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Nick Drake

A singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, Nick Drake produced several albums of chilling, somber beauty. With hindsight, these have come to be recognized as peak achievements of both the British folk-rock scene and the entire rock singer/songwriter genre. Sometimes compared to Van Morrison, Drake in fact resembled Donovan much more in his breathy vocals, strong melodies, and the acoustic-based orchestral sweep of his arrangements. His was a much darker vision than Donovan's, however, with disturbing themes of melancholy, failed romance, mortality, and depression lurking just beneath, or even well above, the surface. Ironically, Drake has achieved a far greater stature in the decades following his death, with an avid cult following that grows by the year.

Part of Drake's failure to attract a mass audience was attributable to his almost pathological reluctance to perform live. It was at a live show in Cambridge, however, that a member of Fairport Convention saw Drake perform, and recommended the singer to producer Joe Boyd. Boyd, already a linchpin of the British folk-rock scene as the producer for Fairport and the Incredible String Band, asked Drake for a tape, and was impressed enough to give the 20-year-old a contract in 1968.

Drake's debut, Five Leaves Left (1969), was the first in a series of three equally impressive, and quite disparate, albums. With understated folk-rock backing (Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson plays bass on most of the cuts), Drake created a vaguely mysterious, haunting atmosphere, occasionally embellished by tasteful Baroque strings. His economic, even pithy, lyrics hinted at melancholy, yet any thoughts of despair were alleviated by the gorgeous, uplifting melodies and Drake's calm, measured vocals. Bryter Later (1970) was perhaps his most upbeat effort, featuring support from members of Fairport Convention, and traces of jazz in the arrangements. On some cuts, the singer/songwriter, remarkably, dispensed with lyrics altogether, offering only gorgeous, orchestrated instrumental miniatures that stood well on their own.

Neither album sold well, and Drake, already a brooding loner, plunged into serious depression that often found him unable to make music, work, or even walk and talk. He managed to produce one final full-length work, Pink Moon (1972), a desolate solo acoustic album that ranks as one of the most naked and bleak statements in all of rock. He did record a few more songs before his death, but no more albums were completed, although the final sessions (along with some other fine unreleased material) surfaced on the posthumous compilation Time of No Reply.

Drake's final couple of years were marked by increasing psychiatric difficulties, which found him hospitalized at one point for several weeks. He had rarely played live during his days as a recording artist, and at one point declared his intention never to record again, although he wished to continue to write songs for others. (It's been reported that French chanteuse Françoise Hardy recorded some of Drake's songs, but she hasn't released any.) On November 25, 1974, he died in his parents' home from an overdose of antidepressant medication; suicide has been speculated, although some of his family and friends dispute this.

In the manner of the young Romantic poets of the 19th century who died before their time, Drake is revered by many listeners today, with a following that spans generations. Baby boomers who missed him the first time around found much to revisit once they discovered him, and his pensive loneliness speaks directly to contemporary alternative rockers who share his sense of morose alienation. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed by your lover on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now that you are reading this don't stop. Post this on 5 songs in 143 minutes then press F6 and ur lovers name will apear in big letters. This is so scary that it works
slofolksmusi c
A poet with a beautiful voice...so genuine...so sad...
His song River Man was the closing song in the movie A Perfect Man. It was also beautiful. Check it out. Too bad gone too soon-damned depression! Poor fellow.
Interesting artist...hav e to listen to more of his work
In my old age, I am still so emotionally attached to the music from this era- Pentangle, Sandy Denny. His voice is so beautiful. I find the same gorgeous quality in many Hawaiian musicians, though usually not so somber.
irvd2x
I first heard Nick Drake when I heard Nick Drake's music while in England in 1971-72.It was His first album and he was immediately my favorite guitarist.I picked up the guitar many years and taught myself and one day a friend remarked"You know..your guitar finger style sounds like Nick Drake.!"..ch e c k me out at SoundClick.c o m / G a r y Irving..only three tracks.liste n to "Prodigal".. I t was the highest compliment.I live Three Hours, River Man, and Black eyed Dog as my all around favorites!
the instrumental s in the background were not needed...jus t Nick and his guitar``` that was pure magic
Better than Dillon and before his time. An artist would clean up copying drake in today's market
English Bob Dylan... every bit as good
Check out nick drakes mum...Molly drake...good gravy is that beautiful writing
I get so lost in his music~~~~~~
Five Leaves Left was the first that I heard maybe in the mid 80's. Nick was not a household name. After you read about the guy you hear how many great song writers were inspired by his skills. I remember there was a box set released during this time period of the 198??. I have been unable to find it on LP or CD. I heard Brad Pitt was interested in writing a screenplay on Nick's life. I hope the project comes to fruition one day. It is a story that needs to be told to be told.
Enduring the passing of time. We are all still here... listening, learning, loving his sound. He was dearly special.
I love your music, your singing & guitar playing penetrates deep into one's soul. You left us way too soon..
I hope you are with your black eyed dog in heaven.
Simply - The Best. ( With his friend John M that is)
R.I.P Nick Drake. You had a voice that could melt
Pg. 5 (Everlasting Apologies for the length!)

...And Blessings to U, and Me, and Us All!

(a la Tiny Tim, lol. Yes: Griot Dickens had an Old Soul, too: and Griot Drake would have been well-versed in THAT Talk-Story.)

