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4.6 out of 5 stars
Tuckbox [Limited Edition CD Box]
Format: Audio CDChange
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2013
I'm writing this having just put down this rather wonderful box set - I'm not going to discuss the music which has been well documented elsewhere and I'll offer nothing new under the sun frankly. For the price, you really wouldn't expect this kind of quality, beautiful artefact - a sturdy box mimicking Nick's tuck box from college days containing all of his recorded output and some very nice replica posters.

I understand the viewpoint that this could be seen as yet another cash in on the well-served Nick Drake estate, but for less than £30.00 (!!!) you have all of Nick Drake's official recorded output in an attractive, sturdy box.
There's nothing here to entice the ardent fan but I don't think that is whom this is aimed at judging by the budget price and lack of 'uncovered' new material from some vault which is always guaranteed to tick off fans who have bought the albums in the past (there is even a disclaimer on the rear of the box saying there is nothing new included and that the box and posters are available separately for those who already own the discs).
As an extra bonus, you've room to add your Molly Drake CD as well...

Taking this all into account, I think this is an honest and extraordinarily cheap option for gathering together a priceless collection of music. A perfect gift for an education in beauty, love and loss.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
There are two ways of looking at this 5CD release - for longtime NICK DRAKE fans it's a pain (buying what you already own) - but for newcomers or just the curious - "Tuck Box" is a treasure trove of beautiful music presented in a really rather lovely way. Released Monday 9 December 2013 on Universal/Island 0602537538546 - "Tuck Box" consists of 5CDs in repro card digipaks with 5 accompanying fold-out colour posters - the press-released full-page adverts for each album. The box sticker and rear details clearly state that this is previously released material.

The first 3 CDs are his officially released catalogue before his tragic loss in 1974. These CDs are NOT DIFFERENT to the 28 June 2000 CD remasters done by Simon Heyworth and John Wood (the album's original engineer). Disappointingly the altered album artwork on those reissues has also been copied here and the booklets are exactly the same too (filled with lyrics and some photographs). The sound quality on all three sets is exceptional - carefully remastered - and the music is magical - in fact listening to "Cello Song" even now reduces me to shivers. Here are the breakdowns...

Disc 1 "Five Leaves Left" (Debut Studio LP - 41:45 minutes):
1. Time Has Told Me
2. River Man
3. Three Hours
4. Way To Blue
5. Day Is done
6. `Cello Song [Side 2]
7. The Thoughts Of Mary Jane
8. Man In A Shed
9. Fruit Tree
10. Saturday Sun
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Five Leaves Left" - his debut vinyl album was released 1 November 1969 in the UK on Island Records ILPS 9105 - reissued on remaster CD in June 2000

Disc 2 "Bryter Layter" (2nd studio album - 39:26 minutes):
1. Introduction
2. Hazey Jane II
3. At The Chime Of A City Clock
4. One Of These Things First
5. Hazey Jane I
6. Bryter Layter [Side 2]
7. Fly
8. Poor Boy
9. Northern Sky
10. Sunday
Tracks 1 to 2 are "Bryter Layter" - released 1 November 1970 in the UK on Island Records ILPS 9134

Disc 3 "Pink Moon" (3rd and final studio album - 28:30 minutes):
1. Pink Moon
2. Place To Be
3. Road
4. Which Will
5. Horn
6. Things Behind The Sun [Side 2]
7. Know
8. Parasite
9. Free Ride
10. Harvest Breed
11. From The Moring
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 3rd and final album "Pink Moon" - released 25 February 1972 in the UK on Island Records ILPS 9184

Disc 4 "Made To Love Magic" (Compilation - 41:52 minutes):
1. Rider On The Wheel
2. Magic
3. River Man
4. Joey
5. Thoughts Of Mary Jane
6. Mayfair
7. Hanging On A Star
8. Three Hours
9. Clothes Of sand
10. Voices
11. Time Of No Reply
12. Black Eyed Dog
13. Tow The Line
"Made To Love Magic" is a posthumous 13-track CD/LP compilation of unreleased outtakes and alternate versions (including 5 tracks from his never-finished 4th album). It was issued 24 March 2004 and features John Wood and Simon Heyworth Remasters/Remixes with additional help from Jeremy Gill.

