on 20 January 2005
I am always searching for the perfect album, the album which is totally faultless, which can be listened to over and over again, where there is not a single track you would even consider skipping, not a moment which drags a little, not one second which it could have done without. Finally, I have found one of these albums. Pink Moon is beautiful, bleak, uplifting, haunting, playful, atmospheric all at the same time. It's short at just under 30 minutes, but that seems just the right length for this album. Nick Drake is one of the most skilled virtuoso guitar players I have ever heard, at times its difficult to believe that there isn't a whole band playing, let alone just one man and his guitar. And not only that, his voice is just about the most perfect I have heard - delicate, honest and up front - almost sounds as if he's singing in your room. The lyrics are fascinating and, if you take the effort, add an extra dimension to the album. He sounds like a man who has finally found an inner piece after much turmoil. He sings of innocence, choice, identity, nature, suicude but the overriding feeling I get from this album is certainly not of a man crying out for help, but a very sensitive man who has finally accepted a few truths about life (read the superb lyrics to 'Road'). He seems tired and almost numb after the years of depression. "know that I love you, know that I don't care".
The most brilliant aspect of Nick Drake's music though is of course the songwriting - often relatively simple, often totally unique, always brilliant. Dont expect his music to come immediately - it takes a few listens to appreciate the melodies.
A perfect album. Not just 5/5 but 100/100.
Get this one first, then get Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter, which are both near perfection too.
on 18 October 2003
This was Drake's third and last album and sees him at his most raw. At the time of recording it, he was going through the severe depression which would eventually lead to his tragic demise. During his recording sessions for Pink Moon he simply sat facing the wall with his back to everyone else, concentrating on his wondrous guitar playing and singing.
Drake used lots of different tunings for his acoustic guitar, which lends his songs a darker vibe than more conventional tunings. His voice croons over the guitar in a gentle, soft whisper which is tremendously comforting rather than depressing.
The guitar playing is awesome, and so raw - you can actually hear the sound his fingers make as they dance over the strings. There is no orchestration to speak of, which may disappoint fans of Drake's previous albums, but in my opinion this is the way Nick intended it - a glimpse of his soul, uncovered.
For anyone who has not yet heard Nick Drake, I would recommend Five Leaves Left as the best place to start, as it has a small amount of orchestration to complement the guitar picking and vocals. Bryter Layter, for me, is a little too layered, lush and upbeat, taking on a more country-esque feel. Five Leaves Left and Pink Moon are more folky and dark.
All in all, anyone who has ever loved masterful acoustic guitar playing and deeply sensitive songwriting would be mad to miss out on any of Nick's work, but Pink Moon is perhaps the best bet for fans of contemporary singer songwriters as it sounds so incredibly timeless.
on 30 January 2001
I suppose it's easy to get all reverential about Nick Drake what with his archetypal early demise etc etc. I don't really believe in all that after the event myth-making. Whatever happened was a private tragedy suffered by the individual, their family, and their friends, and should be left as such. What we are left with, though, is the music. Pink Moon is a brilliant album. I didn't think I'd be as into it as Bryter Layter and Five Leaves Left, because one of the things I loved about those albums was their orchestration. But you get the feeling after listening to Pink Moon that its a kind of masterpiece. The songs are so strong and distinctive, and so expressive, which I didn't expect. I thought they'd just be too paired down for me. They're not because they're the work of a hugely talented songwriter. This is a beautifull album. One of the best I've ever heard. The last song is maybe the most beautiful and positive songs I ever heard. You should think about definately buying this album.
on 16 September 2003
The year was 1989. I was in the house of a friend who said "have a listen to this". The next twenty nine minutes we sat in total silence listening to a an absolute musical masterpiece. The music is so deep and yet so beautiful. His voice and guitar playing will hold you spellbound and mesmerised. You will want to hear this again and again and again. The world is a sadder place without one Nick Drake. Buy it . It will be the best cash you've ever spent.
I just recently re-bought this album as my other copy had seen better days due to being played so often. Still as fresh as the first time I ever heard this, his final album unfortunately which is a joy to listen to from start to finish. It feels longer than its 30 or so minutes and while the mood is soft, often sombre and sometimes dark, it's never depressing.
For me this is Drake at his finest, stripped back and wide open with little but his soulful voice and beautiful acoustic guitar work to support his skilled, raw songwriting that floats along like a dream with great depth.
In the throes of a depression that would see him dead at the age of 26 from an overdose of anti-depression medication, Nick Drake still managed to produce his last album, "Pink Moon." Unlike his first two efforts, which consisted of orchestrated folk-pop music, this 1972 album was just Drake playing his acoustic guitar and singing (with a bit of piano here and there). The result is a bleak testament to melancholy and alienation that has a haunting and pristine beauty. There are only eleven songs, most of which are under three minutes in length, which is why the album is not even a half-hour long, but there is a sense in which anything longer would be too much to bear. "Pink Moon," by itself, justifies Drake's status as a cult figure among those who love folk-rock.
