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Nick Drake

Nick Drake Bryter Layter

Nick Drake Album Reviews

A gentle sounding English folk-singer, Nick Drake hardly caused a ripple during his short life-time; he was too shy to play live, and barely sold a record. Posthumously, his small catalogue has earned plenty of attention; his delicate and measured approach produced some of the most timeless music of his generation. A talented guitarist with a gentle voice that’s perfect for his material, it’s difficult to dislike Drake’s sensitive approach. While he can become monotonous if you’re not in the mood for his elegant ramblings, it takes a cynical mind to completely dismiss his unassuming talent.

All three of his albums are different in character; debut Five Leaves Left is more conventionally folk, Bryter Layter is lusher, while Pink Moon is rawer with Drake alone with an acoustic guitar. Throughout his short career, Drake was remarkably consistent; I count one substandard song on his three studio albums, the generic ‘Know’ from Pink Moon. Because of this consistency, choosing a favourite Nick Drake album can be a difficult process, and it’s probably more about which album’s sound you prefer than about the albums’ content. I prefer Bryter Layter, but that’s probably because it was my first Nick Drake album – if you like him, you’ll probably want to hear all three of his studio albums. There are also some albums of out-takes – I’ll cover 2004’s Made To Love Magic sometime, but it’s not as essential as his studio recordings.

While Drake’s become a cult figure, he enjoyed very little success in his lifetime – he had difficulties playing live, partly because he was a self-taught guitarist who employed a lot of different tunings and had to re-tune between songs. But he’s since been recognised as a major talent, and a lot of his music has a timeless quality – his hushed delivery feels apiece to a lot of 21st century Indie records.

Ten Favourite Nick Drake Songs

Northern Sky
Things Behind The Sun
River Man
Pink Moon
One Of These Things First
At The Chime Of A City Clock
Hazey Jane II
Place To Be

5 thoughts on “Nick Drake Leave a comment

    • Looks like Way to Blue covers most of the major songs (although Poor Boy is probably my least favourite from his studio albums). It seems like a shame to lose the character of the individual albums though.

      I played music with an older guy who was a big music buff (opened for The Church, met Lowell George, owned Richard Thompson’s Henry the Human Fly) and he’d missed Nick Drake the first time round. He seems like a major figure now, but was super obscure at the time.

      Did you notice that you can comment on artist pages now? You’re the first one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re in pretty good company if you play with musicians of that caliber. I know what you mean on missing something from the individual albums. I had heard of Drake but never got around to him. There was so many of those guys that flew under the radar. I managed to catch a lot of them. I was listening to my old Syd Barrett records a while ago. When I bought them it was Syd who? Internet has changed all that.

        I seen your new format. Can I still make my way through alphabetically? First one. Ribbon, button maybe?

        Liked by 1 person

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Nick Drakes Five Leaves Left

Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake

Five Leaves Left (1969), 9/10 Five Leaves Left is my least favourite of Drake’s three studio albums, but it’s still … Continue Reading Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake

Nick Drake Bryter Layter

Bryter Layter – Nick Drake

Bryter Layter (1971), 9.5/10 I’ve always wondered what it would have sounded like if Nick Drake had decided to plug … Continue Reading Bryter Layter – Nick Drake

Nick Drake Pink Moon

Pink Moon – Nick Drake

Pink Moon (1972), 9/10 After the failure of his first two gorgeous and ornately arranged albums, Nick Drake went the … Continue Reading Pink Moon – Nick Drake

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