Nick Drake

A cult figure in British folk music, Nick Drake's haunting guitar playing, dark, melancholic lyrics and tragically young death have made him a mysterious hero to acts as diverse as Kate Bush, Dave Grohl, Paul Weller and The Cure's Robert Smith. Born to an upper class English family in Burma in 1948, Drake was brought up in a country mansion in Warwickshire before discovering LSD and cannabis while busking his way to Morocco and returning to study English Literature at Cambridge University. He started performing on London's coffee house scene in 1968 and, with the help of producer Joe Boyd, captured his hushed delivery, traditional melodies and sombre poetry on classic debut album Five Leaves Left (1969). Tall, willowy and painfully shy, Drake drew on the writings of William Blake, W.B. Yeats and Henry Vaughan, but later albums Bryter Later (1970) and Pink Moon (1972) were ignored and his depression grew. He stopped performing live and moved back to his parents' home, where he was found dead in 1974 aged 26 after overdosing on anti-depressants. Since his death his popularity has surged, with a BBC2 documentary A Stranger Among Us, two biographies and endless articles casting him as one of the great doomed, lost souls of the folk world.

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Stations Featuring Nick Drake

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