I hear you on much of the above though if Nick Drake was still alive and had made as many records as say Roy Harper I don't think more than a tiny percentage of people would give a toss about the first two or three albums. A good looking bio and a tragic tale goes a long way to cementing your place in the history books.
I agree re the tragic tale, but I do think people would still rate those albums because they really are THAT good.
But there's no doubt that death preventing him getting, well, shit. Who knows, he may have carried on making records with that level of quality, but on the other hand we might have been spared the sight of Nick approaching his forties, with his white jacket sleeve rolled up whilst someone played a tasteful sax as some bugger noodled away on a fretless bass in the background!
But I will always treasure those three albums - more than almost any others I've ever heard tbh.
Damon making a pop LP with a female singer sounds a fab idea to me, though I'd nominate resurrecting the career of some great 80's voice like Shannon personally!