Nick Drake: A Profile of a Doomed Romantic

Drunken laughter to my right and sad, melodic Drake to my left. Not the rapper – the genius.
Nick Drake never resonated with me as the first choice of background music on a Saturday pub crawl but it did with one old man, who battled spending the last of his change on the jukebox or a Jack Daniels and there was only one victor in the Daniels vs Drake and that was crystal clear as Pink Moon bellowed beside me.

Listening to the delicate strumming of the guitar, I couldn’t help but think that he had little idea of how much comfort his music brings to the struggling, evidently more so than alcohol.
The sad truth is from Drake’s active musical years in the early 70s as a student of Cambridge, he never attained great recognition and just like his founding musical fathers before him, Antonio Vivaldi and Robert Johnson, Drake passed prematurely before his success was even recognised.

There is much speculation on Drake’s lack of success in his lifetime and one includes the fact that Drake rarely performed live or gave interviews. This may have been a result of his ongoing battle with depression which caused him to retreat back to his parent’s home and in 1974, with his albums sales at fewer than 4,000, Drake died from an overdose on antidepressants at the tender age of 26.

5 years after his death, his album Fruit Tree was re-released and in turn caused a reassessment of Drake’s music. In the following years, he was credited as an influence with publications of documentaries & biographies.

And there I sat, listening to a ‘doomed romantic’ who had sold more than 2.4 million albums in the UK and the US and I couldn’t help but feel what an injustice it truly was, me and the old man both.

Image credit: Island Records

Published by

Ailsa Gillies

23 Years Old. MSc International Journalism. BA (Hons) Film, Media and Journalism. Freelance Journalist and Content Creator for BBC Scotland's 'The Social'. Former Columnist and Music Feature Writer for The Weekender.

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