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Nick Drake (1948 - 1974)

The absorption of Nick Drake into the British pop canon was effected some time ago, but recognition for the Incredible String Band has been slower. -- Adrian Shaughnessy, Wire Magazine, Feb 2004

Related: UK music - folk music

Pink Moon (1972) - Nick Drake

Pink Moon (1972) - Nick Drake [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Nicholas Rodney Drake, better known as Nick Drake, (June 19, 1948 - November 25, 1974) was a British folk guitarist and singer/songwriter. Drake is known for his gentle, autumnal songs, his unusual guitar tunings and his virtuoso right hand finger-picking technique. His work was always held in high esteem by critics and fellow musicians but failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, which fed Drake's severe clinical depression. Since his death, a significant cult audience has grown around Drake. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Drake [Apr 2005]

Pink Moon (1972) - Nick Drake

A stark, solo 28-minute adieu, Pink Moon was the last album Nick Drake lived to complete. That it proved to be his last album lends a suicidal urgency, and much has since been read into its staccato bleakness. But even before his previous album, Bryter Layter, was released, Nick had decided that the next one would be just him and a guitar--"no frills" he insisted. There is little comfort to be found in songs like "Know" or "Parasite" but, in an irony Nick would have appreciated, an American car commercial featuring the haunting title track recently alerted a huge new audience to his music. Digital remastering has enhanced the sound of all Nick's albums, but perhaps Pink Moon has benefited most: its aural environment, now all-enveloping, lending a pristine clarity to that matchless singing and playing. Sombre it may be, but it is a mistake to view Pink Moon as a tombstone--or, indeed, Nick Drake as a victim. Enjoy his music. He did. --Patrick Humphries

Joe Boyd [...]

It is lucky and ironic that during one of his infrequent gigs he was spotted by a member of established English folksters, Fairport Convention, who convinced their producer Joe Boyd to give Drake a listen. Boyd was impressed enough with Drake's demo tape that he signed him to a contract in 1968 and set to working with Nick on his debut album. -- Dave Rosen, inkblotmagazine.com, accessed Feb 2004

Volkswagen Commercial

June 19, 2000 | English singer and guitarist Nick Drake, born 52 years ago Monday, died of an overdose of antidepressants in 1974. His third and final album, Pink Moon, had been released two years earlier, and had sold fewer than 5,000 copies. This spring, it took less than three weeks for SoundScan to register an additional 5,000 sales of "Pink Moon," after its title song appeared in a Volkswagen commercial. And at one point, "Pink Moon" was Amazon.com's No. 5 bestselling album. (Amazon's sales aren't included in SoundScan figures.)

Posthumous fame is nothing new to pop music, but it's usually immediately posthumous. This was the first time that a recording artist found his first real success 25 years after his death -- the first time that a lost genius of rock's past had been found, suddenly and spectacularly. Drake's music is almost unbelievably pure, graceful and powerful; hearing 30 seconds of his voice and guitar playing in an ad for a car has inspired tens of thousands of people to buy his records. The question, then, isn't why so many people should want to hear his music now -- it's why they never have before. --Douglas Wolk, 2000, http://dir.salon.com/ent/music/feature/2000/06/19/drake/index.html


  1. Nick Drake (1968) - Five Leaves Left [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Rarely has an album been recorded that is more tragically self-aware than Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left. The title refers to the marking on the inside of a packet of cigarette rolling papers that indicates only five more remain; a prophetic title indeed, given that five years after the release of his stunning debut album, Nick Drake would be dead at the age of 26. -- Dave Rosen, inkblotmagazine.com, accessed Feb 2004

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