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the nice

Printed From: Progarchives.com
Category: Progressive Music Lounges
Forum Name: Prog Bands, Artists and Genres Appreciation
Forum Description: Discuss specific prog bands and their members or a specific sub-genre
URL: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=80019
Printed Date: October 30 2014 at 11:12
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Topic: the nice
Posted By: kingcrimsonfan
Subject: the nice
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 13:46
i really dont get it the nice on most of their albums are getting bad reviews i dont get why their sound is innovative yet people depreciate them here in progarchives o just dont get it

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Replies:
Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 13:59
Both ELP and by lazy association, the Nice receive their share of bashing on PA. Lee Jackson's vocals certainly polarise opinion and the rather sloppy production on the 1st two albums might put some people off.

Just to prove the coverage they get is not all negative:

http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=173203" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=173203
http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=169587" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=169587
http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=264310" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=264310
http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=170215" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=170215




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Posted By: crimhead
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 14:03
It would have been interesting to have seen The Nice with ELP in concert.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 14:46

I don't think the association with ELP is the reason. Most of the Nice albums are messy and poorly produced and generally unfocused affairs. The best CD releases by them are the compilations/rarities and box sets that have been released in recent years.Its hard to get that excited about their original albums. Even then it was well known that The Nice as a live band were where it was at. Emerson openly admitted he was not happy with the poor production on albums like Ars Longa Vita Brevis. Get the BBC sessions CD and you have a much better clue about made The Nice one of the most exciting live bands of the late sixties regularly appearing on Top Gear (ironically hosted by the most famous 'ELP hater' John Peel). Keith Emerson was destined for bigger things though and later on The Nice turned into Refugee and made one the best symphonic prog albums of the seventies in my view. Win win situation. 



Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 15:11
I think what I meant was that there might be some folks who approach the Nice expecting to hear something very similar to ELP (which they ain't in my book) As you state the production on the 1st two albums is very poor and lots of great music suffers as a result. However, the 3rd album simply called The Nice or in the US as Nice as  Mother Makes It  is an album that warrants getting excited over, and for me represents one of the most prescient and erm...credibly 'progressive' records of that period. I agree that the Nice were never able to replicate the magic they cast on stage from within the studio (as is borne out by half of The Nice being live cuts I guess) Five Bridges is also excellent and although somewhat flawed by Emerson's fleeting lapses into amateurish 'cartoon classical' simply blows similar efforts like Purple's Concerto and their own Ars Longa Vita Brevis clean out of the water.

Yep, the Refugee album is a 5 star belter from start to finish and unjustly neglected when people talk about the 'great and the good' in Symphonic Prog discussions.

The posthumous release Elegy from 1971 is well worth tracking down and I can never understand why it receives such a kicking from within PA. It contains perhaps the 'mother' of all live versions of America and Keith's extended piano improvisation on Hang On To A Dream is worth the admission price alone.

The Swedish Radio Sessions released in 2002 is a fascinating glimpse of the original lineup featuring O'List on guitar and the sound quality is remarkably good.


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Posted By: presdoug
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 15:33
with painful honesty, i must say that i have tried The NIce, and can't seem to appreciate them, no matter what period, live or studio
          I much prefer early ELP
     and it wasn't that i expected or needed them to sound like ELP, but i heard, and developed an affinity for ELP before, so i guess i was musically spoiled by ELPs greatness

        i have heard Refugee, but i can't get it either, and much  prefer  Moraz's  previous , very overlooked band Mainhorse


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"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 15:38
^ Hey ho, different strokes etc I really liked the Mainhorse album but found it a tad erm...cheesey in places (but we would agree that on the evidence, Moraz was a keyboard giant just waiting to happen).

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Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 17:19
Originally posted by kingcrimsonfan kingcrimsonfan wrote:

i really dont get it the nice on most of their albums are getting bad reviews i dont get why their sound is innovative yet people depreciate them here in progarchives o just dont get it

That's not very nice. LOL


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Posted By: Atavachron
Date Posted: July 25 2011 at 18:06
to really dig the Nice you have to be fascinated by prog in its very earliest stage, otherwise they're a screechy joke who couldn't produce a record to save their life




Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: July 26 2011 at 01:29
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

I think what I meant was that there might be some folks who approach the Nice expecting to hear something very similar to ELP (which they ain't in my book) As you state the production on the 1st two albums is very poor and lots of great music suffers as a result. However, the 3rd album simply called The Nice or in the US as Nice as  Mother Makes It  is an album that warrants getting excited over, and for me represents one of the most prescient and erm...credibly 'progressive' records of that period. I agree that the Nice were never able to replicate the magic they cast on stage from within the studio (as is borne out by half of The Nice being live cuts I guess) Five Bridges is also excellent and although somewhat flawed by Emerson's fleeting lapses into amateurish 'cartoon classical' simply blows similar efforts like Purple's Concerto and their own Ars Longa Vita Brevis clean out of the water.