Disc 5 "Family Tree" (64:34 minutes):
1. Come In To The Garden (Introduction)
2. They're Leaving Me Behind
3. Time Piece
4. Poor Mum (Performed by Molly Drake)
5. Winter Is Gone
6. All My Trials (Performed by Nick Drake and Gabrielle Drake)
7. Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio (Performed by The Family Trio)
8. Strolling Down The Highway
9. Paddling In Rushmere
10. Cocaine Blues
11. Blossom
12. Been Smoking Too Long
13. Black Mountain Blues
14. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
15. If You Leave Me
16. Here Come The Blues
17. Sketch 1
18. Blues Run The Game [Jackson C. Frank cover version]
19. Milk And Honey
20. Kimbie
21. Birdie Flew By
22. Rain
23. Strange Meeting II
24. Day Is Done
25. Come Into The Garden
26. Way To Blue
27. Do You Ever Remember? (Performed by Molly Drake)
Tracks 1 to 27 are "Family Tree" - another posthumous compilation on CD and LP released 9 July 2007 and featuring 27 tracks recorded between 1967 and 1969 (prior to his debut).

Each album is now in an oversized card digipak with a small booklet using the 2000 CD reissues artwork (shame they didn't revert to the original album looks) - the two posthumous compilations use their original art. The only discernible difference is that the "Five Leaves Left" CD label now sports an even more garish PINK label than its predecessor. The digipaks are all inset into the box in a hollow with Nick Drake's lyrics typed around the edges of on the box on the inside. There's no stand-alone booklet unfortunately - nor it would seem any new remasters - these are the JOHN WOOD versions carried out in 2000 for the three studio albums. The sound is glorious it has to be said - especially as much of the music is acoustic based with the double-bass acting as a rhythm section. There's clarity, warmth and presence - its all here.

The first album is astonishing - great tunes, cool trippy backing and those sad as a river string arrangements on stuff like "Fruit Tree" and "Way To Blue". The irrepressible "'Cello Song" gets me every time and Alexis Korner became the first person I know of who covered a Nick Drake song - the album finisher "Saturday Sun" - he did it on his "Alexis Korner" album from July 1971 on RAK Records.

The hiss levels increase a tad on "At The Chime Of A City Clock" and on the lovely instrumental "Bryter Layter" while "Northern Sky" still exudes romantic `magic' (and has been used in movies for just such a purpose). My favourite is the gorgeous "One Of These Things First" and the jazzy "Poor Boy" sounds like a male-fronted Fairground Attraction decades before their time.

The album that no one bought - the solo "Pink Moon" is probably every fan's crave - beautiful and ethereal like John Martyn's "Solid Air" which in itself would arrive a year later (February 1973) also on the mighty Island Records). Relistening to its stark and bare songs (just him and a guitar) - history would have us ask why Island never released "Pink Moon" or the lovely "Place To Be" as 7" singles - maybe capture the airwaves like Labi Siffre and Cat Stevens had?

The first compilation "Made To Love Magic" is a triumph - all the material receiving serious digital polishing from John Wood and Jeremy Gill. The orchestration they put on "Magic" is from his own notes - so we hear now the stunning song - as it would have been. The trio of - "Hanging On A Star", "Joey" and "Clothes Of Sand" are simply stunning (complete with playing mistakes) - an indication as to how good his songwriting had become ("something has taken you so far from me...")

Having said that - if you're new to Drake and his wonderful soft singer-songwriter beauty - then this is a lovely way to kindle a romance that will stay with you like Joni Mitchell lyrics work their way into your consciousness. But in a 'starry night' kind of way - you just can't help thinking that someone as beautiful as Nick Drake deserved just a little bit more effort than this... And the cool "Tow The Line" was his last recording. And as `interesting' as much of "Family Tree" is ("Winter is Gone" and "Blues Run The Game") - the huge hiss levels and poor quality of the recordings means that most of it is a curio at best.

So there you have it - 3 released albums of near perfection - one quality posthumous compilation and another after-the-fact set that I'd argue should have stayed in the can. But oh what a legacy his music is - I just wish it was ongoing - and not that horrible full stop in 1974...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2014
Just to clear up any confusion, this wonderful box set is NOT the complete works as some other reviewers have said.

To give a quick breakdown, the edition of 'Family Tree' contained in this box has 27 tracks. The original 2007 release contained 28 tracks ('My Baby So Sweet' is missing in this edition). Also, the vinyl edition has 29 songs on it ('Betty & Dupree' being the extra track). Frustrating for sure, particularly as there was enough space for both on one CD.

Elsewhere, the compilation 'Time Of No Reply', not included here, contains exclusive mixes and home recordings not featured in this set. The most notable being an alternate mix of 'Rider On The Wheel' without the vocal fluffs on the 'Made To Love Magic' remix, a completely different (and better) take of 'Hanging On A Star' and a lovely home recording of 'Fly' where you can hear the dawn chorus coming through an open window.

