Nick Drake Five Leaves Left UK LP First Press Island ILPS 9105 Ex Vinyl RARE
  £   476


£   476 Sold For
7 Jul 2013 End Date
27 Jun 2013 Start Date
£   1 Start price
47 Number Of Bids
  Great Britain Country Of Seller
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I have several rare collectible first pressings for auction this week, including all three Nick Drake albums. Please be sure to look at my other items. All start at 99p with NO reserve. Please await invoice BEFORE you pay. Shipping rates include insurance (see the bottom of this listing). Combined shipping rates are always offered.

Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left was issued in the UK on 1st September 1969 on Island ILPS 9105. This is a first pressing with the pink and black ‘block’ logo. Matrix numbers are: ILPS 9105 A//2 1 1 / ILPS 9105 B//2 1 1.

Drake’s first album, named after the warning found towards the end of a packet of Rizla cigarette papers, was begun in July 1968 at Chelsea’s Sound Techniques studios, an 8 track studio built on the site of the old Chelsea dairy at 46a Old Church Street, London, SW3. The finished album wasn’t released until over a year later.

Joe Boyd produced the album in terms of booking studios and hiring musicians but it was John Wood, the album’s engineer, who was responsible for the finished sound. The in-house arranger at Apple, Richard Hewson, was initially drafted in to arrange the strings, but Drake wanted Cambridge friend Robert Kirby for the job. Despite Kirby’s youth (he was 19 at the time) and relative inexperience, Boyd was impressed with the results and Kirby was given the job. The four tracks Kirby arranged (for string quartet, bowed double bass and – on one track – flute) were recorded in a single 3 hour session with Nick playing live in the same room. One further string arrangement on ‘River Man’ was done by Harry Robinson.

Other musicians brought in to fill out the sound included Fairport Convention’s Richard Thompson on electric guitar and Danny Thompson on double bass. The bass parts were overdubbed after Nick had recorded his guitar and vocal parts.


Side 1

1.   Time Has Told Me

2.   River Man

3.   Three Hours

4.   Way to Blue

5.   Day Is Done


Side 2


1.   Cello Song

2.   The Thoughts of Mary Jane

3.   Man in a Shed

4.   Fruit Tree

5.   Saturday Sun




Nick Drake: Vocals, Guitar

Richard Thompson: Electric Guitar

Danny Thompson: Double Bass

Paul Harris: Piano

Claire Lowther: Cello

Rocky Dzidzornu: Congas, Shaker

Tristan Fry: Drums, Vibraphone


Robert Kirby: Arrangements

Harry Robinson: Arrangements


Produced by Joe Boyd

Engineered by John Wood

Recorded at Sound Techniques, Chelsea

The unlaminated gatefold sleeve is in Very Good (+) condition. The front of the gatefold has some patches of surface wear which have resulted in colour loss (see photo), otherwise fine with no rips or sticker tears. The rear gatefold has slight ringwear at the very bottom whilst the white background is slightly grubby, otherwise fine. The inner gatefold has slight surface wear at the bottom left and there is also a small strip of damage in the centre bottom right (2 inches across by ¼ inch deep), otherwise absolutely fine. There is moderate edge and spinewear, which obscures the majority of the spine text, with small dinks in the opening edge and to the corners. At the bottom corner of the rear gatefold (at the opening edge) there is also a 1 inch split along the seam.

As was the case with these first pressed sleeves, “Day Is Done” and “Way To Blue” are listed in the wrong order.

The vinyl is in Excellent (+) condition. Inspection of the playing surfaces reveal no imperfections (other than a mark on the Side 2 run-off grooves) – beautifully clean. The record plays through beautifully from beginning to end with absolutely no sticks or jumps and no distortion whatsoever. There is also no crackle evident whatsoever – not even in the gaps between the tracks. There is only an occasional light tick which prevents a higher grading. Superb! The labels are virtually perfect with just one or two faint grease spots.

Supplied with a scanned copy of a 2 page article from ZigZag Magazine Issue 49 (January / February 1975) titled “Nick Drake – The Final Retreat” by David Sandison.

I am not a dealer but a serious collector. All my records come from my private collection. Please read my ME page for details of my philosophy on descriptions and gradings. I absolutely guarantee my gradings as played through my system. All my records are cleaned on a Moth Mk II RCM and play-graded in their entirety on a Rega Planar 3 turntable with RB300 tonearm and Denon DL-304 MC cartridge tracking at 1.5 g through an azur 840a amp via Chord Odyssey 4 bi-wired cable into KEF Q900 speakers. Inferior component-type turntables without proper tracking are more prone to sticking and jumping than high-grade turntables. If you love vinyl, do yourself a favour and invest in a decent system if you don't already own one. You don't have to pay thousands. Excellent quality 2nd hand turntables are available on eBay for around £100 (about the price of 1 rare LP). Your investment will be more than rewarded by the additional listening pleasure you derive.

BUT if, unexpectedly, you are unhappy for any reason, please get in touch.

Grading :

M = Mint - as new

NM = Near Mint - very few, light signs of usage that don’t affect play - the cover has only minor signs of wear.

EX = Excellent - some signs of usage, but very little lessening in sound quality – the cover might have slight wear and/or creasing.

VG = Very Good - no major deterioration in sound quality, despite noticeable surface marks and the occasional light scratch - normal wear and tear on the cover or extra items.

G = Good - the sound quality has noticeably deteriorated, perhaps with some distortion and mild scratches - the cover and contents suffer from folding, scuffing of edges, spine splits, discolouration, etc.

+ and - are used as appropriate.


Payment is expected within 3 days of auction end. PAYPAL is welcomed. In the UK cheques or direct credit into my bank account (please ask for the account details) are also fine. 

Non-paying bidders will be reported to eBay.

Shipping Policy :

If not still sealed, records are taken out of the sleeve to avoid splitting. They are posted in professional mailers with proper stiffeners for extra protection. These are pre-used and so are provided free of charge. A polythene sleeve is also always included. 


Postage / Shipping Charges

The following rates insure all packages up to a value of either £250 or £500, dependent upon destination. Additional insurance may be available for a higher fee.


1 LP                     £7.35

2 – 3 LPs            £8.65



1LP      £13.60

2LPs    £15.30

3LPs    £16.60

The Americas / Asia / Australasia / Rest of the World (ROW)

1LP      £16.55

2LPs    £19.45

3LPs    £22.30

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