NICK DRAKE Five Leaves Left Pink Island Orig
  £   1,241
  $   1,594


£   1241 Sold For
Nov 22, 2009 End Date
Nov 12, 2009 Start Date
£   14 Start price
45 Number Of Bids
  Great Britain Country Of Seller
eBay Auctioned at
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ONEADAYRECORDS – Delivering Quality Music to the World.

Artist or Band: NICK DRAKE

Album Title: Five Leaves Left.

Producer(s): Joe Boyd.


Side 1: Time Has Told Me; River Man; Three Hours; Way to Blue; Day Is Done.

Side 2: Cello Song; The Thoughts of Mary Jane; Man in a Shed; Fruit Tree; Saturday Sun.

Label/Format: Island – Original pink black label with smooth finish. (Please see my label scans).

Label Conditions: Both look fantastic and what a pure pleasure to view these rare Island labels looking so clean and fresh. Amongst the rarest Island labels ever made and these are how the connoisseur collectors want to see them. Spindle marks are light and very light, any present are faint and only show with angled viewing. Apart from a couple of small marks on side two, which are almost certainly minor manufacture blemishes that have NO SOUND whatsoever, this Holy Grail folk classic looks hardly played which is reitterated by practically pristine sound that totally left me aghast. This monumental album will not be easy to find much better and that’s is for certain.

Cat Number: ILPS 9105.

Mode / Speed: Stereo / 33.3 rpm.

Weight of this Record: 136 grams. [These days, many modern Audiophile reissues are pressed on super-heavyweight 180 gram vinyl. Only a small percentage of ‘vintage vinyl’ was ever pressed this heavy. Records pressed in the 1960s averaged around 140 to 150 grams. Records pressed in the 1970s were usually lighter and averaged more around 115 – 125 grams. Some records pressed around 1973 were very thin and light due an oil crisis and shortage around this time. Some records were even issued on recycled vinyl from this period and sounded poor with crackle and surface noise evident from the very first play. If any record I buy is deemed ‘recycled’, I will never offer it, I have a very simple test to detect these records if I suspect this to be the case other than audible imperfection. Some records from this period were even pressed on other materials the most notable was ‘Dynaflex’, used by RCA around this time. Although inferior to vinyl, this at least mostly sounded reasonably acceptable but pressings on this material were wafer thin and flimsy. Beyond the 70s, records often became thinner and lighter still but most played fine but were never quite the quality as from the ‘Golden Era’]. (This was based on ‘average’ weights for 20 records from these eras. Later pressings were usually lighter still).

Country of Manufacture: England.

Original Year of Release: 1969

Matrix Nos: ILPS 9105 A 2 1 1 / ILPS 9105 B 2 1 1 1

Rarity: Very rare as a ‘first pressing’, even the pink rim and subsequent pressings are elusive too. This Island label design was not available very long anyway before being changed to the more familiar full pink i version and then the pink rims. Just a matter of months only in fact. In his short recording lifetime, his albums failed to sell and this title is one of the rarest and most sort-after albums within the Island catalogue. This album, like so many other classics was often doomed to bargin-bins, often with large damaging stickers applied as the lack of interest at the time took its toll. Now there simply not enough around to meet the ever increasing demand, many collectors now have to rely on reissues, and this man’s work as always been ‘in-print.’ How times and opinions change: for many, now the Holy Grail of folk albums, its status amongst the ‘Greats’ is undiminished and is actually elevating for every year as it ages. A most-prize item for the discerning record collector. Finding one in really lovely condition is a major task as fewer and fewer are made available, most of the better examples locked away in valuable collectors, rarely do they surface to be offered. This is a rare opportunity to own a really fine example of this Nick Drake debut.

Musicians: Nick Drake - vocals and acoustic guitar; Paul Harris – piano; Richard Thompson – electric guitar; Danny Thompson – double bass; Rocki Dzidzornu – congas; Clare Lowther – cello; Tristram Fry – drums & vibraphone.

