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4.2 out of 5 stars30
4.2 out of 5 stars
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This is a great little anthology that captures the best of Donovan through the late sixties and early seventies. With his patented style of folky/jazzy tunes mixed with psychedelic lyrics, his hippie music has stood up well to the test of time, and sounds fresh and relevant today, and not dated as so many of his contemporaries. There is track after track here of sunshine and fun. And being an anthology it misses out a lot of the filler that populated his albums, concentrating solely on the good stuff.

Sadly, due to rights problems, Sony could not put the original recordings of `Colours' or `Catch The Wind', my two favourite Donovan songs. They have opted to give us the 1969 re-recordings done for the greatest hits album of that year. These are not a patch on the original recordings, being as they are overladen with strings and other pointless stuff, though as that greatest hits package was reportedly the best selling album of his career then someone must have liked them.

So 4 stars. It would have been 5, as the song selection and sound quality is excellent, it's jsut that I was so disappointed by the re-recordings of my two favourite songs that I have to knock a star off.

This is an excellent place to start a Donovan collection though, with it's excellent and broad selection of tracks. People (like me) wanting the original recordings of Colours and Catch the Wind can do worse than look here: Catch The Wind
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on 30 May 2012
Had a chioce between buying this or 'digitising' my 'Greatest Hits' LP (vinyl) & decided to buy this as great value plus some nice extra tracks (eg. Celia of the Seals; Susan on the West Coast Waiting, etc). However, like my LP, it only has the later, 'lush' versions of Colours & Catch the Wind. Lovely tho' these are, with the added time available on CD (up to 80 mins & this is 'only' about 73 mins long) it would have been appreciated if they'd have added the simpler but equally good original versions of the two songs... perhaps starting the CD with the two originals & leaving the newer versions near the end, as here. Donovan was never 'Britain's answer to Dylan', as he was sometimes referred to, but he made some good folk/ pop/ psychedelic music & this is, notwithstanding the above proviso, a decent introduction & collection of his best known songs (with a few lesser known). Trivia: noticed how they 'cleverly' edit the sample of Sunshine Superman in the current tv ad to skip the line, "Could have tripped out easy..."? Peace & love!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 November 2015
The main selling point of this fascinating two-disc compilation from Epic/Legacy Records in 1992, was, to the Donovan Leitch devotees at least, the inclusion of eight previously unreleased songs: 'London Town', 'Co'dine', 'Breezes Of Patchulie', 'Museum', the 'Superlungs' demo, an alternative take of 'Riki Tiki Tavi', 'Age Of Treason', and 'What The Soul Desires'.

Due to legal reasons, the superior, original versions of Donovan's two earliest folk hits 'Colours' and 'Catch the Wind' couldn't be used, and instead we have the 1969 re-recordings which he cut for his first official greatest hits album of the same year, despite being definitely inferior to the charting versions, they still aren't bad at all. With the exception of those two songs, most of the Scottish singer-songwriter's greatest hits are here, and all of them presented in their original form, as well as a generous collection of album only tracks, totalling up to 44 recordings, all of which have been remastered, and sound superb.

If you are looking for a more extensive overview of Donovan's music, which spans his early days starting out in 1965 as a guitar playing troubadour to an influential psychedelic rock singer until the early 1970s, largely under the watchful eye of hit making producer Mickie Most, then this official release is better than a lot of the single disc compilations that were available then and since. Some of the lesser 'essential' songs that make up the track listing might be too excessive for people who aren't avid fans, and instead, those of you who would consider yourself to causal listeners might decide to pick up the following UK top 50 hit album: The Best Of Donovan: Sunshine Superman from EMI records in 2006, which boasts 22 stunning tracks.

