August 24, 2010
Micro Werks
Pop/Rock, Psychedelic, Art Rock, Prog-Rock, British Psychedelia

Album Review

Led by the keyboard exploits of Keith Emerson, the Nice were a pioneering psychedelic prog-rock outfit, and while the band never reached the commercial heights of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, in many ways that may have been a blessing since it left the group free to explore a lot of different musical avenues, particularly in live shows. This two-disc set collects several such live tracks from shows performed between 1967 and 1970, both as a quartet (disc one) and as a trio (disc two), including a reimagining of Bob Dylan's “She Belongs to Me,” covers of the Byrds' “Get to You” and Tim Hardin's “Hang on to a Dream,” a surprising version of Frank Zappa's “Lumpy Gravy” (with Emerson on celeste), and a turn at Sonny Rollins' “St. Thomas” (with Roy Harper handling the vocals). The sound here ranges from good to merely passable, and while this set captures the Nice in action perhaps better than any of their studio albums, it has the feel of an upscale bootleg recording when all is said and done -- a good thing if one is already a Nice fan, a maybe not-so-good thing if one is trying to decide.
Steve Leggett, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. She Belongs To Me
  2. Flower King of Flies
  3. Sombrero Sam
  4. You Keep Me Hanging On
  5. The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack
  6. Brandenburg
  7. Diamond Hard Blue Apples of the Moon
  8. Ars Longa Vita Brevis [2nd Movement]
  9. Aries
  10. Lumpy Gravy
  11. Little Arabella
  12. Happy Freuds
  13. Get To You
  14. America
  15. Introduction
  16. I'm Not One of Those People
  17. Azreal Revisited
  18. Blues of the Prairies
  19. Diary of an Empty Day (& Top Gear Signature)
  20. For Example
  21. St. Thomas
  22. Intermezzo Karelia Suite
  23. Hang On To a Dream
  24. Country Pie: Brandenburg Concerto No.6
  25. Rondo
  26. Pathetique (Symphony No.6 3rd Movement)
  27. Five Bridges Suite