Yep, the Refugee album is a 5 star belter from start to finish and unjustly neglected when people talk about the 'great and the good' in Symphonic Prog discussions.

The posthumous release Elegy from 1971 is well worth tracking down and I can never understand why it receives such a kicking from within PA. It contains perhaps the 'mother' of all live versions of America and Keith's extended piano improvisation on Hang On To A Dream is worth the admission price alone.

The Swedish Radio Sessions released in 2002 is a fascinating glimpse of the original lineup featuring O'List on guitar and the sound quality is remarkably good.
 
Elegy is probably their best especially the reissue with the bonus tracks that were originally on Autumn 67 Spring 68.
 
The 3rd album The Nice does have one brilliant track called For Example which showed the Nice being very clever and inventive. There aren't enough tracks like that mainly because I think they spent too much time adapting other people's music like for instance Bob Dylans 'She Belongs To Me'.
 
Some small mention should be made of Davy O'List ,the guitarist who played on the debut album.The Nice were a much heavier and better balanced unit when he was there. Rondo for me is their best moment and had a big influence on Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks in coming up with the first Genesis classic track The Knife.


Posted By: giselle
Date Posted: August 14 2011 at 16:36
The concept of The Nice - a Rock organ trio - came from 1-2-3 (later Clouds). O'List was sacrificied for this concept.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 01:18
Originally posted by giselle giselle wrote:

The concept of The Nice - a Rock organ trio - came from 1-2-3 (later Clouds). O'List was sacrificied for this concept.
 
O'List was actually kicked out the group for similar reasons that Pink Floyd left Syd Barrett behind. I spoke to Davy about 6 years ago and he didn't have a bad word to say for Keith and I think was glad that he was given his 'wake up call'. Keith Emerson did toy with the idea of bringing Steve Howe into the band and they spent a day hanging out but in the end Howe decided he wanted to stay with the band he was in at the time (this was a good few years before Yes).


Posted By: DiamondDog
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 03:45
Yep, valid stuff in there, but the idea was to emulate 1-2-3 OK. Maybe it solved two problems at once.


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 10:08
Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

with painful honesty, i must say that i have tried The NIce, and can't seem to appreciate them, no matter what period, live or studio
          I much prefer early ELP
     and it wasn't that i expected or needed them to sound like ELP, but i heard, and developed an affinity for ELP before, so i guess i was musically spoiled by ELPs greatness

        i have heard Refugee, but i can't get it either, and much  prefer  Moraz's  previous , very overlooked band Mainhorse
Interesting to hear. I first heard them in the early 70's. I recall being very impressed with Keith Emerson's keyboard playing and "Five Bridges" is decent. However I could not handle Lee Jackson's vocal style. It was that reaction I had to Dave Lawson from Greenslade or even John Wetton in K.C. at times. It's a shame for me because Greenslade have some outstanding prog material, but as soon as his voice enters the picture I become a nut case wanting to pull my hair out.  How I am longing to hear something sweet and pure like Wayne Shorter's sax soloing.....or I'm running for the door. The only singer I thought highly of was Greg Lake simply because he could sing about the most pretentious subjects, yet put soul into it. He had a deepness to his voice that was the actual melodic characteristic of King Crimson. The Nice ....although not tasteful to me were innovators ...or....rather Emerson was....and then you have that historical moment with prog in the early 70's where bands like Beggar's Opera, Rare Bird  ...and the list goes on.....sounded a bit like the Nice.


Posted By: presdoug
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 10:38
Originally posted by TODDLER TODDLER wrote:

Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

with painful honesty, i must say that i have tried The NIce, and can't seem to appreciate them, no matter what period, live or studio
          I much prefer early ELP
     and it wasn't that i expected or needed them to sound like ELP, but i heard, and developed an affinity for ELP before, so i guess i was musically spoiled by ELPs greatness

