Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left/ Is it just a bad recording

In the last year I found a nice FLL vinyl pressing, which was neither the New remaster or an original. It was likely an early repress. This had no life to it. Not bad in an offensive way, but dark and flat sounding. Just picked up the New Universal FLL CD remaster from 2000 at a vinyl shop in Kingston. Yikes, this one sounds bad, especially compared to my Hannibal Pink Moon Remastered CD. Then there's the Pink Moon Universal LP from a few years ago. This LP sounds sublime. So is FLL just a mediocre recording, or have I managed to get duds on my LP and CD. Cheers -Don

A little off topic I apologize, but if you like that ND album you may enjoy the Jason Parker Quartet's version. Available for download or CD, sounds very nice to me.

Listening now to FLL early Antilles/Island LP.  It sounds wide open and lifelike and is very well recorded. 
Hello fjn - I’ve always considered Five Leaves Left to be one of the better recordings I own. Song writing, performances, arrangements and sound quality all seem first rate. The latter, airy, spacious and dynamic; certainly not dark and flat. Unfortunately, I suspect I’m listening to the same 2000 Island release as you, though mine bought a good number of years ago. It is an Island Chronicles release; Universal-Island Records 422 842 915-2; The Island Def Jam Music Group. Remastering by John Wood. Re-release producer: Joe Boyd. Hope you find a version that suits you.

Thanks- I admit my digital front end isn't that great, but it gets the basics right. It definitely shows the superiority of the Hannibal Pink Moon CD over the FLL Island Def Jam Music Release. I'm sure we have the same one. There are quite a few on the SH forum who prefer the early Hannibal CD over the latter Def Jam (2000) remasters. As far as the Universal vinyl releases from 2013, the consensus over on SH forum is Pink Moon is excellent, and Bryter Layter nips on the heels of the Pink Moon. However, the FLL is generally not thought well of. Having had the mediocre FLL vinyl pressing, I will proceed with caution. I will keep an eye out for the early Antilles LP. dgarretson- thanks for the recommendation on that one. As the OP, I'm happy to open this thread up to more Nick Drake chatter. Cheers -Don
I did go back and listen again after posting that 4-21 reply. I had called it "airy". On re-listening, it certainly doesn’t strike me as the airiest thing I own, yet I can confirm it doesn’t seem dark and flat sounding either. SQ overall is quite good. I do wonder how sound quality is affected over time with prolonged CD production runs. An early gen CD possibly better sounding than later?? I’ll also admit to not having anything to compare my copy to. Maybe it sounds okay to me but compared to some other version, would suck. Ignorance is bliss as they say. Have 5 Leaves and Pink Moon. Bryter Layter is definitely something to add.

The CD I have of FLL sounds very nice.  I assume I have the better that was describes.  I can let you know that there is no reason to buy the LP reissue of FLL from a few years ago as it is the same quality as the CD I have.