Nick Drake, Musician

He had this way of answering the telephone as if he just happenned to have this thing in his hand and he was surprised to hear a voice come out of it.

Joe Boyd

Nick was in some strange way out of time. When you were with him, you always had a sad feeling of him being born in the wrong century. If he would have lived in the 17th Century, at the Elizabethan Court, together with composers like Dowland or William Byrd, he would have been alright. Nick was elegant, honest, a lost romantic - and at the same time so cool. In brief: the perfect Elizabethan.

Robert Kirby

Internet Resources

Towards the end of his life, Drake appeared to long for the vindication that comes with commercial success. And yet he seemed incapable of compromising himself to the pursuit of recognition. His shyness made interviews difficult. Live performances became increasingly rare. When recording music, the only compass he used was his own intuition.
His songs cast an eerie spell on first-time listeners. They hold you in their grip, and rarely let go. It's not only that Nick Drake has produced some of the finest melodies and lyrics ever to grace the spiral grooves of a record, or that he worked with some of the best musicians in the business, or that he influenced many a romantic young man to take up the art of song. It's the emotional intensity and the sincerity of his music that makes me want to play the songs of Nick Drake over and over again.
T.J. McGrath, Dirty Linen
Nick Drake is the quintessential cult hero, and you can hear again why as Radio 2 presents another chance to hear 2004's acclaimed documentary, presented by Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt. Pitt was approached by Radio 2 earlier this year after the network learned he was a huge Nick Drake fan. Pitt says: "I was introduced to Nick Drake's music about five years ago, and am a huge admirer of his records.
British Broadcasting Corporation
Nicholas Rodney Drake (June 19, 1948 November 25, 1974) was a British singer/songwriter. Drake is known for his gentle, autumnal songs and his virtuoso right hand finger picking technique. Although he recorded only three albums, critics and fellow musicians held his work in very high esteem. Drake failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, though, which fed his severe clinical depression. Since his death, Drake's music has gained a significant cult following.
Nick started composing at the age of four, when his passions were limited to cowboys and food. His first composition was called 'Cowboy Small.' Another early work was an exposition on the texture of celery and tomatoes.
Walt Bruckner
Of all the fine singer & song-writers emerging out of the late 60's and the 70's, Nick Drake is the greatest. During his short lifetime (he died 1974 at age 26), he produced three of the most beautiful, haunting and complex records of all times - works of sheer sincerity, with a timeless aura of pure genius. These pages are dedicated to his memory.
We all went to the same childrens' parties. Nick was always immaculately turned out in neat shorts and cotton shirts, Clarkes sandals and, horror of horrors, white ankle socks... I would sooner have died horribly in a pool of piranhas. He was a delightful friend at the party, never aggressive or pushy and always without malice. Nick would not knock down your castle when you turned your back, eat your sweets, hide your favourite toy nor punch you in the face when you were down. Childhood is red in tooth and claw and we gained real insights into those around us. Nick was not the most boisterous among us but he was sociable, joined in all the fun and got messy like everyone. He was happy, healthy and normal. With adults his behaviour was impeccable, his goodbyes and thank yous perfectly rehearsed, always addressing Mr or Mrs Double-Barrell by name. Even unbroken, his voice had a hint of the low huskiness we hear in his singing. He was the handsome, delightful child that every parent would want their own to be.
Andrew Hicks
Forrest Barrie
Posthumous fame is nothing new to pop music, but it's usually immediately posthumous. This was the first time that a recording artist found his first real success 25 years after his death -- the first time that a lost genius of rock's past had been found, suddenly and spectacularly. Drake's music is almost unbelievably pure, graceful and powerful; hearing 30 seconds of his voice and guitar playing in an ad for a car has inspired tens of thousands of people to buy his records. The question, then, isn't why so many people should want to hear his music now -- it's why they never have before.
Douglas Wolk,
Fan site
Nick would appear at odd hours of the night at the door of my flat. I'd let him in and we'd pass the time playing songs for each other. He stared at the wall or the floor or into the fire. So did I. It was always nighttime, always twilight in the room with the gas fire. These are my memories.
Robin Frederick
His music is intimacy incarnate, yet it's too good not to have achieved some sort of public attention eventually. It's a paradox that became all too obvious waiting for the lights to dim for a screening of the Dutch-produced documentary A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake. In a sold-out, mall-attached multiplex in suburban Nashville, the seats filled with sullen introverts and music geeks who seemed surprised to discover so many kindred spirits existed. Could there be a place further removed from the natural, pastoral beauty of Drake's hometown of Tanworth than the rhinestone-encrusted farce that is Nashville? All the manufactured sentiment and gaudy notions of loneliness and heartbreak flowing from the city's music industry are revealed for what they really are next to the real deal in Drake's music.
Jason Nickey
A small site containing a few images of Tanworth-in-Arden, the idyllic little English village which is closely associated with Nick Drake and his family.
Although Nick Drake has been justly praised as an innovative guitarist, little has been said about the skill and inventiveness he brought to the craft of songwriting. He was, in fact, a world-class songwriter who quietly expanded the boundaries of melody, harmony, and rhythm in pop songwriting. He was not one to draw attention to himself, though, and his songs reflect that fact; everything is seamlessly interwoven and deceptively simple sounding. Beneath the calm surface, however, lies the proof of a singular talent.
Robin Frederick

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