        i have heard Refugee, but i can't get it either, and much  prefer  Moraz's  previous , very overlooked band Mainhorse
Interesting to hear. I first heard them in the early 70's. I recall being very impressed with Keith Emerson's keyboard playing and "Five Bridges" is decent. However I could not handle Lee Jackson's vocal style. It was that reaction I had to Dave Lawson from Greenslade or even John Wetton in K.C. at times. It's a shame for me because Greenslade have some outstanding prog material, but as soon as his voice enters the picture I become a nut case wanting to pull my hair out.  How I am longing to hear something sweet and pure like Wayne Shorter's sax soloing.....or I'm running for the door. The only singer I thought highly of was Greg Lake simply because he could sing about the most pretentious subjects, yet put soul into it. He had a deepness to his voice that was the actual melodic characteristic of King Crimson. The Nice ....although not tasteful to me were innovators ...or....rather Emerson was....and then you have that historical moment with prog in the early 70's where bands like Beggar's Opera, Rare Bird  ...and the list goes on.....sounded a bit like the Nice.
with the Greenslade i have heard, i find the vocal aspect long winded, and wish they would have concentrated more on their instrumental prowess. Glad you mentioned Beggar's Opera, TODDLER. I am a big fan of their first three albums, and the keyboard player Alan Park is awesome!
       Greg Lake is also very special to me, just in the way you have describedThumbs Up


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"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 14:34
Originally posted by DiamondDog DiamondDog wrote:

Yep, valid stuff in there, but the idea was to emulate 1-2-3 OK. Maybe it solved two problems at once.
 
Not sure about that but admittedly I can't refute it.I know one of Emerson's (and The Nice) big influences was this
 


Posted By: DiamondDog
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 16:34
How interesting, thank you


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: August 15 2011 at 19:08
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by DiamondDog DiamondDog wrote:

Yep, valid stuff in there, but the idea was to emulate 1-2-3 OK. Maybe it solved two problems at once.
 
Not sure about that but admittedly I can't refute it.I know one of Emerson's (and The Nice) big influences was this
 
I love Mort Garson! I wasn't fond of the Zodiac series or the Wozard of Iz, but I've owned just about everything from Mort Garson at one time or another. His electronic mass.....Lucifer/Black Mass is the most exciting and breathtaking electronic album in history for me. I was lucky to meet a sound tech in Philadelphia who transfered a clean LP copy on to disc for me. It's the music itself that I go for and not so much the subject matter in which the record revolves around. I love this guy! He had some truly orignal ideas on Black Mass. So exciting to read a post connected to his name. One of the main themes of the album was used to open a weekend radio program on WXPN in Philadelphia in the 70's. People who have yet to hear Black Mass would surely have a different impression of electronic music.


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 02:05
I stumbled on this link with has quite a bit about Davy O'List including his time with Roxy Music and what he's up to now.
http://www.davidolist.talktalk.net/" rel="nofollow - http://www.davidolist.talktalk.net/
 
in the link is this:
Another album titled Undiscovered Treasures of never before released tracks from 1977 featuring Simon Phillips on drums on three tracks and others recorded later will also be released. One of those tracks is an interpretation and re-arrangement of 1-2-3 that Uncut magazine think sounds like a hit.
 
is this the same 1-2-3 mentioned above?
 


Posted By: giselle
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 02:48
I think it's more likely to be the Len Barry hit of the same name; 1-2-3 was the early name of Clouds, whose history you can see here on Prog Archives. The irony in this post is that 1-2-3 specialised in re-arranging other people's songs (in the style later adopted by Yes - listen to 1-2-3's version of 'America' live at the Marquee some years before the Yes version).


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 18:12
The Nice did a nifty cover version of the Mort Garson Aries track on the BBC sessions album. Although I think it's Jackson singing/shouting? he sounds (gulp) demonic on this number.


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Posted By: Earendil
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 18:32
I actually like The Nice more than ELP and listen to them more often.  Their raw approach is effective and enjoyable when the listener considers them primarily a psychedelic band with some progressiveness.


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 18:52
Originally posted by Eärendil Eärendil wrote:

I actually like The Nice more than ELP and listen to them more often.  Their raw approach is effective and enjoyable when the listener considers them primarily a psychedelic band with some progressiveness.


The Nice were perhaps a jazzier, more organic and less refined sounding beast than ELP and I agree that the former's earlier material is 3 parts psychedelia, one part RnB with a garnish of proggyness to taste (I love em both BTW)


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Posted By: iluvmarillion
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 19:41
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by giselle giselle wrote:

The concept of The Nice - a Rock organ trio - came from 1-2-3 (later Clouds). O'List was sacrificied for this concept.
 
O'List was actually kicked out the group for similar reasons that Pink Floyd left Syd Barrett behind. I spoke to Davy about 6 years ago and he didn't have a bad word to say for Keith and I think was glad that he was given his 'wake up call'. Keith Emerson did toy with the idea of bringing Steve Howe into the band and they spent a day hanging out but in the end Howe decided he wanted to stay with the band he was in at the time (this was a good few years before Yes).

