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Made to Love Magic Best of

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0001XLVMW
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,728 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Rider on the Wheel
2. I Was Made to Love Magic
3. The Riverman
4. Joey
5. The Thoughts of Mary Jane
6. Mayfair
7. Hanging On A Star
8. 3 Hours
9. Clothes of Sand
10. Voices
11. The Time of No Reply
12. Black Eyed Dog
13. Tow The Line

Product Description

Product Description

13 rarities from across the all-too-short career of Nick Drake. River Man and Mayfair were recorded while he was at Cambridge; Joey and Clothes of Sand were recorded in '68 but not used for his Five Leaves Left LP; 1974's Voices and Black Eyed Dog finally receive proper mixes, and Tow the Line hasn't been heard since Nick recorded it in '74. Precious glimpses of a star that burned out too soon.

All the world's a stage and folk legend Nick Drake--a frail, reclusive romantic whose music was sad but beautifully emancipating and who died young in 1974 in mysterious circumstances--was one of life's reluctant players. As epithets go, the lyrics to Made to Love Magic ("I was born to sail away into a land of never, not to be tied to an old stone grave") aptly convey how Nick Drake's legend continues to gather no moss, even some three decades after his lonely tranquilized farewell. Enthusiastic newcomers should start with any of Drake's three studio albums (Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, Pink Moon) and Patrick Humphries' definitive biography but Made to Love Magic is, nevertheless, essential. Consisting of rare and unheard tracks (many of which have even avoided the mucky paws of the keenest bootlegger) and compiled by those closest to him (sister Gabrielle, engineer John Wood, and fellow Cambridge University student and string-arranger Robert Kirby) the album is a labor of love. Lost amateur recordings of Nick Drake at University in Cambridge, outtakes from the Five Leaves Left album, Robert Kirby's unused string arrangements for "Magic" and "Time of No Reply" finally restored, an early rendition of "Three Hours" featuring Rebop Kwaku Baah ( Traffic, Can) on percussion and remixed versions of those despairing final songs from July 1974, including the newly discovered "Tow the Line." This is surely the final word on Nick Drake; unless, of course, those Aix-en-Provences tapes and that mythical lost Peel session from August 1969 ever make themselves known. --Kevin Maidment

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When I first read about this album, before hearing it, I was disappointed to think that it was really a rehash of the Nick Drake material we've heard before. OK, I was wrong! One thing this album gives us in these gorgeous songs is an in-depth look at Nick's Guitar playing. We get to hear what River Man really sounds like, as well as Mayfair, a brand new song from the last session called Tow the Line, a great live studio take of Three Hours, the final session remastered -- as well as remastered editions of Joey and Clothes of Sand -- and more. Robert Kirby adds his original string arrangements to two songs, from a tape he had in his potting shed! Nick's guitar and his playing have a clarity here that is stronger than on Time of No Reply. What this album also does is help cast Nick's last session in a different light. When the Fruit Tree booklet notes were written two decades ago, the final four songs were supposedly sqeezed out of a depressed young man who was all out of songs. Listening to them now, they appear to be the first few songs of the fourth Nick Drake album, never completed due to his accidental death. Even Black Dog doesn't sound terrifying, as the Fruit Tree booklet notes then made it out to be. We tend to make up stories, particularly about artists who died young. Forget what you have heard and just LISTEN to Nick's songs, to their depth and beauty.
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Format: Audio CD
I must say that when I heard about the gathering of these recordings, I imagined it the work of vultures squeezing a few more pounds and dollars, out of material that might have been rejected earlier for good reasons.
I'm so glad to say that I was absolutely wrong!
Indeed, this album is comprised from outtakes, demos and alternate versions from his output -unfortunately limited by his suicide- yet the result is not the shameless hawking of sub par stuff. Quite in the contrary, it is more nectar from one of the most influential Folk singer-songwriters who ever lived.
Nick Drake's spirit is back in 13 gorgeous tunes -including even a new song, Tow The Line- reminding us of his keen talent for introspective moods, and tender melodies that could create an intimate moment even in a busy NYC subway trains.
After all, although Drake died so lamentably young at 26, he managed to influence several generations of young men and women who went on, in their own right to be distinct folk voices themselves. From Elliott Smith to Devendra Banhart, Damien Rice or Joanna Newsom, the sad and thoughtful touch of Nick Drake's universe has bore its influence.
I can only think of Tim Buckley, his graceful and doomed contemporary in the States as having etched a similar deep course in the new Folk scene.
If you haven't heard Drake before, this may not be the place to start -although I don't know how it could hurt- since those three albums, which he released while still alive, might offer you a better sense of what he was after and a beautiful example of the integrity and development of each of those song-cycles.
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Format: Audio CD
We didn't think it would happen, but here it is - another new compilation of recordings by Nick Drake, that troubled and marvelously talented young man who in his short career nevertheless managed to produce three of the most heartbreakingly beautiful albums ever made. You can't go wrong with any of them, as the Amazon critic above says, but this disc is still no less essential. It's seemingly meant to replace Time of No Reply - which was the previous offering of gems-from-the-vault - and so there's still a little overlap here. Here's the breakdown for those wondering what's really 'new':
"Joey," "Clothes of Sand," "Thoughts of Mary Jane," "Rider on the Wheel," "Black-Eyed Dog" and "Voices" (aka Voice from the Mountain) are the same tracks from ToNR, remastered and spruced up as much as possible.
"Hanging on a Star," "Mayfair" and "River Man" are solo takes with just Nick and his guitar, previously unissued. "Three Hours" is also an alternate take from the studio, this time with congas and flute. The differences in those last two give a fresh new twist, especially "River Man" which had only been released with full strings.
(I Was Made to Love) "Magic" and "Time of No Reply" itself have had orchestral backings freshly recorded, working from the original charts made in the late 60s (and in the case of ToNR never used). Again, a wonderful new twist.
"Tow the Line" is apparently a new discovery and has never been released anywhere. It could have easily belonged on Pink Moon - it's another pretty solo song and shares the same not-really-fatalistic mood.
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