A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake

A Skin Too Few. The Days of Nick Drake

I had never heard of Nick Drake prior to seeing this 50 minute film about him (or at least prior to seeing a reference to this film and doing a bit of reading to see what it was about), but seeing it convinced me that he was very much a musician that I would like. I liked what I heard of his music in this film, and I looked him up on the All Music Guide website, where they compared him to Donovan and Van Morrison, two all-time favorites of mine. So I immediately ordered his CDs. (He released only three albums in his lifetime, all of which bombed commercially, and there’s an additional posthumous CD compilation.)

A Skin Too Few tells the story of his brief life (died young of an overdose of anti-depressants, which may or may not have been intentional—he had major issues with depression) in a pretty straightforward, understandable, dignified way. I thought his sister especially was articulate and appropriately open and emotional. Much of his music is played during the film, so you get a good feeling for the sort of musician he was.

But the main value of the film is probably as a means to the end of getting people to seek out his music, and as I say, at least in my case it was successful in that regard.

A sad story of course. Drake seems to have been a very talented, sincere, good person wanting to add something positive to the world. It’s good that so many people discovered him after the fact and have been touched by his music, though of course it would have been better had it happened during his lifetime. He considered himself a complete failure (with good reason, if we’re talking about conventional success in terms of such things as total albums sold), but the ripples from his life have done people considerable good after all.

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