Nick Drake: 1972, Pink Moon

 folk music rock moon nick drake island records england

The story is known, in 1971, when finishing the recording the album Pink Moon, Nick Drake went to recording studios Island Records and left his master tapes on top of a receptionist´s table without saying anything to anyone. The album remained unnoticed for days until the following week, when someone noticed. After being launched, it would sell even less than the previous record, and that Drake could not handle.

It is impossible to understand Pink Moon without visiting the sinuous roads that led the artist there. In 1970, Chris Blackwell, owner and founder of Island Record, as well as with all the other executives involved, were right that Nick would be launched with minimum effort in the promotion of his former album, Bryter Layter, seemed promising. But, instead of that, in winter, the young Englishman decided to isolate himself in London; he simply refused. The bad reception that the public and critics gave the record, certainly contributed to that, isolation, so he gathered an exorbitant quantity of marihuana to which he turned to in order to be able to make these small presentations without commitment. He exhibited his first reactions noticeably psychotic, and he complained of having insomnia and was always mucho more depressed.

It seems reasonable to imagine the motives that took Blackwell to lend his summer home in Spain so Nick could rest and, maybe, come back feeling better. In fact, what happened was that Nick came back hardly improved; he came back with ideas of recording a new album. But the news was a bit unexpected by the executive of the record company because, how could he risk suffering another loss? However, against so much persistence, Island Records committed itself to launching another album.
Nick Drake would record Pink Moon in two days – two ladies at midnight in October 1971 – only in their own company: composition, voice, instruments, engineering... violin, primordially, and a piano that would hover over a single band. Sound engineer John Wood, who had worked with Nick in the former albums, says “he, definitely wanted to be himself more than anything. And thought, in the same way, that Pink Moon was more Nick Drake than his other two records ". But, even though he received favorable critics from the media, Pink Moon was able to sell less than the previous albums. Connor McKnight, from Zigzag Magazine wrote: Nick Drake is an artist that never has to pretend. The record doesn´t make confesiones to the theory that music must be a certain escape form. It´s simply the vision of a musician about his life in his own time, and we can ask for no more than that. The illustration of the covered was taken care of by his sister Gabrielle´s boyfriend, Michael Trevithick.

The album went through an oneiric walk through the beauty of misery, and of a well designed pessimism and of agonizingly calm melodies. The album´s title is one of the sweetest that can be heard and the fans are in unison in choosing it as favorite. Following always the same intimate rhythm of folk format, voice and violin in short songs, Drake expressed his sad moment without sounding sentimental and exaggerated. There are acid tones as in Things Behind the Sun and Pink Moon, other nostalgic and reflexive as in Place to Be, contemplative as in Road and Parasite. There are also, as they can never be missing, love and doubts of loving, as in Which Will. The last redeeming album: From the Morning.

But once more, the promotion that should have followed the launching of the álbum, didn´t occur. The musician became more self conscious and presented himself in concerts heads down, some say he was incapable of making eye contact. He suddenly decided to retire from music, he sais he was incapable of writing and considered a career in the are of computers or as an unconcerned in the army.

Two years and another album of minimal expression after, on November 25, Drake was found dead in his home, in Far Leys, after an overdose of antidepressants.
The album does obtain success after the death of his creator. In 2003 Volkswagen used his music as the title of one of its American commercials and what followed was a great search for his remastered album. Three years later, Pink Moon figured as number 320º in the list of Rolling Stone which selected the 500 best records of all times. Lately, it is circulating on Internet video, as the one below, gathering images of Nick Drake that, very delicately, overlap with some of his songs.

Lsoares AvatarPriscilla Santos is a fan of beers and collaborates with the obvious. More information and text of her authorship in her personal blog: Limão Expresso

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