Pink Moon

Nick Drake

Island Records, 1972

REVIEW BY: Peter Vissers


It’s a shame he didn’t hang around for a while longer. Nick Drake committed suicide in 1974 at the age of 26. He had recorded three albums before his death; Pink Moon was his third and final album. Pink Moon consists of only Drake’s vocals accompanied by his guitar. The only exception is the album opener, the title track “Pink Moon,” which features a piano played by Drake himself.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Pink Moon” is one of his most well-known songs and that is because it is so very simple and just utterly beautiful. The next track, “Place To Be,” is equally good. Nick Drake’s guitar playing is brilliant and his lyrics are, too. “Road” features some of the most stunning guitar playing I’ve ever heard on an acoustic record like this. It’s a song of breathtaking beauty and at the same time so depressing it’s hard to listen to. After the release of his second album, Bryter Layter, Nick Drake became horribly depressed and apparently never fully recovered. His previous records were very, very melancholy at times but never so tormented and discouraged as Pink Moon.

Pink Moon’s second half is magnificent. “Free Ride,” (as it is called on most of the reissues, “Free Ride” is also how it is named in Nick Drake’s handwritten lyrics) with its awe-inspiring guitar part is one of Drake’s best. “Things Behind The Sun” is one of the most astonishing singer-songwriter/folk masterpieces ever written.

Pink Moon is startling and emotional but never sentimental, subtle but never boring. It sometimes sounds a bit like Elliott Smith mixed with Van Morrison or Velvet Underground. It contains bits of folk and traces of blues and it never gets too complicated, but as a whole, it sounds pretty unique. The wonderful guitar playing sounds great with his warm, mellow voice. Nick Drake managed to record his suffering and it came out beautifully.

Rating: A

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