Nick Drake Pink Moon 180g LP
Analog Planet Rated 10/11 Music, 11/11 Sonics!
180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl! Re-mastered AAA by John
Wood at Abbey Road Studios From Original 40-year Old Analogue Master Tapes!
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated
Pink Moon, Nick Drake's third and final album, was released in 1972. Recorded
November 1971, the album features only Nick's vocals, guitar and piano.
Desolation and isolation may permeate the songs, but Drake still displayed his
mastery of the acoustic guitar with a touch and flair that both keep the whole
recording from drowning in melancholy and testify to his considerable talents.
Hence, "Pink Moon" seems as a fitting requiem for Nick Drake.
On February 25, 1972, Island Records released Nick Drake's third, and what was
to be his final, album Pink Moon to a largely disinterested press and public.
For 4 years the artist Nick Drake had appeared in the various Island Records
catalogues and album samplers as much as an anomaly as an essential purchase.
Fans of John Martyn, Fairport and Fotheringay may have investigated Drake's work
but his own reluctance to tour or sell his work allowed Drake to slip into the
same also-ran bracket as Island's Claire Hamill and tir Na Nog, legends all. The
initial 3,000 pressings sold poorly but never quite sold out, and Island kept on
catalogue up until interest started to grow in Drake in the early 1990s.
Such small interest exploded when Volkswagen used the title track to promote
their new Cabriolet in the US in the late '90s. Nick's poorest-selling album
became a best-seller and the interest in all of his tiny canon blossomed. The 28
minutes, 11 track Pink Moon transferred onto CD and the original vinyl ran its
course later being deleted. Original scarce first-pressing values soared thus
allowing inferior counterfeit bootleg vinyl editions to proliferate. 40 years on
since its birth, USM presents the album as an 180g vinyl audiophile pressing,
re-mastered by the original co-producer and engineer, John Wood at Abbey Road -
Re-mastered from Original 40-year old Analogue Master Tapes.
Vinyl Mastering Notes, by John Wood:
There has been little change in the methodology and process of transferring Tape
to Mater Laquers since these albums were originally Mastered in the late sixties
and early seventies. However over the next 15 years until the advent of the
compact disc, improvements were made to the design of cutting heads that allowed
more high frequency signals to be transferred which for 'acoustic' based
material such as Nick's, gives a feeling of more air and space to the material.
In parallel with these improvements was the arrival of more sophisticated
analogue equalizers offering the ability to subtly highlight parts of the audio
spectrum in ways not available in Mastering channels when these records were
transferred from tape originally. This new Mastering of Nick's albums has made
full use of these developments whilst retaining the integrity of the originals.
It is inevitable that when dealing with tapes that are now over 40 years old
there will be some degradation in quality consequently we have not always been
able to use the original first generation tapes, however Pink Moon was cut from
the Original Sound Techniques Masters.
"Drake recorded his last album in a couple of nights, mailed the tapes to
Island Records and checked himself into a psychiatric ward. If the music were as
dark as the lyrics, it might be unlistenable. But Drake's soothing vocals and
unadorned acoustic picking make this album unfold with supernatural tenderness."
"After two albums of tastefully orchestrated folk-pop, albeit some of the
least demonstrative and most affecting around, Drake chose a radical change for
what turned out to be his final album. Not even half-an-hour long, with 11 short
songs and no more -- he famously remarked at the time that he simply had no more
to record -- Pink Moon more than anything else is the record that made Drake the
cult figure he remains. Specifically, Pink Moon is the bleakest of them all;
that the likes of Belle and Sebastian are fans of Drake may be clear enough, but
it's doubtful they could ever achieve the calm, focused anguish of this album,
as harrowing as it is attractive. No side musicians or outside performers help
this time around -- it's simply Drake and Drake alone on vocals, acoustic
guitar, and a bit of piano, recorded by regular producer Joe Boyd but otherwise
untouched by anyone else. The lead-off title track was eventually used in a
Volkswagen commercial nearly 30 years later, giving him another renewed burst of
appreciation -- one of life's many ironies, in that such an affecting song,
Drake's softly keened singing and gentle strumming, could turn up in such a
strange context. The remainder of the album follows the same general path, with
Drake's elegant melancholia avoiding sounding pretentious in the least thanks to
his continued embrace of simple, tender vocalizing. Meanwhile, the sheer majesty
of his guitar playing -- consider the opening notes of "Road" or "Parasite" --
makes for a breathless wonder to behold." - Ned Raggett, allmusic.com
"Run, donít walk, and order a copy (or two) of this new reissue. Everything else is second best in my opinion. If your analog rig and electronics are up to the task, you will hear rich nuances, air, and separation not available on any other pressing Iíve heard. As good as the original UK Ė1U pressing is, and it is very good, it canít compete with the resolution and fullness available here. Donít worry, this mastering is not one of those attempts at eliciting more detail at the expense of warmth and musicality. You can expect to hear newfound bending of guitar strings and previously unheard vocal inflections. Yet everything is natural and smooth, with the added benefit of greater presence and believability." - Randy Wells, www.analogplanet, 10/11 Music, 11/11 Sound!!!
"Bottom line, this new reissue was done right. Mastered with care from the original master tapes, EQd all analog ...itís my vote for best reissue of 2012." - Randy Wells, www.analogplanet, 10/11 Music, 11/11 Sound!!!
ē 180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl
ē Gatefold Jacket
ē Re-Mastered AAA by John Wood at Abbey Road Studios
ē Re-mastered from Original 40-year old Analogue Master Tapes
Nick Drake, vocals, guitar, piano
1. Pink Moon
2. Place To Be
4. Which Will
6. Things Behind the Sun
4. Harvest Breed
5. From the Morning