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The Nice - Five Bridges Suite CD (album) cover


The Nice


Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 99 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars This album was quite innovative in it's day. Keith Emerson (who soon after would found ELP) wrote the 4-part suite as a live performance vehicle for combining a rock trio with a symphonic orchestra, a device which was used later by Procol Harem and ELP). This is a jazzier piece for the Nice, and the welcome addition of a Horn section in the final movement is a real departure from any other recording the Nice did. The transitions aren't always smooth, but the recording is good (for that time). The "B" side contained 2 other symphonic pieces, both more "straight" readings of the original classics. 2 original short pieces were included. Country Pie / Brandenburg Concerto No.6 is a brilliant fusing of the Bob Dylan song with bits of the Bach concerto intricately interwoven. In my opinion, this song was the most successful of all K.E.'s attempts at combining Classical with Rock. One of Those People is a tongue-in-cheek, perverted song in the vein of "Daddy, Where Did I Come From" or "Living Sin", and is a theme that crops up in Nice's and ELP's music often. Not a bad song, though. As with "Elegy", the bonus tracks are from much earlier recordings from the Davy O'List days, and detract from the original album by introducing anachronistic pieces that are completely different in tone and seem very dated. Of these, "Diary of an Empty Day" is the best, musically, and the studio version of "America" is here, although the live version on Elegy is much better. As always, the vocals are the band's weakest link.
| 4/5 |


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