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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PRICELESS..
Its not often you find an album that works perfectly from beginning to end as a complete body. Hearing this for the first time, i was so very concious of the outright 'sensitivity' of the music lyrics & voice- I found it thouroughly engaging. Upon the 2nd & 3rd listen i was gobsmacked at just how beautiful these arrangements were & just how ridiculously talented this...
Published on 30 Jan 2004 by Melissa House

versus
4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to be controversial
It is heresey to be critical of Nick Drake's music but having been entranced by Five Leaves Left I found Bryter Later a touch disappointing. Any album with the majestic Northern Sky is in no way bad. At the Chime of a City Clock is also worth the purchase price but the rest feels over produced and a little schmaltzy with one or two fillers.
Published on 14 Jun 2011 by P. N. I. Jeffrey


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless music, 9 Feb 2006
By 
Sylvia Majka (Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
Along with his other albums (Five Leaves Left, Pink Moon, Made to Love Magic) my most prized cds. Scale only goes to 5 but Nick is off this scale. Every song could have been recorded yesterday. Seems repetitive just to keep using the same adjectives everyone has used to describe his music, as after all language can limit. So-beautiful, breezy, mood evoking, enchanting, and enveloping, come to mind. Mainly, to become familiar with this artist's work is to learn more about yourself and the truly cosmic forces that keep us together. You will learn more, feel more, gain more intuition upon each playing. Perhaps others recommendations are more articulate, but when you hear his music, you'll get it. He himself says it best "If songs were lines in a conversation, the situation would be fine."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A five star album by all measures., 24 July 2010
By 
Mr. M. L. Hawes "Mitchmusic" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bryter Layter (MP3 Download)
I came upon the work of Nick Drake by accident, having picked up a copy of this album in Fopp records sat nicely in the bargain basement area. I'd found the cover a kind of curiosity and had heard some positive reviews, so thought what the hell...

What then followed has been a kind of gradual realisations that Nick Drake is one of the most important song writers of our times. This album is a perfect example, which, like all of his work is to be taken as a whole rather than a collection of outstanding tracks.

Basically it's Nick, his guitar and some session musicians playing some of the most sublime, dark folk music that you will ever hear and it just flows like a dream from the beginning to the end.

I have a compilation of his work, which is fine and of course, faultless, but in truth, you need, and I mean need all three of his studio albums. No one bought them at the time through Nicks perpetual stage fright and a lack of coverage at the time. But that is no excuse now.

Buy all three albums, stick them on your ipod and listen to them through in a quiet setting with a bottle of wine. I guarantee you'll smile, be transported to a calm and beautiful place and will find the odd tear in your eye, knowing that we may never see the likes of Nick Drake again.

Beautiful is nowhere near close to describing this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Differently Brilliant, 15 Dec 2008
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
Coming to this from Five Leaves Left, it is at first unexpected that Nick Drake chose to change his style almost completely, and then it is a struggle not to feel a disappointment that he didn't continue in the same vein as his debut.
After a listen or two, though, the disappointment all goes away, as you realise that despite having things like drums, horns and strumming, this is still Nick Drake - the songwriting is sublime and the musicianship of all involved is up there with the best. Indeed, I feel that some of the songs, such as the dreamy 'Northern Sky' and bittersweet 'Fly' are among his stronger writing, and there are interesting changes of tone, such as the seeming whimsy on 'One of These Things First'.
What is difficult, however, is to extricate the music from the story of Nick Drake, and it becomes easy to see why he became so disheartened with music when both the 'old style' of Five Leaves Left and his different, more poppy 'new style' failed to get the recognition they both deserved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this album!!!, 20 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
I only heard of Nick Drake after I'd clicked on a link from Badly Drawn Boy's album. After playing a few track samples I thought I'd give it a go and ordered it. I'm gad I did. This album is one of the best I've heard.... period. It's positive, uplifting, innocent and belies the later fate of its writer. I can't understand how more people don't know about Nick Drake. If you don't already then you shold, really. It's great songwriting. And the orchestration is beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neglegted genius, 1 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
Fortunately the work of the late Nick Drake is now finding a new audience. Almost pathologically shy and unable to promote his music with no discernable target audience, Drake found his albums being criminally ignored on their release in the early '70's but he is now cited as a major influence by artists as diverse as Paul Weller, R.E.M and Bernard Butler. This, Nick's second album, is easily his most accesible. Drake's extraordinary guitar work is set amongst an album of jazz and folk influences. Nick's haunting voice and melodies have secured his place in Rock's history and this should be a compulsive purchase for anyone interested in music over the past 40 years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Drake Bryter Layter LP, 16 July 2013
This review is from: Bryter Layter [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Good value for money. Textured card sleeve is really effective and inner sleeve which is printed to look like a well worn original Island light blue inner sleeve is a nice touch. The quality of the vinyl feels substantial and the sound quality is absolutely fine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5* for the music, 4* for the box, 8 July 2013
By 
Cemil Gandur - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryter Layter [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This (and Five Leaves Left) has been one my favorites since the mid-70s. As far as the music is concerned, it is five stars all the way. Some of the most beautiful music of the 70s. I still have the original copies of them. I compared this reissue to my LP. The reissue is on thicker and quieter vinyl. The cardboard sleeve is thicker in the reissue but has the wrong colours - the purple is too pinkish. The poster inside has the right colours. I truly dislike the cover on the box, which is a photocopy of a Record & Tape Exchange (the Notting Hill shop) cutout - why did they do this? As far as dumb ideas or failed humour, this is close to getting the cake. Sound quality wise, I still prefer the original. This has more tape hiss, and though the highs are a bit more extended, they do not sound as natural. The soundstage is slightly bigger on the reissue with good separation, but the bass is not as well defined. It mentions that they could not find the original master tape, so had to work off a copy; this probably accounts for the ok sound quality (when compared to the original, but still sounds pretty good). I do not have a CD of this to compare it to. If you already have an original copy, then buying this is not a given. Otherwise, very highly recommended. Btw, the job done on Pink Moon was much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic album - what more is there to say.., 5 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryter Layter [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Having already purchased this album before, this particular purchase was based purely on getting a vinyl copy of the album for some 'vinyl wall art'. Well it doesn't disappoint. The vinyl itself is great and a great repackage of the original. The overall packaging is a little cheesy I guess as you'd expect with a release like this, but the digital download of the album (in MP3 format, with a remastered version and a vinyl version dubbed from disc) is a nice touch.

