Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spell I happily live under, 26 May 2010
This review is from: Bryter Layter (Audio CD)
Of the three albums he made in his short life there has always been debate among fans about which is the better, this, or the debut FIVE LEAVES LEFT. As English folk songstress Linda Thompson put it, "Received wisdom is that that BRYTER LAYTER is Nick's best record but Five Leaves Left is equally fantastic". Personally I'm a Five Leaves man, but then I regard that as the best album ever made, and one of life's rarest of things, a straight ten. I often wonder if I would have been so spellbound by his music and the dark mysteries that come with it if he had only made Bryter Layter and PINK MOON. I prefer to think I would, they are still remarkable albums.

You get the feeling from listening to this that the people around Nick were so surprised at the failure of the debut that they decided to put some weight behind the follow up. Manager Joe Boyd once said he didn't have a plan B in the event that Five Leaves didn't break Nick as an artist. The twin plan B strategy they did eventually come up with for this though was brass and backing singers, at least on a couple of the tracks. There is still a mainstay of orchestrated strings and Nick's guitar and voice, and though I prefer the other two albums, it's still completely Nick Drake, and the songs are still earthmoving, and it contains some of his best songs like FLY and NORTHERN SKY.

The Drake trilogy of albums were recorded and released between 1969 and 1971, and then within a few years he was gone. None of the records sold more than 5000 copies apiece during his lifetime. In the generations that followed, millions of us would gradually discover his music and wonder how the hell we had come so far in our own lives without stumbling over it sooner, and why this enigmatic genius had not known success in life. I admit to being forever under his spell, but of all the spells that may possess you, there are none that you would be so blessed to be held captive by as the music of Nick Drake.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 May 2010 16:02:34 BDT
Red on Black says:
I had intended to pen a comparative review between Five Leaves and Bryter since I find myself turning more and more to Nick Drakes wisdom and lovely music but you have said all that needs to be said in a very good and clear review.

Well done R o B

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Oct 2010 08:22:50 BDT
J. A. Harvey says:
Thank you, but you should still say something, anything; it's all you can do.
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