Buying the LPs sampled on Nice Enough to Eat.
This was a superb gatefold sleeve, the inner left showing the lyrics of three songs from the LP, “Sundown”, “Saturday Sun” and “River Man”:
The whole of the right side showed a photo of Nick Drake’s face, but with half of it in shadow, and his right hand resting on a large opened book:
I bought this LP new in 1973, I guess about a year before the tragic death of Nick Drake, so it came with the “palm tree” label, and a pretty light blue polythene lined inner sleeve, with the “i” logo and the Basing Street address at the bottom.
I was of course very familiar with the first track, “Time Has Told Me”, this being the sampled track, and it is the best track on the record, not least because of Richard Thompson’s typically brilliant guitar accompaniment. By this time I already had “Henry the Human Fly”, so I was immediately struck by a curious similarity. The back cover of “Five Leaves Left” has a large photo of Nick Drake leaning against a wall, looking at a man running from his right hand side, about to pass him, the running man thus shown somewhat blurred.
On the back cover of “Henry the Human Fly”, there is a small photo of Richard Thompson standing with a jacket held over his left shoulder, looking at a man who had been running from his right hand side, but has just passed him, and is shown very blurred indeed.
Richard Thompson is on record as having said that he wanted to shake hands with anyone who had bought “Henry the Human Fly”, and I had the good fortune to meet with him after a gig he had done at Sheffield City hall last year.
I duly shook hands with him, and he was kind enough to autograph the front cover of my copy.