Bryter Layter

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Bryter Layter
Bryter Layter.jpg
Studio album by Nick Drake
Released 5 March 1971[1]
Recorded 1970, Sound Techniques, London
Genre Folk jazz, folk baroque
Length 39:09
Label Island
Producer Joe Boyd
Nick Drake chronology
Five Leaves Left
Bryter Layter
Pink Moon

Bryter Layter, recorded in 1970 and released in March 1971,[1] was the second of three albums by British folk musician Nick Drake.

Content and production[edit]

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] 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]


A 13 March 1971 interview with Nick Drake in Sounds, promoting the new release of Bryter Layter, with the album being described as "having been released only last week" (ie. 5 March 1971), contrary to the long held misconception that the album was released in November 1970, which is when early promotional copies appeared, before being pulled for an artwork overhaul.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
Pitchfork 9.7/10[5]
Q 5/5 stars[6]

Mojo called the album "Certainly the most polished of his catalogue".[7] Alternative Press called it "[one] of the most beautiful and melancholy albums ever recorded."[8]


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".[9]

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

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Nick Drake. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Introduction"   1:33
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
No. Title Length
6. "Bryter Layter"   3:24
7. "Fly"   3:00
8. "Poor Boy"   6:09
9. "Northern Sky"   3:47
10. "Sunday"   3:42


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

Release history[edit]

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. ^ Raggett, Ned. "Bryter Layter - Nick Drake : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly: 24. 12 May 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Greene, Jayson (22 January 2014). "Nick Drake: Tuck Box : Album Reviews : Pitchfork". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Q, May 2007, Issue 250.
  7. ^ Mojo: 99. July 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Alternative Press: 88. March 2001.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ NME: 19. 18 September 1993.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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

External links[edit]