I’ve been looking for a nice, clean, affordable, original copy of this record for what feels like forever. I recently gave up and bought a minty Back To Black reissue, and I can report that it sounds glorious.
To folk, or not to folk; that is the question. In this case, the answer is very much in the affirmative. This was the band’s fourth studio album, and their third to be released in the year of 1969. Now, that’s what I call prolific!
Hit: Come All Ye
Hidden Gem: Matty Groves
Of all the artists in my record collection, Nick Drake is probably the one I spend the most time trying to introduce to other people. He’s got such a unique sound that I always think people are missing out if they’ve never heard of him. And if it’s a non-muso I’m talking to, I can almost bet 100% that they’ve never heard of him. It sometimes helps these days if you tell people that Brad Pitt is a big fan.
This isn’t my favourite Nick Drake record – that would have to be Bryter Layter – but all three are so good, it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart. Thankfully he avoids the ‘aye-diddley-dee’ pitfalls of a lot of ’60s / ‘70s British folk, and as a result his unique melancholic style doesn’t ever sound dated.
As much as I like Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief (released in the same year), there’s always that aspect of traditional British folk music that they can’t ever seem to get away from. Drake takes a different path, and he sounds just as relevant now as he did forty four years ago.
There’s a tonne of adjectives that I could use to describe Drake’s music – eloquent, haunting, ethereal – but I always hate that about music journalism; like painting-by-numbers using a thesaurus and a typewriter. It’s hard to pick a hidden gem on this record – every song qualifies –and anyway, his short canon of work is such a buried treasure in itself.
Hit: Time Has Told Me
Hidden Gem: Saturday Sun