Didn't O'List play with Pink Floyd on a few early gigs before Gilmour stepped in? I really enjoyed his guitar work on Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack.


Posted By: brainstormer
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 19:42
I've always liked The Nice.  I like their pop songs, some of which, like Cry of Eugene,
are quite brilliant.  Emerson often seems to want a bawdy lyric, which you can even
see in his solo band's studio album, which makes some of the Nice's pop songs lyrics
a little seedy, but the music is still often good writing.  It's too bad O'List disbanded from
them as he wasn't a bad guitarist.   Wasn't he the lead singer in the beginning?





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Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: August 16 2011 at 20:00
Originally posted by iluvmarillion iluvmarillion wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by giselle giselle wrote:

The concept of The Nice - a Rock organ trio - came from 1-2-3 (later Clouds). O'List was sacrificied for this concept.
 
O'List was actually kicked out the group for similar reasons that Pink Floyd left Syd Barrett behind. I spoke to Davy about 6 years ago and he didn't have a bad word to say for Keith and I think was glad that he was given his 'wake up call'. Keith Emerson did toy with the idea of bringing Steve Howe into the band and they spent a day hanging out but in the end Howe decided he wanted to stay with the band he was in at the time (this was a good few years before Yes).

Didn't O'List play with Pink Floyd on a few early gigs before Gilmour stepped in? I really enjoyed his guitar work on Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack.


Yep, O'List was often asked to substitute on guitar for an AWOL Barrett (he knew Floyd's material note for note in those days)
O'List handles the lead vocals on the title track (and single) from The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack album (and you can hear what a great singer he was but was reputedly so shy about singing live he steadfastly declined - shame really, as it would have applied a band-aid to their Achiles heel: the vocals on the song based material)


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Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: August 17 2011 at 01:55
Originally posted by brainstormer brainstormer wrote:

I've always liked The Nice.  I like their pop songs, some of which, like Cry of Eugene,
are quite brilliant.  Emerson often seems to want a bawdy lyric, which you can even
see in his solo band's studio album, which makes some of the Nice's pop songs lyrics
a little seedy, but the music is still often good writing.  It's too bad O'List disbanded from
them as he wasn't a bad guitarist.   Wasn't he the lead singer in the beginning?



 
I suspect Lee Jackson was likely responsible for the bawdy lyrics.Apparently Jackson was quite successfull with the 'ladies' in those daysWink


Posted By: N-sz
Date Posted: August 17 2011 at 02:42
(oh no, someone with the same user icon as me!)
Yeah, I can't say I've been able to get into ELP that much, although they have some moments that I like. I picked up Elegy just last week just because it was cheap enough. I though side A of the tape was actually quite nice and I felt it deserved a bit better, but then again, I think reviewers mentioned it having many different versions of the older songs.


Posted By: JeanFrame
Date Posted: August 17 2011 at 09:24
1-2-3 also did a version of Nut Rocker which was later picked up by ELP.


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: August 17 2011 at 14:36
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

Originally posted by iluvmarillion iluvmarillion wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by giselle giselle wrote:

The concept of The Nice - a Rock organ trio - came from 1-2-3 (later Clouds). O'List was sacrificied for this concept.
 
O'List was actually kicked out the group for similar reasons that Pink Floyd left Syd Barrett behind. I spoke to Davy about 6 years ago and he didn't have a bad word to say for Keith and I think was glad that he was given his 'wake up call'. Keith Emerson did toy with the idea of bringing Steve Howe into the band and they spent a day hanging out but in the end Howe decided he wanted to stay with the band he was in at the time (this was a good few years before Yes).

Didn't O'List play with Pink Floyd on a few early gigs before Gilmour stepped in? I really enjoyed his guitar work on Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack.


Yep, O'List was often asked to substitute on guitar for an AWOL Barrett (he knew Floyd's material note for note in those days)
O'List handles the lead vocals on the title track (and single) from The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack album (and you can hear what a great singer he was but was reputedly so shy about singing live he steadfastly declined - shame really, as it would have applied a band-aid to their Achiles heel: the vocals on the song based material)


O'List only stepped in for Syd once. It was on the package tour with Jimi Hendrix and The Nice.


Posted By: NickHall
Date Posted: August 18 2011 at 04:06
I don't think Emerson copied Ritchie, they were two completely different kinds of players. As far as I can see, the only thing Emerson used from Ritchie was the standing up/leading role sort of thing, nothing to do with the playing at all.


