Rolling Stone - 12/29/94-1/12/95, p.181
"...Arrangements that wed jazz freedom to the dignity of string quartets make his music--part folk song, part art song--incandescent....Drake captures...moments of uncanny grace..."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/12/00, p.24
"The best introduction indeed, collecting highlights from all four albums." - Rating: A
Alternative Press - 12/94, p.110
"...To say that his sometimes spare, sometimes baroque, always beautiful folk-pop songs are timeless is like saying that the sun is hot..."
NME (Magazine) - 12/24/94, p.23Ranked #2
in NME's list of the 10 best compilation albums of 1994.
Personnel: Nick Drake (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano); Richard Thompson (guitar); Clare Lowther (cello); Ray Warleigh (alto saxophone); John Cale (piano, organ); Chris McGregor, Paul Harris (piano); Dave Pegg, Ed Carter, Danny Thompson (bass); Dave Mattacks, Mike Kowalski (drums); Rocki Dzidzornu (congas); Pat Arnold, Doris Troy (background vocals).
Includes liner notes by Joe Boyd.
WAY TO BLUE: AN INTRODUCTION TO NICK DRAKE is the perfect title for this well-compiled collection that exemplifies the full breadth of Drake's work. From the lush orchestrations of FIVE LEAVES LEFT and BRYTER LAYTER to the sparse acoustic guitar work of PINK MOON and the posthumous TIME OF NO REPLY, WAY TO BLUE features a handful of songs from each album, compiled and sequenced by Drake's friend and producer Joe Boyd.
Opening with the gorgeous "Cello Song," the album moves from BRYTER LAYTER's "Hazey Jane I" to the title track, which features Drake's delicate vocals alone over a symphonic swell. Also included are the haunting "River Man," the reflective "One of These Things First," and the melancholy "Time of No Reply," in addition to Drake's most well-known tune, "Pink Moon." Each song presented here (and, in fact, every Nick Drake song) is a testament to his beautifully subdued voice and proficient acoustic guitar playing, offering further evidence of his still-growing influence decades after his death.