living Proof CD (album) cover





3.09 | 96 ratings

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3 stars This concert was recorded for the television series "live from London" which was broadcasted in Europe during the eighties. Shortly after the show Pete Nicholls left the band due to tensions within the band and personal problems. In 1986, IQ discovered that a live album & video of the show had been released without commitment of the band. Despite this, it became quite popular with the fans. After the leaving of Nicholls this was the only opportunity to watch the band performing the Wake live. Since its deletion in 1987, it became a collector album. In 1993 the band, including Nicholls, decided to re-release a tied up version of the recording on this cd. The concert happened around the same time "the Wake" was released and this is probably the reason why that album is omnipresent in the track listing. Besides that, it only contains one track of their previous album, one b-side of a single and one track from their debut cassette album "six to eight". The band only had a couple of days to rehearse the set and this explains the many imperfections. Still the concert is highly enjoyable in its present form thanks to the spectacular stage performance of Nicholls who is able to keep the attention. The tracks from the Wake still make sense after all those years. The dark sounding music is full of mystery. "Widow's peak" is the emotional peak of this album. Sure the mood is depressing but it's very romantic just the same. The way the mellotron is used on this track is perfect to create a ghostly atmosphere. Moreover in all the years I've been listening to prog, I 've never discovered a composition that was better crafted than this. Although there's several flaws in the vocals of Nicholls , it doesn't spoil the fun. "The atmosphere and emotional level in "the magic roundabout" is quite similar. On "the thousand days" and the following "Corners" the influence from pop & wave styles of that time are undeniable. Therefore "Corners" may sound a bit outdated when hearing it now but the eastern influences at the end still sound lovely. For years I've been looking for the studio version of "It all stops here" because I still believe this is one of the best tracks IQ ever released. Mike Holmes & Martin Orford are pushing their virtuoso skills to the limit or at least it sounds like that. The first part is very hectic as it hold many different sections that succeed rapidly. When compared to the technical composition of the first part the second part shows the emotional, dreamy side of IQ. The lyrics may sound a bit too adolescent when hearing it now but the melody still sounds great ! "Just changing hands" is simpler but has a lovely atmosphere which is dominated by the mellotron once again.

Even though the sound has been improved when compared to the original release in 1986, the sound quality of this cd is rather poor as it lacks depth. Especially the sound of the rhythm section could have been better. The rest of the instruments is sounding rather good and the live version brings some different sounds along that those that initially were used on the studio albums. The live sound is typical for a neo prog band as many moog and synthesizers are used.

Conclusion : Despite the flaws, this is an enjoyable record and a time document that rounds up the first incarnation of on of the best neo-prog bands of the eighties.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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