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: August 18 2011 at 05:03
Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

I don't think Emerson copied Ritchie, they were two completely different kinds of players. As far as I can see, the only thing Emerson used from Ritchie was the standing up/leading role sort of thing, nothing to do with the playing at all.


Yes, I think Emerson's approach was much more similar to Don Shinn - jazzy phrasings, rocked up classics, reverb crashing/mucking about with the electronics etc. And Emerson has acknowledged Shinn as a big influence, so if he was heavily influenced by Ritchie I would have thought he'd mention that too.


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"He's up the pub"


Posted By: giselle
Date Posted: August 18 2011 at 05:24

I agree about the playing approach. I think Ritchie’s contribution was to show that organ could be a leading instrument, even to the exclusion of guitars. Also, standing not sitting was significant, as simple as that seems to us today. There’s certainly no direct evidence that Emerson was influenced by any of this, though he was apparently in the audience many times when 1-2-3 played there. It must be also possible that it was all a natural progression. But Ritchie was certainly first to take a leading role.



Posted By: NickHall
Date Posted: August 18 2011 at 16:14
I get fed up with people having a go at Emerson because he's the best. OK, Billy Ritchie was pretty good, but just because he was the first guy to do it, don't make him the best. Let's face it, he was boring next to Emerson.


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: August 19 2011 at 10:47
I remember an interview with Queen's producer Roy Thomas Baker where he said Brian May was a huge fan of Davy O'List's guitar playing and would often be down the Marquee watching The Nice. Baker produced an album by O'List's post-Nice band Jet - totally unlike The Nice, sort of Glam rock with flashy guitar playing and almost a new wave feel.




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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: resurrection
Date Posted: August 21 2011 at 00:11
Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

I get fed up with people having a go at Emerson because he's the best. OK, Billy Ritchie was pretty good, but just because he was the first guy to do it, don't make him the best. Let's face it, he was boring next to Emerson.
So he should have jumped around a bit more? Would that have made the music better? Personally, I like both of them, I don't see a need for comparison.


Posted By: KingCrInuYasha
Date Posted: August 21 2011 at 23:08
Originally posted by Cactus Choir Cactus Choir wrote:

I remember an interview with Queen's producer Roy Thomas Baker where he said Brian May was a huge fan of Davy O'List's guitar playing and would often be down the Marquee watching The Nice. Baker produced an album by O'List's post-Nice band Jet - totally unlike The Nice, sort of Glam rock with flashy guitar playing and almost a new wave feel.


Never noticed that. That solo he does on "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" does sound like a bit like O'List's style of playing.

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:


O'List handles the lead vocals on the title track (and single) from The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack album (and you can hear what a great singer he was but was reputedly so shy about singing live he steadfastly declined - shame really, as it would have applied a band-aid to their Achiles heel: the vocals on the song based material)


Personally, Lee Jackson wasn't a bad vocalist, however I admit the guy could be hit or miss. Compare say, the Live version of "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" during the show at Fairfield Hall (Sept. 29, 1968) to the studio version. The former has him delivering a larger than life performance, as if he was in some sort of swashbuckler flick. The energy on the studio version, on the other hand, is just gone.

BTW, O'List does some good singing on the original version of "Azrael" and the chorus of "Tantalising Maggie"


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He looks at this world and wants it all... so he strikes, like Thunderball!


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 00:24
Back in 2004 I ran across a website (unknown to me now), where someone was selling a live recording of the Nice with Ritchie Blackmore on guitar. I guess you had to submit a fee and the person would transfer it to cd and mail it to your address. Apparently Ritchie Blackmore sat in for one night. I remember researching it and finding the information about that particular gig. I am going to do a search on it now.


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 00:55
http://blogstoned.blogspot.com/2008/09/nice-with-ritchie-blackmore-30th-march.html" rel="nofollow - http://blogstoned.blogspot.com/2008/09/nice-with-ritchie-blackmore-30th-march.html


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 01:14
From the Peace-Pop-World-Concert on 30th March 1970 at the Berliner Sportpalast ....Berlin, Germany......Christ I thought Blackmore would have sat in on "Rondo" but apparently not.  This is strange
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mchElWA_dA" rel="nofollow - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mchElWA_dA


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 12:47
Originally posted by KingCrInuYasha KingCrInuYasha wrote:

Originally posted by Cactus Choir Cactus Choir wrote:

I remember an interview with Queen's producer Roy Thomas Baker where he said Brian May was a huge fan of Davy O'List's guitar playing and would often be down the Marquee watching The Nice. Baker produced an album by O'List's post-Nice band Jet - totally unlike The Nice, sort of Glam rock with flashy guitar playing and almost a new wave feel.


