Top 10 IQ Songs (Progressive Rock Band)

IQ Songs

Photo: Robert Drózd [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 IQ Songs takes a look at a Progressive Rock band that was first formed in the early 1980’s. The band IQ continued to carry the torch that had been lit by band likes Yes, Genesis and Gentle Giant over a decade before IQ arrived on the scene. From a mass cultural standpoint Progressive rock music would soon take a back seat to the big hair bands of the decade. Nonetheless, bands like IQ, Marillion, Pendragon, and the mid  80’s formation of bands like Dream Theater and Fates Warning helped secure a new Progressive Rock audience of fans.

The band IQ released their first album in 1983 entitled Tales from the Lush Attic. The band on the album featured musicians, Peter Nicholls on vocals, Mike Holmes on acoustic, electric & twelve-string guitars, Martin Orford on keyboards, Tim Esau on bass and Paul Cook on drums. Two years later in 1985 the band IQ released what would become the most successful album of their career. The album The Wake would become the band’s highest charting album and spawn a series of big time progressive rock songs that fans would fall in love with.

The band’s third album was released in 1987 entitled Nomzamo. The album featured P.L. Menel replacing Peter Nicholls on lead vocals. The album Are You Sitting Comfortably?  was released in 1989. In 1993, the band issued the album Ever which saw the return of lead singer Peter Nicholls. The album also featured new bassist John Jowitt. From 1997 to 2014, the band released six more studio albums. Throughout their career, the band has also issued eight live albums and eight live DVD video performances. Like most progressive rock bands outside of 80’s Phil Collins Genesis the band only released a handful of singles.


# 10 – Sacred Sound

Opening up our Top 10 IQ Songs list is the great track “Sacred Sound.” The was released on the album, Dark Matter. The Dark Matter record was released in 2004. The album featured Peter Nicholls on lead and backing vocals, Martin Orford on keyboards and backing vocals, Mike Holmes on guitars, John Jowitt on bass and backing vocals and Paul Cook on drums.

# 9 – The Wrong Side Of Weird

The IQ song “The Wrong Side Of Weird,” was released on the Seventh House album. The great Seventh House album remains one of the band’s most popular records. Three IQ songs from the Seventh House album have been placed on this Top 10 IQ Songs list. The IQ song “The Wrong Side Of Weird,” was the opening track on the album.

# 8 – Harvest Of Soul

“Harvest Of Souls,” is the epic suite from the Dark Matter record. The suite is broken down into seven parts and runs close to twenty five minutes.

# 7 – Falling Apart At The Seams

Continuing with our Top 10 IQ songs list we turn to the song “Falling Apart At The Seams.” The track was released on the album Are You Sitting Comfortably? The album was released in 1989. This is one of the older IQ songs that has always been a fan favorite. Listen to that great 80’s guitar line and those strings that wrap around it.

# 6 – Overture

The “Overture,” from the great 2 CD album Subterranea is simply a fascinating piece of music in the way it sets up the rest of this great concept album.  Like the great Yes and Nektar concept albums, IQ was following in the footsteps of their Progressive Rock heroes.

# 5 – The Wake

“The Wake,” was the title track from the band’s second album The Wake. This is one of those tracks that grabs a hold of you from the opening seconds. Stunning and brilliant, this is why Progressive Rock never died.

# 4 – Outer Limits

While IQ’s records were fabulous displays of Progressive Rock musicianship, their live concerts took it to a whole other level. We can’t have a Top 10 IQ Songs list without listing a few live cuts. The live recording of “Outer Limits,” here was taken from the Live From London DVD recording.

# 3 – Guiding Light

The IQ Song “Guiding Light,” was the closing track on The Seventh House album. “The Guiding Light,” song was written by Peter Nicholls. The song’s beautiful opening piano line is flourished with a progression of minor chords and string lines carried away by the beautiful vocal of Mr. Peter Nicholls. Song like this should have been hits instead of the hip hop garbage we have been forced to hear on the radio for the past thirty years.

# 2 – Widow’s Peak

As we come close to the end of our Top 10 IQ songs list we once again turn to the great IQ album The Wake. Our choice for the number two spot on this top 10 IQ Songs list is the killer track
“Widows Peak.”

# 1 – The Seventh House

IQ’s album The Seventh House was an extraordinary Progressive Rock album released in the year 2000. The album was recorded in Nomansland Studios, New Forest, England. It stands as one of the most important albums the band IQ ever released.

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