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Reception and Legacy[edit]

Full page advertisement of the release of Pink Moon.[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
The Music Box 5/5 stars[3]
Q 5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Piero Scaruffi (8/10)[6]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[7]

Island records launched an unusual promotional campaign for the initial release of Pink Moon. They spent the entire promotional budget on full-page advertisements in all major music magazines the month of the records release. Initially, Pink Moon garnered a small amount of critical attention. Jerry Gilbert wrote the first review of Pink Moon; he was not impressed. Writing in Sounds, Gilbert claimed that the eleven tracks were “not sufficiently strong to stand up without any embroidery at all.” [8] Another early review was written by critic Mark Plummer and appeared in the May issue of Melody Maker. Plummer appreciated the music, but was distracted by Drake's growing ascetic mythology: “His music is so personal and shyly presented both lyrically and in his confined guitar and piano playing that neither does nor doesn't come over … it could be that Nick Drake does not exist at all.” [8]

On November 11, 1999 Volkswagen announced that it was debuting, for the first time, a television advertisement on the internet. The campaign, named Milky Way, featured the Volkswagen Cabriolet with the title track of Pink Moon as the soundtrack. Ron Lawner, Chief Creative Officer of Arnold Communications stated in the press release, "The song is very special. It's an old song by a guy named Nick Drake. It's called Pink Moon and is actually a very good introduction to Nick Drake if you're not familiar with him. It's very transporting. And to us seemed very fitting for a beautiful drive in the country on a very special night."[9] The Volkswagen Cabriolet commercial was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and filmed by Lance Acord and lead to a large increase in record sales,[10] and a number-five placing for Pink Moon in's sales chart.[11] The VW and Pink Moon pairing marked a new step in advertising. Bethany Klein, a professor in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Central England states, "The role of Pink Moon in the success of "Milky Way" was interesting, in that it both added to the artistry of the commercial and was also protected by the visual artistry of the spot: because the ad 'worked' (it was an aesthetic success) the usual negative discourse surrounding the use of popular music in advertising was, if not stopped, at least reduced and accompanied by positive appraisals. ... The linking together of the ad being a 'watershed' and being 'nicely done' is no coincidence; it is because the ad is so well executed and so aesthetically successful that the industry and the public reassessed the use of music in advertising around this example.[12]

In the 2000s, Pink Moon was been critically lauded, making it to the Melody Maker "All Time Top 100 Albums" as number 48. In 2003, the album was ranked number 320 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[13] In 2012, that ranking was revised to number 321.[14]

American singer Meshell Ndegeocello recorded a cover of the title track "Pink Moon" for the album "Time of No Reply" by Misja Fitzgerald.


  1. ^ "[1]". 40 Years Ago This Week: Nick Drake's Pink Moon Released , February 2012. Retrieved on 11 November 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ John Metzger. "Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left / Pink Moon / Bryter Layter / Way to Blue (Album Review)". Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Music: Pink Moon (CD) by Nick Drake (Artist), 106030477". 6 May 2003. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  5. ^ By Anthony DeCurtis (17 February 2000). "Pink Moon | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Nick Drake". Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Nick Drake – Pink Moon (album review 6)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Amanda Petrusich (2007). 33⅓ Nick Drake's Pink Moon. Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-2790-8. 
  9. ^ [ Retrieved on 19 January 2012.
  10. ^ Drake, Nick. "Nick Drake – You're Nicked" The Independent (UK), 2006. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.
  11. ^ "Rock Star Back from the Dead". The Birmingham Post (UK). 7 April 2000.
  12. ^ Bethany Klein (2010). As Heard on TV: Popular Music in Advertising. Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-0764-5. 
  13. ^ Pink Moon – Nick Drake. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 19 January 2012.
  14. ^ Wenner, Jann S., ed. (2012). Rolling Stone – Special Collectors Issue – The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. USA: Wenner Media Specials. ISBN 978-7098934196