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Way To Blue - The Songs Of Nick Drake

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 16, 2013
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$11.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nick Drake's original producer, Joe Boyd, put together a series of concerts in the UK, Australia, Italy, and the US to celebrate Nick's greatness as a songwriter. The concerts are called 'Way To Blue' and they have involved singers as diverse as Teddy Thompson, Green Gartside (from Scritti Politti), Robyn Hitchcock, Vashti Bunyan and Lisa Hannigan, as well as bass master Danny Thompson and arranger Robert Kirby, both of whom worked on Nick's albums. These recordings are the edited highlights of concerts in New York and London.

Over the years, Boyd has explored the possibility of producing a CD in tribute to Drake's songwriting. But despite many well-known artists wishing to participate, he always resisted, because it seemed the only practical way to accomplish it would be for each artist to supply a track recorded separately, with their own chosen musicians. Boyd felt that the only way to avoid the pitfalls of the typical Tribute Album would be to have everyone together for a week in a rural studio, backing each other with harmonies and guitar parts, creating an organic whole.

By performing 'Way To Blue' fifteen times over the course of four years, he has accomplished something resembling his original dream. The songs have been honed and shaped over the course of time, and the spirit of togetherness among the 'Way To Blue' company has proved inspiring to all participants. The result is an album with the quality of a studio production and the spontaneity of a live performance.

Review

[A] lovely tribute album … the sound is impeccable. I suggest you pair it with a mellow Sunday morning, or a long walk in the spring sunshine. --USA Today

What makes this a must-listen is the variety and passion of the singers. Drake's intricate guitar parts are played celestially by Neill MacColl, son of British folk great Ewan MacColl. They all take some liberties with the music, but Drake's lonely outcast vibe is well-preserved. --The Boston Globe

A beautiful tribute album. --NPR All Things Considered

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 16, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: StorySound Records
  • ASIN: B00BBFWCHC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,392 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick on April 18, 2013
Format: Audio CD
It's never going to be easy to cover Nick Drake and nobody can know that better than his original producer, Joe Boyd. Nick Drake's brief career produced so many songs that slowly crept in and subtly formed the basis for many great careers. His songs slowly evolve within the listener; everyone hears the songs in a different way and takes from them a different observation, feeling, and inspiration.

These covers will never be Nick Drake... and they'll never survive a comparison to his music. Yes, the music is great and the album can easily stand on its own. But I do not see this as an independent album. To me, the beauty of the album is not how it compares to Nick Drake's originals, but rather how it gives me a new perspective on the originals. This is a companion album that gives the opportunity for a rediscovery of Nick Drake's music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Sousa on May 8, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow this is a special piece of work that includes some amazing artists doing the work of a legend that would be pleased with these recordings. Not every song was great for me, but in general it was superb. Shane Nicholson is a favorite artist of mine and he couldn't have done better as did Teddy Thompson. Also thought that Scott Matthews was a great choice and I am glad to have been introduced to him and already ordered some of his work. Krystal Warren is scary good, while Luluc was perfect.....as for the cuts I didn't like, they don't need to be mentioned because in total this is fabulous...only wish I could have seen one of the shows. This CD is a must for people who loved Nick and anyone who likes great music done well and perfectly produced. Enjoy!

It's now more than a year later and I'm still listening to this CD a lot and I need to retract my original statement that I didn't like every song......I do!!!! This is a classic CD that deserves to be heard for the great music that is on it, with artists that did a superb job covering a genius who would be amazed at his success 40 years after his tragic death. His music transcends time and it's unfortunate that we didn't get more from him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Tucker on April 28, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This project by Nick Drake's producer, Joe Boyd, is well organized and excellently recorded. Although several of the performers are new to me, I like all the songs, and the consistent instrumentation backing them in concert truly gives the production a polished quality that most tribute albums lack. If you like Drake, and not too many don't, you will like this collection. My favorite track, "River Man" by Teddy Thompson, son of Richard, is beautifully done. But it beats the others by only a slim margin. This is an album I will return to long into the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Austin Dalyai on April 26, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
When I first saw this, I was excited to hear what Lisa Hannigan would do with Nick's songs. And after being highly dissapointed with her version of Black Eyed Dog, I have to say that Lisa and Luluc were near perfect on Saturday Sun.
Now with that said, let's cover the other 13 tracks here. Shane Nicholson takes on two songs, and at first listen, I didn't think his voice fit the original mood of Poor Boy. But after listening to Rider On The Wheel, and absolutely loving it, I went back to the former, and was hooked from the second listen. Now that I have listened through the entire album, I have to say Shane's covers are my favorites. And even though his voice is so much different, the simple arrangements, and perfect tempo, make these songs amazing compliments to Drake's versions.
At the very start, Luluc does a very admirable job on Thing Behind The Sun. And when I say that, you have to take it with a grain of salt, along with each song review here, as we all know these will never be Nick Drake. They were his songs, and they were crafted perfectly by him, to sound exactly how he wanted them to sound. and that sound is what Drake fans fell in love with. But, back to Luluc. Nothing too daring here. Very simple and sweet, with clear vocals and instrumentation.
Scott Matthews covers Place To Be and Day Is Gone, and next to Nicholson's covers, these are the best tracks on here. There are some people who really "Get it," and Scott is one of those. He treats these songs as if he didn't want to damamge them in any way, but without sounding like a carbon copy of the originals.
A very pleasant surprise is Robyn Hitchcock's treatment os Parasite. His vocal range is so different from Nick's, and that could have made for a terrible cover. But not in this case.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald dienstmann on April 21, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It hurts to hear the fluffiness of current pop music when you know that someone like Nick Drake was writing such beautiful and profound folk/pop music 50 years ago and very little these days can compare to it. Listen slowly. Like you're savoring a cold ripe orange on a hot day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William J. Thibault on April 27, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It truly is what you learn after you think you know it all that really matters. Such is my late discovery of Nick Drake. Being curious, and this being at a reasonable price, I scanned the tracks and the immediate thing that got to me was the music. A cross between folk and jazz, ala Joni Mitchell. Listening to this overall album is a pleasure, hearing those who know more about Drake than i had previously, reinterpret his songs. You can sense what high regard these artist hold Drake in. This, of course, led me to check out Drake performing his own songs, which, at first listen, are remarkable, more on that when i have a chance to get the boxed set and ingest it.
. Compilations are not usually something you can listen to, without parsing through the tracks for a pleasant experience. This is an exception.
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