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  • Nick Drake / English music

    I've never knowlingly listened to Nick Drake.

    I don't really do reissues / CD's and the originals are too pricey and scarce for me to have picked up... But recently Mr. Drake was brought to my attention through a book that I'm reading and enjoying by Stuart Maconie - "Adventures on the high teas" - in search of middle England.

    He holds Nick Drake up as a quintessentially English artist and compares and contrasts him with Jim Morrison. All of which got me thinking, and realising that I haven't heard Mr. Drake and was wondering where I should start.

    I'm primarily interested I suppose in the songs which are more "English". Vague I know, but it might help you to know before anyone makes any suggestions that this is all for my summer job of trying to give tourists a decent introduction to the British Isles... so I want something as English as the Kinks "Village green preservation society", and could play as we drive through the Cotswolds or other parts of picturesque Merrie Engerland.

    Of course lets not limit any recommendations to Nick, anything else that would fit the remit would be very welcome too...

    Many thanks in advance...
    In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

    Eclectic Mud



  • #2
    to be honest, theres not that much official material by mr. drake.
    three albums, thats all.

    i always split his albums in two. the first two records, properly produced (some might say over produced) with strings and everything. and than theres «pink moon» which is a wonderful stripped down acoustic masterpiece.
    of the first two albums i much prefer «bryter layter», so i would start there for the nick drake sound. if you like that, go on to «five leaves left». if it's not your cup of tea, try «pink moon».
    Autobahn vas ein Monster: here she is, mit 7 others

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    • #3
      Start at the beginning.
      Work forward.

      To infinity - and beyond!

      Comment


      • #4
        I love Nick Drake and can see how he could easily be put forward as quintessentially 'English', but at the same time am always wary of such constructs as all they really mean is that something chimes with someone's particular notion of what England means to them.

        You could just as easily make the case for Slade, The Cockney Rejects or Cornershop as being quintessentially English if you want, unless what you're actually doing is equating the notion with some John Major-esque vision of England as "the country of long shadows on county cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist'
        To infinity - and beyond!

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        • #5
          also: you can get really close to the original UK first press for a fraction of the price with a 2nd uk pink rim press of "bryter layter" from around 72. or a us pink rim of "pink moon" (which is plain wrong of course! .
          Autobahn vas ein Monster: here she is, mit 7 others

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jakartajive View Post
            I love Nick Drake and can see how he could easily be put forward as quintessentially 'English', but at the same time am always wary of such constructs as all they really mean is that something chimes with someone's particular notion of what England means to them.

            You could just as easily make the case for Slade, The Cockney Rejects or Cornershop as being quintessentially English if you want, unless what you're actually doing is equating the notion with some John Major-esque vision of England as "the country of long shadows on county cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist'
            True.

            I guess I'm looking to find a musicial representation of middle England, and although context is everything people's selection of a track which for them represents a very middle English feeling / sentiment / sound would be what I wanted to hear.

            If there are only three albums then i'll be able to work my way through, but I'm interested in what others think too.

            So, which Nick Drake songs conjure up images of Middle England for you Hugh / Effi / anyone?
            In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

            Eclectic Mud


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            • #7
              I can lend you the Fruit Tree box if you want mate?
              "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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              • #8
                Middle England you want, is it?



                Sorted.
                To infinity - and beyond!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not sure I'd ever equate Drake with middle england, more a sort of pastoral englishness. Maconie is obviously choosing him as the opposite of the long haired boorish american rocker, as an introspective, acoustic, mannered performer, but it's a bit of a lazy comparison really.

                  So listen to River Man, At The Chime Of A City Clock, Northern Sky, Saturday Sun for wistful, pastoral England. It's always feels like warm summer evenings for me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jakartajive View Post
                    You could just as easily make the case for Slade, The Cockney Rejects or Cornershop as being quintessentially English if you want, unless what you're actually doing is equating the notion with some John Major-esque vision of England as "the country of long shadows on county cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and old maids bicycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist'
                    See also Kinks, Blur, Madness etc....
                    "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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                    • #11
                      Guess it depends how you're defining Middle England, doesn't it?

                      If you follow the way Wikipedia puts it - and I think the term is broadly used in this way in mainstream media discourse - it means this: "a socio-political term which generally refers to middle class or lower-middle class English people who hold traditional or right-wing views."

                      Now for me, nothing in the music of Nick Drake chimes with that particular construct.
                      Phil Collins, on the other hand . . .
                      To infinity - and beyond!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LDJB View Post
                        I can lend you the Fruit Tree box if you want mate?
                        Yes please Lee! Thanks.
                        In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                        Eclectic Mud


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bennyboy View Post
                          I'm not sure I'd ever equate Drake with middle england, more a sort of pastoral englishness. Maconie is obviously choosing him as the opposite of the long haired boorish american rocker, as an introspective, acoustic, mannered performer, but it's a bit of a lazy comparison really.

                          So listen to River Man, At The Chime Of A City Clock, Northern Sky, Saturday Sun for wistful, pastoral England. It's always feels like warm summer evenings for me.
                          Thanks Bennyboy - some starting points. Maybe pastoral is the term I'm looking for. Warm English summer evenings music is what I want to hear.
                          In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                          Eclectic Mud


                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If I was an American tourist and you played Nick Drake as we trundled through the Cotswolds I´d be goddam pissed

                            Noel Coward
                            Jack Buchanan
                            Jimmy Rodgers - English Country garden (especially the third verse, which includes bobolinks, tanagers and cardinals, so that american listeners don´t feel too out of their comfort zone)
                            Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jakartajive View Post
                              Guess it depends how you're defining Middle England, doesn't it?

                              If you follow the way Wikipedia puts it - and I think the term is broadly used in this way in mainstream media discourse - it means this: "a socio-political term which generally refers to middle class or lower-middle class English people who hold traditional or right-wing views."

                              Now for me, nothing in the music of Nick Drake chimes with that particular construct.
                              Phil Collins, on the other hand . . .

                              So nothing about Nick Drake represents or reflects middle England for you then Hugh? Does he fit into a nostalgic view of England in anyway for you? I'm not trying to pick an arguement I'm just curious... It does of course all depend on your personal view of middle England.

                              I'm aware that Nick Drake is a sort of revered acoustic folky 60's singer songwriter whose music is often discribed as beautiful, and given his particular tragic circumstances also has that die young / leave a beautiful corpse / never having sold out or compromised cachet. He might have something in his catalogue which I can open some tourist ears and minds, and am hoping to hear any recommendations in regards to this.

                              Syd Barrett might fit the description, but I can't see me playing any of that or Mr, Collins to tourists...
                              In ((( VISUAL ))) Stereo

                              Eclectic Mud


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