Nick Drake Appreciation - Album By Album & All Things Nick Drake*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by lemonade kid, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    Over time its become fashionable to perceive BL as an album where the wishes of Nick were overshadowed by others
    Robert Kirby, who was there, states this was not the case. Indeed Joe Boyd was very much against the 3 instrumentals but Nick insisted they remained. Because they were there for a reason.
    Fast forward to 1993 and Weller's Wild Wood album and 2014 for Beck's Morning Phase. Both albums use instrumental tracks in very much the same way.
     
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  2. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    Not rejecting this, there feels like there may be something to what you say, but I never had Donovan grouped near Nick in my musical library. He would be next door to Duncan Browne and across the street from the usual suspects of McTell, Martyn, down the road from Vashti Bunyan and The Incredible String Band. Donovan would be in another town but same county I might suppose. :)
     
  3. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Off topic but figured someone here would know....do we know the circumstances surrounding Nick's recording session(s) at Morgan Studios in 1969? I believe the alternate Three Hours on Made To Love Magic is from Morgan. Is this the only occasion Nick recorded outside of Sound Techniques?
     
  4. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    I found all three albums at the same time, so I listened in order. Five Leaves Left was a revelation.

    Bryter Layter was in some ways a shock, but I grew to love it quickly. 'Poor Boy' was a harder sell, but it think the kind dry British wit of the mocking chorus, "poor boy", is just wonderful and very self effacing. Kindly mocking his self pity with this R & B styled soul rocking song can be quite therapeutic when I'm feeling sorry for myself...aw, poor boy! Love it.

    Pink Moon was the hardest for me. I had lost four close family members in less than six years when I tried to digest Nick's swan song LP. Pink Moon seemed rather dark at the time, so it got very few spins at first. But after a while the simple beauty, even though often rather bleak in tone, has actually become a comforting set of songs, that in spite of itself, ends on a very uplifting note.

    To me that is Nick. He looks deeply inside exposing that pain and sadness through his music, but ultimately there is always a glimmer of hope and joy lurking around the edges. Nick is a comfort on the grayest of days, a bright light in winter, and a joy on breezy sunny afternoons.

    This is how I like to think of Nick...I'm sure Nick would be smiling still if he knew what his music means to us all.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    It seems unbelievable, especially to American fans, that albums of this quality could go unnoticed and that an artist of Nick's stature could disappear into obscurity.
    None of which is to do with him sounding like Donovan, or anyone else.
    (Donovan was criticised for being a poor mans Dylan, but he had hit singles, appeared on TV/radio, gigged his ass off, sold albums and has had a long career to this day)
    But in the late 60s, early 70s it was not unusual in the UK for brilliant albums/artists to be a commercial flop.
    Anyone heard of Bridget St John, Vashti Bunyan, or the wonderful Shelagh McDonald? (orchestration by Robert Kirby)

    All due to a lack of exposure, for which there are several reasons...
    Radio was a monopoly controlled by the BBC.
    "Popular" music was seen as a passing fad and of no cultural value, so the amount of pop music on the BBC was tiny.
    To fill this vacuum offshore "Pirate" radio started around 1964 until it was officially outlawed in 1967. The pirates could play anything, which lead to an explosion in genres of music you could now hear on the radio.
    Once they were outlawed, the BBC had control of music again. Anything "contemporary" was played very late at night on the AM wavelength. At night foreign radio interference made BBC shows almost unlistenable. So champions of Nick Drake such as DJ John Peel would have a very limited audience.

    Hit singles were perceived as "selling out man" so if you wanted to shift albums you had to play clubs/colleges and tour as a support act. Not saying this was the case, but support acts often pay to be on a tour, but I digress.
    Ralph McTell (Streets of London) and Michael Chapman went down this route for decades so made careers from their craft. They both shared a bill with Nick and report that it was not a good experience.
    Jokes/patter etc between songs were essential to keep your audience. Nick had no stage presence, one guitar, so spent an age tuning up for each song. He had a handful of gigs where the audience would put up with this, most wouldn't, so mid tour he told Joe Boyd he'd done touring.

    He refused interviews, turned down radio and so by not playing the game, got luke warm album reviews.
    Theres talk he was offered a slot on The Old Grey Whistle Test, which could have propelled him out of obscurity.
    No one knew who or what he was. So Nick's albums sold by the handful.
    But for Joe Boyd insisting that Nicks records would never be deleted when he sold Witchseason to Island, Nick could have vanished without trace.
    But a few disciples kept the flame alive with "best of" albums like Heaven In A Wild Flower, or box sets, Fruit Tree.
    A few famous artists like Paul Weller & REM would speak his name as being a massive influence.
    Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town" was dedicated to Nick Drake.
    A band named themselves... The Liliac Time.

    So that could have been that.
    Until a couple of fans...
    Whilst making a Volkswagen ad and needing a music track...
    Remembered...

    Nick Drake


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  6. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Isn't this taken outside the Morgan Studios by Keith Morris? Was the Sound techniques studio under renovation hence the Morgan Studio recordings?

    [​IMG]

    This always seemed a happy photo session, all those jaunty passersby. It may symbolize Nick standing still as the rest of the world passes by, but to me it is Nick sometimes seriously, sometimes happily observing everyone around him, immortalizing his musings in song.
     
