A.Song.A.Day – Pink Moon

nickdrakepinkmoonIn the year 2000, Volkswagen aired an advertisement on TV having a song called Pink Moon as its background score. Within a month after this ad was aired, the artist of the album sold more records than he had in the previous thirty years. The artist was Nick Drake and sadly he did not live long enough to enjoy this success.

Nick Drake was one of those obscure artists who hardly enjoyed any success during his lifetime but became quite a respectable figure posthumously. In his short career of around five years he released three albums none of which sold more than 5000 copies. Pink Moon was his third and last album and the entire album was recorded in 2 sessions of 2 hours each. All songs in the album Pink Moon are unembellished unlike his previous album. The entire album runs for only 28 minutes with 11 songs on it. Throughout his life Drake had suffered with depression and insomnia and the music and the effects of these can be very clearly seen in his last album. By 1972, he had retreated so much into his own world that it is difficult to interpret what the lyrics mean and sadly now there is no way to find out. Most of the songs had lyrics more than a verse or two. However, his depression and aloofness strikes though every word of the songs.

The title song of the album just like all others was recorded with just an acoustic guitar and Drake dubbed some piano on it later on. The lyrics of the song composed of just two verses of speak about a Pink Moon that is coming to get us all indicating a sense of pessimism and helplessness of Drake. However, this album which is probably his best work sold fewer copies than any of other works.

It is quite strange that for an artist who despised commercialism, success came in the form of a Volkswagen ad. Nevertheless, we can only hope that such artists whose music was probably far ahead of his time will be appreciated at least now.

Sreejith says:

i agree…pink moon is an absolute delight! but i love his ‘thoughts of mary jane’ more 😉