"Pink Moon" is the third and final album by the late Nick Drake, the British folksinger who died of an overdose of antidepressants in 1974 at age 26. It used to be hard to find. For years, he was known only to music heads. But now "Pink Moon" ranks seventh on Amazon.com's music sales chart.
Why? The title track can be heard in a current Volkswagen commercial. The ad shows a group of friends zipping down the highway listening to Drake's moody, impressionistic soundscapes. They reach their destination, a party, but they are so transported by their convertible and by Drake's firm, wispy voice and virtuosic guitar-playing that they turn back. In 30 seconds, you're hooked.
"Pink Moon" was from a gloomy man who, after recording two critically acclaimed but publicly ignored albums, had grown increasingly withdrawn and mordantly shy. Now, 26 years after his death, the stubborn and idealistic Drake is finally getting famous, because of a car commercial -- and the arresting beauty of "Pink Moon."