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Way to Blue Original recording remastered
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Drake's compostions consist generally of soft acoustic guitar, with some tracks featuring beautiful Baroque strings. Drake's voice has been best described as being "otherworldly" - it is hauntingly beautiful. Drake's lyrics are poetic explorations on themes of failed romances, isolation, melancholy, depression, and mortality. The themes are dark, and the delivery incredibly beautiful.
Shortly after listening to this introduction to Nick Drake, I felt compelled to learn more about the man and his music. The Fruit Tree Box Set is perhaps a better buy than this CD, since it provide all of his recorded music (the three albums Drake released between 1969-1972, and the posthumously released disc of rarities, each packaged in separate jewel cases), w\as well as complete lyrics and an insightful essay. While Way To Blue covers material from all four of those albums, it may actually be more economical to skip this introduction and obtain the box set right away.
In response to reviewers who are curious as to the "tragedy" surrounding Drake, the last two songs on this CD hint at the outcome of this tortured, lost soul. He struggled with performing in public, ultimately refusing to tour to support this beautiful music (which is perhaps why so few people have heard of him). Drake battled depression, as his lyrics often demonstrate, and ultimately lost. He died of an overdose of anti-depressants, which some people have speculated was a suicide.Read more ›
From the album Bryter Later come Hazey Jane I and II, Poor Boy, One Of These Things First and Northern Sky. Five Leaves Left contributes Cello Sing, Way To Blue, River Man and Time Has Told Me, whilst the stark minimalist album Pink Moon supplies Things Behind The Sun, Which Will and the title track. Black Eyed Dog and Time Of No reply come from the posthumous Time Of No Reply album.
On Sweet Old World Lucinda Williams beautifully covered Which Will and Swans made a bloodcurdling version of Black Eyed Dog, found on their Various Failures album. The group Drive covered his song Road on their early 90s album Out Freakage. The Dream Academy dedicated the song Life In A Northern Town (1985) to Nick Drake. His song Mayfair had already been covered by Millie (of My Boy Lollipop fame) in 1970.
My only complaint about Way To Blue is the omission of Fly, a song that first appeared on Bryter Later and was then included, in a different version, on Time Of No Reply. In my opinion, it is one of his most moving songs. Besides that, this compilation contains the best of Drake's eerily compelling music but it is still worth it to investigate the original albums.
My college years were 67-71 so I had broad exposure to the early English invasion - my favorites included the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Cream. At the same time I appreciated many American groups - Beach Boys, Byrds, Blood Sweat and Tears.
As time passed I experienced jazz and began to appreciate more textures in the music. Early jazz influences included the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Weather Report and Miles Davis.
Favorite singer/songwriters included James Taylor, Carol King, Joni Mitchell and early Elton John.
I write all this to give context to my perceptions of Nick Drake.
Nick Drake wrote beautiful, complex songs during his brief career. He did not write boring 3 chord progressions. Rather his music has many layers of complexity. While I do not find his lyrics profound, along with the music, I find them haunting.
For me the test of a CD is how often I want to listen to it. Does it addict me? Do the songs stay fresh as they become familar?
Nick Drake succeeded - even though few knew it at the time. His songs are timeless because his music remains interesting and unpredictable. He wrote uniquely - and that is wonderful.
So for those who do not hear the music as I and many other fans do - de gustibus non est disputandum. This CD meets my standard of greatness.
So who will like it - those who like their music a bit more complex - those who find that music creates mood - those who like Van Morrison, Jimmie Spheeris, and Leonard Cohen.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have heard the name for years. I am a singer songwriter and have been told by players to check Nick out. It took me too long to take the advise. But I am so glad I did. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bobaloo of Florida!
Beautiful album! Bought it because I knew my adult daughter really liked one of the songs on it and happily discovered the entire album is very listenable. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mary Ann
Absolute miss have in everyone's collection. If you like music at all, learn the sad, sweet story of Nick's life and buy this cdPublished 16 months ago by Kponstad
How did this artist get missed? Where was I? This must have occurred in a parallel universe. I hope he is alive and well there.Published 19 months ago by Thomas L. Dean
Tragic this poet, amazing musician died so young. I am listening to all his recordings and although many songs are over orchestrated, I love just about every song. Read morePublished 19 months ago by roshambo
Remarkable artist. Considering that this music was made in the 60s he was very innovative. What a shame that we lost him.Published 19 months ago by Colleen
Quite a good introduction to Nick Drake. Includes a bit from each album. All the atmosphere and melancholy shimmer is here. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Susan K. Noel