Never noticed that. That solo he does on "Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon" does sound like a bit like O'List's style of playing.

Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:


O'List handles the lead vocals on the title track (and single) from The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack album (and you can hear what a great singer he was but was reputedly so shy about singing live he steadfastly declined - shame really, as it would have applied a band-aid to their Achiles heel: the vocals on the song based material)


Personally, Lee Jackson wasn't a bad vocalist, however I admit the guy could be hit or miss. Compare say, the Live version of "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" during the show at Fairfield Hall (Sept. 29, 1968) to the studio version. The former has him delivering a larger than life performance, as if he was in some sort of swashbuckler flick. The energy on the studio version, on the other hand, is just gone.

BTW, O'List does some good singing on the original version of "Azrael" and the chorus of "Tantalising Maggie"
 
The studio version of Ars Longa Vita Brevis is totally useless compared to some of the bootleg live versions I've heard.
 
Jackson was a very good singer imo but his voice didnt really suit prog. I think they kept doing the Bob Dylan adaptions just to give him something he was good at singing. This is a good example
 


Posted By: Ivan_Melgar_M
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 13:33
The Nice were in my opinion the first full Symphonic band, but we are no longer in 1968, what was innovative on that year, sounds dated today, specially with bands that haven't aged well as The Nice.

When I make a review of their albums, I try to use a late 60's perspective.

Iván


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Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: August 22 2011 at 15:55
Originally posted by Ivan_Melgar_M Ivan_Melgar_M wrote:

The Nice were in my opinion the first full Symphonic band, but we are no longer in 1968, what was innovative on that year, sounds dated today, specially with bands that haven't aged well as The Nice.

When I make a review of their albums, I try to use a late 60's perspective.

Iván


Yep, I agree that context is important, but when I review an album I use a late 40's perspective.Wink


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Posted By: JeanFrame
Date Posted: September 05 2011 at 02:00
Originally posted by NickHall NickHall wrote:

I get fed up with people having a go at Emerson because he's the best. OK, Billy Ritchie was pretty good, but just because he was the first guy to do it, don't make him the best. Let's face it, he was boring next to Emerson.

I personally like both in their own ways. I don't think it's helpful or even fair to say Ritchie is boring because you prefer Emerson.


Posted By: FunkyHomoSapien
Date Posted: September 14 2011 at 08:26
I like Emerson a lot, but Ritchie was a genius. Bowie said so too.


Posted By: GoldenGod2112
Date Posted: September 14 2011 at 13:57
Does anyone know how I can get my hands on The Nice's music besides youtube?

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The future's uncertain and the end is always near. - Jim Morrison


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: September 14 2011 at 14:14
Originally posted by GoldenGod2112 GoldenGod2112 wrote:

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on The Nice's music besides youtube?


They're on itunes.


Posted By: GoldenGod2112
Date Posted: September 14 2011 at 14:33
Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by GoldenGod2112 GoldenGod2112 wrote:

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on The Nice's music besides youtube?


They're on itunes.
Thank you very much. I'll have to buy them if I get itunes gift cards for christmas like I usually do. :P

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The future's uncertain and the end is always near. - Jim Morrison


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: September 14 2011 at 15:00
Originally posted by GoldenGod2112 GoldenGod2112 wrote:

Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by GoldenGod2112 GoldenGod2112 wrote:

Does anyone know how I can get my hands on The Nice's music besides youtube?


They're on itunes.
Thank you very much. I'll have to buy them if I get itunes gift cards for christmas like I usually do. :P
 
You must get this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Come-The-Nice/dp/B003F0DXNS/ref=pd_sim_dmusic_a1" rel="nofollow - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Here-Come-The-Nice/dp/B003F0DXNS/ref=pd_sim_dmusic_a1
 
3CD's of music available for download and cheap as chips.
 
If you can't download off the UK site then I had a look at Amazon.com which has a good selection of albums by The Nice available for download.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=The+Nice&x=10&y=23" rel="nofollow - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-music&field-keywords=The+Nice&x=10&y=23
Live At The Filmore East December 69 would be my recommendation


Posted By: DiamondDog
Date Posted: September 15 2011 at 07:41
Originally posted by FunkyHomoSapien FunkyHomoSapien wrote:

I like Emerson a lot, but Ritchie was a genius. Bowie said so too.
Yeah, but Ritchie's genius was behind the scenes. He was a wizard on stage too, but Emerson took the whole concert spectacle to a new level.


Posted By: jean-marie
Date Posted: September 15 2011 at 18:05
Arts longa vita brevis could be the best one?....

