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Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack [Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Import]

The NiceAudio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 25, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Essential Records (UK)
  • ASIN: B00000AFC7
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,767 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Flower King Of Flies
2. The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack
3. Bonnie K
4. Rondo
5. War And Peace
6. Tantalising Maggie
7. Dawn
8. The Cry Of Eugene
9. The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack(Single A Side)
10. Azrial(Angel Of Death)(Single B Side)
11. The Diamond Hard Blues Apples Of The Moon(Single B side)

Editorial Reviews

THE NICE The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack 2CD

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
(3)
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keith Emerson's Smashing Debut September 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
"The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack" is one of rock's more underrated and overlooked efforts, despite the debut presence of keyboard wiz Keith Emerson. Prog fans think it's too psych, and psych fans think it's too prog. The album is best described as a hardcore psychedelic effort which points in the direction of prog, but all genre labels aside, this is highly inventive and powerful music. In fact, outside of Emerson, Lake And Palmer's far more mannered self-titled debut, "Davjack" is my favorite Keith Emerson album, for on no other release does he sound as fresh and playful as he does here. The songs are split between prime examples of playful, ultra-trippy UK '67 psych-pop like "The Flower King Of Flies" and "Tantalizing Maggie" (where Emerson overdubs layers of harpischord, piano and organ effects underneath the giddy singalong choruses), and long instrumental jams like "Rondo" and "War and Peace". The latter style found Emerson sowing a crazy and groundbreaking patchwork quilt of rock, jazz and classical influences in his hammond organ solos, all filtered through his fingers into highly dramatic climaxes which found streams of notes and feedback effects flying at speeds incomprehensible to audiences used to tamer keyboard players. Some prog fans have complained that the cover of "Rondo" simplified Brubeck's cooler 9/8 time sig into a more straightforward 12/8; however, the 12/8 time works better in the rock context here, and provides a relentlessly driving rhythm which has become a permanent encore at Nice and ELP shows in the years since. Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Andreas
Format:Audio CD
Talk about obscure. The only way anyone would ever get to know The Nice these days is through ELP. There might be a reason for the continuing obscurity of The Nice; namely, that they had a love for long-winded instrumental jams. Their jams aren't very clean, either; they had a dirty and chaotic sound. Possibly the greatest strike against the band is that they never had a great vocalist like Greg Lake, who could put a lot of force behind the music he sang (just listen to "In The Court Of The Crimson King".) It's a shame that this particular album has been completely forgotten, though, because there are good songs on "Emerlist Davjack". You'll have to work through bad mixing and subpar vocals, but buried under all this mess are some great melodies.

Keith Emerson's organs and piano are all over "Emerlist Davjack", but he doesn't dominate the album. David O'List's guitar plays off of Emerson's keys and creates an interesting sound for the band. These two carry "Rondo", a classical adaptation, and make it exciting. The Nice could write songs as well; "Flower King Of Flies" and the title track are actually great psychedelic-style pop songs, and "Bonnie K" is an excellent driving hard rock tune. The other four songs are more or less acceptable, although "Dawn" and "Cry Of Eugene" don't really go anywhere. On the strength of the good songs, I'd give the record three and a half stars, but I'll round it up and give them the extra half.

So if you find this album lying around somewhere for a cheap price (although I'm sure it's out of print in the States), go ahead and get it, or get it here on Amazon. "Emerlist Davjack" might be dated and sometimes long-winded, but it's far from unlistenable. What a strange album cover, though. What did they wrap themselves in?
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7 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some things age well...and some things don't April 23, 2002
Format:Audio CD
At the time this came out it was pretty startling. Nobody played keyboards like Keith Emerson and his virtuosity, then as now, was astounding. And then, as now, the way he uses that virtuosity is highly questionable.
This album is hard to listen to. "Grating" would probably be a good way to describe the whole CD, to be honest. The songs are not good, and that's being kind. Most of them are clumsily constructed, and were undoubtedly designed to showcase Emerson's keyboard skills. Lame psychedelic cliche conglomerations suddenly crash into exotic keyboard forays that sound like (no surprise) Emerson Lake and Palmer, which with no grace morph back into inept psychedelia. Most songs bludgeon you with needlessly extended endings that become inadvertently funny.
Another thing that makes this difficult to listen to is the fact that Emerson is obviously the most accomplished musician on the record. The other bandmembers [do not play very well]; there were American garage bands (The Electric Prunes come to mind) who had better command of their instruments than Lee Jackson, David O'List and Brian Davison. They can't keep up with Emerson, and it shows. David O'List's vocals and guitar playing, in particular, are spectacularly bad.
The whole thing seems like a keyboard-oriented, psych/prog version of Spinal Tap - only they were apparently serious. Even the cover is forebodingly awful, four ugly guys apparently naked and wrapped in gauze, simpering up at the ceiling.
Overall, "The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack," is of absolutely no interest to anybody except historians and Keith Emerson completists, and I will bet that there are some of those who wouldn't have this in their house. You probably shouldn't either.
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