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Fruit Tree Box Set Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, 10 Jun 1996
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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Jun. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Hannibal
  • ASIN: B00000064P
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,287 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Time Has Told Me
  2. River Man
  3. Three Hours
  4. Way To Blue
  5. Day Is Done
  6. 'Cello Song
  7. The Thoughts Of Mary Jane
  8. Man In A Shed
  9. Fruit Tree
  10. Saturday Sun

Disc: 2

  1. Introduction
  2. Hazy Jane II
  3. At The Chime Of A City Clock
  4. One Of These Things First
  5. Hazey Jane I
  6. Bryter Layter
  7. Fly
  8. Poor Boy
  9. Northern Sky
  10. Sunday

Disc: 3

  1. Pink Moon
  2. Place To Be
  3. Road
  4. Which Will
  5. Horn
  6. Things Behind The Sun
  7. Know
  8. Parasite
  9. Ride
  10. Harvest Breed
  11. From The Morning

Disc: 4

  1. Time Of No Reply
  2. I Was Made To Love Magic
  3. Joey
  4. Clothes Of Sand
  5. Man In A Shed
  6. Mayfair
  7. Fly
  8. The Thoughts Of Mary Jane
  9. Been Smoking Too Long
  10. Strange Meeting II
  11. Rider On The Wheel
  12. Black Eyed Dog
  13. Hanging On A Star
  14. Voice From The Mountain

Product description

Three albums. That's all singer/songwriter Nick Drake left the world before he passed away in 1974 at the age of 26. But what a three albums they were. This four-CD box set contains all of it, including some stuff Drake didn't intend for public consumption. Of course, everything he touched--even the demos and alternate takes--is gorgeous, melancholy folk at its finest. From the haunting, baroque beauty of his debut, Five Leaves Left, through to his pop masterpiece Bryter Layter, to his last public offering, the dark and lonely Pink Moon, Drake shines. The outtake album Time of No Reply features Drake rarities and demos, including a version of "Thoughts of Mary Jane" with Richard Thompson on electric guitar. In an age when more singer/songwriters and folk artists get compared to Drake--Elliott Smith, Belle & Sebastian and Mark Eitzel, to name but three--it's enlightening to look back and hear the original. Here's your best chance. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Vinyl
No, clearly this is not about the music. I cannot imagine anyone would contemplate buying this vinyl box set without prior knowledge and ownership of Nick Drake's music. The Estate has maintained a steady stream of remasters, repackages and compilations during the past decade or so. The vinyl edition of this latest repackage aims solely to sate collector fetish.

Early publicity for this very limited box set suggested the vinyl would be high quality German pressings, newly mastered from analogue sources by the original engineers. What the box actually contains is three low grade East European 135g pressings which are presumably mastered from the 2001 digital source. The playing surfaces are nowhere near silent, which detracts considerably from the subtle, tentative performances.

The box itself is attractively packaged. All three albums feature the complete original artwork, replica labels and inner sleeves. The booklet is identical to that in the CD set, i.e. irritatingly tiny CD sized, which demonstrates a rather penny-pinching attitude.

If, as an older fan of Nick Drake's music, you already have the original Fruit Tree box, the new edition offers no advantages. Poorer quality pressings, no compilation of outtakes, and the DVD will be available separately in superior packaging. Similarly, if you have the Simply Vinyl pressings, although they were sourced from a lesser master, the pressings are at least as good as the new ones and quiet possibly better. While the recent Universal Japan vinyl pressings of the three albums individually cost almost as much as this box set, they actually represent good value for money as their high quality ensures they will be played and enjoyed.
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6 Comments 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio CD
First discovered Nick Drake when the Island "Introduction to.." compilation was issued, with a modest fanfare. I have never been so immediately struck by a musician and his songs. They never, ever, fade and in common with the greatest compositions, you can listen again and again and always hear them as fresh as the first time - how this happens, I just don't know, but it does. I stopped off last year in Tanworth-in-Arden (Nick's home and the site of his memorial stone - he was cremated)- it was a beautiful sunny autumn morning, and in looking at the Drake family graves (his mother and father are also buried there) I realised that the essence of Nick's art is that it was a musical embodiment of the beauty of England - an England that is now gone forever - it could not have come from anywhere else.
Recently, the BBC produced a 30 minute documentary on his life which was not as sombre as Patrick Humphries' biography (which I still enjoyed - you just can't write about Nick's life and make it upbeat, unfortunately). Gabrielle Drake (his actress sister) was interviewed and read some of the letters he had sent her from his time at Cambridge University. Incidentally, in a way, I can understand her not wanting to be interviewed for the biography - she apparently has given many interviews over the years to would-be biographers, all of which have come to nothing. This probably seemed like another one. Interestingly, the programme also featured a home recording of Molly (his mother) singing a childrens' song. The source of his unique talent was clear.
I guess the only thing I can add is that I have recommended Nick to, probably, hundreds of people - once they've listened, no one has ever been baffled as to why. If the house caught fire, God forbid, I would save this set of CDs ahead of any others. Buy it - you will NOT be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm the kind of person who always finds out about stuff after everybody else. Office gossip is old and cold by the time it reaches my ears - 'what, you've only just found out ?' is something I hear a lot. Music is no different. I hated the Jam when they came out, but love them now. Pink Floyd had come and gone before I learned to appreciate them. Ditto Led Zeppelin. And now it's Nick Drake. I was inspired to buy 'Way to Blue' by a review in a well-known music magazine and I was instantly captivated. I play the guitar myself and thought I was quite useful until I heard this man. What can one say ? Melodic, haunting, subtle, intense, by turns amusing yet full of pain and pathos. All of the above and then some.
I got hold of 'Fruit Tree' as quickly as I could (via Amazon, naturally) and its been in the CD player constantly. This is superb stuff. I only wish I'd known about it years ago.
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Format: Audio CD
The box-set Fruit Tree came together with the realization that interest in Nick Drake's life and music was never going to fade.The tragic troubador's entire body of work is encapsulated under the title of the song that was so terribly prophetic of his demise. The three albums that Drake recorded in his short life: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon are all now recognised as classics. As for the postumous collection Time of No Reply, here is a fascinating insight into the growing talent and maturity and the subsequent collapse of the singer/songwriter. The now legendary last session of 1974 bore four songs unheard of before this collection and songs such as 'Clothes of Sand' which even Nick's parents hadn't heard. At first there is the idea of a sensitive adolescent's coming-of-age but the undertone suggests magic and comedy, life and love, and tragedy and doom. Who is Nick Drake? He was a brilliant musician whose haunting melodies can never be shaken from the mind once heard.
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