Brief Info: In the world of music, there were few more elusive, mysterious and tragic characters than Nick Drake. Born Nicholas Rodney Drake on June 19, 1948 and died November 25, 1974. An English folk-singer-songwriter of immense talent. He made just three albums and they all failed to sell during his lifetime. Over time, his work has since grown in popularity and stature and all three are highly sort after and he is now regarded one of the most influential folkesque singer-songwriters of the last half decade. He signed to Island Records when only 20-years-old, and released this, his debut album Five Leaves Left. His first two albums are reputed to have sold less than five thousand copies as first issues and his reluctance to perform live or give interviews were major factors to his total lack of commercial success. He suffered with depression and insomnia and his song lyrics often portrayed these troubles. He died after the completion of his third album from an overdose of an anti-depressant. On this timelessly beautiful record he is backed by Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention) and Danny Thompson (Pentangle) amongst others. His vocal lacked a great range but it remained highly expressive nonetheless and indeed it took me some time before appreciating this now iconic artist myself. Like most others, his albums bypassed me for many years but the wait was well worth it. This is such a rare album and incredibly difficult just to find, especially in better condition. So many have very worn covers and badly scratched records. With so few sold or existing on the original pink block label, I just wonder how many actually survive quite like this. Bought and appreciated by only a lucky few initially, this man’s original works are amongst the most sort-after for album collectors these days. Such is the strength of this copy, it more than justifies the memory of this sadly tragic young man. An important historic piece that does him and the album itself practically full justice. This is a very rare opportunity, do not lose this one, it will be posted FREE signed for and fully insured as standard to any part of the world the winning bidder lives in.

This Cover’s Potential for Wear: Very High+.

Cover Grade and Format: EX but arguably better consider just how badly this one wears. The deep green ink is ruthlessly fragile and rubs freely unless kept in cottonwool, and very few ever were. This is an unlaminated gatefold cover that was printed and made in England by Ernest J. Day & Co Ltd. There are the odd minor cover variations for this album, this one has the better quality finish on the left edge being folded inside rather than cut and glued.

Cover Front: Although this is not Mint by any means, it’s one of the best I have ever seen, that said, I have not seen too many. Most of the ones I have seen or held were not for sale anyway, but owned and cherished examples and even these showed more wear than this one has got. This front is immensely fragile, it has few marks and only a few light edge spine hairline type creases. Rubbing is always the main issue on this cover and in terms of vulnerability, it’s only very light on this one. Light friction rubs near the bottom edge and even lighter and less near the top. The spine edge has a turquoise hue on the top fold and a faint trace on the top edge. This I feel certain is a reaction to light exposure over the years. This is not so unusual as some solid ink colours do react with light and I do not consider this really detrimental to this splendid cover – but that’s just my opinion.

Cover Back: The odd tiny mark and a minor semi-crease near the top of the left edge. These minor blemishes apart, little else to fault and this side really will prove immensely difficult to find better. The lack of grubbiness and ringwear especially is a major bonus.

Cover Inner Gatefold: Superb with barely anything to fault, my pictures probably do not do these two faces justice.

Top Edges: Both very clean and straight with minimal traces of any wear.

Bottom Edges: Very similar to above, if their has been any tipping-in, it’s incredibly minor and superbly done. So-much-so, it probably hasn’t been (not by me anyway).

Right Edge(s), and Type: Clean, sharp with no wear or feathering and guaranteed untrimmed. The front edge has the superior construction with the end folded inside rather than being open and glued. This makes for a slightly thicker front, thus a little more robust. Record entered on this back edge.

Spine and Text: The top half of the spine has a turquoise shade, I think unlikely made this way but more likely a light reaction over its 40 years. This is speculation but what IS for certain, it’s a natural colour and that is guaranteed. The spine is very solid, straight with no compression or crushing. One chip near the top corner but little else in the way of rubbing or wear. All text is present and unworn.

Corners: All retain great shape and the very end of the tips have probably been improved with a minor tip-in - again not by me. That’s the owner’s choice but if so, they are tiny indeed and of little significance only to make the cover look even nicer.

