Nick Drake - Bryter Layter (Vinyl)

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The second album from Nick Drake came in 1970, and while not quite as melancholy as his debut, Five Leaves Left, there are certain brooding qualities that continued to propagate the Nick Drake mystique. Horns, flute, and strings arrangements lift such songs as "At the Chime of a City Clock" and "Hazy Jane I" and "II" out of the realm of sad, folk-guitar music into something jazzier and lighter, while the beautiful piano and simple guitar of "One of These Things First" laments what could have been without sounding like a song of despair. But two tracks featuring John Cale on various instruments (such as viola and harpsichord) have the dark fragility of "Pink Moon": the lovely "Fly" is a fragile apparition, and "Northern Sky" is a dreamy, brooding plea for long-lasting love. Definitely not the same mood music as his starker work, but still a fine showcase for Nick Drake. Musician include:: Richard Thompson, guitar; Dave Pegg, bass; Dave Mattacks, drums; John Cale, keyboards and viola; Ray Warleigh, viola and flute; Pat Arnold and Doris Troy, vocals It was remastered by John Wood at Abbey Road studios from the original 40 year old analogue master tapes.

 

 



With even more of the Fairport Convention crew helping him out -- including bassist Dave Pegg and drummer Dave Mattacks along with, again, a bit of help from Richard Thompson -- as well as John Cale and a variety of others, Drake tackled another excellent selection of songs on his second album. Demonstrating the abilities shown on Five Leaves Left didn't consist of a fluke, Bryter Layter featured another set of exquisitely arranged and performed tunes, with producer Joe Boyd and orchestrator Robert Kirby reprising their roles from the earlier release. Starting with the elegant instrumental "Introduction," as lovely a mood-setting piece as one would want, Bryter Layter indulges in a more playful sound at many points, showing that Drake was far from being a constant king of depression. While his performances remain generally low-key and his voice quietly passionate, the arrangements and surrounding musicians add a considerable amount of pep, as on the jazzy groove of the lengthy "Poor Boy." The argument could be made that this contravenes the spirit of Drake's work, but it feels more like a calmer equivalent to the genre-sliding experiments of Van Morrison at around the same time. Numbers that retain a softer approach, like "At the Chime of a City Clock," still possess a gentle drive to them. Cale's additions unsurprisingly favor the classically trained side of his personality, with particularly brilliant results on "Northern Sky." As his performances on keyboards and celeste help set the atmosphere, Drake reaches for a perfectly artful reflection on loss and loneliness and succeeds wonderfully.

By: ProgRock_JazzFusion_More


A1 Introduction
A2 Hazey Jane II
A3 At The Chime Of A City Clock
A4 One Of These Things First
A5 Hazey Jane I
B1 Bryter Layter
B2 Fly
B3 Poor Boy
B4 Northern Sky
B5 Sunday



Part of the Back To Black series. Including digital download voucher for the album.
Made in the EU

Reissue on heavyweight vinyl in textured sleeve.