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Five Leaves Left Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jun. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B000026FOA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,541 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

1.time has told me2.river man3.three hours4.way to blue5.day is done6.'cello songascolta7.the thoughts of mary janeascolta8.man in a shedascolta9.fruit treeascolta10.saturday sun

Amazon.co.uk

There's not a single dud in the trilogy of albums that singer/songwriter Nick Drake released during his all-too-short career. And 1968's Five Leaves Left--his first album--is certainly no exception. Drake's sensitive guitar work and sensitive vocals are backed by the baroque sounds of a chamber string group and the platter's lyrics show maturity well beyond the age of their 20-year-old creator. More sparse than its follow-up, the jazzy Bryter Later , but less tortured than Drake's dark final chapter, Pink Moon, Five Leaves Left is a classic folk disc. Songs like "River Man", "The Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Day Is Done" are among Drake's finest moments. Newcomers be forewarned: this music is as infectious as it is bleak. --Jason Verlinde

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 13 Aug. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having sampled Nick Drake's genius on "Way to Blue - An introduction to Nick Drake", I went out and bought all three of his main albums. They are all worthy of five stars, but while the stark "Pink Moon" perhaps has a couple of weak links and "Bryter Later" relies on some instrumental passages, I would say that "Five Leaves Left" stands as the ultimate monument to Nick Drake's brilliance.
It contains arguably his greatest songs, the lilting, yearning "River Man" and the harrowing, prophetic "Fruit Tree". There is playfulness too in "The Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Man in a Shed" but all tinged with his trademark "wistfulness" Other classics are "Day is Done", "Saturday Sun" and the beautiful "Cello Song", which shows off his almost inimitable guitar technique. The whole album boasts an incredible range of interesting rhythms and melodies. If you liked Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" you'll certainly like this
Drake on this record was whimsical yet poignant, hopeful yet hurt. He sang in a whisper that spoke a whole encyclopaedia of volumes. He was one of this country's greatest songwriters and a great musician too. A lot of stuff I used to like now sounds clumsy after listening to this.
Phew! But that's enough. Don't take my word for it. Buy this - and the other two albums too.
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Format: Audio CD
Nick Drake was incredible; everyone who's heard him play will agree. "Five leaves left" was his first album, and was promptly ignored by critics and consumers alike upon its release; only relatively recently has his talent started to be properly realised. This is definitely English folk music, but equally has definite jazz, blues and occasionally classical nuances; given that Nick was a public-school boy, it's perhaps not so surprising that his deep, resonant voice has more than a little of an upper-class English accent.
Most of the songs on the album are accompanied by Nick on acoustic guitar, and many of them have string arrangements by his friend Robert Kirby. Nick's guitar playing has attracted attention from just about everyone; it was rare for him to write any song in a conventional tuning, and the work he put into retuning the instrument is apparent from the big, open sounding, slightly jazzy voicings you can hear throughout the album (Incidentally, I hate to be picky, but another reviewer says that he played 12-string guitar; he only ever recorded with one guitar, a Guild M20 six string acoustic).
I suppose the best way to describe the tone of the album would be to use the word "wistful"- there's no out-and-out depression here (as can certainly be heard in some of his later recordings), but sadness permeates all the recordings at some level. It's a hopelessly romantic, dreamy, incredibly beautiful album; anyone with a soul cannot help but fall in love with it.
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Format: Audio CD
For anyone who hasn't listened to Nick Drake's music before, this is probably the best place to start. Listen to this and I guarantee that you will buy 'Pink Moon' and 'Bryter Later' within weeks - if you do you won't be disappointed. Both in their own way are as good as this and that's saying something! 'Five Leaves Left' is simply a masterpiece. There isn't a bad or even a mediocre track on this album. Every single note is imbued with a beauty that few artists ever attain, yet this was Drake's debut! From the wonderful opener "Time Has Told Me" to the bluesy "Saturday Sun" the album maintains excellent quality. All Drake's guitar playing and singing is fantastic but what really makes this album one of the greatest albums ever made are the collection of melancholic string-laden songs that make up the meat of the album. "Way To Blue", "Day Is Done" and "Cello Song" are masterpieces, simply stunning. Listen to them and be beguiled. Once you've heard these tracks you will forever compare them to anything you listen to and mostly find everything else wanting. Yet THE standout track on the album rises above even this. "Fruit Tree" just has to be one of the saddest songs ever recorded especially in view of what eventually became of Nick Drake - utterly prescient. 'Five Leaves Left' is truly one of the best albums I've ever heard. If you haven't heard it yet, get it. It'll be the best thing you ever do! Couldn't be anything but 10/10
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By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
My introduction to Nick Drake was around the early 90s through a friend who had been introduced to him by his father - a guitarist. It's strange how Nick Drake's music often spreads like that. I so adore this album, it has one of my favourite tracks of all time "River Man" on it but I also love his other two albums as well. I've re-written what I wanted to say about Five Leaves Left and Nick Drake so many times, but I can't review / explain him. You simply have to take the plunge and experience Nick. I would say one word though - Genius - a much paraded word and I hate using it, but Nick was a very great and rare natural ability. He produced music with a deceptively simple sound but constructed with much complexity in composition, playing and emotion. Nick Drake's music can bring a tear to my eye, and no-one else's music does that. Just buy his three albums, after buying one you will probably buy them all eventually anyway, and it it'll be your life's best purchase. Like me you'll fall in love with his gentle musical genius, and everyone you play the albums to will do too.
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