The music; well I guess if you are reading this you are well aware of the amazing quality of this album. Hazey Jane II and Northern Sky are still two of my favourite tracks of all time and the rest of the tracks follow closely behind. It is a masterpiece and my favourite Nick Drake release.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless!, 17 Feb 2010
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
The second of Drake's trio of albums, all of which should be considered compulsory purchases, 'Bryter Layter' was the album Drake thought would become a commercial success and its lack of sales is sometimes said to have begun the downward spiral that resulted in the singers death.

There is much can and has been written about Nick Drake and his music (I know I've had some articles published myself) but the bottom line is that, in retrospect, Drake was a man out of time. In the context of the early seventies, this album was hard to market because, although Drake formed part of Joe Boyd's roster of folk artists on Island, this isn't really folk; neither is it pop or jazz, but a curious hybrid that seems to draw on many influences while remaining accessible and solidly English in tone. While I can't see any of Drake's albums as inpenetrable, there is no doubt that 'Bryter Layter' is the album you might be best to start with if you've not heard any of Nick's albums.

After a solid rather than spectacular appreciation of his first album, Drake - who suffered terribly with stage fright - decided to stop touring and let his recorded music do the talking for him. Hiring Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg (all from Fairport Convention) to help out on lead guitar, drums, and bass, Drake asked ex- Velvet Underground man John Cale to sit in on viola and Celeste. P.P. Arnold and Doris Troy, two highly respected backup singers, were asked to join the sessions while his old friend Robert Kirby returned to handle the bass and string arrangements. This album, according to Nick, was going to be his saving grace. More commercial than it's predecessor `Bryter Layter' it is considered a `masterwork' by Joe Boyd with glorious strings, soaring bass lines, Nick's smoky jazz voice and stunning guitar. None of the tracks fail at all and some, like the stunning 'Northern Sky' are probably among the singer's best and Drake, quite properly, believed that this album would be the making of him.

Time can lend a strange shade to situations. 1970, when Bryter Layter was released, also gave the world its first glimpse of Led Zeppelin II and `Imagine'. Nick wasn't a big name and his inability to play live meant that he had to rely on word of mouth or the pop press to promote his albums. In a year when the Rolling Stones unleashed `Sticky Fingers' and Simon and Garfunkel revealed `Bridge over Troubled Water', nobody wanted to write about Nick Drake. Now of course, there would be no end of opportunties for music like this to be marketed and, over the last decade or so, its interesting to hear snippets of Nick's music cropping up all the time on TV shows or even adverts.

Don't let any of this fool you though; Nick Drake is not an artist whose music is mired in the '70's nor is it lightweight, in fact, I'd argue that 'Bryter Layter' sounds more relevant and fresh than anything Lennon or Paul Simon wrote in 1970. If you have ever felt anything for any type of music, be it Folk, Jazz, Blues or Pop or ever enjoyed a beautiful melody, intense lyrics, stunning guitar, emotional intensity or breathtaking sincerity then you will find something in the recordings of Nick Drake. And often, much, much more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessentially English Perfection, 3 July 2008
By 
R. Davies (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
The middle album of Nick Drake's all too short recording career is his shot at what some world call "pop". Obviously a kind of 'folk-rock pop', some distance from the desolate tone of his last record Pink Moon, and a fuller, more upbeat sound from his sensational debut Five Leaves Left.

Everything about Bryter Layter is extraordinary. Nick's incredible guitar style pushes songs on just like FLL, Joe Boyd's elegant production is still in place, but here he is comlimented by a "who's who" of Island record label-mates as backing, including John Cale, Dave Mattacks, Richard Thompson and Dave Pegg.

The song's themselves are among Drake's very best. The three instrumentals are certainly not filler material, but the other songs simply take ones breath away.

Hazey Jane II, with it's jazzy trumpets is as upbeat as Drake ever sounded. It seems a shame he never made more songs like this.

At The Chime Of A City Clock is the song-ifercation of Nick Drake - only he could have written it. English, understated, clever and ultimately very charming.

One Of These Things First is simpler than his usual fare, but has always been a favourite of mine. The yearning lyrics and driving piano solo last long in the memory.

Hazey Jane I wouldn't hardly be a song but for Drake's incessant plucking, but somehow it works! At one moment every instument falls away bar Nick's guitar before he pulls them all back together, leaving this heart to skip a beat.

Fly is classic Drake: a short, sweet, longing, remarkably poetic lovesong. Again his voice is crying out for love, losing the mind and breaking ones heart.

Poor Boy is a lengthy track that sees Drake almost seem like the leader of a folky-blues band, with rousing backing vocals and grooving piano guitar drums and bass. Again, no-one else could write it.

Northern Sky, almost a duet with Cale, is perhaps the finest love song ever written. I can only think of Joni Mitchell's A Case of You and Nina Simone's If You Knew that come close. It is simply an astonishingly beatiful song.

This album, like his others, should be known by the masses rather than worshipped by the priveliged few. That, however, is something I'm quite pleased about!
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Bryter Layter
Bryter Layter by Nick Drake (Audio CD - 2000)
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