close your eyes
[music, artists]

The first time I listened to Nick Drake was after Christmas 1979. Fruit Tree, the three record box set of all his three albums had been on my wishlist. It was difficult to get hold of. My mother had to order it. It probably arrived early January 1980. I don't remember what I felt when I heard Time Has Told Me, the first song on Nick's first record Five Leaves Left. I was 16 and stood six foot three at the time. The exact height of Nick Drake. He was the hero of my late youth. I never met anybody (up till 1990 or something) who knew his music and I only shared it with my best friend. Nick's music was a part of me. There were times when I thought he sang about me. About my inability to connect to life, to find a girl-friend. He was my friend in spirit though he had been dead for five years already. He was me. And still is.

I just heard a cover of Day Is Done by Norah Jones (see last post). And thought she should have been forbidden to cover him. God was her version shallow. Additionally she probably sold more with this one song than Nick did with all his records in his lifetime. Fck her. Nick Drake in my world is the most difficult musician to cover. I only heard a cover of his once before. It was Joey Burns from Calexico doing Clothes of Sand. It is a very nice rendition of the song though I must admit that this song is not on Fruit Tree, I guess it is on the compilation of rarities called Time of No Reply which I only have on tape (got it later) and didn't listen to very often. I never ever want to hear a cover of any song of any of the three original Nick Drake studio albums in my life again. I want to keep him in my heart like when I was 16. In January 1980.


Hi Alex, have you heard about/seen this?

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St. Nicholas

I just got the album, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I think the tracks that appeared before on Time Of No Reply have better mixes and sound great. My main criticism is of the two tunes that Robert Kirby did new orchestrations of... they just don't work, and they don't add to the songs. It's worth remembering that Joe Boyd and Nick Drake had already rejected these arrangements, presumably because they weren't up to scratch.

Kirby's work was, of course, an important part of Drake's sound, but I guess we all make mistakes sometimes.

It's great to hear this new album, but probably for confirmed Drake fans only.

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thank you for the tip, willem and thank you for the info, brendan. the album is supposed to be out in germany on june, 1st. needless to say that i'll get it asap.

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i've been hunting and hunting for the "magic" tracks on p2p, in order to figure out whether it's worth picking up. i've got "fruit tree" and most of the bootlegs, but I'm intrigued by the new arrangements and by "Tow the Line." So I appreciate your info...

As for Norah - I'm sorry, alex, that it was likely me who caused you to go look it up. You're right about its soullessness... I think it -starts- with soul, with some things unsaid, but then it goes round and round as if it's taking off all the song's clothes, then drilling into the ground like a faceless, wooden thing. oof. i can't think of anyone else who's done a nick drake cover... and that's (like you say) probably for the best.

thankyou for the little memoir.

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oh no,

sean. i really enjoyed that bbc feature. it was full of heartbreaking memories of the people who were close to nick drake. i only didn't like that cover and as you had mentioned before in your blog, brad pitt's presentation which somehow didn't fit at all. i have to thank you for pointing me to the programme.

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Tangent's Paul Donnelly on the cashing-in and the obsession to release every musical fart of our long dead hero in his Letter to Nick Drake.

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last updated: 2/23/21, 8:55 AM
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