The Nice was of the most innovative and exciting of all the new bands that burst on the UK music scene in the late Sixties. Headed by keyboard wizard Keith Emerson, the group pioneered a daring mix of rock, the classics and even elements of jazz and folk. They took the best of their favourite songs and themes and turned them into dynamic arrangements and blew away audiences at gigs that became full blown concerts.
The Nice had many enthusiastic champions, including Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Oldham, who recorded them for his own Immediate Records label. The result was a spate of dynamic albums and singles that often caused controversy, especially their rendition of Bernstein’s ‘America’ from ‘West Side Story’. This stomping, bravura instrumental is among the highlights of a 15 track CD that encompasses the best of the band’s Immediate label output from 1967 to 1969.
Here are the lively pop singles like ‘The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack’ and poignant version of Tim Hardin’s classic ‘Hang On To A Dream’. The thrilling ‘Rondo’ is pitched against the dramatic ‘Azrial (Angel Of Death)’. With the outstanding musicianship of Davy O’List on guitar and vocals, Lee Jackson (bass and vocals) and the late Brian Davison (drums) propelling Emerson to fresh heights of inspiration, here is the essence of true early progressive rock at its best.