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


The Nice


Symphonic Prog

3.47 | 121 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Nice start lads

While The Nice' first album has some of the pomp and indulgences of their later Emerson driven works, it is generally more 60's pop based. The title is of course a concoction of the names of the four band members, and while they are apparently given equal billing, it is perhaps significant that the part of Emerson's name appears first.

The two tracks which give the best indication of what was to come are the instrumentals "Rondo" and "War and peace". "Rondo" is a long, frantic, "Sabre dance" like piece, of classical origin. It offers an early indication of Emerson's prowess on organ, and also contains some fine guitar work. "War and peace" which follows is in a similar vein but rather muddled. While "Rondo" went on to be included in the ELP set, "War and peace" quietly(!) disappeared.

Most of the remaining tracks are "of their time", with a late 60's pop sound predominant. Tracks such as "Flower king of flies" and "The cry of Eugene" have similarities to early (Barrett era) Pink Floyd. The title track has some striking choral harmonies, which sit rather uneasily with the heavy organ and drums.

"Tantalising Maggie" is notable, not so much because it is good (it's not bad!), but because of the progressive nature of its structure. It's a mixture of rough 60's style vocals, heavy organ which degenerates into spacey sounds in the middle, becomes somewhat chaotic, then ends with a piano solo.

At the time of its release, this album was inventive and original. While the music is a bit rough and ready at times, there is plenty here to confirm that The Nice were among the pioneers who developed the style of music which became progressive rock. Those unfamiliar with their music may now find the archaic sound distracting, but looking beyond this, there is a quality to the compositions and the musicianship which is undeniable.

The Nice' three albums on the Immediate label (Thoughts of "Emerlist Davejack", "The Nice", and "Ars longa, vita brevis", are now available as a budget priced 2 CD set, which includes some non-album tracks too.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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