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Darker Than the Deepest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  297 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
When Nick Drake (1948-1974) died of a drug overdose at twenty-six, he left behind three modest-selling albums, including the stark Pink Moon and the lush Bryter Layter. Three decades later, he is recognized as one of the true geniuses of English acoustic music. Yet Nick Drake--whose music was as gentle and melancholy as the man himself-- has always maintained a spectral pr ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 571)
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Mick Bordet
Oct 19, 2014 Mick Bordet rated it liked it
Mostly enjoyable read, limited a little by the elusive nature of the subject matter. The focus is on the artist rather than the music or lyrics, but given the little lyrical analysis that does take place, this is probably a good thing.
The author (at least twice) pulls Drake up for his 'mis-spelling' of the title "Tow the Line", as well as other similar techniques which are actually an important part of any decent songwriter's toolkit. To suggest that someone who studied English at Cambridge and
...more
Daniel
Jul 06, 2014 Daniel rated it did not like it
Well, You Didn’t Find Him: Trevor Dann and His Search for Nick Drake


Nick Drake has become a cult figure among music lovers in the last 20 or so years. His music is some of the most beautiful that I have ever heard. Melancholy, but not depressing. Relaxing, yet never boring. Virtually every one of his songs is a work of genius, and if someone put a gun to my head and told me to name my favorite musician, it would be a tough choice between Nick and The Beatles. Despite his amazing talent for songw
...more
Joseph Beaty
Mar 20, 2008 Joseph Beaty rated it really liked it
I don't think most people would like this. Unless you are a Nick Drake fan. Some of the view points in this seem to conflict with Nick's family a bit. I am a big fan of Drake and his music and legacy is a huge influence. I can't help but think that maybe this isn't the best source of his life but still a good read. I have seen some documentaries with family quotes and I felt a little more informed from the blood relative. If you are Nick Drake fan give it a go.
Tim
Dec 14, 2014 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies, music
Didn't really contain that much I hadn't come across in the countless magazine articles out there on Drake, but okay nonetheless. Doesn't shy away from being uncool and saying that vast amounts of pot will fuck you up. That, essentially is what caused Drake to spiral down into the abyss, just like smoking several bags a week caused a mate if mine to jump off a bridge.
Dawn Lennon
Jul 02, 2014 Dawn Lennon rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, music
I was recently exposed to the music of Nick Drake and was mesmerized from the first note of his album, Bryter Layter. The music and the lyrics were so enigmatic and compelling, that I was led to read this biography.

Nick Drake, dead at 26, has had a cult following since the late 1960s and no wonder. His life was a life of someone trying to find his place...not someone else's place for him...and on his own terms.

Like the biography's of many creative geniuses, this one reveals the struggles of know
...more
Lawrence
Jul 31, 2010 Lawrence rated it really liked it
Probably a little more balance/less sycophantic than Patrick Humphries' similar book
Mark Carignan
Apr 21, 2013 Mark Carignan rated it liked it
I remember an old friend in 1991 hearing something I was listening to and saying offhandedly, "You'd go nuts for Nick Drake." I tucked that comment away for when I actually had some cash to spend. A few months later I found "Time of No Reply" in a used bin at a street fair, so I picked it up. Like a lot of people who stumbled on Nick Drake in the years between his death and the Volkswagen commercial "Pink Moon" massive exposure/resurgence, the discovery felt intensely personal, revelatory and pr ...more
Laura
Jan 21, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Overcome by his struggles with mental illness, folk singer-songwriter Nick Drake committed suicide after just three albums released with only small to modest success. It wasn’t until after his death, highlighted by the use of his song “Pink Moon” in a 2000 Volkswagen commercial, when Drake started getting the praise and popularity he deserved.

As one of many Nick Drake biographies out there today, Trevor Dann presents another take on Drake’s short life in, Darker Than The Deepest Sea: The Search
...more
Janie
Jul 22, 2010 Janie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, r-and-r
In 2001 my best friend put a Nick Drake song on a mix CD for me before leaving the country for a couple years. In 2004 he sang (and played) one of his songs at our wedding. In 2007 I ended up sitting in on a music festival panel discussing Nick Drake. Each of the panelists had prepared a cover of one of his songs. It ended up being the richest memory of that Bumbershoot for me (besides the $hi$hkaberrie$, 'course).

I'm interested in Nick Drake.

I can't imagine this book appealing to people who are
...more
John Mcpheat
Jun 04, 2014 John Mcpheat rated it really liked it
This book is subtitled 'The Search for Nick Drake'; appropriate since at times I felt there was a Nick Drake-shaped hole in the book. Considering how publicity-shy he was and how long ago he lived that isn't really surprising. There just aren't Nick Drake interviews, articles, videos, recordings etc available.

But still, I found the book an interesting read; his story seeming to run parallel in many ways to the decline of his contemporary Syd Barrett.
Rob Powell
Jan 29, 2013 Rob Powell rated it it was amazing
Nicholas Rodney Drake died a drug-related death at the age of just 26. In those 26 years he seems to have left barely any trace of his existence other than the three albums released during his lifetime, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon, a body of work than can be listened to in its' entirety in around an hour and a half. These albums came and went unnoticed by the world at large and the Drake legend, the Cult Of Drake, only came to life long after he'd gone. Stardom undoubtedly woul ...more
SPL120
Jul 17, 2010 SPL120 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: musicians, music fans, music lovers
A thoughtful review of the life, music and brief earthly time of Nick Drake. Wasn't sure I would like it on the surface but after the first few pages, I was hooked and it became a fast, insightful read.

