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My First Love

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Album Review

Universal Classics and Jazz has made a habit of releasing albums by unknown young classically trained singers and placing them in the pop charts, albeit in most cases not very high. Then again, UCJ was one of the only record companies doing this on such a scale, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. One such singer was Scottish tenor Nicky Spence. His debut album — produced by Chris Hazell, who had previously worked with Aled Jones and Bryn Terfel, two other successful crossover singers — was called My First Love, which presumably referred to singing. And he sings very well, at least as well as one might expect from a release on the UCJ label. My First Love included a combination (weren't most of them?) of traditional Scottish songs such as "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose," "The Skye Boat Song," and "Ay Fond Kiss," and just for good measure he stuck the song "Maria" from West Side Story in the middle, maybe because it's just a good song. Also included were classical works Santa Lucia, Every Valley, an aria from Handel's Messiah, and L'Ultima Canzone and Brindisi from Verdi's La Traviata, on which he was joined by one of the more successful singers in this genre, Lesley Garrett, who had also recently signed for the label. So Nicky Spence was a good singer, and he had a human interest story, as he used to be twice his size and worked in a chip shop. But the marketing department of UCJ would know it takes more than that to make a star — somehow there has to be a connection with the masses — and on the evidence of My First Love, it didn't happen.

Customer Reviews


This album is spectacular. His voice is beyond doubt one of the most beautiful tenors around today. Buy his album and support him! He is a great guy.. he taught me voice a while ago!


Been waiting for this for ages! He's a lovely guy with a lovely voice which is even better live. Buy this album, its good! He's got a big following in his home region (can you tell that's where I'm from?!) and its not hard to see why!


Born: 1983 in Dumfriesshire, Scotland

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '00s

Nicky Spence launched his classical singing career at a young age, releasing his debut album while still attending the Guildhall School of Music. Born in Dumfriesshire in 1983, the Scottish tenor began performing as a child and won his first competition at the age of 14. Working at a local fish-and-chips shop helped him amass enough money to attend the Wallace Hall Academy, where he discovered a love for classical music and traditional Scottish songs. Spence then relocated to London to attend the...
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My First Love, Nicky Spence
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