Bryter Layter [Remaster]
Performer: Nick Drake
Artist: John Cale; Richard Thompson; Doris Troy
Engineer: John Wood...
Producer: Joe Boyd...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel: Nick Drake (vocals, guitar); Richard Thompson (guitar); John Cale (viola, piano, celesta, harpsichord, organ); Lyn Dobson (flute); Ray Warleigh (alto saxophone); Paul Harris , Chris McGregor (piano); Dave Pegg (bass instrument); Dave Mattacks, Mike Kowalski (drums); Doris Troy, Pat Arnold (background vocals). After crafting a debut album full of beauteous, somber chamber-folk, Nick Drake pulled something of an about-face with the follow-up, BRYTER LAYTER. With a bright, sparkling production and orchestrations that occasionally border on Easy Listening, the framework is light and airy where FIVE LEAVES LEFT was dark and foreboding. The key, however, is that Drake's artfully expressed inner turmoil peeks through at every turn in the lyrics and in his understated-but-heartfelt vocal delivery. "At the Chime of a City Clock" finds Drake facing existential despair at every turn, despite an almost-lugubrious string arrangement. Perhaps the crucial moment of BRYTER LAYTER occurs on "Poor Boy," where female backing vocalists literally mock the singer's anguished laments. Clearly, for as much as Drake's heart and soul were bared in every note of his music, he was self-aware enough to know that his disillusioned-romantic view of the world was one that put him on the fringes of society. Of course, some 25 years later, his early-1970s work would find a much wider audience, even though the initial era of the sensitive singer/songwriter had long since passed.
Entertainment Weekly (5/12/00, p.24) - "The exquisiteness of the first album is expanded upon in 'Hazey Jane I', 'Fly' and a genuinely optimistic love song, 'Northern Sky'..." - Rating: B+ Q (1/01, p.95) - Included in Q's "5 Best Re-Issues of 2000". Q (6/00, p.76) - Ranked #23 in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums" - "...Few songwriters have given such perfect voice to the England of dreaming spires, tea cups and quiet desperation..." Alternative Press (3/01, p.88) - "...With a voice paradoxically feather-light and grave, [one] of the most beautiful and melancholy albums ever recorded..." Mojo (Publisher) (7/00, p.99) - "...Certainly the most polished of his catalog....[It[ begins to suggest a whole other tableau of unexplored possibilities....God, how damn confident it all sounds. He knew how good he was..." NME (Magazine) (9/18/93, p.19) - Ranked #14 in NME's list of The Greatest Albums Of The '70s.
Nick Drake was the quintessential fragile genius. His late-1960s and early-'70s albums combine pastoral, very British romanticism with a jazzy folk lilt that owes a debt to Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin. His hypnotic whisper of a voice and his virtuosic fingerpicking were the perfect emissaries for Drake's songs of quiet longing and displacement. Though he was virtually unknown during his too-short life, he would posthumously inspire a subsequent generation of artists.
Ayers, Kevin Banhart, Devendra Barrett, Syd Briggs, Anne Browne, Duncan Burns, Randy Cale, John Callier, Terry Chapman, Michael (Folk) Christmas, Keith Cockburn, Bruce Cohen, Leonard Collins, Shirley Currituck County Denny, Sandy Donovan Eitzel, Mark Fairport Convention Fay, Bill Halstead, Neil Hardy, Francoise Harper, Roy Hitchcock, Robyn Jansch, Bert John, Elton Jones, Wizz Leopold, Perry Martyn, John Matthews, Eric McTell, Ralph Neil, Fred Nico Orton, Beth Pentangle Phillips, Shawn Pinetop Seven Red House Painters Sibylle Baier Smith, Elliott Smog St. John, Bridget (U.K.) Stewart, Al The Incredible String Band The Pernice Brothers Thompson, Richard Tilston, Steve Tindersticks Van Morrison Velvet Underground (The) Vetiver Voice of the Seven Woods Walker, Scott Willard Grant Conspiracy Wyatt, Robert
Bond, Graham Buckley, Tim Cohen, Leonard Donovan Dylan, Bob Frank, Jackson C. Hardin, Tim Harper, Roy Jansch, Bert Johnson, Robert Jones, Wizz Neil, Fred Sarstedt, Peter Simon & Garfunkel Van Morrison
British Folk Rock