Nick Drake’s legacy is continually raped and pillaged by filmmakers, ad agencies, record dealers and book publishers. At the centre of this 40-year folk snowball sit three wonderful LPs, as surely everyone knows: the naïve one, the smokey one, the introspective one. Everything else is speculation.
Enter Peter Hogan, with what you hope to be a selection of fresh perspectives. The Complete Guide is so sparse, however, it’s hard to imagine it anywhere other than right on the counter in HMV, an incentive purchase, possibly for Father’s Day. While there’s no need to over-analyse records, one- or two-sentence descriptions of tracks will satisfy few, especially when lines such as “Mason Williams may or may not have been an influence” are bandied about.
Hogan has a neat, concise style, but after the one hour of study that this book requires, you’re left with the feeling that he’d be better off getting some first-hand interviews for a book on a topic that would warrant a higher page count. It all feels a little unnecessary.