When I was thinking of what to post today, Nick Drake crossed my mind. I found his beautiful song Saturday Sun, and knew this was the post for me. I am not sure how many people know of him, but Drake released his first album in 1969. The title of that album was Five Leaves Left, a ten-song collection of guitar-driven folk/pop. His music is marked by his sensitivity, and an ability to communicate through his music, much like a modern day John Keats. It was as if he reformulated the description of the brooding romantic. There is no footage of him performing live, so just sit back and listen to Saturday Sun.
While still a young man, just in his early twenties, he put out several albums in a row. However, he also struggled with his own demons. He never felt comfortable in interviews, or performing live, which made promoting his music tough. Throughout his life, he struggled with both depression and insomnia. After his third album in 1972, Drake decided to retreat to his parents home in rural Warwickshire. He did this to help bolster himself from depression, but it didn't really help. This is The Day Is Done, off his first album.
In November of 1974, Drake was found dead, having overdosed on his prescribed anti-depressant. He was just 26 years old. Having little promotion for his albums, Drake had a small fan base, but had not had much by way of sales. In 1979, Fruit Tree, a selections of his collective work, was released, and gave the world a chance to reassess the music. The music was seen in a new light, and gained great respect. Drake became an inspiration to some of the more prominent musicians, like Robert Smith (of The Cure), Peter Buck (of REM), Kate Bush, Paul Weller and The Black Crowes. British band Dream Academy wrote their hit song Life In A North Town for Drake.
You can purchase Five Leaves Left on iTunes and on Amazon. You can discover more about Nick Drake with a visit to the official website of his estate here.