Sunday 18 February 2018

Drake work to be issued 45 years on

Cult star Nick Drake's lost session is to see the light of day four decades after his death
Cult star Nick Drake's lost session is to see the light of day four decades after his death

Unreleased tracks by the late singer-songwriter Nick Drake are finally to be issued 45 years after they were recorded, following the discovery of a long lost tape from a BBC session.

The five songs were recorded for John Peel's Radio 1 show in 1969 ahead of his second album Bryter Layter - which came out later that year.

Although most of the tracks were broadcast at the time, only fragments recorded from the radio were thought to have remained, and until the tape was found it had been assumed that he had actually done only four songs during his one and only Peel recording.

Now all five are to be released on vinyl to accompany a new book about his life and work which has taken years of work from his sister Gabrielle Drake and the manager of his musical estate, Cally Callomon.

Drake died in November 1974 at the age of 26 after an overdose. Although he found little success and a limited audience for his three albums during his lifetime, he has gone on to find fans around the world, his music has featured in ads and sales have soared.

The pair acquired the tape from a fan six years ago, and it contains versions of songs familiar to Drake fans - Time Of No Reply, River Man, Three Hours, Bryter Layter and Cello Song - which were recorded on August 5, 1969. It had not previously been known that Bryter Layter had been recorded during the session.

Callomon said: "Listening to these tracks show Nick at his most intimate and unembellished. It's as close as you we'll ever get to being in a room alone with Nick's songs."

Even Peel himself had been unsure what had happened to the tracks. In an interview in 1999, five years before his own death, the presenter said: "I t was very much the BBC's way at the time that there was no provision made for keeping popular music sessions because they were held to be pretty much valueless, and for a long time they just existed in boxes alongside of the corridor.

"So I'm not sure whether that Nick Drake session still exists 'cos a lot of sessions from that time, maybe one or two tracks are still around, the others have just disappeared over the years."

The material will be released on a 10-inch disc which will be released in a boxed edition of the book Nick Drake: Remembered For A While which will come out in November, to mark the 40th anniversary of his death.

The book will include handwritten lyrics, some for which the music has never been located, along with explanations about his playing style and the technical aspects of his songs. There are also extracts from correspondence to his parents, his family's diaries chronicling his deteriorating health and contributions from friends, peers and admirers as well as artwork and photographs.

The broadcaster and Gardeners' World host Monty Don has written the foreword for the book, which also comes in a standard hardback edition.

Gabrielle Drake said: "Nick's death has not been an end, but a beginning. And to all who love and know him through his music, he is, perhaps, a brother. Together Cally and I are aiming to produce a book that will not seek to explain Nick, but rather to conjure him up for a brief moment, so that he can, indeed, be Remembered For A While."

The standard hardback edition will be an essential companion to Nick's music, priced at £35. It will be a hardback book containing over 380 full-colour pages and will be available from high street and internet retailers.

Press Association

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