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FAIS QUE TON REVE SOIT PLUS LONG QUE LA NUIT HAVE YOUR DREAM LASTING LONGER THAN THE NIGHT


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: September 16 2011 at 01:37
Originally posted by jean-marie jean-marie wrote:

Arts longa vita brevis could be the best one?....
disappointingly a very flat sounding album. I think part of the problem is that O'List left the band just before they recorded it and his guitar parts were not properly replaced. The earlier BBC radio session version of Ars Longa Vita Brevis when O'List was still present is exciting and dynamic. That excitemnt just didn't translate when they came to record it. Also they padded it out with a drum solo and an adaption of Bach's Brandenburger Concerto in order to call it a 'suite'. Its certainly an important milestone in prog history (as a statement) but the finished product was not good. Keith Emerson wasn't happy with it and that says it all.


Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: September 16 2011 at 02:41
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by jean-marie jean-marie wrote:

Arts longa vita brevis could be the best one?....
disappointingly a very flat sounding album. I think part of the problem is that O'List left the band just before they recorded it and his guitar parts were not properly replaced. The earlier BBC radio session version of Ars Longa Vita Brevis when O'List was still present is exciting and dynamic. That excitemnt just didn't translate when they came to record it. Also they padded it out with a drum solo and an adaption of Bach's Brandenburger Concerto in order to call it a 'suite'. Its certainly an important milestone in prog history (as a statement) but the finished product was not good. Keith Emerson wasn't happy with it and that says it all.



Ars Longa is one of the three best Nice albums along with the debut and Five Bridges IMHO. I don't think the production is that bad, a bit quiet maybe but you can always turn the volume up and the drums sound great (listen to Brandenburger and the Karelia). Most sections of the Ars Longa suite are really good to my ears and I certainly wouldn't describe Brandenburger as 'padding', it's one of the band's strongest tracks. The melodramatic Hammond section on Prelude and the piano/percussion workout on Realisation feature some of the most exciting playing Emerson ever did. I'll agree with Richard that the dull Awakening percussion section is a major candidate for the skip button. The Karelia Suite is terrific as well, more subdued than the Five Bridges version but still with some great Hammond and drumming on it.

It's not a perfect album but it's very good. As for Keith's opinion of it, he was a musical wonder but his judgement wasn't always impeccable - he did pose for the cover of Love Beach after all.Wink


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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: September 16 2011 at 15:32
Originally posted by Cactus Choir Cactus Choir wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Originally posted by jean-marie jean-marie wrote:

Arts longa vita brevis could be the best one?....
disappointingly a very flat sounding album. I think part of the problem is that O'List left the band just before they recorded it and his guitar parts were not properly replaced. The earlier BBC radio session version of Ars Longa Vita Brevis when O'List was still present is exciting and dynamic. That excitemnt just didn't translate when they came to record it. Also they padded it out with a drum solo and an adaption of Bach's Brandenburger Concerto in order to call it a 'suite'. Its certainly an important milestone in prog history (as a statement) but the finished product was not good. Keith Emerson wasn't happy with it and that says it all.



Ars Longa is one of the three best Nice albums along with the debut and Five Bridges IMHO. I don't think the production is that bad, a bit quiet maybe but you can always turn the volume up and the drums sound great (listen to Brandenburger and the Karelia). Most sections of the Ars Longa suite are really good to my ears and I certainly wouldn't describe Brandenburger as 'padding', it's one of the band's strongest tracks. The melodramatic Hammond section on Prelude and the piano/percussion workout on Realisation feature some of the most exciting playing Emerson ever did. I'll agree with Richard that the dull Awakening percussion section is a major candidate for the skip button. The Karelia Suite is terrific as well, more subdued than the Five Bridges version but still with some great Hammond and drumming on it.

It's not a perfect album but it's very good. As for Keith's opinion of it, he was a musical wonder but his judgement wasn't always impeccable - he did pose for the cover of Love Beach after all.Wink
My favourite is the self titled The Nice. The track For Example is for me just about the best thing they ever recorded. After that I would say The Five Bridges Suite is very underrated.Much prefer that to Ars Longa Vita Brevis.In general though The Nice were by all accounts an exciting live band that struggled to replicate the same intensity onto their studio recordings. A decent compilation or box set is all thats really needed to cover their career. They had their moments but thats all.