Cover Summary: A very strong, almost exceptional example of this very rare and fragile late 60’s cover. One that will prove immensely difficult to find much better, finding another at all will not prove easy anyway. This beautiful item should please many, if not most realistic collectors. Just slightly down for the connoisseur who only wants perfection at any price – it could indeed prove a long, long wait.

The Inner Sleeve: This copy came to me with a polylined Polydor-style inner sleeve which is Near Mint.

Vinyl Condition/Visual Grading: Side one Mint(-), Side two EX+, with just a couple of minor surface marks that have NO sound at all. I feel certain a couple of manufactured marks, neither can be felt or heard, totally superficial and have no effect on the glorious audio quality of this record at all. A superb visual copy that is super clean, shiny, intense black and very solidly pressed. A copy played very little on all the evidence reitterated by clean playing surfaces and superb, reference quality sound. Few pink block originals will retain such lovely clean, pure good looks and obvious low plays as this one, it will be immediately apparent to any winning bidder. Visually a super record that should please most collectors.

Album Played For Grading: Yes. [I play ALL records I offer before submitting to Ebay, also the record is played in its entirety unless clearly stated otherwise. I do NOT play snippetts or joining grooves to check for sound quality and quietness – I play from the beginning to end via clinically revealing B&W speakers that include the legendary tweeter from their awesome Nautilus range that reveals every blemish or miniscule sound present on any record.]

Sound Quality and Audio Grading: I found tapping out words and spaces impossible while listening to this record, hence I played this in its entirety uninterrupted and doing nothing but admiring what I was listening too. This major Island rarity plays up to, and even exceeds its high visual gradings with nothing to fault. Strong, distortion-free sound, all frequencies are sharp and clear - sound quality is truly astonishing with a wide dynamic range and very detailed sound. Beautifully produced with a genuine atmosphere, this is a gateway into the recording studio with Drake’s voice and guitar having an in-the-room presence. Any surface sounds barely even registered and no pops or clicks were heard, this is an exceptional clean pressing for a very challenging album. Mainly a low-volume melancholic album, this has few passages to hide the odd minor blemish but glad to state there are barely any anyway. Few albums like this and of such an age will play through devoid of the odd single groove tick, the format hardly allows it but this gives a stunning high-class performance and was a sheer thrill to listen to. Few copies will match or outperform this very early pressing significantly I feel sure. Both channels are clean and sharp, I feel very sure this record has been played very lightly and has been clearly well stored and carefully handled, almost certainly in a non-smoking environment. Nothing spoilt my pleasure when play-grading this wonderful record, a true delight, it really is a shame this did not sell in greater quantities simply to satisfy the amazing rise in interest for this man’s work. An album of immense beauty, possibly not immediately apparent, but when these songs get into the subconscious, little else will better it. A work of true genius, the song arrangements are simply breathtaking and the purity of the voice and instruments are sheer high fidelity class. With so few originals around, the reissues are an option of course, but nothing can thrill more than holding and listening to an original – just imagine, this copy was actually in the shops when the man himself was still with us. This copy will certainly prove very difficult to find significantly better and is strongly recommended. A beautiful rare record that more than justifies the memory of the legendary, mysterious and elusive artist. Please see also my other two Nick Drake albums on offer at the moment.

