Nick Drake

Bryter Layter - Island 1970

Tracks: I Take What I Want / 2. Hard, Hard Year / 3. That's How Strong My Love Is / 4. Sweet Little Sixteen / 5. Oriental Sadness / 6. I Am A Rock / 7. Take Your Time / 8. Don't You Even Care / 9. Fifi The Flea / 10. Stewball / 11. I've Got A Way Of My Own / 12. I Can't Let Go


I have only recently become aware of Nick Drake's music, but now I know all his albums pretty well. They all provide very fine songs and great music, though some of the posthumously released albums are somewhat uneven. Among his three original albums, I have come to the conclusion that his second, "Bryter Later", is his most successful and in any case the album I would only recommend a friend.

It is his most "produced" album with musical assistance from the three members of Fairport Convention Richard Thompson, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks. Furthermore contributing John Cale on a few numbers. Several tracks have tasteful stringsarrangements written by Nick's good friend Robert Kirby.

All the songs are good, but you obviously get your favorites.

"One of These Things First" is a quiet and very beautiful song with nice accompaniment by Paul Harris, Ed Carter and Mike Kowalski.

"Fly" with nice contributions from John Cale at the harpsichord and viola is number seems to be better every time you hear it. Perhaps most moving on the album, if that title does not go to the album's second track with significant contributions from John Cale - "Northern Sky". This was the song I fell for the first: there's something magnificent about this beautiful and airy number.

"Poor Boy" is almost a little jazzy, with strong vocal backing from PP Arnold and Doris Troy. There's something very liberating unpretentious over both lyrics and music. The same can be said about "Hazey Jane II", which also has fine lead guitar from Richard Thompson.

"Hazey Jane I" is a totally different song - as I hear it, they have only the title in common. Also a nice song with backing from Mattacks, and Pegg.

There are three instrumental tracks - are all fine and well distributed across the album as 1, 6 and 10th tracks

On all 10 tracks you have Drake's acoustic guitar, which he mastered to almost perfection.

A strong album that deservedly has become a classic, albeit pretty long after its release in 1970, where it was almost unnoticed.

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