Nick Drake

Born 19 June 1948. Died 25 November 1974.
Nick Drake

Biography

Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. He failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime but his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and a student at the University of Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. Neither sold more than 5,000 copies on initial release. Drake's reluctance to perform live, or be interviewed, contributed to his lack of commercial success. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood.

Drake suffered from depression, particularly during the latter part of his young life. This was often reflected in his lyrics. On completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been resolved.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Family Tree

    Family Tree 2007

    Reviewed by Sid Smith
    Invaluable archaeology or rampant barrell-scraping? Nick Drake's home tapes get...
  2. Review of Made To Love Magic

    Made To Love Magic 2004

    Reviewed by Mick Fitzsimmons
    Certainly, Drake's death has frozen his reputation in aspic - the eternal youth,...
  3. Review of Five Leaves Left

    Five Leaves Left 2000

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    All we can do is bask in the unique vision captured here.
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