Two excellent Nick Drake biographies have been penned in the last ten years. Both are great reads with slightly different takes and conclusions on our elusive hero.
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Darker Than The Deepest Sea
Trevor Dann (2006)
When singer-songwriter Nick Drake died of a drug overdose in the autumn of 1974, he left behind just three well-received but modest selling albums. Three decades later, he is recognised as one of the true geniuses of English acoustic music with millions of fans worldwide and a regular place in all-time best album lists.
In Darker Than the Deepest Sea, renowned producer and broadcaster Trevor Dann offers unique insight into the life, music and heritage of one of the UK's most enigmatic and enduring musical talents. Using many newly discovered documents and all-new interviews with the singer's friends and associates, Dan's booke reveals more detail on Nick Drake's life than ever previously published, from his upbringing in the quintessential English village of Tanworth-in-Arden, through his school days in Sandhurst, Marlborough and Cambridge University, to the missed opportunities and mismanagement that defined his recording career. With remarkable candour, friends and colleagues describe the difficulties that Drake faced as each new album was released, only to fail, and the despair that led to his untimely death at age 26. It's a tale equalled in intensity only by the remarkable rise of the 'Drake cult' since the singer's death, a fan base that grows with the release of each new compilation, film soundtrack or documentary.
Complete with a full discography, including albums, singles and rarities, as well as some never before published photos, Darker Than the Deepest Sea is essential reading for any serious music fan.
The Independent on Sunday - This is a haunting tribute to this most passionately adored of musicians.
The Guardian - The result of wide travels, prolific interviews and an enthusiasm for the subject which never overboils into frothing fanmania. Excellent.
MOJO - A bold attempt to unravel the tragic secrets of an enduring, but still elusive, cult hero.
The Sunday Times - [A] spirited attempt to get inside Drake’s world.
£7.99 + £1 P&P (Paperback)
Nick Drake: The Biography
Patrick Humphries (1998)
Nick Drake was barely 26 years old when he died in 1974. This British singer-songwriter made only three albums during his short life - Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. All are now recognised as classics.
Uncut - Patrick Humphries has written a rich, moving account of a troubled spirit, a mature biography of a briefly flickering talent unable to come to terms with the adult world... The writing is zestful and intelligent and the text illuminating... A literary memorial fit to stand alongside the songs.
Select - The best music biog of the year.
Evening Standard - A riveting account of the golden-boy genius.
Mojo - An exquisite portrait... It's less about the human condition than about the sensitive adolescent's coming-of-age. But it's none the less moving for that. A short, sweet and sad story.
Sunday Times - Humphries has a lively feel for Drake's social content... This book works as a sad fable of an unusual casualty of the 1960s counterculture.