Made to Love Magic - Island 2004
After Drake's third album "Pink Moon" in 1972, he more or less stopped recording and it was only in 1974, a few months before his death that he seriously starting to prepare a fourth album. The five new songs he wrote and recorded in 1974 are all here and they are all important additions to his fine song catalog. Particularly interesting is "Tow the Line", partly because the song just recently discovered (this is the first time the number has been released) and partly because it is such a nice song. Also "Rider on the Wheel" is among Drake's finest. All five songs faeture Drake alone with his guitar and his vocals.
Among the earlier songs you'll find the very moving "Time of No Reply"; here in a version with a strings arrangement written by Robert Kirby;. Whether you prefer the earlier released more naked version or this newly aranged one is a matter of taste; at any rate it is one Drake's very best songs. "Magic", which comes from the period around Drake's first album, is a fully arranged recording that inexplicably was not considered fit for any of Drake's Orignal albums.
"River Man" and "Mayfair" are obviously demos; but fine songs anyway. "Joey" and "Clothes of Sand" from 1968 also never the way to an album, though both sound and song quality could justify this.
"Thoughts of Mary Jane" and "Three Hours" are fine alternate versions of two songs from Drake's first album. "Thoughts of Mary Jane" is without the strings arrangement, but features a tasty electric guitar instead to accompany Drake's acoustic. "Three Hours" has a previously unheard flute-part besides the wellknown congas and acoustic guitar.
Some of the tracks have previously been released on the posthumosly released album "Time of No Reply," but it has so much "new" material that it is impossible to ignore. On the other hand, there are tracks on "Time of No Reply" which are not found here, so it's hard to skip any of the two albums.