The Nice
Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Ars Longa Vita Brevis



For contractual reasons this release is not available to purchase from this site by customers in the UK.

The classic 1968 Immediate album, now with four bonus tracks.  As Melody Maker said at the time this was "a major breakthrough in pop group experimentation."

Starting off as P.P. Arnold’s backing band, The Nice rapidly established themselves as one of Immediate Records’ most successful acts and were renowned for their spectacular stage show. Under the leadership of the flamboyant and classically trained Keith Emerson, the group pioneered the classical/progressive rock sound which Emerson was to take to fruition and global success with his supergroup ELP in the Seventies.

When the time came to record their second album, Ars Longa Vita Brevis (“it means ‘art lives long, and life is short’ - I think” - as Emerson helpfully tried to explain at the time), The Nice were reduced to a trio following the departure of guitarist David O’List. The new album marked a change in the group’s musical direction, moving further away from mainstream rock and into the realms of classical music. It included inventive rock treatments of the Intermezzo from Sibelius’ ‘Karelia Suite’ and an adaptation of one of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, ‘Brandenburger’, which Immediate issued as a single.

Released in November of 1968, the album picked up ecstatic reviews - Melody Maker called it “a major breakthrough in Pop group experimentation."  Its complex and ambitious title track took up the whole of the second side and featured the brass and string sections of The London Philharmonic Orchestra.

This enhanced reissue is packaged in an attractive gatefold digipak format and includes four bonus tracks. Their storming and controversial version of Bernstein’s ‘America’ gave the group its biggest hit single. Neither it nor its B-side, ’Diamond-Hard Blue Apples Of The Sun’, appeared on album at the time. The two other bonus tracks are an early version of ‘Daddy, Where Did l Come From?’ and the hard-to-find demo version of ‘Brandenburger’.


1.  Daddy, Where Did I Come From?
2.  Little Arabella
3.  Happy Freuds
4.  Intermezzo From The Karelia Suite
5.  Don Edito El Gruva
Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Symphony For Group And Orchestra)
6.  Prelude
7.  1st Movement - Awakening
8.  2nd Movement - Realisation
9.  3rd Movement - Acceptance, Brandenburger
10. 4th Movement - Denial
11. Coda - Extension To The Big Note
Bonus Tracks:
12. America (2nd Amendment)
13. Diamond-Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon
14. Daddy, Where Did I Come From? [Early Version]
15. Brandenburger [Demo]

For contractual reasons this release is not available to purchase from this site by customers in the UK.

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