One of the more influential folk singer
song writers in recent memory. Nick was an independent British musician who died tragically young, from an overdose of antidepressants, in an apparent suicide. Never achieving popular success, his reputation grew after his death
. Some of his best-known songs include "Things Behind the Sun", "Northern Sky" and "Pink Moon" (which was used for a car commercial
). His songwriting was of such high quality that everything
in his small body of work is worth hearing. All his albums can be found on Spotify.
- Five Leaves Left (1969)
- Bryter Layter (1970)
- Pink Moon (1972)
Tropes present in the work and life of Nick Drake:
- Celibate Hero: He never had a committed relationship, and he seemed to have no interest in sex, although depression may have been to blame for that.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: He was one according to Linda Thompson.
- Creator Breakdown: After releasing two albums to a largely indifferent reception, Drake's despair on Pink Moon is particularly striking.
- Dead Artists Are Better: Nick Drake became much better known after his death.
- Doing It for the Art: The almost obsessive practice Drake put into his guitar certainly shows in his effortless playing.
- Missing Episode: Or a variant thereof: While we have three albums, several bootleg albums, pictures and some home footage from his childhood, no moving footage of an adult Nick Drake exists anywhere.
- New Sound Album: Pink Moon featured none of the orchestration on his first two albums, being performed completely on acoustic guitar with the exception of an overdubbed piano on the title track.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: The Trope Codifier, if not a Trope Maker.
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Pink Moon" was used in a Volkswagen ad, and AT&T used "From The Morning" in a 2010 commercial.
- Revival By Commercialization: See Repurposed Pop Song above.
- Starving Artist: He saw almost no money from his records while he was alive. None of his albums sold more than 5,000 copies on initial release, and he hated performing live or giving interviews, which contributed to his lack of commerical success.
- The Muse: Drake is cited as an influence by a truly staggering number of musicians, when you consider how small his fanbase was when he was alive. Robert Smith of The Cure, Damon Gough (AKA Badly Drawn Boy), Beth Orton, and Peter Buck of R.E.M. are probably the most famous. Brad Pitt is a fan, and narrated the documentary Lost Boy: In Search of Nick Drake for BBC Radio 2. "Solid Air" by John Martyn and "Life In A Northern Town" by The Dream Academy were written as tributes to him.
- Three Chords and the Truth: Drake's music is generally quite intricate, with Baroque guitar playing techniques and often similarly competent accompaniment, so he does not really fit this trope for the most part. However, Pink Moon is a lot more stripped-back compared to the previous two albums (cf. New Sound Album above).
- The Something Song: "Cello Song".
- Uncommon Time: "River Man" is in 5/4.