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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minor masterpiece from a real master., 9 May 2006
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This review is from: Cosmic Wheels/Essence To Essence (Audio CD)
These 2 albums did not receive great critical acclaim when issued, but with the absence of anything later that comes anywhere near them in quality could be taken as his swansong.

Unlike his early work, they were not really of their time and that is maybe the reason for them going unnoticed at the time of their release. But they do not sound dated now and there are some great songs and arrangements here. The final track presented here 'Sailing Homeward' has a beautiful, haunting melody and stands up with his finest compositons.

Other particularly notable tracks are Earth Sign Man, Sleep, I like you and There is an Ocean - but there isn't a bad track here, even The Intergalactive Laxative ( a comic, throwawy song) has its attractions.

Each song is completely different - the range of styles is really quite awesome when you consider the norm nowadays is for one style to flow through a complete CD.

Donovan is 'helped' by an impressive array of musicians, still known today, which no doubt adds to the accomplished feel - including Chris Spedding, (the late) Cozy Powell, Ray Cooper, Peter Frampton and , playing piano on Sailing Homeward, Carol King.

A missed masterpiece.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daze Of Delight, 28 Oct 2006
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This review is from: Cosmic Wheels/Essence To Essence (Audio CD)
I was delighted to find this CD on Amazon including both the Cosmic Wheels and Essence to Essence albums. I still have the vinyl version of Cosmic Wheels with its gatefold sleeve, circular lyrics sheet and inner picture for colouring with cosmic crayons! The music was a new departure for Donovan and still sounds as fresh and varied as it did then. The session musicians included John 'Rabbit' Bundrick on moog, mellotron and piano..particularly good on the track 'Sleep' with a meaty mellotron riff. With Chris Spedding on guitars and strings, Cozy Powell on drums and backing vocals by the likes of Suzy Quatro and Lesley Duncan, this is an excellent album from the seventies. Essence to Essence is quieter and more reflective but the songs still resonate and having the two albums together is an absolute bargain. Highly recommended...they don't make music like this any more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Scottish troubadour's final creative volleys, 27 Nov 2012
This review is from: Cosmic Wheels/Essence To Essence (Audio CD)
Cosmic Wheels:

A return to production duty for Mickie Most, & the last time that an Donovan studio album troubled the charts on ether side of the Atlantic (at the time of writing this review).
A bit more of a polished production than previous Donovan/Most collaborations, with the inclusion of strings & backing singers. The album has a more laid back feel, with the lyrics dealing with the usual topics , i.e. mystical woman & the wonders of the cosmos.
There are no iconic Donovan songs such as "Mellow Yellow" or "Sunshine Superman" here, but it ticks along nicely, & although it hasn't stood the test of time compared to such records as "Exile on Main Street" or "Led Zeppelin IV", it's still a great little album.

"Essence To Essence"

The infamous Andrew Oldham album, that not too bad at all.
A mixing pot of different styles & ideas, from Folk/Rock, to reflective, to 1970's soft rock to reggae.
Now not a classic Donovan album, but there are occasional flashing of past creative glories, with "There is a Ocean" which would have fit on "A Gift from a..." quite nicely, to the insanely catchy "Boy for every Girl", to "Divine Daze of Deathless" which sounds like an extra track from "Cosmic...".
What I like about "Essence..." is that it full of quite obscure tracks, so there is lots to discover while listening.

At the moment the price of the CD seems ridiculously high, so I would advice to either shop around, or wait for the inevitable re-issue.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Wheels / Essence to Essence, 8 Oct 2010
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Big Nige (Seaton, Devon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cosmic Wheels/Essence To Essence (Audio CD)
Great album (s) but the price!!!! Someone out there, time for a reissue please. I had Cosmic Wheels on vinyl and it remains one of my favourite all time albums.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost Masterpieces, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Cosmic Wheels/Essence To Essence (Audio CD)
We'll yes I used the terminology for effect, but these two Albums are full of great music from our outdated little troubadour. They both have their place on my musical upbringing, as they do show that Donovan was moving on until these were thrown into the scrap heap of our wonderful critics bin of non understandable and out of date musicians. If only they could really care about music rather than themselves belief of their own hipness.
I will say I can live without hearing these songs again, but would much rather pay a sensible price to dream of times past. Come on someone, as already mentioned, make them available to download or something.
The words can still make sense in today's world of people taking themselves too seriously. Some good piss taking made palpable.
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