Ironically, you have probably hear Nick Drake's music before, because the title track was used for a Volkswaggen commercial, just another example of how music is perverted to commercial interests (what else is new?). I have been spending the cold winter putting together mixes of folk music (in the broadest sense) and making a concerted effort to get beyond Bob Dylan and the Byrds to explore the likes of Sandy Denny and the Beau Brummels. Checking out Sandy Denny led me to Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson, and eventually to Ralph McTell and Nick Drake. Now I can only wonder what rock I have been living under that I have never come across these artists before.
The title track is a beautiful folk ballad, performed with just Drake's superb acoustic guitar playing and haunting vocal. Throughout the album you notice the depth of his lyrics and his guitar playing. The latter might have been lost in an album with orchestration, but here you have the opportunity to listen to the openings of "Radio" and "Parasite" unadorned. For the former a choice example would be the opening of what is probably the best song on the album (it is hard to choose), "Which Will," which begins: "Which will you go for/Which will you love/Which will you choose from/From the stars above?" There is a simple elegance to the lyrics, captured by the vocals, and complimented by the more complex guitar playing.
Nick Drake only produced three albums, so there is no reason not to have all of them in your music library. These works represent the very best of the British folk-rock scene and Drake is a first rate singer-songwriter whose songs of failed romance, mortality, and depression are quite affective. Drake intended "Pink Moon" to be his final album, saying he had nothing left to record. When you lose yourself listening to these songs, you can actually convince yourself that this was true.
on 30 May 2013
Didn't want to fork out for the big box version just wanted a copy of the vinyl as never bought it first time round so found it from an Amazon seller for £16!
Arrived today, 180g vinyl, original palm tree Island label and good card inner sleeve with a photo of an authentic blue Island inner bag on each side.
There was NO VOUCHER for an MP3 download as advertised? Was I unlucky or is it not included in this version?
The sleeve is very well made and a facsimile of the original gatefold with mercifully no attempt made to make it look 41 years old!
Now this may be IMPORTANT to some. This vinyl is PRESSED IN THE USA, it is NOT pressed in Germany which the vinyl in the Big Box Edition is? Please someone who bought that version comment was it pressed in Germany?
This was a subject of debate on various forums as the German pressing is deemed superior and people were worried the quality would be reduced if pressed in USA, Gabrielle Drake said it would be exactly the same pressing but it seems not!?
The pressings not bad, some dimples and the arm of the deck goes right and left as the record plays so can't be quite concentric. I compared it with a 1972 Island pressing I borrowed and it sounded about the same to my ears anyway, I know its subjective.
I can only wonder if the German pressing is better, however I'm happy with my purchase for £16 of a beautiful classic Nick Drake Album without all the superfluous, to me, bits of paper, posters and 35mm of precious shelf space taken up and shall order the Vinyl of Bryter Layter released 10 June without the expensive big box (pressed in the USA?) and then Five Leaves Left. Nick Drake was and still is a genius.
To reiterate though there is no MP3 download and its the pressed in USA version!
on 21 September 2006
....infact buy two copies, so you can wear one around your neck.
I dont usually write reviews for things, but this album DEFINITELY deserves it. I have both of Nicks earlier works also, and i have to say, however good they are, this tops them. no contest. half an hour of nick and his guitar, which does seem to go too quickly, a shame for sure, but i once heard that a poem with only 3 good lines, should only be 3 lines long. and this album IS perfect.
The tracks all seem as though they could melt into one, and the simplest riffs on here make for the most interesting songs, thanks to nicks ability to create the perfect melody. Whereas before he would do this with orchestral arrangements, on this album the melody is of his voice, and the continual drone of his 6 strings .
Please buy this album, more people should be aware of how good the guy really was, the music and melody within need to be shared with the world, they truely are amazing.
A definite good place to start for people unaware of nicks music and style.
on 1 June 2006
so crushingly sad in tenor, yet deep, profound, melodious and thought-provoking. An utterly unique album in the history of guitar-folk music. Nick Drake was an enigma and a genius; that much is certain.
on 5 October 2005
It is too easy to get sucked into the Nick Drake story, rather consider this as a fine work in its own right.
This is a sparse album, a singer and his solo acoustic guitar, except for a handful of notes on a piano on the title track.
Typically, the songs are short, evocative poems set to music. Some are bright, some are dark, perhaps the simplest, cheeriest being From the Morning.
The guitar-playing is unusual in that most songs are in alternate tunings, which give the arrangements their interest. Nick's voice is quiet and breathy, yet the end result is not girly and romantic, but something that involves you.
All the songs are short, often under two minutes, (and did you note how I avoided using the word 'tantalisingly' - Doh!), but this is a CD that you will play through many times and not tire of. Of the three "Official" albums, this is the one that has stood the test of time best; the others, though enjoyable, have a slightly twee feel to them. This is the "starter" album if you want to test Nick Drake out.