This first studio album from Nick Drake, which has garnered posthumous praise and remarkable all-time greatest album ratings, is an exact replica of the original 1969 release: it is pressed on heavyweight audiophile vinyl and remastered from near-original master tapes by the album's original engineer, John Wood. The original tape was unusable and although there were tape copies the best source was using a 24bit digital file made from the original tape when re-mastered for CD some 12 years ago.
Nick Drake's bucolic autumnal shades in his debut album of a similar name, heralded a new signing for Island Records: not traditional enough to be folk, not weird enough to be psychedelic, Drake avoided the pitfalls of what was expected and collaborated with producer Joe Boyd, orchestrator Robert Kirby and recording engineer John Wood to make a singular and almost unique record released to a largely indifferent media.
A few leaves fell in the right place and Nick's reputation grew, despite his early death at 24 in 1976, escalating into his world-wide fame of today.
Poverty stricken students of 1968 rolled their own - not for them the cigarette temptations of a pack of 10 cigarettes, no, their tobacco thrills came hand rolled, usually in Rizla papers which kindly reminded the participant that they were about to run out, with a yellow interleaf paper with bold red type stating ONLY FIVE LEAVES LEFT.
"Understatement is the key to his songs and performances' general success, which makes the combination of his vocals and Rocky Dzidzornu's congas on 'Three Hours' and the lovely 'Cello Song,' to name two instances, so effective. Danny Thompson is the most regular side performer on the album, his bass work providing subtle heft while never standing in the way of the song -- kudos well deserved for Boyd's production as well." - Ned Raggett, allmusic.com
"[T]he string arrangement by Harry Robinson on 'River Man' - possibly Drake's finest song - succinctly turned his Delius-meets-folk-jazz opus into something that no one had ever heard before. It's a key text for Drake fans, containing the return to nature matched against the infidelities of city life: A theme he would return to again and again, while the album title's sly reference to smoker's delights (as well as 'Thoughts Of Mary Jane') showed that Drake was no stranger to the standard musician's indulgences." - Chris Jones, BBC Review
180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl
Re-Mastered by John Wood at Abbey Road Studios
Mastered from near-original master tapes
Bonus voucher with a choice of download formats, including high definition 24-bit and dubbed from disc
Nick Drake, acoustic guitar, piano, vocals
Kwasi "Rocky" Dzidzornu, congas, percussion
Tristan Fry, drums, vibraphone, background vocals
Paul Harris, piano
Clare Lowther, cello
Danny Thompson, guest artist, bass
Richard Thompson, guest artist, electric guitar
1. Time Has Told Me
2. River Man
3. Three Hours
4. Way To Blue
5. Day Is Done
1. Cello Song
2. The Thoughts of Mary Jane
3. Man In A Shed
4. Fruit Tree
5. Saturday Sun