- 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)
Fruit Tree Box Set Box set
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being in a long time Nick Drake fan I was pleased to see this set released on vinyl again. It is a shame that it does not include the extra tracks that the original Island set had... Read morePublished on 2 Jan. 2008 by Douglas
The reviews here on this seem remarkably one-sided. To my ears, and on my set-up these records sound better than my Hannibal set CD's - far warmer, and wider soundscape - and apart... Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2007 by G. ALLEN
I have been on the verge of getting into Nick Drake's work for some time - I've heard the odd track and he has been name checked by a lot of artists I admire, like Paul... Read morePublished on 18 Dec. 2007 by Monkey T
Aside from other potential issues with this package, be warned that the first track of Five Leaves Left has a fault on it. Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2007 by Mike the Fish
Nick Drake was one of those rare artists who had great talents, but too little time on this earth. When he died in his mid-twenties in 1974, Drake left behind only three albums of... Read morePublished on 24 Mar. 2007 by E. A. Solinas
The tragedy of Nick Drake has had a curious afterlife - he is now feted and lauded, given status as an icon of the brooding young singer/poet - a status which eluded him in his... Read morePublished on 1 Dec. 2000 by nick g black
Nick Drake was a very introspective writer, this set allows a glimpse into his creative and, sadly, tormented mind... Read morePublished on 1 Dec. 1999