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1982 - "Seven Stories Into Eight" (43 min)
1998 - "Seven Stories Into Ninety-Eight"(52 min)
(2CD, "Giant Electric Pea")
Tracklist: 1982: 1998: 1. Capital Letters (In Surgical Spirit Land) 3:46 3:49 2. About Lake Five 5:02 5:27 3. Intelligence Quotient 6:55 8:18 4. For Christ's Sake 5:05 5:17 5. Barbell Is In 5:32 4:54 6. Fascination 5:56 7:03 7. For The Taking 4:17 4:34 8. It All Stops Here 6:58 7:53 9. Eloko Bella Neechi -- 5:16 Tracks 1 & 2 written by Holmes; 3 & 4 by Holmes & Orford; 6 & 9 by Holmes, Orford, & Nicholls; 5 by Holmes & Esau; 7 by Nicholls; 8 by Orford. Line-ups: (1982): (1998): Guitars - Michael Holmes Guitars - Michael Holmes Keyboards - Martin Orford Keyboards - Martin Orford Vocals - Peter Nicholls Vocals - Peter Nicholls Drums - Paul Cook Drums - Paul Cook Bass - Tim Esau Bass - John Jowitt "Seven Stories Into 8": Recorded & mixed by Tim Esau & IQ through the 4-track Portastudio (in summer 1982), in London. Produced by IQ. "Seven Stories Into '98": Recorded & mixed by Rob Aubrey at "Nomansland" studios (in spring 1998), New Forest, England. Produced by Michael Holmes.
Prologue. "Seven Stories Into '98" is the limited edition double CD. The legendary lost (very first, factually) IQ album was replayed, re-recorded, and released on CD for the first time back in 1998. This strictly limited edition also includes bonus CD of the original 1982 recordings.
The Album(s). In fact, both of the original and new versions of IQ's real debut album "Seven Stories Into Eight" are just slightly different among themselves. On this matter, let me provide kind of a comparative scheme. First off, compositionally, they're absolutely identical, of course, and the original genre status of true Classic Symphonic Art-Rock applies to both of the "Stories". Regarding the stylistics, both of them can be divided into three parts. Of the first four tracks on the original "Seven Stories Into 8" album, three are entirely instrumental, and are influenced by Genesis (which on the whole is typical for the early period of IQ in general). In that way, it is natural that all four of the first tracks on the renovated "Stories" are marked with the same traces of influences as well. Quite to the contrary, the instrumental arrangements of all four of the (original) album's last tracks, all of which are the songs, are rather original. However, inasmuch as in the beginning of the 1980s Peter Nicholls's vocals were unlike Peter Gabriel's, an overall atmosphere of all of these songs resemble the early Genesis anyway. There is an absolutely different picture on the replayed versions of these songs, all of which are original both instrumentally and vocally. It is because in the first half of the 1990s Peter Nicholls had transformed his vocals into a highly original sound. He also became one of the unique and most distinguishable vocalists in general. Barbell Is In (tracks 5) is the only song, which is atypical for this album and the entire IQ creation as well. This is in some ways a unique piece, representing a freakish, yet interesting blend of Classic Progressive and (as I guess) the North-African rhythms. The only notable difference between both of the versions of this song lies in the use of the claps instead of a poor drum-machine on the renovated one. Surprisingly, it turned out to be that "Seven Stories Into 8 / '98" is the only IQ album, in all of the arrangements of which Martin Orford's masterful keyboard and piano solos play a prominent role. Also, it must be said that in the very beginning of IQ's creation, Martin was the only real virtuoso in the band. (I remember that Mike Holmes took a giant step forward on "Tales From the Lush Attic": precisely since then, his guitar's harsh solos and riffs are brought to a fore of the arrangements.) In that way, the musicianship of each of the IQ members and their joint performance as well are better on the renovated "Stories" (which is just a logical improvement). As for the mood, only two of the tracks on the "98" album represent kind of a relatively mellow Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. These are About Lake Five (track 2) and Eloko Bella Neechi (9: extra track, never before available). All of the other tracks are just filled with all those essential progressive ingredients that are typical for the best works of the golden age of the genre. The longest song, It All Stops Here (track 8), I regard as one of the best pieces ever created within the frame of Classic Symphonic Progressive. (Where did I hear it before, after all?)
Summary. Now that I've become acquainted with the real debut album of IQ (no matter that the renovated version of it is a bit better than the original one), I just cannot imagine their discography without it. "Seven Stories" is not only a more than significant document of the band's history. Along with "Tales From the Lush Attic", this is one of the two of the most complicated albums by IQ and one of their best albums in general.
VM. January 29, 2002
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