  7. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    I think Nick's great appreciation for Pet Sounds definitely inspired Nick to try for a unified kind of conceptual album. As Brian Wilson was inspired by Rubber Soul to a create a "complete" album, not just a collection of songs, Nick was inspired by Brian's masterpiece to create Bryter Layter.
     
  8. Front 242 Addict

    Front 242 Addict "I'll drink the moonlight from your hands"

    Location:
    Tel Aviv ,Israel
    A Gorgeous song! I totally sympathize with every word in your post.
    Each time when I am listening to the moment when the stunning Chello enter into the music I get
    goosebumps from the Beauty. The music always takes me to a place when I can see the Northern lights and amazing landscapes in Unknown star.

    Every sound, every word and vocal tone of Nick Drake in this song provides a perfection, A bliss. There is so much emotion in the song. Amazing lyrics.
    A Glorious song from a magnificent album.:thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  9. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    Not forgetting Nick Drake obsessive, Jason Creed who between 1994 & 2000 produced 19 editions of the Pink Moon fanzine, by hand...

    [​IMG]


    now available in book form

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    Its taken outside confusingly Morgan Crucible Factory, Battersea Church Road.
    Should know as Keith Morris printed a Running Man (above) photo for me.

    Below, other shots Keith took...

    [​IMG]

    IIRC Morgan Studios was used to demo some FLL tracks

    steve
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  11. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Sweet. That 2012 Keith Morris "Nick Drake" ultra-oversized book is so amazing...24" x 36"?! Wow. Wish I could afford it, if any of those signed limited edition 500 books were still around.

    You must cherish that print, Steve!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  12. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    The Book...great video with Nick's dear friend, Beverley singing the song she & Nick wrote together. One of the most beautiful Nick Drake photo montage videos I've seen...enjoy.

    I saw Nick Drake: photographs by Keith Morris - YouTube

    Hadn't heard this version of Restless Jane by Beverley Martyn. Beautiful. It evokes Nick so much.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  13. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    The print is limited to just 10 copies. Keith advised against signing it "to Steve" as it would devalue it. I told him to f##k #ff as I was never going to sell it!
    A reminder of better days...
    A healthy Nick so full of optimism about the forthcoming release of Five Leaves Left.
    And the larger than life Keith Morris. Senior London Marathon runner, rock photographer, Technical Diving Instructor and all round Renaissance Man.
    A year later he was lost forever and never found on a deep dive in The English Channel.

    An exhibition of his most iconic photos was held at Redferns Photo Gallery where 18 months earlier he'd shown his ND photos.
    This of Marc Bolan just blew me away...

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. flaxton

    flaxton Forum Resident

    Location:
    Uk
    Just imagine nick playing a few songs on the Whistle Test and then being interviewed.
     
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  15. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    I hear ya about having it signed "To Steve". I asked Tom Rush to sign my "Circle Game" vinyl cover the same way, and Tom asked three times during a polite conversation during a signing break, "are you sure? It's worth more on eBay just signed "Tom Rush"."
    I said the same thing...without the expressive superlative you used ;).."I'm never gonna sell it". After a nice chat, he ended once more (with a twinkle in his eye), "you sure?"

    "Yep. I'm sure."

    Very tragic about losing Keith that way. But he died in his element, if that is any comfort.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  16. Buddys Dad

    Buddys Dad Forum Resident

    Location:
    melton mowbray
    TOGWT was religion to any music fan. A decent performance could break an artist overnight.
    However it started up in September 1971, by which time things were starting to unravel in Nick's world.
    And he only did one interview which was described as a monosyllabic disaster.

    Its a story of what could have been, but the stars never quite aligned.
     
  17. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    Did appearances on TOGWT by Tim Buckley help him in the UK? They were so great to see on youtube. He didn't get much exposure here, so in the USA he went largely unknown also.
     
  18. Sergeant Pepper

    Sergeant Pepper Well-Known Member


    Thank you for the recommendations. I will definitely listen to these albums. Of course I've read your threads on Bill Fay and David Ackles. You may remember that I've send you a file incl. the great David Ackles performance. It was on norwegian TV. By the way, I guess you haven't had the chance to attend the Nick Drake exhibition with the Keith Morris photographs in London some years ago, did you?
     
  19. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing Thread Starter

    Location:
    Maine
    THANKS...I THOUGHT THAT WAS YOU! I watch that video often. Friends marvel. Thanks again!

    I did not attend that exhibition. That would have been something indeed!

    Cheers, SP
    Scott
     
  20. Psychedelic Sounds

    Psychedelic Sounds Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Could you tell us more about that letter. Do you own it?
     
  21. Psychedelic Sounds

    Psychedelic Sounds Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    That reply with the Nick Drake photo link has been deleted.
     
  22. Psychedelic Sounds

    Psychedelic Sounds Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I copied the photo of the Nick Drake letter from the Imgur link that was deleted by the user.
    Should I post the photo?
     
  23. Psychedelic Sounds

    Psychedelic Sounds Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Does anyone know if the original master tapes still exist from the three Nick Drake albums?
     
  24. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    I imagine Nick Drake didn't receive much fan mail. This amazing letter was sent to Nick in October 1971....the reason it is so battered is because Nick kept it in his wallet.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  25. Psychedelic Sounds

    Psychedelic Sounds Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can you tell us about this letter?
     

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