Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Nice - Swedish Radio Sessions (1967)

The Nice were booked to play live on Swedish radio in the fall of 1967, prior to the release of their debut album while they were still a quartet. Organist Keith Emerson was not yet the dominant force he became following the departure of guitarist Davy O'List, who is quite prominent on this session. The music is a bit of a mishmash, with Bob Dylan's "She Belongs to Me" starting a bit erratically but finally coming together. Their own composition "Flower King of Flies" has a more subtle vocal by bassist Lee Jackson than the studio version they eventually released. The version of jazzman Charles Lloyd's "Sombrero Sam" seems a bit like filler, but the booby prize of the evening is a cover of Vanilla Fudge's overwrought "You Keep Me Hanging On." A quick take of their own "The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack" is followed by the gem of the date: a 12-minute workout of "Rondo." This version of "Rondo" easily eclipses all the other versions by the Nice . Considering the vintage of this long overlooked music, the sound is quite good, so any fans of the Nice should consider this to be a lost treasure worth acquiring.

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