Now one of the most established sellers on Ebay and still offering the finest and most accurately described and graded records I can find. I pride myself on offering a variety of genres to keep my site as interesting as possible. I will rarely offer any record that falls below a true Excellent grading, unless its of a certain rarity which will justify offering a lesser grade. I try, to the best of my ability to describe as accurately and as honesty as I can all items I offer for sale with all the relevant information I can think of to help any potential bidder and collector. You may notice I only submit records sparingly on Ebay - on average ONEADAY, a couple more at weekends if time permits, hence the name - time rarely allows for more as I Play-Grade virtually every record I offer in their entirety, not just bits to guess a grade - visuals alone do not always tell a true or full story. I will mention any defects or flaws no matter how small that I notice to be fair as possible to any interested collector – I am very fussy and my buyers have the right to be too. Every record I offer, whether it be a common or rare item deserves the same respect as far as I am concerned and will be treated the same - just because an item is rare does not always mean its good. I get just as much pleasure offering a relatively common record in stunning near mint condition as the real rare items. All the pictures I use for your guidance are taken with a digital camera or scanned - they are NOT improved, cleaned-up or made better looking than they are with camera trickery or enhancing with digital programmes. What you see is what you get and scanned labels will give a more accurate representation of the genuine colour than flash photography where light is variable. I cannot guarantee total accuracy for colours however but most will be very close. If any picture I take looks more flattering than the actual item for any reason, I will clearly state the fact in the advert and vice-versa. I hope the item below is to your liking - any questions can be emailed and I will do my very best to answer you. I am enthusiastic, and have a fair degree of knowledge about many genres and I promise quality items - bid with confidence - excellence comes as standard and so does Near Mint regularly. Please assume all records I offer have NO jumps, sticks, warps or writing on covers or labels unless clearly stated to the contrary. Thanks for your interest and Good luck – MIKE.

Equipment Used for Play-Grading: I now play-grade ALL the records I offer (unless clearly stated to the contrary) on the following equipment:

Deck: Linn LP12 with Ittok Mk IV arm and Ortofon Samba Moving Coil cartridge (tracks at 1.8 grams). Amps: Naim Nait 5i with Project USB phono stage and Chord interconnects. Speakers: B&W 704 Floorstanding 3-way Monitors (bi-wired). All records I offer on Ebay are cleaned on a professional Moth vacuum machine before play-grading for the cleanest and best possible sound and will include a brand new lined inner and protective cover too.

First-time, zero-rated bidders, who do not ask permission to bid, will be cancelled immediately and blocked – NO exceptions. For winning bidders who I consider excessively slow to make contact or submit payment, I will use my right to block future bids. If any bidder who wins in the final seconds is present to do so, surely they can at least email me to inform of intention and payment method? If swift or promp payment is a problem, please do not bid.

POSTING & PACKING: What You Get: To confirm to the strict Ebay rules on shipping, I must now send ALL my packets ‘Signed-For’ with NO exceptions. Both buyers and sellers want their packets to have a safer journey and this is not a bad thing.

I now offer the fastest possible posting, mostly the very next day after payment is received or within three days maximum (unless on holiday). All records are posted in professional boxes (NOT mailers) with the record(s) REMOVED from their main cover to avoid edge splits and placed within a brand new polylined inner. The record’s original inner will be included if available. The boxes are then reinforced with TWO VERY THICK stiffners for even extra protection – these are FOUR TIMES thicker than commercial stiffners and are custom-made for oneadayrecords. Really rare and expensive albums will even be Double Boxed. The cover will be placed within a BRAND NEW heavy duty soft protective sleeve and the actual record will be professionally cleaned on my Moth Pro vacuum system to give ultimate clean grooves and playing surfaces and the best possible looks and ultimate sound quality. Printed address labels are used for clarity as well as a sender label. You will NOT get tired, dull looking, dust infested records inside worn and foggy covers with tatty inners from this seller and that’s a promise and guarantee. Customers requests or special needs for P&P will be respected if at all possible but ‘Signed-For’ posting is NOT an option anymore. I do not profit on posting and offer probably the best-value and safest shipping possible. I will invoice any winning bidder as soon as possible after the auction ends. My ‘loss’ or ‘damage rate’ is less than 0.1 per percent based on over 5,000+ items sold in over 8 years of Ebay trading and I consider that pretty exceptional. I discount of course for multiple purchases with a maximum of FOUR records per packet. I will not respond to questions on shipping costs as all the details are included in the advert.

NOTE: First Time Bidders: I will cancel ALL first-time bidders with no feedbacks or excessive negatives who do not ask me if its OK to bid first – NO EXCEPTIONS.

