THE NICE – Diary Of An Empty Day: The Nice Collection

Repertoire 2012

Rep-The Nice-Diary Of An Empty Day

While many are shaped by them, fewer artists actually define their times. Yet this restlessly ambitious British combo nailed the last gasps of the 60’s with pin-sharp precision via a brace of albums for Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew ‘Loog’ Oldham’s fab/happening Immediate label that fused jazz, pop, psych to the classics and in the process set in train the roller-coaster of prog. Keith Emerson (keyboards), Lee Jackson (bass, vocals), Brian ‘Blinky’ Davison (drums) and Davy O’List (guitar) shared a background in the fast-deflating R&B boom but there’s little to suggest so in this mis-titled compilation of their time with the soon-to-implode Immediate. If buttons could be pushed harder, they pushed them. Even compositionally-rich psych pop songs like “The Diamond Hard Blue Apples of The Moon” and debut album title track “The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack” were worked into a lather by Emerson’s dominating organ work, O’Lists’ hard guitar and Davison’s busily martial percussion, the whole lot supercharged by overdubs, period studio effects, witchy spoken words – in short, the kitchen sink. Emerson’s obsession with reworking the classics (“Rondo”, “Intermezzo”, “Brandenburger”) and show tunes (we get both US and UK crazed takes on Bernstein’s “America”) hitched the band’s novelty value and reputation for gleefully wild improv further. By second release ‘Ars Longa Vita Brevis’, O’List was out and the keyboard wizard was firmly at the helm. A transfer to Genesis and Van Der Graaf Generator label, Charisma, saw The Nice develop into a more serious proposition for the discerning prog rock fan and the die was well cast by 1970’s launch of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Titular misnomer aside, this 15-track overview of the Immediate days, replete with rarities and B-sides, sensitively compiles and packages an embarrassment of riches. For all the man’s many and varied contributions to contemporary music, Emerson does not sound as if he had as much fun again as he did making this stuff.

****

Peter Muir



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)



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