What appears to have ruined this great man a little bit, are those early comparisons to Bob Dylan, and whilst, yes, there were similarities between the two, they were completely different artists. The elfin faced lad was a truly talented musician in his own right, had his own sound, and was responsible for a string of memorable hit records, and some truly outstanding albums. His classic work as a singer-songwriter and guitar picker is magnificent, as you'll soon discover if you decide to feast upon this fine introduction to his best-known material, which is also good as a starting point for new collectors. A comprehensive 32 page booklet is also included.
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There are plenty of 2 CD albums to choose from, but this issue I would say is for die hard fans as many tracks are rarer and unknown to me, I have written reviews on some others, maybe worth a look.
NOTE there are 2 issues of this album, ASIN: B000025TAY appears to be an older issue of ASIN: B0000027GB which has the same title, but a different photo. Ironically, at the time of writing this review, the later issue is cheaper, I can't add any more info as others have done a decent job.
NOTE JUST TO MAKE THINGS MORE COMPLICATED Amazon have grouped the reviews for both issues together, in case there is no track listing for the issue you are looking at I include it here.

PS I have seen comments, Sony could not put the original recordings of `Colours' or `Catch The Wind', my two favourite Donovan songs. They have opted to give us the 1969 re-recordings done for the greatest hits album of that year. These are not a patch on the original recordings, being as they are overladen with strings and other pointless stuff. The copy I listened to had the decent original recordings, very odd that.
The copy had THE BLUE photo on the front, Legacy '– 488811 2, but the same title and track listing, the only info I could find was the company reissued it, presumably as it was so popular. Most of CD1 was nearly all muddy mono, even though decent stereo exists for most tracks, most of CD2 was decent stereo, maybe the stereo masters were more recently discovered.

The copy with a dark photo on the front, Epic '– 487481 2, Legacy '– 487481 2

Track Listings

Disc: 1

1. London Town
2. Codine
3. Catch The Wind
4. Universal Soldier
5. Colours
6. Sunshine Superman
7. Season Of The Witch
8. The Trip
9. Guinevere
10. Breezes Of Patchulie
11. Museum
12. Super Lungs
13. Mellow Yellow
14. Writer In The Sun
15. Sand And Foam
16. Sunny South Kensington
17. Epistle To Dippy
18. There Is A Mountain
19. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
20. Oh Gosh
21. The Tinker And The Crab
22. Poor Cow

Disc: 2

1. Hurdy Gurdy Man
2. Jennifer Juniper
3. Teen Angel
4. Lalena
5. To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
6. Atlantis
7. Barabajagal
8. Happiness Runs
9. Celia Of The Seals
10. Riki Tiki Tavi
11. Clara Clairvoyant
12. Roots Of Oak
13. Riki Tiki Tavi (Previously Unreleased Version)
14. Maria Magenta
15. Cosmic Wheels
16. I Like You
17. Yellow Star
18. Rock And Roll Souljer
19. The Quest
20. Age Of Treason
21. What The Soul Desires
22. Dark-Eyed Blue Jean Angel
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on 7 April 2014
Although some tracks are well known a few I had never heard before lovely album.It grows on you
If you like his music add this to your collection
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on 11 December 2013
A comprehensive reflection of the best of the Man`s career. What`s not to like? Seek, and the interested listener will find all his hits within.
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on 26 November 2015
I'm afraid I'm not too hot on the way these songs have been recorded. I remember being very impressed by Donovan's work when he first hit the scene ( the big day was heralded as 'D-Day' by the New Musical Express, I recall,l for weeks before his first record was released. Music for Pleasure released a vinyl LP of Donovan's songs years ago which was much better having more the basic acoustic guitar sound on it without any sophisticated arrangements.
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on 19 November 2013
A great album showing just how versatile and talented Donovan is. Season of the Witch has got to be one of his best songs.
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on 15 October 2012
Another quality CD from a very good artist. arrived in good time and was damage free. I would recommend to others
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on 25 October 2014
A great, innovative, IMO important and often forgotten artist of the sixties (and beyond). This is indeed a definitive collection of his most important work.
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