The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126718   Message #2818444
Posted By: Trevor Thomas
22-Jan-10 - 09:11 AM
Thread Name: Nick Drake - hype and reality
Subject: RE: Nick Drake - hype and reality
"Tortured soul, unusual tunings, moody songs, stage-fright and shyness, early death in sad circumstances - all appear to be elements which, in the media circus, amplify his talents"

They don't necessarily amplify his talents, but for a lot of people, this is certainly something that can be related to and that make his story more interesting and can be identified with.

When you have a tendency towards depression, it's often difficult to fit in with a roistering crew of jolly fellows with their songs about jolly ploughboys. The music of Nick Drake, if nothing else, is the music of someone with direct experience of isolation, depression, and not fitting in. There is a plenty of room for introspective reflective music, just as there is for dance music, celebratory music, storytelling music, or whatever. Music conveys emotions, and there are lots of human emotions.

Until recently, most people with an interest in acoustic guitar playing, if they were knowledgeable used to speak well of Nick Drake. He was someone who for years was felt to be under appreciated, and only a select few had ever heard his records. They didn't sell well in his lifetime, and not that well after his death. People used to say "why don't more people know about this/listen to this". He was someone you found out about by accident, by word of mouth.

Then one day, his music got used for an advert. In the following week, I believe more copies of Nick Drake's music were sold than had been sold altogether since it was first released. It turned out that lots of people liked it, once they heard it.

So as is usual with anything 'folk related', as soon as someone becomes well known and commercially successful, they get rounded on, accused of 'hype' and invariably "hmph, they're not as good as (insert name of as-yet unsuccessful performer here)"