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Nick Drake

Nick Drake (June 19 1948 - November 25 1974) was a folk musician whose work, though held in high esteem by critics and musicians, hardly sold in his lifetime. However, none of his albums have been deleted and have all been remastered and re-released, including the successful 'best of' Way To Blue.

Drake released only a few albums in his brief lifetime - Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1970), and Pink Moon (1972). Five Leaves Left consisted of mainly acoustic guitar with some orchestration as well as double bass and drums. Bryter Layter introduced a more commercial jazzy sound, with horns, keyboards, etc. Pink Moon, recorded in two two-hour sessions, both starting at midnight, used only guitar and vocals with a piano overdub on the title track - it is widely thought to be his best work. After recording the album, Drake stated, "I have nothing else to say."

Brought up in the small village of Tanworth-in-Arden, he went to public school in Marlborough, before going on to Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge to read English. He dropped out with nine months to go to pursue his music career.

He died in 1974, apparently the result of taking too many antidepressants, which he took to help him sleep. He had struggled throughout his life with sometimes overpowering depression.

Nick was famous for his use of bizarre guitar tunings and his virtuoso right hand fingerpicking technique.

Nick Drake has been an inspiration for contemporary musicans including Elliott Smith, REM guitarist Peter Buck and Graham Coxon from Blur. John Martyn wrote the title song of his Album, "Solid Air", for, and about, Nick Drake.