The Fog on the Tyne is all mine, all mine
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 08/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I finally got this album following a bout of nostalgia for my native land and in particular for an area of the country where I frequented my youth.
Thirty seven or so years later, the album does not generate as much enthusiasm as it did in my younger days. While the expanded edition is a most welcome addition to the growing repetoire of the available music of the Nice, it really has not stood the test of time too well.
All the trademarks of the band are there in their glorious splendour while Keith Emerson towers as a colossus virtuoso against the others in the band who are no novices in the rock game themselves. However there is a gnawing sense of doubt against the project of group and orchestra in the Fairfield Hall. The music of the time stands as empty as a Tyneside shipyard today despite all of Emerson's skills as a musician. I find that the commissioned work is not a real reflection of the city either then or now. The city which has undergone a major renovation and has been transformed into a city of culture from a city of deindustrialisation and now presents a bold new face to the future.
In retrospect it seems to me that this is a vainglorious attempt at a novel approach for the arts in bringing a progressive rock band together with an orchestra via the mechanism of Emerson who clearly is a talented and gifted musician but who lacks the rquisite skills of composition to do a significant portrayal of the city of Newcastle.
Having said all of that the musicianship of this album is no doubt exceptional and certainly portrays the power and intensity of the Nice and the orchestra. It is a real pity that a DVD does not exist which would transform the aural experience to the multi-media event that a Nice performance was. One can almost see the daggers fly into the Hammond organ as one writes.
As another reviewer commented the additional tracks are a real treat. As I drove through a northern city in New Jersey the other day with America blasting out into the 86 degree sunny atmosphere, a driver called out to me at a traffic light that he had never heard such a rendition with so much life and gusto. As the lights changed I explained that this was music by a sixties English band called the Nice whom he had never heard of.
A very satisfying acclamation from a musical innocent. A good album no doubt, a grand project no doubt, the best album by the band? No I must say I prefer the three disc compilation with the live version of Rondo at Newcastle City Hall, but the Nice are always better live than in the studio which cannot be said to have captured their true essence."
Time to Rosin up the bows, and crank up the Hammond through
K. Lewis | OZ | 02/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Only 24 years old at the time, Keith Emerson writes a Concerto and this is the live premier caught on tape at the Fairfield hall. If ever their was a time when reefer smoke was in the same hall as a tuxedoed stuffy orchestra, this is it. THis is also the first time this was done anywhere, before Deep Purples Concerto a year later, the Moody Blues did it, bu tonly in the studio and Yes tried to play live their Time and a Word record with an orchestra with disasterous results, But Keith, Lee and Brian pull it off here, what an amazing record.
As a bonus, they included in this long awaited release, side one of the record "Autuum to Spring""
Classic holds up well
Felton P. Dunn | Canton, Georgia United States | 05/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After not hearing this album for quite a few years, it was very enjoyable to listen again. I was surprised how some moments of it are as inculcated in my memory as any Beatle song or other item of the era. Lee and Brian play with authority, Emerson is amazing--this was my first exposure to his stuff. Over time, I acquired the 3 Immediate albums and Elegy besides this (LPs long gone now). For me, this remains the high point of the Nice; I did go on to follow ELP for awhile and saw them once in Atlanta in 1971. It struck me at one moment that the Nice were better rehearsed than the orchestra! Naturally, rehearsing an orchestra is a far more complicated and expensive proposition. And no doubt Emerson and Eger would make some changes or corrections in that process, which would hinder polishing things. That said, the orchestra plays quite well. An energized and joyous live performance. Absolutely recommended."