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Family Tree (Previously Unreleased Home Demos) Best of

1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B000PTYS2W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #113,931 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Come In To The Garden
2. They're Leaving Me Behind
3. Time Piece
4. Poor Mum
5. Winter Is Gone
6. All My Trials
7. Kegelstatt Trio
8. Strolling Down The Highway
9. Padding In The Rushes
10. Cocaine Blues
11. Blossom
12. Been Smokin' Too Long
13. Black Mountain Blues
14. Tomorrow Is A Long Time
15. If You Leave Me
16. Here Come The Blues
17. Sketch 1
18. Blues Run The Game
19. My Baby's So Sweet
20. Milk And Honey
See all 28 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

2007 rarities collection from one of the most influential UK Folk artists of all time. Family Tree tells the story of Nick Drake's musical development in the years prior to his debut album Five Leaves Left in 1969. It features lo-fi recordings made on a reel-to-reel tape recorder at his home, Far Leys in Tanworth In Arden, as well as eight songs recorded on cassette during his sojourn in Aix En Provence. The inclusion of two songs by his mother Molly Drake bears testament to her influence on her son. His final performances on Family Tree, 'Day Is Done' and 'Way To Blue', recorded by his Cambridge friend and arranger Robert Kirby are the end of one story and the beginning of another. Family Tree comprises mostly other people's compositions: the Folk and Blues tunes used by many a young guitarist in the '60s, attempting to master the fretboard. Nick played Jackson C. Frank, Bert Jansch, Dave Van Ronk and, of course, Bob Dylan. Booklet printed on 'bible ' paper for initial pressings only! 28 tracks. Island.

You'd think there wouldn't be much more to present by a songwriter who recorded three albums in his lifetime and has been dead since 1974. However, interest in Nick Drake's riveting music has grown enormously in the new millennium. Rarities were added to a number of posthumous collections, but with Family Tree his estate has brought forth an hour of music that predates his first album, Five Leaves Left. This set illuminates Drake's musical background, with his mother and sister appearing, and even Drake himself on clarinet for a Mozart trio. He covers traditional numbers as well as songs by Dylan, Blind Boy Fuller, and Jackson C. Frank. There are clear links to his own early compositions, including a couple early versions that appeared on his debut. Some of this has circulated on bootlegs over the years, but here assembled and sonically polished, it radiates with warmth. Recorded in casual circumstances, there are bits of chatter and laughter between songs, painting a picture of a happy, loving home scene. --David Greenberger

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Adams on Jan. 6 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is certainly a decent piece for those who are looking for more Nick Drake. The recordings have been cleaned up and they are as good as a high quality concert recording, and these are done as early family pieces. However, the album is far too long, with 28 tracks. I found myself cutting out a lot of tracks and keeping the best 9 on my personal library. For first time Drake buyers, I strongly recommend Five Leaves Left or Pink Moon. Save this album for the last for the collection, when you are hunting for more from limited stock. One thing is that his mother's songs on this album tear the heart apart. 'Nuff Said.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Come Into The Garden July 14 2007
By K. H. Orton - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you're seeking this out, I don't have to tell you what a special & rare talent Nick Drake is. Suffice it to say, this one is for die-hard fans. Those seeking proper introduction should proceed directly to Way To Blue or Pink Moon.

One of the most prized recordings in my collection has long been the Nick Drake bootleg, Tamworth-In-Arden 1967/68. I usually avoid buying boots, but couldn't resist the plethora of completely unheard/unreleased songs. Now, most of that material has been lovingly compiled (with a few surprises, as well as omissions) & cleaned up considerably in terms of the sound quality. Half of the songs are written by Drake & half are rather obscure covers, including 3 songs by the legendary Jackson C. Frank. Fans of Drake will hardly be disappointed.

Among the self-penned selections, the real highlights are the haunting "Leaving Me Behind" and "Come Into The Garden". "Rain" and "Bird Flew By" reveal a talent that is nearly fully formed. "Strange Meeting II" & "Been Smoking Too Long" were included on the Fruit Tree box set appendix, Time Of No Reply. Both are welcome here. (According to the liner notes that collection is soon to be re-released).

More than likely, fans will not be as thrilled with the two songs, written & sung by Nick's mother, Molly. But to be frank, I like them both even if they are a bit jarring amidst the rest of the set. Its nice to hear where Nick got some of his talent from.

Lovingly compiled & with copious liner notes (Nick's sister, Gabrielle's are quite moving) this is certainly worth the price of admission for longtime & new found fans of this brilliant and truely unique artist.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
someone left the cassette recorder on Oct. 12 2007
By Jim Z - Published on
Format: Audio CD
And boy , am I glad they did. VERY primitive recordings that do not detract one iota from the performances. If you looked up this undiscovered gem , you know what you'll get from Nick Drake recordings. Thanks to the powers that be that put this out.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
It's like listening Nick playing in your living room Aug. 23 2007
By Jofp Gallagher - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This album has been a pleasant surprise. I knew it was a Lo-Fi recording when I purchased it, but the sound and general quality is much better than what I thought. For Nick Drake's fans, this is a must have. The traditional tunes included in this album blend so well with Drake's own music that it seems they were written by him. The song "My Baby's So Sweet" is probably my favorite of those. Drake's "Blossom" is a great tune that should have been included in his three released albums. In summary, although for some Drake's music sounds a bit depressing, this albums is a relax pill. I put it on, and just want to chill out and transport myself to peace.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful Stuff Here! Aug. 29 2007
By creatureart - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD is quite a treat for the fans of Nick Drake. I can't help but echo another reviewer here at amazon who wrote that it feels as if your sitting right there in the Drake family living room. Between the very informative & intreagingly personal booklet that comes along with the CD & the recordings themselves you really do feel a little closer to the untold story of such a unique & ghostly folk singer. As a musician/music fan with a real sweet tooth for raw lo/fi recorded music from such artists as Patrick Fitzgerald and Danial Johnston to find a treat like this is just what the doctor ordered for this Nick Drake fan. Now if only someone could come out of the woodwork with a Nick Drake live album!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Nick Drake's Home Unplugged Sessions Aug. 8 2007
By Jeff Feezle - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Since Nick Drake only released three albums/cds, followers have eagerly sought alternative Drake recordings that filled the gap. Think of this cd as the best of the bootlegs. This recording is 28 songs long, and recorded in the 60's in Drake's home. A few of the songs are by members of his highly talented family. Instantly, after hearing this cd, I started thinking of the `Basement Tapes' by Dylan and some of the Beatles Blue Room Bootlegs that were just the band plucking and singing without the usual posturing necessary for a recording.

Drake plays with traditional folk songs, Dylan compositions, and American-folk blues and traditional songs. The result is surprisingly satisfying. Even though it's informal, his breath control and flawless guitar chords are at peak performance. And this is EARLY Nick Drake. If you thought `Pink Moon' was lo-fi, then you haven't heard this cd! There's a small degree of audible tape hiss (again, this was made in the 60's), but it has an amazingly clean sound.

This is a piece of British history that does much to explain the influences on Drake. While he is a subdued singer, he doesn't show the angst normally portrayed in his other albums. What you do hear is a true love for music being sang by someone who `gets it.' Included with the cd is a great booklet with subsections in prose written by his friends and family about Nick. Their personal takes on Drake read almost like a diary introspection. Not every artist could release an album like this. I would say only enigmas could get away with the intimate setting. When it does work, like this cd: "Family Tree", becomes a stepping stone in a short path to greatness.

Jeff Feezle of Macafeez