Hope this clears things up a bit. I'm not knocking this release at all, being as it is a fantastic way to get the three magnificent albums recorded during Nicks lifetime as well as many unreleased treasures. I just want people to know that there is more out there if you want to continue discovering and enjoying the music.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2013
I've read a few misleading reviews about this set. Just my two pennies worth trying to set the record straight.

This box is a very simple, yet elegant, presentation of Nick Drake's complete works.
All the music has been previously, separately released.

THE MUSIC
The box (supposedly designed after Drake's "tuck box" from College days) contains Drake's 3 albums released during his lifetime ("Five Leaves Left"; "Bryter Layter"; "Pink Moon"), plus 2 CDs ("Made To Love Magic" and "Family Tree") with his posthumously released recordings:
- "Made To Love Magic" (originally released 2004) consists of outtakes, alternate versions and his last 5 songs for the never completed 4th album, most of the material professionally recorded in studio by Drake's engineer of choice John Wood, most of them just voice&guitar, a few augmented by Robert Kirby's orchestrations;
- "Family Tree" (originally released 2007) collects home recordings hailing back before his first record: despite their "home recording" nature here we have some stunning Far Leys and Aix-en-Provence intimate performances.
The three "official" records are absolute masterpieces of course, but - if you are a fan - the posthumous recordings are extremely interesting and rewarding as well.

THE SOUND
No new remastering here, none was infact needed, each record having been recently, wonderfully remastered by John Woods (in year 2000 for the first 3 records; 2004 for "Made To Love Magic"; 2007 for "Family Tree").
The sound is rich and gorgeous for the studio recordings (i.e. the first four records), quite acceptable for the home recordings on the fifth disc. Actually, I was so mesmerized by the guitar work on some of the home recordings that I actually forgot I was listening to a non professional recording.

ARTWORK & POSTERS
The CDs are housed in cardboard gatefold sleeves.
The booklets to the originally released 3 records maintain all the original artwork and recording information, plus lyrics to every song (same as the latest, 2000 CD version).
The booklets to the posthumous CDs have essays from arranger-friend Robert Kirby, engineer John Woods, moving memoirs from sister Gabrielle and fellow songstress Robin Frederick from the Aix days.
The box contains mini-posters for each of the five records; if you already own the records you can purchase just box&posters directly from Nick Drake Estate's site, for about £10.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2013
I am not one to really comment on these things but read some of the reviews on here about the box and thought I would impart my own view in response. The box is wonderfully packaged, a really nice collectors item. Inside there are 5 posters, each wonderfully done, which look fantastic when lined up next to one another. Really rare photo, that when you conisder you'd normally pay in excess of £5 for a poster it's pretty good value in itself. Yet on top of that you have the 5 albums, again all wonderfully packaged in cardboard sleeves. Again considering there are 5 albums in there, on top of 5 posters and the box, it's pretty ridiculous value. Granted if you already have the albums then it might not be worth getting, but you can also purchase some items off the Drake website I think. Still if you are short on any and a Nick Drake fan, it's a perfect gift. Really couldn't recommend it more. I actually only had Five Leaves and Pink Moon in hard copy so really glad to get this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
Once a Nick Drake fan always a Nick Drake fan.

Lovely to walk down memory lane with this lovely box set.

How great is Nick's music still so many many years after his early and tragic death.

Could have lived longer, died young.

A very lovely collection of all the studio albums and two extra cd's.

There is rare recordings of Nick's mother, Molly Drake.

If you love Nick Drake's music you will love this..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2014
I already have all of this music, but for someone who has never heard Nick Drake this is an excellent box set. With one BIG thing missing..why not include the amazing documentary DVD 'a skin too few'?! Its a must see and it seems crazy not to include it in what is supposed to be the definitive final collection
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 February 2015
A perfect collection for those new to the work of this young artist who's tragic early death has made him a musical icon. The perfect accompaniment to Gabriel Drake's recent splendid compilation of anecdotes and images about her fascinating and talented brother.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2014
I am a huge fan of both Nick Drake and John Martyn and fail to understand how their music never received the "sales" success both artistes merited.
With regard Tuck Box, I haven't purchased it as I already own all Nick's work on vinyl (twice if you include the Fruit Tree box set) and have augmented it all by purchasing the CDs. If Tuck Box is meant for new fans then it's a great way to get all Nick's material at once, however I feel that it will be existing fans that purchase it. I also wonder why the Time Has Told Me album never receives a mention. Made to Love Magic does make it a bit redundant however unless I'm mistaken it still contains a non orchestrated version of Time has Told Me plus the Richard Hewson ochestration of I Was Made To Love Magic and doesn't deserve to be forgotten as part of the Nick Drake catalogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I had no idea that his work was this consistently good. I only wish he would get more recognition for his distinctions.
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