More importantly, having heard his music, I finally started listening: dedicated to sitting in front of the high-end stereo speakers, turning up the volume. There is something unnameable that puts him in his own realm; thankfully, producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood had the presence of mind t
...more
Simon Harrison
A decent well balanced attempt which, through interviews with mainly friends and colleagues, attempts to answer a basic question: what was Nick Drake like?
Light-weight but fair, and contains some excellent counter-balance to the "man too sensitive" theory.
Ian
May 15, 2008 Ian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Nick Drake fans, musicians
The writing of this book isn't strong. In fact, some of it is plain boring. Plenty of information about the slacker schoolboy that was Nick Drake, but lacking in the personal -- the mind and mental health behind the mystery. I also disagree with the author's theory of the affect of Drake's drug use on his mental health.

Still, I'd recommend this book for all big Drake fans -- especially for musicians's, who get a song by song guide to his catalog, with all the weird chords, tunings listed.
Nick
Aug 06, 2007 Nick rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Nick Drake fans, duh
I bought this book for $5 at the Williamsburg Flea Market. The font is huge, which makes me feel like a senior citizen when I read it. But oh that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from reading twenty pages on a subway ride!

Now, having finished it: this is probably as good a book as one is likely to find on a subject with so very little source material. Not sure it would appeal to someone who didn't like ND..
Martin Cole
Jul 31, 2013 Martin Cole rated it liked it
Less sugar-coated than other Nick Drake biographies I've read. It is refreshing to read of a spoilt boy, silver-spooned, unable to cope when things didn't go his way. Not happy with the way the author merely hints at child abuse - a bit easy, that. Enjoyable read though. I prefer to simply listen to the mesmerising songs.
Max
Jul 17, 2007 Max rated it liked it
All in all a good book. Obviously it's difficult to glean much from Nick Drake's tragically short life. Found an obvious factual error in the book (concerning the "grandson of Maynard Keynes) which led me to feeling shakey about the rest of it... Decided that Nick Drake was a little spoiled and self-centered after reading it.
Jacqueline Valencia
Nov 10, 2011 Jacqueline Valencia rated it liked it
Nothing new to expect in this bio. Low on insight, but heavy on facts. I did enjoy the geographical notes on where Drake traveled and his old haunts. The writer did their best with a subject that will forever remain a mystery. Loved the discography and footnotes. Just means my search will continue on his history.
Marc
Jun 21, 2011 Marc rated it liked it
Barely more than an extended magazine article, this in no way lives up to the cover's claims that it offers the deepest insight in Drake's troubled mind. Or maybe it does, and all the other Drake books are even worse. An OK primer, but little more.
Daniel Morgan
Sep 25, 2011 Daniel Morgan rated it liked it
Read this book last year (2010). It is packed with all the information about Nick Drake you could possibly want to know. I especially liked the explanations of the guitar tunings he used on his most famous tracks as well - that was very cool.
Stephanie Layton
Jun 10, 2007 Stephanie Layton rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: obviously....
Nick remains a mystery and always will. This author makes a fine attempt to flesh out his reclusive/tragic life but it really can't be done. Easy read for Drake fans. Or just listen to his music and mourn the fact that he wasn't around longer.
Sam
Dec 08, 2007 Sam rated it liked it
I feel about this read the way I feel about many artist biographies: the book itself is sub-par and is only saved by its subject (ie, an artist you really admire). That said, it is difficult to obtain info about such an elusive, short life.
Christopher
Dec 19, 2007 Christopher rated it liked it
I have yet to read Humphries' earlier take on Mr. Drake, but I do own that one, so it will be interesting to compare the two. I think I will wait a few books before tackling it--back to back would be too much despair.
Jonathan
Feb 10, 2008 Jonathan rated it did not like it
A fantastically awful book. It's almost amazing how mundane and small the life and music of this great bard becomes at the hands of this author. I fought to finish.
kate
Jul 27, 2014 kate rated it it was ok
2.5 stars? I'm not even sure how to rate this. a lot of the information was interesting but there was way too much speculation and pathologizing.
David Przybylinski
Mar 20, 2012 David Przybylinski rated it liked it
Interesting book about Nick Drake - seems to have suffered a lot from depression and didn't want to deal with it. Great musician - too bad.
Cody
Mar 06, 2007 Cody rated it liked it
Fairly lackluster, but a valiant attempt, considering that the subject only lived a rather uneventful 26 years.
Jeffrey
Dec 01, 2015 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Pretty interesting look into the life of an underappreciated singer/songwriter.
Con Robinson
Jun 01, 2013 Con Robinson rated it it was amazing
Such a heart-breaking story. Still one of my favorite folk musicians.
Peter Pinkney
Peter Pinkney rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2016
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Trevor Dann is a British writer and broadcaster who has been associated with some of the most influential UK radio and television pop music programmes and events of the last 30 years.


Early career

Dann was educated at Nottingham High School and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Dann’s radio career began at BBC Radio Nottingham in 1974. He was a producer at BBC Radio 1 from 1979 to 1983, working princi
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