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The Nice - The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack CD (album) cover


The Nice


Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 121 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars As most reviewers (if not all) I was waaaaaaay too young to have discovered this band with their debut (I was only eight years old at the time). Now, as an introduction, I have to say that I like ELP quite a lot (it was my first true prog concert in May 1974).

As most of the albums released in those early days of prog, it is not easy either to review them or to imagine their impact when they came out on the market. Needless to say that this work sounds rather psychedelic and that you don't need to expect lots ELP-ish sounds here even if Keith is already Keith if you see what I mean.

Several tracks are short psychedelic pieces with not so much flavour (Flower King of Flies or Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack. They are pleasant for sure, but not really great.

The first outstanding number is the long instrumental Rondo. The exchange between guitar and organ is quite unique and the second half of this instrumental number features a HUGE organ play form dear old friend Keith. But he is not alone during his part: Davidson and Jackson are just phenomenal.

This track is the absolute masterpiece of this album and it is raising its level quite dramatically. It is totally disjointed, hence great. To have recorded such a track in those early days of prog (or underground) was quite daring. This song is a monument to be honest.

If there would be any comparison with ELP, I would say that this album is mostly instrumental. The classical performances form Keith are not yet to be discovered but his work is already the highlight of this debut. Just listen to the heavy War & Peace to be convinced.

It is quite astonishing that the band sounded so brilliant during some of the songs featured, and so childish and old fashioned during such a track as Tantalising Maggie. But let's not forget that this album was released in '67.

In this context, a track as Dawn should have been a killer by then. Heavy loaded IMO. It is not easy to digest such a song in the quite environment of my room, standing alone and listening to this old piece of prog music but one has to admit its later influence.

In all, this is a good album. I guess it was considered as great while being released and that some might think it is a poor album in today's appreciation.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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