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Tracklist: 1. The Universal Scam 5:05 (Cook, Holmes, Jowitt, Nicholls, Orford) 2. Wintertell 3:02 (Nicholls, Holmes) 3. The Last Human Gateway-2 4:02 (Cook, Esau, Holmes, Nicholls, Orford) 4. Hollow Afternoon-2 4:41 (Orford, Nicholls) 5. Apathetic And Here 7:27 (G. Mann / Holmes) 6. Resistance 4:49 (Cook, Holmes, Jowitt, Nicholls, Orford) 7. Eyes of the Blind 3:15 (Nicholls, Orford, Holmes) 8. Barbell Is In 6:29 (Holmes, Esau) 9. The Bold Grenadier 3:38 (traditional: arr. by Holmes, Orford, Menel) 10. My Legs 2:17 (Holmes) 11. Fascination 5:53 (Holmes, Orford, Nicholls) 12. Hollow Afternoon-1 4:52 (Orford, Nicholls) 13. Awake And Nervous-2 7:11 (Cook, Esau, Holmes, Nicholls, Orford) 14. Just Changing Hands-2 5:17 (Holmes, Nicholls) 15. Widow's Peak-2 8:52 (Cook, Esau, Holmes, Nicholls, Orford) Line-up: Martin Orford - keyboards, flute, guitar, backing vocals Mike Holmes - electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards Paul Cook - drums John Jowitt - bass Peter Nicholls - lead & backing vocals Tim Esau - bass Paul Menel - lead & backing vocals Performed by IQ in different years (1983-1999). Produced by IQ. Recorded & mixed mostly by Rob Aubrey (in different studios). Mastered by Rob Aubrey.
Prologue. "The Lost Tales" had remained the only IQ album I haven't heard until now. For the most part, it consists of those tracks which weren't used on the band's studio albums.
The Album. Most of the songs on "The Lost Attic" were recorded not only in different years but also in different decades as well, and as a result, it exhibits a rather motley musical palette, unlike all of the other albums by IQ. Which, in fact, does not affect the quality of this album as a whole. In fact, there are only two songs which I do not like: Barbell Is In and My Legs (tracks 8 & 10). The first of these represents a very strange (to put it mildly) reggae version of the original song from the debut IQ album "Seven Stories Into Eight". My Legs consists of an entire comic dialogue between several fairy-like entities, whose voices are very different, but that's all. Of course, in fact, these are the voices of the band members. Strangely enough, the author of that idea was guitarist Nick Holmes. Almost all of the remaining tracks on the album, including those with Paul Menel's vocals (9 & 11), are very good. The Universal Scam, The Last Human Gateway, Fascination, Awake And Nervous, Just Changing Hands, and Widow's Peak (tracks 1, 3, 11, 13, 14, & 15). Each of these songs represents the Classic Symphonic Progressive Rock at its best. All of them are filled with the essential progressive ingredients and contain large-scaled, complex, and gorgeous instrumental arrangements. However, the main merit of these songs is that the arrangements flow nonstop there, regardless of whether Peter Nicholls (or Paul Menel) sings or not. Fascination, which features Paul Menel on vocals, is one of the greatest outtakes I've ever heard. Certainly, it couldn't have been included in "Nomzamo" (1987), which was the first IQ album for Polydor Records. A blend of Classic and Neo Symphonic Progressive (or semi-Classic Art-Rock, if you will) is presented on the following songs: Apathetic And Here, Resistance, and The Bold Grenadier (tracks 5, 6, & 9). The first two are on the whole typical for the period of transition of IQ (1985-1987). While, the kind of a symphonic ballad, The Bold Grenadier, sung by Paul Menel, has a distinct medieval feel to it. There are two other ballads on the album: Hollow Afternoon (track 4) and Eyes of the Blind (track 7). However, these are rather simple songs. Finally, Wintertell (track 2) is a unique acoustic gem consisting of wonderful passages of classical guitar and very touching, dramatic vocals.
Summary. Yes, there are a few tracks on the album that, in my view, should not have been included on it. First of all, I mean the 'narrative' Legs, the reggae version of Barbell Is In, as well as the original version of Hallow Afternoon (track 12). However, precisely two thirds of the album that last about 55 minutes (!) contain truly excellent material. Which is quite enough for me.
VM. March 6, 2002
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