Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Lone voices - Nick Drake


'The harmony can sometimes be simple, but it's very sensual. There's a real French sense of harmony overlaid onto what, in the English music history line, can probably be traced back to John Dowland and all the really great songwriters and musicians of the fifteenth century. There's an innate Englishness [to his work], but Nick was also somebody who listened to an awful lot of music. I mean, he had the Bach Brandenburg Concertos on his turntable the night he died' - pianist Christopher O'Riley on Nick Drake.

Those words comes from Pink Moon by Amanda Petrusich, one of fifty-eight books in the iconic 33 1/3 series about classic rock albums. This publishing imprint really hits the spot by combining great writing, fine design and affordable prices. Petrusich's chapter on the award-winning 2000 Volkswagen commercial that introduced the Pink Moon title track to millions is an important insight into the volatile relationship between creative musicians and the advertising industry. Nick Drake's sister approved the use of her late brother's music in the Volkswagen commercial, and let's not forget that the composer of the introspective Requiem Canticles also supplied music for a 1966 United Arists promotional movie while the composer of the sublime motet Excerpta Tractati Logico-Philosphici wrote jingles for baking flour and toilet soap.

The 33 1/3 imprint covers an eclectic list of music from Led Zeppelin to Nico and the Purple Underground. But there is an obvious gap for a similar series on classical albums; how about Glenn Gould's 1955 Goldberg's, Pablo Casals' 1930s Bach Cello Suites and David Munrow's The Art of Courtly Love for starters?

Read the 33 1/3 blog here, and follow the Nick Drake path here.
Lone voices showcases music not featured in the 2008 BBC Proms, discover more lone voices here. Header collage created On An Overgrown Path. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

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