on 4 February 2008
I didn't know nothing about the existence of this cd before looking at it on "Amazon". I read the only review (great!) and ordered it supposing to get a good Donovan work. When I received and listened I was sure to have on my hands a little masterpiece. Songs for children nice to be heard also from adults. This is the perfect 3rd part of a kind of Trilogy after "From a Flower to a Garden" and "H.M.S. Donovan", two of the best album by the Scottish singer. Remarkable also Donovan autobiographical notes on the booklet. I think there are 4 new songs mixed with rearranged old tunes. Reccommended to everyone likes poetry and gently music.
on 23 September 2002
Pied Piper is a very fine album. It belongs with albums such as "HMS Donovan" and "A Gift from a Flower to a Garden". On the "Pied Piper" CD you even find, published for the first time, a tune (People Call Me the Piped Piper) from the sadly little known 70ties movie "The Pied Piper" in which Donovan played the Pied Piper himself. Many of the tunes (e.g. Colours) have been rearranged, which is why this CD is not to be bought as a "Greatest Hits" compilation. It is a new CD in its own right.
After a six year hiatus from the recording studio, '60s survivor Donovan gave us another album, his third collection of children's music, and his twelfth studio record overall. The man clearly loves the little people, and when it comes to writing songs aimed at kids, he has a long history of doing so, and as far as I'm concerned, no other songwriter comes close to doing it better.
The tracks on 'Pied Piper', which is essentially what the Scottish bard is, are never stuffy or patronising, Donovan treats his audience with intelligence and helps to make the youngsters think creatively. Although he decided to recycle mostly old songs of his, with only three previously unissued cuts on the album: 'Jackie Beanstalk', 'Nature Friends' and 'Little Teddy Bear', the classics from the late '60s to early '70s have been revived quite well, each of which were given new licks of paint, and the 2001-02 direction makes them sound fresh and exciting.
The album bares it's name from a magical, but largely unseen film production of 'Pied Piper' in 1972, in which Dono starred in the title role, alongside acting talent such as Diana Dors and John Hurt. I have always had a soft spot for the rather adorable 'I Love My Shirt' from his last album of the '60s 'Barabajagal', along with the still very popular, feel-good anthem 'Happiness Runs', which was also on the same release, and so I was happy to hear him reprise both of these on here. 'Jackie Beanstalk', a re-telling of the familiar children's tale 'Jack in the Beanstalk' is my favourite of the new songs, and could easily add a lot of magic to any future stage show productions or feature films based around it, by using it in the soundtrack.
'Pied Piper' is an album aimed primarily at kids, but if the little people in your life don't like it, I'm pretty that the grown-ups will, and very charmed will they feel whilst listening. I love this album, and if I ever have children, I'll play this to them from a young age to ensure they do appreciate this delightful work from one of Scotland's finest ever poets.