40 years after the passing of one of England's finest songwriters an original pristine late sixties Master Tape of un-heard recordings; signed by the artist Nick Drake himself will fall under the hammer by Ted Owen & Co of London later this year.
The tape was bequeathed to fellow Island recording artist Beverley Martyn by the late artist; who was good friends with Martyn and her husband John, and would often babysit for their children when they all lived in north London. The recordings consist of solo performances of songs that would later form the classic first album release, "Five Leaves Left".
2. Time Has Told Me
3. Man In a Shed
4. Fruit Tree
5. Saturday Sun
6. Cello Song
These studio recordings are remarkable as they present the artist in a new light, once described by Robert Kirby as seeming to have become "the patron saint of the chronically depressed". The unique tape showcases Nick performing his new work with pride and enthusiasm in the clearest audio fidelity. They present the material in the same unadorned manner as his 1972 "Pink Moon" but the guitar playing is stronger, more baroque with the voice smoother and more resonant than the highly produced released versions.
Speaking of the forthcoming auction sale Ms Martyn comments: "When Ted valued the tape for me I was astonished that Nick's work is so highly sought by collectors worldwide and that this tape is a testament to his importance as a musical pioneer beyond his few short but productive years. It is important that such an artefact finds a new home and I can pass on the care of the item that I have treasured for so many years."