Emerson had emerged as the star of the group, both in terms of instrumental skill and showmanship, O'List, who had become erratic and unreliable had departed the group before the release of Ars Longa Vita Brevis to join the Misunderstood and subsequently Roxy Music. The reduction of the Nice to a trio allowed the band to further explore fusing rock with jazz and classical music, most notably with an adaptation of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3 titled "Acceptance Brandenburger".
Nice and Five Bridges became big hit albums in Britain, but the group never broke through in America. In 1969, Emerson met Greg Lake, then with King Crimson, on a U.S. tour, and broke up the Nice in frustration in 1970 due to its lack of success. He, Lake, and drummer Carl Palmer formed the much more popular Emerson, Lake and Palmer, which expanded on Emerson's innovations with the Nice. After the Nice, Lee Jackson formed Jackson Heights which recorded four albums between 1970-1973 and Brian Davison formed the short lived band Every Which Way and was in a mid 70's line up of Gong. Davison and Jackson formed Refugee with keyboardist Patrick Moraz, this was however short lived as the group disbanded after Moraz was invited to replace Rick Wakeman in Yes. In 2007 Emerson, Jackson and Davison reunited for a one off Nice tour in the UK.