The Nice

Profile:
One of the first art-rock bands to experiment with classical forms and fusion, the Nice was an early vehicle for the talents of keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson, who plundered Mozart, Bach, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky for his extended rock instrumental forays. The group began as the backing band for British soul singer P.P. Arnold and also featured guitarist David O'List, drummer Ian Hauge, and bassist Lee Jackson. In October 1967, only two months after formation, the group split from Arnold, replaced Hauge with former Mark Leeman Five drummer Brian "Blinky" Davison christened itself the Nice, and released a single called "The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack," which became the title track of their 1968 debut album. The Nice quickly built a reputation as an exciting, theatrical live band thanks to Emerson, who dressed in gold lame, hurled knives into his Hammond organ to produce strange sounds, and mimed masturbation onstage. Emerson's antics spawned controversy with an adaptation of Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story song "America." The Nice performed it at the Royal Albert Hall while burning an American flag, and Bernstein subsequently attempted to stop the song's release in the U.S., although it was released in edited form on the U.S. release of their second album Ars Longa Vita Brevis.

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.
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Albums

The Nice - The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack album art The Nice The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack (Album) Immediate UK 1967 Sell This Version
The Nice - Ars Longa Vita Brevis album art The Nice Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Album) Immediate South Africa 1968 Sell This Version
The Nice - Nice album art The Nice Nice (Album) Immediate UK 1969 Sell This Version
The Nice - Five Bridges album art The Nice Five Bridges (Album, Comp) Charisma, Charisma US 1970 Sell This Version
The Nice - Elegy album art The Nice Elegy (Album) Charisma Italy 1970 Sell This Version
The Nice - Autumn '67 - Spring '68 album art The Nice Autumn '67 - Spring '68 (Comp, Album) Charisma Italy 1972 Sell This Version
RRCD 224 The Nice - America (The BBC Sessions) album art The Nice America (The BBC Sessions)(CD, Album) Receiver Records Limited RRCD 224 UK 1996 Sell This Version
The Nice - The Swedish Radio Sessions album art The Nice The Swedish Radio Sessions (Album) Castle Music UK 2001 Sell This Version
The Nice - Vivacitas - Live At Glasgow 2002 album art Keith Emerson And The Nice Keith Emerson And The Nice - Vivacitas - Live At Glasgow 2002 (Album) Sanctuary Records US 2003 Sell This Version
The Nice - Live At The Fillmore East December 1969 album art The Nice Live At The Fillmore East December 1969 (Album) EMI Music, Virgin, Charisma Europe 2009 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

The Nice - The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack album art The Nice The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack (Single) Columbia Stateside, Columbia Stateside Netherlands 1967 Sell This Version
The Nice - Brandenburger / Happy Freuds album art The Nice Brandenburger / Happy Freuds (Single) Immediate New Zealand 1968 Sell This Version
The Nice - America album art The Nice America (Single) Immediate UK 1968 Sell This Version
The Nice - Hang On To A Dream / Diary Of An Empty Day album art The Nice Hang On To A Dream / Diary Of An Empty Day (Single) Immediate, Immediate Netherlands 1969 Sell This Version
AS 4 The Nice - She Belongs To Me album art The Nice She Belongs To Me(7", Single, Smplr) Immediate AS 4 UK 1969 Sell This Version
The Nice - Country Pie album art The Nice Country Pie (Single) Charisma UK 1970 Sell This Version
SFL 1289 The Nice - Country Pie album art The Nice Country Pie(7", Single) Philips SFL 1289 Japan 1970 Sell This Version
6000 004 The Nice - Intermezzo-Karelia Suite album art The Nice Intermezzo-Karelia Suite(7", Single) Philips 6000 004 France 1970 Sell This Version
73272 The Nice - Country Pie - Brandenburg Concerto #6 - Part 1 album art Keith Emerson With The Nice Keith Emerson With The Nice - Country Pie - Brandenburg Concerto #6 - Part 1(7", Single, Promo) Mercury 73272 US 1972 Sell This Version
The Nice - America album art The Nice America (Single) Immediate Belgium 1978 Sell This Version
103 460 The Nice - America / Hang On To A Dream album art The Nice America / Hang On To A Dream(7", Single, RE) Immediate, Ariola 103 460 Netherlands 1981 Sell This Version

Compilations

The Nice - Hang On To A Dream album art The Nice Hang On To A Dream (Comp) Emidisc (2), Emidisc (2) Spain 1970 Sell This Version
IP-9540 The Nice - The Nicest Of The Nice album art The Nice The Nicest Of The Nice(LP, Comp) Immediate IP-9540 Japan 1970 Sell This Version
The Nice - Keith Emerson With The Nice - Vol. 1 album art Keith Emerson With The Nice Keith Emerson With The Nice - Keith Emerson With The Nice - Vol. 1 (Comp) Fontana Italy 1971 Sell This Version
9286 862 The Nice - Keith Emerson With The Nice - Vol. 2 album art Keith Emerson With The Nice Keith Emerson With The Nice - Keith Emerson With The Nice - Vol. 2(LP, Comp) Fontana 9286 862 Italy 1971 Sell This Version

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terryplattarchive

terryplattarchive

March 30, 2015
edited over 4 years ago
So is your comment... I think you mean "...the debut album was issued in '67 not '68...". About the gold lamé, I couldn't say for sure - but Emerson's stage wear with The Nice was definitely heading in that direction around that time. Otherwise, that's more or less right...
ProjektorPearson

ProjektorPearson

November 30, 2014
edited over 4 years ago
The Nice´s profile above is misleading, ...the debut album was issued in ´97 not ´98 and the gold lame didn´t appear until after ELP was formed :)

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