The songs are hewn from personal recordings made by the tragic icon during the mid-60s...
A raft of material by NICK DRAKE, previously only available on bootleg, is being digitally remastered and set for release later this year with a current working title of ‘FAMILY TREE’.
The songs will be hewn from personal recordings made by the late bedsit troubadour during the mid-60s at his Tanworth-In-Arden home as well as those recorded during a trip to Aix-en-Provence several years later. All come from before his debut album ‘Five Leaves Left’ in 1969.
Drake’s sister Gabrielle is working on the release with Joe Boyd, the man who discovered him and produced him, John Wood, who engineered the records and Cally, the man who worked on the digital remastering and presentation of Drake’s three studio albums, re-released last year.
Speaking just before Christmas about the release Cally said: “Because these bootlegs exist, Gabrielle feels that we owe it to Nick to try and produce the home recordings and some of the ‘Aix’ tape in the best possible light. The criteria for release is always the same: the performance has to be of a standard that Gabrielle, Joe and John feel is acceptable.”
He added: “When all of these are collected together, then a final choice will be made, and they will be released. However, we don’t aim to pass these off as a ‘new’ Nick Drake CD. I would rather that the release is seen in context for what it really is: a selection of home-recordings from the mid-60s by a blossoming talent feeling his way forward with the help of a very musical family.”
Speaking to long-time Drake fan and sometime associate Robin Frederick, Cally added that at present he is having Drake’s original tape deck repaired so he can “have them digitally translated and transcribed”. He also said that the release would include a collection of new photos that have just resurfaced, and that he planned to also remaster ‘Time Of No Reply’, the collection of Drake’s final recordings released posthumously in 1986.
Nick Drake died from an overdose of anti-depressants at his Tanworth-In-Arden home in November 1974 after a lifetime of depression and psychiatric problems. He was 26. The three albums he released between 1969 and 1972 became a template for other acts such as Belle & Sebastian, Jeff Buckley and Starsailor.