Nick Drake – Bryter Layter
Island, 1970 (re-issue on Simply Vinyl)
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
Once this was the Nick Drake album I paid the least attention to and since I’ve owned it on vinyl it’s moved its way into the position of most played. This is the record best suited for driving through the country (despite the fact that the first time I heard “Pink Moon” was in a car commercial (or myriad car commercials). Five Leaves Left is best suited for staying home and contemplating ingesting anti-depressants). THE record. Even sitting at my computer right now, I’m imagining myself with sunglasses and the windows down and this blaring out of the stereo while driving through the pastures and fields of the north country. Though Pink Moon is gorgeous as a guitar-and-voice record, Bryter Layter is a motherfucking masterpiece of British folk and I’m pretty sure it’s his best album. Not only is Drake one of the most extraordinary guitarists of all time, BUT he got John Cale to play on the two best songs (“Fly” and “Northern Sky”), in addition to members of the Beach Boys and Fairport Convention. Bryter Layter is a perfect storm. A great set of musicians backing a genius putting on his absolute best. I’ve also realized that this project is really fun when my girlfriend is in the room because a.) she will tell me if she likes the record or not (i.e. she really liked the Double record) and b.) she will sing along if she knows the songs (like this record).