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Five Leaves Left Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

Price: £10.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Image of album by Nick Drake


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Nick Drake


Nick Drake's avid cult following continues to grow as does the list of contemporary artists who cite the legendary singer/songwriter as an inspiration--from R.E.M., Paul Weller, Travis, Portishead, The Coral and Coldplay to David Gray, Super Furry Animals and Beth Orton. Now a new "best of" compilation, A Treasury (Island/UMe), released September 28, 2004, brings Drake's ... Read more in Amazon's Nick Drake Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Five Leaves Left + Bryter Layter + Pink Moon
Price For All Three: £31.13

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jun 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B000026FOA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Time Has Told Me 4:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. River Man 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Three Hours 6:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Way To Blue 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Day Is Done 2:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. ' Cello Song 4:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Thoughts Of Mary Jane 3:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Man In A Shed 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Fruit Tree 4:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Saturday Sun 4:02£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Digitally remastered in 2004! Debut 1969 album features "River Man". Cameos by members of Fairport Convention and Pentangle.


There's not a single dud in the trilogy of albums that singer/songwriter Nick Drake released during his all-too-short career. And 1968's Five Leaves Left--his first album--is certainly no exception. Drake's sensitive guitar work and sensitive vocals are backed by the baroque sounds of a chamber string group and the platter's lyrics show maturity well beyond the age of their 20-year-old creator. More sparse than its follow-up, the jazzy Bryter Later , but less tortured than Drake's dark final chapter, Pink Moon, Five Leaves Left is a classic folk disc. Songs like "River Man", "The Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Day Is Done" are among Drake's finest moments. Newcomers be forewarned: this music is as infectious as it is bleak. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 91 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Aug 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having sampled Nick Drake's genius on "Way to Blue - An introduction to Nick Drake", I went out and bought all three of his main albums. They are all worthy of five stars, but while the stark "Pink Moon" perhaps has a couple of weak links and "Bryter Later" relies on some instrumental passages, I would say that "Five Leaves Left" stands as the ultimate monument to Nick Drake's brilliance.
It contains arguably his greatest songs, the lilting, yearning "River Man" and the harrowing, prophetic "Fruit Tree". There is playfulness too in "The Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Man in a Shed" but all tinged with his trademark "wistfulness" Other classics are "Day is Done", "Saturday Sun" and the beautiful "Cello Song", which shows off his almost inimitable guitar technique. The whole album boasts an incredible range of interesting rhythms and melodies. If you liked Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" you'll certainly like this
Drake on this record was whimsical yet poignant, hopeful yet hurt. He sang in a whisper that spoke a whole encyclopaedia of volumes. He was one of this country's greatest songwriters and a great musician too. A lot of stuff I used to like now sounds clumsy after listening to this.
Phew! But that's enough. Don't take my word for it. Buy this - and the other two albums too.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mike J. Wheeler on 12 Aug 2006
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who hasn't listened to Nick Drake's music before, this is probably the best place to start. Listen to this and I guarantee that you will buy 'Pink Moon' and 'Bryter Later' within weeks - if you do you won't be disappointed. Both in their own way are as good as this and that's saying something! 'Five Leaves Left' is simply a masterpiece. There isn't a bad or even a mediocre track on this album. Every single note is imbued with a beauty that few artists ever attain, yet this was Drake's debut! From the wonderful opener "Time Has Told Me" to the bluesy "Saturday Sun" the album maintains excellent quality. All Drake's guitar playing and singing is fantastic but what really makes this album one of the greatest albums ever made are the collection of melancholic string-laden songs that make up the meat of the album. "Way To Blue", "Day Is Done" and "Cello Song" are masterpieces, simply stunning. Listen to them and be beguiled. Once you've heard these tracks you will forever compare them to anything you listen to and mostly find everything else wanting. Yet THE standout track on the album rises above even this. "Fruit Tree" just has to be one of the saddest songs ever recorded especially in view of what eventually became of Nick Drake - utterly prescient. 'Five Leaves Left' is truly one of the best albums I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it yet, get it. It'll be the best thing you ever do! Couldn't be anything but 10/10
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John Tree on 26 Mar 2007
Format: Audio CD
Five leaves left...the message Rizla use to let you know you have nearly run out...is the title Nick Drake used for his debut album. He was to only produce two more in his short tragic life, but in my opinion this is probably his best. The songs all have a haunted melancholic feel, but like an Edvard Munch painting this is turned into a thing of great beauty.
It is quite common for an artist's debut album to turn out to be their best. After all, they come to the starting blocks with a lifetime of their output to hand. As soon as they sign a contract they are on a 12 month treadmill to repeat the same feat.

These languid, autumnal, acoustic guitar-led tunes snake their way through the album, joined along the way by some achingly beautiful string arrangements, particularly on the magnificent River Man...which has to be his finest moment...closely followed by Fruit Tree.
Drakes voice had a tender yearning and infectious calm that belied his inner torment, and awareness of his suicide adds poignant hindsight to the lyrics.

Similarities have been drawn before to stablemate John Martyn. This is not surprising... Drake was joined on the album by the great Danny Thompson on double bass, Tristam Fry on drums...both of whom played on Martyn's albums.
It's consistently strong album the quality remains faultless right through...and although I recommend this as a first taster to Drake, chances are you'll end up buying the other two...and they are all great great albums.
Five leaves Left remains a towering achievement from a sadly missed British artist of immeasurable sensitivity. Timeless.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By liz on 18 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
I resisted the pressure to buy a Nick Drake album for many years believing that his cult status was more the result of heavy promotion than unusual talent.

Curiosity finally overcame me, although I still waited for an album to be on special offer...

Listening for the first time I was fully prepared to be singularly undewhelmed. However, from the first beautiful acoustic note I was entirely captivated.

Few people, including myself, have the literary skills to do justice to this incredible album so you will simply have to experience the delight for yourself.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 27 Jan 2004
Format: Audio CD
Nick Drake was never a hugely demonstrative performer, so this, his first and finest album doesn't leap out and grab you by the throat. On the contrary, Five Leaves Left is a collection of beguilingly subtle melodies sung in a voice that contribes to be characteristically quiet, sometimes laid back, and often coiled like a spring. Drake's minor chord guitar and paino accompaniments fit the mood perfectly, enhanced by delicate string arrangements that mirror his fragile presence.
For all the downbeat mood, some tracks are surprisingly uplifting, notably Saturday Sun. But given the tragic end to Nick Drake's career most will remember the edgy bitterness of Fruit Tree's lament about the price of fame, or the inspired chord changes within Three Hours. One thing is for certain: all tracks here will send a shiver down your spine.
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