Album #150 – Five Leaves Left
Nick Drake is one of my favourite singer-songwriters. He only released three studio albums before his tragic death in 1974. They are all on the album challenge list. All of these studio albums are different from each other in sound and style. Five Leaves Left consists mostly of melancholy ballads with superb string arrangements, by Robert Kirby and Harry Robinson, and mellow folk songs with acoustic guitar, acoustic stand-up bass and bongos or congas. Some of my favourite songs written by Drake are on this album. They include: River Man (a haunting, eerie ballad with a superb string arrangement), Fruit Tree (in which he compares being famous to a fruit tree) and Day Is Done. Ironically, this album features members of Pentangle and Fairport Convention playing on many of the tracks. I kind of figured that was the case because many of the tracks sound like music from those two bands. And of course, the stand-up bass playing of Danny Thompson is present here. Danny has a style that is easily identifiable. I was amazed that I knew he was playing on some of the album’s tracks even though I did not know until after the fact. Also making an appearance on this album is the legendary Richard Thompson [no relation to Danny, unfortunately 😦 ]. All of this album’s track are superb and sweet. This album is a great album to put on when you are feeling down or when you want to relax and wind down. Nick Drake’s voice is unique and might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It took me awhile to appreciate it. But, this album is musically unbelievable. I do not have this in my collection physically, but I plan to add it. It is a shame Nick Drake has not gotten the success he deserves. The last decade has seen his music become slightly well-known but I think he will always unfortunately be in the background. But, that is fine with me. This is an artist that deserves to be searched out for and discovered by accident. That is how I discovered the music of Nick Drake. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.
Next: Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield