Bryter Layter

Bryter Layter, recorded in 1970 and released in March 1971,[1] is the second of three albums by British singer/songwriter Nick Drake.

Bryter Layter
Bryter Layter.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 March 1971[1]
StudioSound Techniques, London
GenreFolk, folk jazz
ProducerJoe Boyd
Nick Drake chronology
Five Leaves Left
Bryter Layter
Pink Moon

Content and productionEdit

Like Five Leaves Left, the album contains no unaccompanied songs: Drake was accompanied by part of the British folk rock group Fairport Convention and John Cale from The Velvet Underground, as well as Beach Boys musicians Mike Kowalski and Ed Carter.[2] Arranger Robert Kirby claims that Drake intended the instrumentals to evoke Pet Sounds.[3] Initially scheduled for release in November 1970, with UK promotional copies being sent out at the time, dissatisfaction with the artwork meant that the album was held over into the New Year.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [4]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[5]
Q     [7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [8]

Mojo called the album "Certainly the most polished of his catalogue".[9] Alternative Press called it "[one] of the most beautiful and melancholy albums ever recorded".[10]

David Hepworth described "At the Chime of a City Clock" as "the perfect soundtrack for the dispensing of a cup of tea in a polysytrene cup, marrying sound and image in a way that made me unsure whether I was watching a commercial or actually in a commercial."[11]

Andrew Means of the Melody Maker wrote on 13 March 1971 that "This is a difficult album to come to any firm conclusion on. For one thing the reaction it produced depends very much on the mood of the listener. It's late-night coffee'n'chat music. Them tracks are all very similar - quiet, gentle and relaxing. Nick Drake sends his voice skimming smoothly over the backing."[12]


In 2000, Q placed Bryter Layter at number 23 in its list of the "100 Greatest British Albums Ever". It ranked at number 14 in NME's list of "The Greatest Albums of the '70s".[13]

It was voted number 306 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).[14]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 245 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Nick Drake.

Side one
2."Hazey Jane II"3:46
3."At the Chime of a City Clock"4:47
4."One of These Things First"4:52
5."Hazey Jane I"4:31
Side two
6."Bryter Layter"3:24
8."Poor Boy"6:09
9."Northern Sky"3:47


Nick Drake performs vocals and guitar, except where indicated otherwise.

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
United Kingdom 6 March 1971 Island LP ILPS 9134
May 1987 CD CID 9134
26 June 2000 IMCD 71



  1. ^ a b c Drake, Gabrielle, Nick Drake: Remembered For A While, Little, Brown and Company, 2014.
  2. ^ Music Blogger. Bryter layter: Nick Drake's Gabrielle Drake sheds a little light on her late sibling. SF Bay Guardian Online. 27 September 2007.
  3. ^ "An interview with Robert Kirby". Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  4. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Bryter Layter - Nick Drake : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  5. ^ Entertainment Weekly: 24. 12 May 2000. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Greene, Jayson (22 January 2014). "Nick Drake: Tuck Box : Album Reviews : Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  7. ^ Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  8. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  9. ^ Mojo: 99. July 2000. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Alternative Press: 88. March 2001. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Hepworth, David (2016). Never a Dull Moment: 1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 47. ISBN 9781627793995.
  12. ^ Means, Andrew (13 March 1971). "Nick Drake myter Layter I" (PDF). Melody Maker. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  13. ^ NME: 19. 18 September 1993. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 127. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  15. ^ "Desert Island Discs, interview in July 2017". Retrieved 16 September 2018.

The title is in reference to Queen's English and BBC weather reporters who would describe the weather as "brighter later".[citation needed]

External linksEdit