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The Best Nice LP Ever.
on 4 August 2015
This was one of the first 'progressive rock' LP s that I listened to many years ago on my mates Dansette.
(Ask your dad what an LP and Dansette is!).
Those that remember these things will know you had to turn the things over to play the other side.
BUT we never bothered with the first 4 tracks of side 1.
The killer and standout track here is the live side 2.
Now no doubt there will be legions of fans who will say that the first side was/is excellent I agree it's just that the second side was so good and was my favourite.
I'm not saying I do not like the first 4 , rather I do.
So if you see a review referring to the first 4 being great they simply have not read my review in full.
Now back to the album.
The stand out track being Rondo 69. This has always remained my favourite Nice track and captures what the Nice were, a really fabulous Live band. That organ sound that Emerson produces drives the trio along. No lead guitars see. She belongs to me, a Bob Dylan song, has Lee Jackson barking out the vocals, his bass guitar being the powerhouse with able support by Brian 'Blinky' Davison on the drums.
Now the proof that Rondo is wonderful and timeless is that it was a popular addition to the ELP live shows.
The cover is gatefold and is designed to look like those old photograph albums that once abounded at the same time as LPs.
Not the best Lp cover of the Nice.
In those days you wer proud to carry an LP around with you.
(The best in my opnion were the covers of Five Bridges and Elergy)
. Why the 4 stars?
Well any fan will tell you that the Nice never really 'cut the mustard' on LPs.
The live shows were their forte and never was a term 'Showman' more apt for the knife throwing, Hammond organ abusing Emerson!
Bad luck with their ill fated label Immediate and their sad breakup prevented the Nice from achieving their full potential.
They could have also done with a really good lead singer too.
On a further note there is an import version of this 'LP/ Album making Four versions on CD alone by my count.
A reviewer called '70s' contacted me via a review.
Here is what I wrote (to borrow a phrase from Ernie Wise)
After a little bit of research and a note from a reviewer called '70s'
I learned that the album was released in the USA as "Everything As Nice As Mother Makes It"
Now '70s' reckons it has a slightly longer version of Rondo on it as well as a ('garish orange cover!)
So I Just did a bit of research .
Wikipedia- yes I know you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt! Say
"Everything As Nice As Mother Makes It" is the US version of Nice after Immediate's distribution changed from Columbia to Capitol. Nice had been initially released in the US with a slightly longer version of Rondo 69 not available on the UK or on the Capitol distributed US versions."
So maybe just maybe this version import has the longer version of Rondo.
I still think it's a steep price to pay for and extra 30 seconds or so of one track but the completists may be interested.
Further to writing this review I did a little bit of research.
This album has been included complete on other collections.
Also I was totally amazed to find that there were about 30 plus 'best of the Nice' CDs under different labels with just the odd track or two different.
So I spent a few hours finding out what was on the CDs (Amazon do not have track listings hardly any of them).
So I listed the whole shebangs sad or what?
Any how this does have the advantage of informing the buyer which collection is the best value and which contains the best, for that buyer's tastes, selection.
If you have a few minutes and a fascination just type in the Nice on Amazon and see how many you can find!
This was one of my first reviews ever,
I gave it 3 stars.
This has generated quite a bit of criticism and discussion.
After a lenghty period I have upgraded my review to 4 stars.