Upon first hearing Nicely's "hit" song "Hilly Fields(1892)", I was quite simply stunned. How had I not heard this before? This track might be the very reason for the early 80's UK Psych revival. In fact, in an interview, XTC frontman Andy Partridge claims that hearing Nicely prompted him to create XTC's retro-psych alter egos, the Dukes of Stratosphear.
Recognizing Nicely's influences, how he incorporated them, and who he has since influenced creates a dizzying schizophrenia. The ghost of Sgt. Pepper era John Lennon is a definitive presence, John Cale is obviously part of the formula (Paris 1919 / Hilly Fields (1892)), a smattering of original New Wave (via electronic experimentation), a hint of Gary Numan, and a solid dose of R. Stevie Moore.
Luckily, his originality has never been copied in its entirety. Robyn Hitchcock borrowed quite a bit from him, and though not fully mimicking him, I feel that Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti might still owe a large portion of their success to him.
This compilation contains his only official release, an EP from 1982 called "Hilly Fields (1892)", as well as unreleased and obscure recordings over a twenty year period. Enjoy and please pass this gem on.
Get it Here