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Way To Blue - The Songs Of Nick Drake

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Navigator Records
  • ASIN: B00B10FWCE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,126 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Things Behind the SunLuluc 4:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Place to BeScott Matthews 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Fruit TreeGreen Gartside 5:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Poor BoyShane Nicholson 6:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Time Has Told MeKrystle Warren 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. ParasiteRobyn Hitchcock 5:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. One of These Things FirstDanny Thompson, Zoe Rahman 5:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Which WillVashti Bunyan 3:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Black-Eyed DogLisa Hannigan 4:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Rider on the WheelShane Nicholson 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. River ManTeddy Thompson 5:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Saturday SunLisa Hannigan, Luluc 3:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Day Is DoneScott Matthews 3:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. FlyLuluc 4:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Pink MoonKrystle Warren, Teddy Thompson 4:51£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Undoubtedly one of the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years, Nick Drake found little mainstream success during his lifetime; however, since his untimely death at the age of 26, his fragile acoustic, autumnal music has touched the hearts of millions of people. Nick Drake is an unlikely romantic hero. In the 1970s he was a minor English singer and songwriter who peddled a lyrical brand of introspection that earned him a small but devoted following and few record sales. Dogged by depression and embittered by his lack of success, he died of an overdose in 1974, virtually unknown and unnoticed. He left an amazing legacy - a handful of recordings of his sparsely beautiful songs across just three albums, less than two hours of music. But over the ensuing decades, the enduring potency of these songs has ensured Drake's reputation as one of the UK's truly great musical talents. "Way to Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake" curated by Nick Drake's original producer, Joe Boyd (at the helm for two of the Drake albums - "Five Leaves Left" in 1969, and "Bryter Layter" in 1970), combines live recordings from 2 remarkable concerts at Melbourne Recital Centre 15 & 16 November 2011 and another at The Barbican Centre, London in January 2010. Here, renowned contemporary singers, united by their reverence for the work Nick Drake left behind collaborated with those who were actually involved in those unforgettable original recordings. The band and string section is led by musical director Kate St John, anchored by double bassist Danny Thompson, who played on many of Drake's albums, and features the original orchestrations arranged by Robert Kirby in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sadly, Kirby passed away very recently, but not before conducting the string section at the UK's very first "Way To Blue" concert in May 2009. Now, "Way To Blue" has become a tribute to Kirby as well as Drake. The special guest artists who sing and re-interpret Nick Drake's often hauntingly poetic material include: folk rediscovery Vashti Bunyan, Scritti Politti front-man Green Gartside, psychedelic pop maverick Robyn Hitchcock, stunning Irish singer Lisa Hannigan, American soul powerhouse Krystle Warren, UK success-story Scott Matthews, Teddy Thompson, Luluc, Zoe Rahman, Neill MacColl, Shane Nicolson, Kate St John and Danny Thompson.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Garry B Grove on 16 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hesitate to start this review by making it clear that I was originally astounded by Nick Drake's music when in my last year of school in 1969, having purchased his first album " Five Leaves Left" on the strength of hearing the track "Time Has Told Me" upon an Island Records sampler album of the time. I could never understand then why he didn't reach more appreciative ears because tracks such as "Riverman" , "Three Hours" , "Way To Blue" and " 'Cello Song" were simply extraordinary in terms of melody, musicianship - Nick's very distinctive style of guitar playing and musical virtuosity, more specifically Robert Kirby's musical/ string arrangements.
So when the Way to Blue Tour was announced , I picked up a few tickets to go catch the concert at Warwick Uni in the UK in early 2010. Frankly, to hear Nick' s music performed live by such a varied and brilliant group of musicians and orchestral players as featured then and upon this CD compilation was just a rare and beautiful opportunity too good to miss. I have to say a big, big thanks to the ubiquitous Joe Boyd for making the concerts and this album happen. The interpretations of ND's music and finely crafted songs are just sublime upon this album, I cannot emphasise that strongly enough. Go buy it and listen for yourself.
The musical arrangements by Kate St.John are not just a great tribute to Nick and Robert Kirby' s originals but the playing by the musicians involved is top draw. When you take a look at the list of participant musicians and hear the contributions of the likes of the incomparable bassist Danny Thompson, Zoe Rahman on piano then it just keeps on getting better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon65 on 17 Sep 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I'll keep this fairly short, as others have given it some fine plaudits, and those who are in doubt will now find the entire concert on YouTube and can make up their own minds.

I'd recorded the concert from TV but didn't watch it for ages. When I did, it was a revelation, right from the opening moments.

I can't imagine a project like this working in the hands of less talented musicians. As it is, it's magnificent. Different reviewers have identified favourites and one or two slightly weaker tracks, but there are no bad ones. I'm perhaps a little less keen on Robyn Hitchcock's contribution, but wouldn't want to carp. As for the rest, no reservations at all. Lisa Hannigan is on top form in "Black-eyed Dog" which sends chills through me every time, Luluc equally impressive on "Fly" (and doesn't try to mimic Nick by following his octave drop on alternate verses - as a poet said, "Something must be left to God"). Krystle Warren does some fascinating stuff in her own right as well as great backing vocals. So for my money, perhaps the ladies have the very best of it. Though that's hardly fair to Danny Thompson, whose incomparable bass underpins the whole thing, or to most of the guys in fact.

The only complaint is that this doesn't include all the songs from the concert. A stand-out one is Kirsty Almeida's "Cello Song" (again, on YT) which is spell-binding. Her voice is haunting and the cello playing is exquisite - how could that be left out? And there are other omissions worthy of inclusion: I'd gladly have forked out more to have got every song.

Someone said on YT that it's "nice, but not Nick". It couldn't be, but his genius survives to permeate these performances and produce moments which can transport the listener, and I agree with Danny Thompson (who knew Nick) that he'd most likely be pleased by them, and proud.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 4 Jun 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Great concept - Nick Drake's songs performed by a host of different artists. And some of these interpretations are so good, they bring a fresh perspective to songs that many of us have known and loved for years. Teddy Thompson's River Man, Krystle Warren's Time Has Told Me, Vashti Bunyan's Which Will, Lisa Hannigan's Black Eyed Dog, Shane Nicholson's Rider on the Wheel and Scott Matthews' When The Day is Done are extraordinary.

The Barbican concert in 2010 was one of the best shows I've ever seen. Sadly this isn't that concert, with many interpretations replaced by lesser versions recorded at an later tribute concert in Melbourne. The biggest gap is the absence of Kirsty Almeida, who's Cello Song was mesmerising. She also provided wonderful backing vocals to Teddy Thompson's Poor Boy, a song which, here, is replaced by a similarly rousing Shane Nicholson version. Other notable omissions are Robyn Hitchcock's Free Ride and the ensemble's haunting Voice From the Mountain. I would gladly have dropped the instrumental and somewhat plodding One of These Things First for either of these. It's also a shame that nobody has adequately tackled Northern Sky - Neill MacColl's sub-par version on the night is rightly dropped. I seem to recall that Bernard Butler did an astonishing version of this song at an earlier tribute. It's a great shame that neither he, Teddy Thompson or Scott Matthews were given Northern Sky - or One of These Things First for that matter.

The only real bum note is vocal group Luluc's gauche barbershop Fly. That this lot get to butcher 3 of Nick's songs while Kirsty and Robyn are dropped seems more than a little perverse.
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