The Nice, led by pianist Keith Emerson, started off as a backing band for soul singer PP Arnold (a former Ikette) in the mid 60s, but soon took off in their own right, signing to the Immediate label.
The debut, The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack, is probably the first ever prog album and one of the best too, with Rondo a classic.
The band dabbled with classical music two, years before Deep Purple did, check out Five Bridges for a decent set.
There's also the hit single America (taken from Westside Story), a track that got the band banned from America when they burnt the US flag onstage while performing it.
Guitarist O’List was only on the first album, before leaving and doing a ‘bit of a Syd Barrett’, the band continued as a 3 piece.
The star of the band was Emerson, who would later join King Crimson’s Greg Lake and Atomic Rooster’s Carl Palmer to form ELP.
© 2006 Joe Geesin/GRTR! All rights reserved.