NAMASTE <3

Ms. Musette, RN, BSN, BA
Mother, Amateur Historian, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt, and Burmese-Amer i c a n Queen-In-Tra i n i n g ;)
Pg. 4 (Unending Apologies for the length!)
...or a tale my own Magic Brain conjured, it flags Nick Drake as a messenger/Gu a r d i a n Angel For Me as I forge my own Path... as well as whatever Tools, Tinctures, and Totems I may choose to use along My Way.

Thanks for the message in a bottle, Nick! I am (and We All are) so very Blessed & Grateful U felt moved so to do. We feel your deep Suffering, and virtually/ps y c h i c a l l y reach out Loving, Healing arms to embrace your Beautiful, Old Soul.

And Bless
Pg. 3 (Continued Apologies for the length!)

... Perhaps my affinity for this work is rooted in my own origins as a Daughter of Colonial Imperialism. Did I correctly recall that he experienced a key part of his early childhood in Burma (Myanmar); my father's beleaguered Home; and the Golden Land where my mother (a 1950s American Girl Scout-turned - M e t h o d i s t missionary/m u s i c teacher) found & fell in love with this Anglo-Indo-B u r m e s e Doktor/Piani s t ? Whether this is actually true, or a tale my own M
Pg. 2 (With Apologies for the length!)

Mr. Nick forged a singularly gorgeous & heart-wrench i n g path towards making his own Peace with our fractured & fractious modern times-- something we fundamentall y connected Earthlings ALL do. I have a hunch that's why his opus continues to resonate so powerfully today. His deep, Old Soul struck an equally deep & Old chord that awakens our shared primal need, cries, and drumbeats for Wholeness, Connectednes s , and Justice-- in a word: Love.

Perhaps my affi
I feel such a connection to this beautiful Music, and its Person/Soul- A u t h o r .

He had a Magic Brain (aka "mental illness"), like so many of us do in Our Age; which is to say; Post-Imperia l i s m & Colonialism, Post-Industr i a l Revolution, Post-World Wars I and II & the Cold War, and our own Post-Modern Times; and as is particularly obvious within the margins of Western society (perhaps everywhere), as well as within the Arts/other creative circles all over this beautiful Planet of ours.

Mr. Nick
Its so sad that he never got the recognition he deserved.
brazildj
Nicely written bio. Beautiful in fact.
Such a special talent, yet tortured soul. His music is truly timeless indeed!
riverman172
Goin to see the riverman.
Nick Drake, Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley... all tortured albeit very talented,sou l s . For those of us who knew of and appreciated them in their short lifetimes, we carry and sing their musical mosaics in our hearts & voices. For those who learned of and came to appreciate them posthumously , please know you are blessed. No matter, Share the Melodious Glory of their talents.
rickbriggs44
Nick Drake was an under - rated, under - noticed and under - appreciated genius.
jamesmoses46
love him!!! r.i.p.
markserridge
His guitar playing is under praised. As a guitar player myself I bought all the sheet music out there and I'm still trying to get even close to what he was doing with his right hand...stunn i n g work.
jeffreymqs64 1
I've been making over $350 a week from home using this site called BLUDOS.COM basically you take surveys for cash. You can do this for free as well.
claricentp91 7
I've been making over $350 a week from home using this site called BLUDOS.COM basically you take surveys for cash. You can do this for free as well.
Nick Drake never fails. Just wish I could've seen him in concert at least once. Rest in the best peace evaar
shawnnavuz71 1
If you wanna make some extra cash from home you can go to BLUDOS.COM and Click on Start Today then go from there. You don't need to pay to start.
cloudrecruit i n g
This freaked me out this isn't fake. Apparently if you don't copy and paste this ten times in a row you will see a Dead body in your home room. If you do copy and paste this ten times you will have the best time of your life
I love Nick Drake...
cmlyman4
Drake is a lost star.. No comparison. No chilling commercial nonsense. I am adrift
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works
bubblyjuice
This freaked me out! This isn't fake. Apparently if you copy and paste this on ten comments you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked our. If you break the chain, you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry.
makenzie.col l i n s 2 0 0 0
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letter this is so scary because it actually works.
From the Morning and Which Will are just flat out masterpeices
"Which Will" incredible.. . . . .
Astonishing that this music is 40 years old. It sounds so fresh and contemporary , but with a depth and soul that is timeless. I guess that's the trick. Beautiful.
Words cannot describe how gentle and wonderful his voice is.
dont read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now you've started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cause it actually works
It really says something about an artist that it takes society 30+ years to catch up with him. Sure, people like Alexi Murdoch, Damien Rice and Jose Gonzalez are popular now, but they are just echoes (albeit very good echoes) of a man who poured out his musical and lyrical soul a few decades too early. In a way, that just makes his music that much sweeter
My son introduced this man to me, I did miss him the first time, his death is questionable but I pray for Hendrix and the others and Nick Drake that their souls will be healed in the afterlife.
a_tellez00
He died in. 1974 ... Amazing how fresh his music sounds today....RIP Nick
a_tellez00
Most artist suffer from depression ... Can't understand ... What a beautiful voice
riverman172
Your right Elaine! Depression has taken so much from people and from life.hang in there. Peace.
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