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The Nice - The Immediate Collection CD (album) cover


The Nice


Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 3 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Important for their influences and impossible to ignore.

Before Emerson joined supergroup Emerson Lake & Palmer, and before prog rock took off in the early 70s there was The Nice. They consisted of Keith Emerson: Organ, piano, vocals; Keith Lee Jackson: Bass, guitar, vocals; David Davy O'List: Guitar, vocals and Brian Blinky Davison: Drums, percussion. They were as eclectic as a band could be in their heyday, creative geniuses who needed a foothold on which to display their talents. They found it in 1967 with the release of the groundbreaking The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack. On this compilation the tracks from this are Flower King of Flies, Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack, Bonnie K, Rondo, War And Peace, Tantalising Maggie, Dawn and The Cry of Eugene. The whole album!

The second album, Ars Longa Vita Brevis is represented well here too with "Daddy, Where Did I Come From", "Little Arabella", "Happy Freuds", "Intermezzo from the Karelia Suite", and the epic suite "Ars Longa Vita Brevis: (19:20)". Once again the entire original album. So you have 2 classic The Nice albums with the best of their other material from albums such as Nice / Everything As Nice As Mother Makes It from 1969. Tracks from this album are Azrael Revisited, Hang On to a Dream , Diary of an Empty Day, For Example, and the wonderful Rondo '69'. A great collection from this album overall.

So this album is worth purchasing to quickly get hold of the classic tracks from their first 3 albums and a few surprises such as demos and rarities. Of course the classic track America is here in all its bombastic glory. It is an arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's America and includes pieces from Dvořák's New World Symphony. And a bit of "West Side Story" in the mix. The single ends with a soundwave of a child who can be heard saying America is pregnant with promises and anticipation, but is murdered by the hand of the inevitable. It is Quintessential proto prog.

I can recommend this compilation due to the influences and important place it holds in the beginning of the genre. I also recommend the 2 CD package compilation which has similar material, though some great live material too, "The Essential Nice". These 2 comps are about as good as it gets - choose 1 and you will have all you need to experience this band. Five Bridges is of course the other essential album and well worth a listen.

Generally, this compilation features a great cross section of the best material from these important progenitors of symphonic prog - The Nice.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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