If you are a fan of Nick Drake, go buy this new LP pressing of Pink Moon now!
I bought the limited edition box set because, at the time, we didn’t know whether the promised (basic packaging) LP would be of the same high quality production (AAA and pressed at Optimal Media in Germany). Well… turns out it is, and unless you need all the extra fixings (replicated reel-to-reel outer box, re-printed handwritten lyrics, poster) go get yourself the standard LP version.
Pink Moon was Drake’s third and final album (he died of an antidepressant overdose shortly thereafter). The album was recorded over a period of two nights at London’s Sound Techniques in October 1971 (sessions started at midnight and lasted about two hours each). By the fall of 1971 Drake had become hermit-like, reclusive and detached. Drake wanted the songs on this record to be heard “as is” – without the plush post production that littered his previous two albums (there is one overdub is on the record; a descending piano melody played by Drake on the title track). What you get here is a recorded confessional of a man and his acoustic guitar. The songs are beautiful and melancholic; each one a mystical treasure. Drakes intricate and tender fingerpicking patterns (and resonating open-tunings) set the perfect backdrop to his lovely and serene vocal melodies. The lyrics are dark and troubled and deeply personal. Pink Moon finds Nick Drake fully exposed yet mysteriously remote.
This is an all-analogue pressing (AAA), re-mastered and overseen by John Wood, the co-producer of the album (the only person at the original Sound Techniques recording sessions alongside Drake). Using the best of modern technology, Wood was able to work wonders and improve upon the fidelity of this LP. This new re-pressing was cut using the original master tapes (apparently, they were still in usable condition) at Abbey Road Studios. The pressing quality is incredible, and the vinyl has practically no surface noise whatsoever (thankfully so, since this is such a stark recording). The sound is intimate, detailed, and warm – Nick Drake hauntingly alive between your two speakers.
The original UK Island LP was limited to around 3,000 copies, thus finding an original pressing may be troublesome and costly (last I checked, they start at around $260 used). Thankfully, this new pressing will give you all the magic this album has to offer.
*The reissue reviewed here is the most recent one from Universal. Make sure you get the “correct” reissue, as there are many versions available on the internet. Links provided below.
Nick Drake, Pink Moon
Produced by: John Wood
Engineered by: Nick Drake and John Wood at Sound Techniques
Mixed by: John Wood
Mastered by: Adam Dunn
Re-mastered by: John Wood
Promo video for the limited edition box set:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7272mkG-XpQ