When singer-songwriter Nick Drake died of a drug overdose in the autumn of 1974, he left behind only three well-received but modest selling albums. Today, he is recognised as one of true geniuses of English folk music, with millions of fans worldwide and a regular place in all-time best album lists. Using many newly discovered documents and all-new interviews with the singer's friends and associates, Trevor Dann's book reveals more detail on Nick Drake's life than ever previously published, from his early years in Tanworth-in-Arden and Cambridge, to the missed opportunities and mismanagement that defined his recording career, to the remarkable 'Drake cult' that has grown since the singer's death at age 26. An unflinching portrait of a reclusive and gifted artist, Darker Than the Deepest Sea is essential reading for any serious music fan.
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(203mm x 128mm x 20mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
Meticulous portrait of the gentle English singer/songwriter whose posthumous impact on the music world continues to gather force.For someone with only three albums to his name, very little success in his lifetime and a career cut short by a possibly accidental drug overdose at age 26, Drake may not strike the casual reader as a particularly promising subject for a second biography. Acknowledging his debt to Patrick Humphries's Nick Drake (1998), British music executive Dann manages to squeeze out enough revelations to make this volume a worthwhile companion to its predecessor. One essential component here is the involvement of producer Joe Boyd, who helped sculpt the cripplingly shy musician's albums into coherence. A key player in the story, Boyd refused to participate in Humphries's book. Dann's text carefully traces Drake's brief life, noting his wealthy upbringing in the sleepy English town of Tamworth-in-Arden, his time at Cambridge University, the all-too-brief relationships he enjoyed (most notably with folk singer Linda Thompson) and a life-changing experience in the French town of Aix-en-Provence, where he fleetingly performed for the Rolling Stones. Figures such as the doctor who treated Drake for depression, his former tutor at Cambridge and even Elton John all offer illuminating words on this precocious talent. The author's in-depth familiarity with music history (the title is a nod to John Hammond's 1992 documentary The Search for Robert Johnson) helps him convey to readers just how out-of-sync Drake was with the music scene of the late 1960s and early '70s.This comprehensive overview outstrips Humphries's effort, although fans may flinch over a passage that needlessly speculates about Drake's sexuality. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Trevor Dann
The former Head of Music Entertainment at the BBC and a producer of Live Aid, Trevor Dann has written for The Times, Q Magazine, Mojo and the Independent. He is a media consultant who presents a weekly show on Classic Gold. He lives near Cambridge.