Happy Birthday to Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974). He was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. He failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime but his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and a student at the University of Cambridge, and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. Neither sold more than 5,000 copies on initial release. Drake's reluctance to perform live, or be interviewed, contributed to his lack of commercial success. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood.
Drake suffered from depression, particularly during the latter part of his young life. This was often reflected in his lyrics. On completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old. Whether his death was an accident or suicide has never been resolved.
Artwork by Jef Aerosol
Listen to Nick Drake - "Day is Done"