Made to Love Magic
Nick Drake’s short tragic life — dead in 1974 at 26 with three mostly ignored albums — is perfect fodder for folk legend. The inclusion of his song “Pink Moon” in a car commercial at the turn of the century created a new stir for a singer-songwriter whose cult status had been gradually rising. This surge in interest sent his record label and collaborators into the tape vaults to search for any scrap of unreleased material near releasable form. “Tow the Line” was the lone unreleased gem, a barebones acoustic lament similar in tone to the Pink Moonalbum and the four subsequent recordings that were originally issued on the posthumous collection Time of No Reply and come re-mastered here. (Adding to the confusion, “Hanging On A Star” is a different take). In addition, there’s an acoustic version of “River Man” that appeared in orchestrated form on Drake’s debut album, Five Leaves Left, as well as an earlier take of “Three Hours” and controversially, Drake’s original orchestral scorer, Robert Kirby, adds his original score to “Time of No Reply” and the title track. Incredulously, Drake never cut a track not worth hearing. Completists will need this. The newbie will find much to enjoy and hopefully seek out the rest of the catalog.