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Nick Drake - Complete Home Recordings (1967-1985)


"Nick Drake's music may not be gripping at first. It is unassuming, undramatic, full of doubt and hesitation. Nick's soft voice may even sound gray and flat, at first (he is certainly not given to dramatic expression). His breathy vocals never, not once, sound forced or strained, and can - strictly speaking - hardly count as proper singing. The voice never rises beyond the humming of a lullaby, like he's singing to himself all the time, while stroking a cat, in quiet solitude. Even the melodies sound pensive and hesitant. They tend to stall at certain pitches, for several beats even, as if Nick were making up the melody as he goes along, ruminating. This can be annoying at first but soon one begins to realize how essential this characteristic is to his pensive, intimate style. When listened to in a very quiet setting (on a sound system that allows the warmth of the music to come through) something changes; analytic thinking evaporates and the music begins to reveal its healing properties. Nick's acoustic quitar sounds so up-front and naked, with all the tweaks and the creaks clearly audible, that he might just as well be playing on your blood vessels (that description applies to his last album, Pink Moon, in particular). And the gorgeous orchestrations, when they are used at all, always sound just right; lush and original without stealing the show. But, in the end, it is Drake's restrained self-expression that adds up to the music's selflessness and makes it, despite all the sadness, so liberating." (steinib)

Nick Drake recorded just three full-length albums during his career - Five Leaves Left in 1969, Bryter Layter in 1970, and finally Pink Moon in 1972. None of them sold more than a few thousand copies at the time and this may have contributed to Nick's increasing mental problems. After Pink Moon, Nick became deeply depressed and increasingly introverted. His parents became worried and sought professional help and he was prescribed anti-depressants. He died at his parents' home in the early hours of Monday, 25th November 1974. It is uncertain if his death was by suicide (the official verdict) or an accidental overdose of the prescribed and/or recreational drugs.

Over the years Drake's popularity has steadily increased, with more of his albums sold in 2004 than in any previous year.



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