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Family Tree [VINYL]
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Limited edition 2LP Set (the first 1000 will be numbered). Includes one bonus track not included on the CD version, 'Betty and Dupree'. 29 early recordings made before his 1969 debut. Double 180g virgin vinyl Deluxe gatefold sleeve features rare photos, Lavish insert with full sleevenotes. Sunbeam 2007
Top Customer Reviews
In isolation, these recordings will do little to reward the newcomer. But if you are familiar with his work, they are a great insight into the very early days of Nick Drake who was to become one of the finest singer songwriters of the 20th century.
The inclusion of his mother, Molly Drake, illustrates perfectly that Nick came from a truly musical household. And the light-hearted tracks particularly help dispel the unremitting gloom that usually goes with the ND legend. But when contrasted with the subject matter and singing style of, for example, "Black Eyed Dog" it is truly shocking just how much he deteriorated in a few short years.
If you are unfamiliar with Nick Drake, don't start here. Buy the 3 main albums and when he has taken your soul a prisoner and you wonder how you ever managed to live without them, then look into the less mainstream releases.
None are especially satisfying in isolation, but I would recommend a certain unoffical set of LP's that have the original Five Leaves Left orchestral arrangements that were rejected by Nick. The project was given to his Cambridge friend, Robert Kirby. Then you will truly know what a huge contribution Robert made to the wonderful piece of work that is Five Leaves Left.
So an interesting piece in the ND jigsaw. But I do hope this now draws a line under further Nick Drake releases, as the sound of barrels being scraped could be getting dangerously close.
Rather than flooding the market with overstuffed "legacy editions" and live collections, Drake's sister Gabrielle has wisely put out only the best of his work. This is probably the best rarities collection yet - finally remastering the so-called "Tanworth-in-Arden demos" which have been circulating in inferior sound quality on the net for years.
Family Tree gives you a mixture of Drake's pre-fame home demos, comprising covers of blues classics and prototypes of songs which were later to appear on his debut album Five Leaves Left. The blues covers offer a surprising amount of insight into how Drake's own songwriting was to develop, the wistful sadness with which he imbues them contrasting with the summery sweetness of his very English voice. The brilliance of his fingerpicking style on guitar is also highlighted here, with his work on Robin Frederick's "Been Smokin' Too Long" an especial delight.
Not widely circulated in bootleg form are a couple of bittersweet, Ivor Novello-ish songs from Nick's mother Molly, a duet with his sister and a version of Mozart's Kegelstatt trio played by a collection of family members, with Nick himself on clarinet - a reminder of how close-knit and creative this middle-class rural family was. Drake's youthful experience was as far from the bluesmen whose songs he explores here as it's possible to get - yet his disappointment and depression was every bit as real.Read more ›
(Oh and on a side note the packaging, which caused the delayed release, is pretty special too!)
To my surprise it instantly grew on me and lead me to finding out more about this singer!
A year on and i'm listening to this new CD of Nick's 1960's demo's and i'm taken in by them!It actually feels as if one is actually sitting on the sofa in the lounge at Far Leys and Nick is giving his private performance...yes there are hisses,yes there is background noise but come on it was the 1960's and recorded on very basic equipment....Its a real treat to actually have insight into Nick's private world where only his family was privvy.
For old and new fans alike this is a must and although its not the sort of music you could listen to as background(you do need to concentrate on what you are listening to)its well worth it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Almost 25 years ago, when only very few people in this world had ever heard of Nick Drake, I had a visit from a friend of mine who, like myself, was a huge fan, in fact so much... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Philip S. Walker
It's nice to hear some "new" songs. I am a great fan of Nick Drake, albeit only recently. He has an amazing style. Not so keen on his mother though. Read morePublished 5 months ago by VoluntaryRanger
This is an interesting collection of early cuts of Nick Drakes music, as he was developing his skills. It also includes some of his mothers work. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kevin Trebell
Another trawl, another collection. Leave the man in peace. Mostly awful.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you are a Nick Drake fan, you must have this generous 27 track CD in your library. This is a delightful collection of early home demos by Nick Drake which includes 2 songs... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nick T
If your a fan, then this is well worthwhile, otherwise, other than either curiosity or you don't own anything by him, leave it alone. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Thorgod