"GIANT ELECTRIC PEA"
Unlike Marillion, IQ (whose first album, pressed in 1983, was on par, at least, with the debut of the "Neo Heroes" of the 1980s). With their exemplary (at the time) material released their first-born, as well as the following discs, not on a major label, but on such a modest one that no one would ever have known, if only the musicians hadn't indicated the release of the LP when reissued the IQ discography on CD. This fact happened in the early '90s with the renewal of interest in Progressive Rock, when it occured to IQ that in order to now fill their own niche in the first place they would have to reissue their production on the new musical carriers.
IQ noticed the resurging interest in Progressive Rock and wisely foresaw its forthcoming "Second Golden Age", appearance of new bands of the genre and so on (which has really taken place, and not in vain Magellan named their debut album in 1991 "Hour of Restoration"). But which of the major or Metal companies would take the trouble to publish them? The "majors" were often quite blind (deaf to be exact) with regard to many stars-to-be Prog bands and they still totally ignore Prog. Of course, had the "majors" been prompted by someone from on high, what cool profits IQ could've brought them, they would've stopped to think. But the musicians had to found their own firm for their money. As it is clear now, they were proved right. These days, IQ is a distinguished leader of the Neo-Prog movement (at least, though!); they're definitely the most interesting and profound band of this genre and the closest to the camp of the advanced Classic Art Rock.
IQ, after reissuing their early discography at their highest "Giant Electric Pea", have finally obtained a dignified place in the modern Progressive Rock scene, along with a good deal of profit. Now on the label, apart from the new works of the founders, several "trains" are pushed onto "rails": Big Big Train, Different Trains (how many of them here precisely, based on the name, only the participants know), as well as such popular contemporary artists as Spock's Beard, Jadis, not to mention the famous John Wetton. The guys wanted to lure also "Strangers on a Train", but these were intercepted by the Neos from Arena's "Verglas Music". Here we also have the only album of the project from vocalist Peter Nichols "Niadem's Ghost", that he put out during his refirement from the IQ and the four of the six albums of the excellent Prog-Metal band Threshold. Unfortunately, Threshold left "Giant Electric Pea" for German-transatlantic label "Inside Out" back in 1998. Fortunately, the legendary Renaissance have recently joined the label, and, frankly, I regard them as the excellent replacement of the latter band.
VM (Vitaly Menshikov): October 1998