SRM 2 6500 reissue Keith Emerson With The Nice
Previously released material
Released on 1972
Find it at GEMM
SRM 2 6500 cover (reissue)  

T his double-elpee compilation takes the direct approach by simply re-packaging The Nice’s last two Mercury elpees (The Five Bridges, Elegy). In fact, it appears they didn’t even reprint the record labels for The Five Bridges the first time around. Sorting out all of the product that followed the band’s short career isn’t in my Immediate future, but I will be buying up those earlier, official recordings pretty soon. Suffice to say this parting pair is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I enjoy the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, which is essentially an extension of The Nice. Similarities abound, from the classical adaptations (which actually appear more warm and colorful than ELP’s sometimes bombastic interpretations) to the subversive mechanical sounds and sly melodies. Generally, most of the highlights on this compilation originate with The Five Bridges. “The Five Bridges” themselves are a delight, not quite on the level of a “Karn Evil 9” but not so far off the mark either. The real distinction between The Nice and ELP is what happens around Keith Emerson; Carl Palmer and Greg Lake were both given bigger roles than Lee Jackson and Brian Davison (and deservedly so). Otherwise, you could take Emerson’s barrelhouse solo on “Hang On To A Dream” or his playing on the opening “Fantasia” from The Five Bridges and transplant it safely into the subsequent work of ELP without anyone knowing the difference. Also included here are playful renditions of Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages” and “Country Pie” (which was already playful to begin with) that serve as launching points for Emerson’s musical artistry. Yet my favorite song here is the creepy “One of Those People,” which sounds like a Dalek singing “Jeremy Bender.” Keith Emerson With The Nice is more likely to turn up in used record shops that the European imports, so if you’re looking to nick The Five Bridges and Elegy off your list, snatch this up. Note that the double album was reissued in the 1980s under the same ID # (SRM 2 6500) but with different labels (the skyscraper ones) and slightly edited language on the front cover that no longer identifies the set as a combined offering of The Five Bridges and Elegy.

SRM 2 6500 inner gatefold SRM 2 6500 back cover
SRM 2 6500 inner gatefold SRM 2 6500 back cover


    record one
  1. FANTASIA - 1ST BRIDGE    (Composed & scored by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    6:08
  2. 2ND BRIDGE    (Composed & scored by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    3:59
  3. CHORALE - 3RD BRIDGE    (Composed & scored by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    3:30
  4. HIGH LEVEL FUGUE - 4TH BRIDGE    (Composed & scored by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    1:02
  5. FINALE - 5TH BRIDGE    (Composed & scored by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    3:34
  6. INTERMEZZO "KARELIA SUITE"    (Jean Sibelius, arr. by Keith Emerson/Joseph Eger)    9:00
  7. "PATHETIQUE" SYMPHONY NO. 6, 3RD MOVEMENT    (P.I. Tchaikovsky, arr. by Keith Emerson/Joseph Eger)    9:27
  8. COUNTRY PIE/BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO. 6    (Bob Dylan/J.S. Bach)    5:40
  9. ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE    (Music by Keith Emerson/Words by Lee Jackson)    3:08

    record two
  10. HANG ON TO A DREAM    (T. Hardin)    12:43
  11. MY BACK PAGES    (Bob Dylan)    9:12
  12. 3RD MOVEMENT, PATHETIQUE SYMPHONY    (P.I. Tchaikovsky, arr. by The Nice)    7:05
  13. AMERICA    (Leonard Bernstein/Sondheim, arr. by Keith Emerson/Lee Jackson/Brian Davison)    10:27


BRIAN DAVISON -- drums & percussion
KEITH EMERSON -- keyboards
LEE JACKSON -- bass & vocals
Dave Hentschel -- engineer, remix engineer
Malcolm Toft -- engineer, remix engineer
Eddie Kramer -- engineer
John Youssi -- cover design
Bob Prokop -- photos
Des Strobel -- art director

return to THE NICE discography

US 1972 Mercury 2LP/8T SRM/MCT-8 2 6500 gatefold cover, red labels
GER 1972? Philips 2LP 6610 011  
US 1980s Mercury 2LP SRM 2 6500 skyscraper labels


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