Nice To Be With You by Gallery (Sussex, 1972)

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In 1972, during a stagnated economy, America had to choose what was more valuable – a Diamond or Gold? We all know diamonds are forever and are a girl’s best friend. We should remember (but never do) that diamonds aren’t a very rare mineral, but that they’re value only reflects a cornered market by DeBeers company (that and a few armless miners) But I digress….

When it comes to Neil Diamond & Jim Gold, leader of the pop band, Gallery, we can clearly see who the winner is. But in that fateful of 1972. Gold & Diamond duked it out for pop glory, both charting 3 Top 40 hits. While Neil had a number #1 that year with the sleepy Song Sung Blue, Jim and his band clearly had more energy and charisma starting with their Top 5 hit, Nice To Be With You. The track was produced by guitarist Dennis ‘Scorpio’ Coffey and fittingly the 45 went gold.

The reason I bring up the Diamond/Gold comparison is not just because Jim sounds uncannily like Neil. Listen to the song next it comes up on some 70s hits station and I’ll guarantee you, you’ll think it’s Neil before you realize it’s not. Also if you search online for Nice To Be With You, count how many links you get to Neil Diamond. The fact that he covers Sunday & Me on the Nice To Be With You LP really doesn’t help set himself apart either.

The song itself is very simple and catchy, the way a good pop song should be, hitting you right off the bat with the chorus, the way an old Motown song would. And who doesn’t dig the couplet ‘ I got the notion you’re causing commotion in my soul?’ Right on, Jim. And who wouldn’t think it’s nice to hear someone say that they’re gonna please you in every way? Check out how Jim digs this chic.

At night I call your name
Darkness fills my room.
I’m only dreamin’ about the time I’m gonna be with you

Sounds like Jim is having a party of one in his bedroom. Save yourself, Jim. She’s gonna please you in every way

Verse 2 is boring though. Lots of you’re there for me, I’m there for you, blah blah blah. Where did horny Jim and freakazoid girlfriend go? Must be out looking for Mr. Goodbar…

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