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Trivia / Nick Drake

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  • Adored by the Network: When he sold his Witchseason Productions to Island Records, producer Joe Boyd stipulated that Nick's albums remain in print. The arrangement apparently carried over when Island was bought by Polygram, despite the low sales figures. His albums remaining in print is cited as one reason Nick built up his cult following over the years.
  • All-Star Cast: His first two albums feature members of Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Bryter Layter also has John Cale guesting on several tracks, as well as Beach Boys drummer Mike Kowalski.
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  • Big Name Fan: Drake has a lot of fans who are major music industry players, including Tom Verlaine, Paul Weller, Jackson Browne, Elton John, David Geffen and Robert Smith. John Cale was so impressed after Joe Boyd played him his songs in the studio that he asked to work with him on the spot, which is how he ended up on Bryter Layter.
  • Creator Breakdown: After releasing two albums to a largely indifferent reception, Drake's despair on Pink Moon is particularly striking.
  • Cut Song: A short instrumental "Plaisir D'Amour" appears at the start of the Pink Moon Side B master tape with explicit notes not to release. It eventually appeared as a hidden track on "A Treasury".
    • Five Leaves Left has "I Was Made To Love Magic" (cut because it was too similar to "Way To Blue") "Time Of No Reply" (cut because it was too similar to "The Thoughts Of Mary Jane"), as well as "Joey", "Clothes Of Sand" and "Mayfair" from the sessions.
    • Bryter Layter's outtakes included "Things Behind The Sun", "Parasite", "Place To Be" and "Voices / Voice From A Mountain". The first three were later recorded for "Pink Moon", and "Voice From A Mountain" was recorded for the unreleased fourth album. Particularly, "Things Behind The Sun" was frequently played live on the Five Leaves Left tour, leading to a lot of confusion when he didn't include it on "Bryter Layter".
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  • Doing It for the Art: The almost obsessive practice Drake put into his guitar certainly shows in his effortless playing.
  • Missing Episode:
    • For many years the five tracks he recorded in 1969 for a John Peel session were thought lost, but in 2014 it was found someone connected to the broadcast had kept a copy of the master tape ever since, with no idea of its rarity, and they were finally offically released in 2014.
    • 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.
    • The five tracks he wrote but didn't record for his fourth LP, "Saw You On A Starship", "Old Fairytale", "Even Now", "On This Day" and "Long Way To Town". At this point he wasn't making home demos, so we have no idea what they sounded like, but fortunately he had the lyrics typed up. These lyrics survive in print in the book "Remembered For A While".
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  • Revival by Commercialization: "Pink Moon" and "From the Morning" were used in Volkswagen and AT&T ads, respectively.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Died at 26 after only releasing 3 albums. His songwriting, lyrics, and guitar playing are all still influential on many musicians to this day.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A young Elton John demoed some of Drake's songs. While John was very impressed with Drake's songwriting, he eventually started composing his own material with his friend Bernie Taupin writing lyrics.
    • Shortly before his death, there were plans for French singer Francoise Hardy to record some of his songs.
    • John Martyn and his then-wife Beverley had talked to Nick about forming a supergroup, which he liked the idea of and was writing songs for, but ultimately was too withdrawn to pursue.
    • Some months prior to his death, Nick read an article in Zig Zag magazine urging him to return to music, which lifted his spirits somewhat and made him want to pursue his fourth record. He had recorded five tracks some months prior, but wasn't happy with his playing, and the engineers urged him to come back when he felt better. Although he wrote five further tracks with a view to making a whole LP, he never arranged any further sessions prior to his death, and wasn't making home demos at the time. As a result the tracks from the earlier session got released after his death. If he had lived, there's a chance he'd have remade them, as well as recording the other five tracks.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Averted in the case of his sister, Gabrielle. She has made it clear that she does not believe she has any special insight into the meaning of Nick's work.

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