The Nice

Hang on to a Dream [Atom]

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

This double-CD set assembles together all of the Immediate Records recordings of the Nice under one cover, reshuffling the contents of their self-titled third album in order to make it all fit. That means that it isn't a chronological experience (at least, not without some shifting between discs near the end of each), but otherwise it is musically very rewarding and, in keeping with the spirit of the band's music, a lot of fun. The volume level is not quite as high as one would have hoped on a CD of this vintage, but the source material is still very clean and there's a lot of detail with minimal extraneous noise (compared with early CD issues of this material) if one decides to push the amplification. It's also interesting to hear the Nice evolve from a psychedelic quartet to a progressive rock trio and get bolder and more intense on their instruments as they go along, culminating with the live Fillmore East performances from the third album. The annotation is reasonably thorough, and the whole package gives one a good overview of one of the groups that successfully bridged the gap from flower power to art rock, and in the process never forgot that the music was supposed to be fun as well.

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