Five Leaves Left

Universal Music Portugal SA
Release date
15 Jun 2000
Running length
10 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Time Has Told Me 4:24 214,654
2 River Man 4:02 259,232
3 Three Hours 5:12 194,554
4 Way to Blue 3:08 175,174
5 Day Is Done 2:25 188,948
6 ' Cello Song 4:45 38,634
7 Thoughts of Mary Jane 3:39 49,936
8 Man in a Shed 3:52 146,440
9 Fruit Tree 4:45 154,904
10 Saturday Sun 4:05 148,947

About this album

It’s little wonder why Drake felt frustrated at the lack of commercial success his music initially gathered, considering the help he had on his debut record. Besides fine production from Joe Boyd and assistance from folks like Fairport Convention’s Richard Thompson and his unrelated bass counterpart from Pentangle, Danny Thompson, Drake also recruited school friend Robert Kirby to create most of the just-right string and wind arrangements. His own performance itself steered a careful balance between too-easy accessibility and maudlin self-reflection, combining the best of both worlds while avoiding the pitfalls on either side. The result was a fantastic debut appearance, and if the cult of Drake consistently reads more into his work than is perhaps deserved, Five Leaves Left is still a most successful effort. Having grown out of the amiable but derivative styles captured on the long-circulating series of bootleg home recordings, Drake assays his tunes with just enough drama — world-weariness in the vocals, carefully paced playing, and more — to make it all work. His lyrics capture a subtle poetry of emotion, as on the pastoral semi-fantasia of “The Thoughts of Mary Jane,” which his soft, articulate singing brings even more to the full. Sometimes he projects a little more clearly, as on the astonishing voice-and-strings combination “Way to Blue,” while elsewhere he’s not so clear, suggesting rather than outlining the mood. Understatement is the key to his songs and performances’ general success, which makes the combination of his vocals and Rocky Dzidzornu’s congas on “Three Hours” and the lovely “‘Cello Song,” to name two instances, so effective.

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  • Erasmus105

    Absolutely beautful. Very humble and melancholic.

    16 Mar 11:58pm Reply
  • minoesj

    This record is 40.17 minutes of pure bliss. It makes me picture thousands of sceneries. Mesmerizing voice, stunning lyrics and astonishingly beautiful, almost breath-taking instrumentation. Absolutely wonderful album!

    23 Feb 6:57pm Reply
  • RussellChap

    Better than Pink Moon, the strings add so much and lightness of touch is disarming and charming. Pink Moon is too dark and almost a caricature in contrast.

    16 Jan 11:08am Reply
  • bohemian_chic

    Fantastic debut album!!

    26 Jun 2013 Reply

    Great album from a very talented guy. Sad loss.

    20 Jun 2013 Reply
  • firefly2811

    great album

    4 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Soundservant

    Dare I say this album is perfect?

    27 May 2013 Reply
  • JaredMackie

    This album gets better with every spin.

    24 Mar 2013 Reply
  • leofaig

    I love this album.

    26 Jan 2013 Reply
  • helldriverZJ

    I also don't get the orchestra part...was it originally recorded like that or they blend those later??sometimes they seem way too much and bother me

    15 Jan 2013 Reply
  • CandyStore-Rock

    One of my favorites albums ever.

    17 Dec 2012 Reply
  • zhelnerovich

    To me, this is the finest record of his

    9 Jul 2012 Reply
  • ikFM

    River Man is spectecular.

    17 Jun 2012 Reply
  • Aretpocem

    That room looks really cosy

    28 May 2012 Reply
  • GregCano

    Best of the three in my opinion, and god knows I love the other two.

    25 Apr 2012 Reply
  • boehj

    my favourite nick drake album. 5/5.

    16 Mar 2012 Reply
  • prominence_la

    Yes, wonderful. The instrumentation is really just perfect.

    7 Mar 2012 Reply
  • frudie

    I think it´s the best album he has done. Favorite song: Fruit Tree

    15 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Harry_01

    Magical album.

    12 Feb 2012 Reply
  • xxLallyxx

    This, Blood On The Tracks & Astral Weeks. Three greatest albums ever released :)

    25 Jan 2012 Reply
  • All 96 shouts

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