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: September 16 2011 at 16:01
^ have to agree with this in the main. The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack is a decent collection of psychedelia addled pop/rock tunes plus a peek at what was to come (Rondo) Ars Longa suffers from some flimsy song material on side one and the title suite is more admirable for its spirit and daring than its execution (but it certainly contains some of Emerson's finest organ playing) The third album (The Nice or As Nice as Mother Makes It in the US) is a five star belter for me and the adoption of the half studio/half live hybrid format probably indicates they knew they hadn't been able to replicate their live magic in the studio. Five Bridges is rather unjustly neglected as there's not a weak track on the critter and it's probably the most successful rock/orchestral fusion vehicle from that era. The posthumous Elegy seems to attract a lot of flak but I love that album (and who cares if Charisma wanted to cash in on the lucrative juggernaut that was ELP in 1971?)


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Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: September 16 2011 at 17:22
Well, It'd be a dull world if we all agreed! Re the third album I actually much prefer the studio side to the live one, particularly Azrael and For Example. She Belongs to Me gets a bit repetitive and Rondo pales next to the studio original and later ELP versions.  If I had to rank the original albums it would be:
1. Five Bridges
2. Ars Longa/Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack
3. Nice

[big gap]

4. Elegy


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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: September 17 2011 at 04:02
Originally posted by Cactus Choir Cactus Choir wrote:

Well, It'd be a dull world if we all agreed! Re the third album I actually much prefer the studio side to the live one, particularly Azrael and For Example. She Belongs to Me gets a bit repetitive and Rondo pales next to the studio original and later ELP versions.  If I had to rank the original albums it would be:
1. Five Bridges
2. Ars Longa/Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack
3. Nice

[big gap]

4. Elegy
I had a listen to that version of Rondo last night. I really like Lee Jackson's bass technique which I think is more sorted to the peice than Greg Lake's. Admittedly Brian 'Blinky' Davison ,although a fine drummer, was not in the class of Carl Palmer but it still stands up as a decent version imo


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: September 17 2011 at 04:06
^ Yep, Lake never quite mastered the finer nuances of Lee's rumpity dumpity dump* riff with ELP

*Apologies to the laymen amongst us for the arcane and technical music theory verbiage here


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Posted By: Cactus Choir
Date Posted: September 17 2011 at 04:49
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

^ Yep, Lake never quite mastered the finer nuances of Lee's rumpity dumpity dump* riff with ELP

*Apologies to the laymen amongst us for the arcane and technical music theory verbiage here


I wouldn't quite describe it as a 'rumpity dumpity dump', it's more of a 'dum diddy dum diddy dum'Tongue.

I think Lee's 'dum diddy dum diddy dum' is heard to maximum effect on the studio version of Rondo, serviceable though the live version is. How he keeps that galloping bass riff going for 8-plus minutes is unbelievable.Clap


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"And now...on the drums...Mick Underwooooooooood!!!"

"He's up the pub"


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: September 17 2011 at 04:54
One man's rump is another man's diddy (I'd like those to be my last dying words)

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Posted By: resurrection
Date Posted: September 25 2011 at 13:31
Originally posted by DiamondDog DiamondDog wrote:

Originally posted by FunkyHomoSapien FunkyHomoSapien wrote:

I like Emerson a lot, but Ritchie was a genius. Bowie said so too.
Yeah, but Ritchie's genius was behind the scenes. He was a wizard on stage too, but Emerson took the whole concert spectacle to a new level.
Agreed. Only thing I'd add is that Billy Ritchie took the flak for a lot that followed, people at concerts were puzzled because there was no lead guitar. That's how far ahead it was at the time. But Emerson took the concept by the scruff of the neck and made something of it.


Posted By: NickHall
Date Posted: September 30 2011 at 16:38
He sure did


Posted By: miketheorganist
Date Posted: October 08 2011 at 15:48
I'd say that you have to hear The Nice in the context of there not being an ELP in existence, and their jazzy rock style will take y ou on a very nice journey indeed. OK you have to take Lee Jackson's vocals with a grain of salt but to me that is part of the charm of this band. Five Bridges Suite with the Karelia Suite, that is very tasty stuff indeed.



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A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission!
www.myspace.com/kineticelement


Posted By: ExittheLemming
Date Posted: October 08 2011 at 19:49
Originally posted by miketheorganist miketheorganist wrote:

I'd say that you have to hear The Nice in the context of there not being an ELP in existence, and their jazzy rock style will take y ou on a very nice journey indeed. OK you have to take Lee Jackson's vocals with a grain of salt but to me that is part of the charm of this band. Five Bridges Suite with the Karelia Suite, that is very tasty stuff indeed.



Good post Clap

and thanks for highlighting the more organic, jazzy and humble leanings of the Nice c/f ELP. We're often guilty of appraising music on PA from the faintly ridiculous perspective of those who profess a mastery of time travel.


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