Please Note: I will now offer any item to the runner-up after the mandatory Ebay 3 days if no contact is made by the winning bidder unless prior notice of any delay is given beforehand. The same applies if no payment is received within the mandatory 7 days so any bidder who has just lost out can still email me to reserve the item as priority second chance – it’s always worth asking.


Posting & Packing: UK & CHANNEL ISLANDS all now sent via Recorded Delivery:

1 LP (SECOND Class Recorded Delivery with Standard Royal Mail Insurance) [Signed For] = FREE. This is the new Ebay rule. HOWEVER I STRONGLY URGE UK WINNERS TO PAY THE £3 FOR THE FIRST-CLASS SERVICE AS THE PACKETS WILL ARRIVE MUCH FASTER AND SAFER.

1 LP (FIRST-CLASS Recorded Delivery with Standard Royal Mail Insurance) [Signed For] = £3.

1 LP (Special Delivery with Standard £500 Maximum Insurance) [Signed For, Next Day] = £7.50. (this includes insurance of £500).

Posting & Packing: ALL EUROPE & SCANDINAVIA including RUSSIA and nearby countries. (Airmail Only):

1 LP (Small Packet ‘Signed For’ with Standard Royal Mail Insurance [£39 maximum]) = £8. (insurance optional extra £3).

Posting & Packing: ALL OVERSEAS (non-European) e.g. USA (any part); Australia; Canada; Japan and other Far East; (Airmail Only: I NEVER use Surface Mail):

1 LP (Small Packet ‘Signed For’ with Standard Royal Mail Insurance [£39 maximum]) = £12. (insurance optional extra £3)

Payment Conditions:

I prefer PayPal or cheque from UK winning bidders. I can accept PayPal from overseas bidders or direct payment into my bank account.

Potential Bidders: Please do not bid if you have negative feedback unless checking first, I will cancel any bids I feel are timewasters. A maximum 3 days for communication and 7 days for payment to arrive - if not I will relist the item or offer to the runner-up. Fast deals get great feedback from me. Any questions - please ask and thanks for looking.

My Guarantee: If any winning bidder is not satisfied with their purchase I will offer a complete refund minus the Posting and All Ebay costs as long as the item detail has been read and understood. I will not refund if any defect detail is clearly stated on the advert and missed by the buyer. If any overseas collector does not understand anything in my listing, please email and ask me to help.


My Use of Description Terminology: Surface Marks = Superficial, usually light marks, hairlines or light scuffs that rarely sound. Scratch = a needle mark that goes below the record’s surface, some will sound, some will not, my play-grade will inform. Original = a record that has been pressed with the first label design which does NOT neccessarily mean a very first pressed record. First Pressing = A record that I believe or know to be a genuine very first pressed record. I do not claim to always know for sure, and that’s why I state the stamper and matrix numbers if at all possible, for those who claim to know what they all mean, the information is there for the collector to decide. I prefer to use terms like ‘Early Copy’ rather than ‘First Pressing’ if I am not totally sure. Surface Sound = Mild, light sound, usually light crackle or similar. Distortion = Break up of the actual sound caused by groove wear or damage from a chipped stylus – the most undesirable form of unwanted sound, vintage mono records were the most prone to this happening but not exclusively so. The symptoms of distortion are high frequency clipping, moderate constant crackle or an echo type sound quality. Violin, piano and vocals are most prone to groove-wear distortion. Feathering = Fraying or softening of the entry edge of a cover. Covers with feathered entrance edges are more likely to have had the actual record inserted and removed more than a non-feathered, sharp-edged cover which are always far more attractive. Set Off, actually a printer’s term for dark ink leaving mild residue on pale or white ink when rested upon. e.g. when a gatefold cover has black ink closed against white, this can leave some black residue on the pale area – this is mostly unavoidable or course.

The Argument for Vinyl Original sound and mix (mono mixes are rarely available on CD), high quality sound on clean copies (played on a hi-end dedicated analogue system – breathtaking sound!), beautiful, large format covers, artwork, inserts and even full size posters etc; huge investment potential, and the pleasure of owning ‘the real thing’.

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