Most helpful positive review
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Pickin' up every stitch
on 16 October 2004
When I was 18, which was about the third summer of love (1990) I had a copy of the 'Record Collector' magazine and had read about Donovan...one day (one of the hottest days that year) Radio one were playing 'Hot Summer' tracks and I heard this song that was so damn catchy - I turned to my dad and said that's Donovan even though I'd never heard this song before...turned out it was 'Sunshine Superman' the first track on this album. I knew I'd love Donovan after that.
During the 60's under the production of Micky Most, Donovan produced some of his greatest music, everything from Dylanesque folk to Beatles backed tracks such as Mellow Yellow. This album concentrates on Donovans electric heyday 66-69. You won't hear all of Donovans styles on this album (folk and jazz to name a few) but you will hear some of the gentlest, insightful tunes ever written - just listen to 'Happiness Runs' which is like a childrens nursery rhyme but somehow manages to transcend generations and be relevant on many levels - 'Happiness runs in a circular emotion, thought is but a little boat upon the sea.. Happiness Runs Happiness Runs...' This is a great representation of Donovans heyday but by no means is a definitive collection. Thankfully though all the songs are representative of Donovans best albums of the 60's except the playfull and acoustic 1967 set 'Donovan in Concert' which spins a whole new take on these songs.
Start here though and if you like what you hear then there is better to come on the American imports of Donovans 1966 and 1967 albums 'Sunshine Superman' and 'Mellow Yellow'...Don't waste your time with the UK version of 'Sunshine Superman' which for legal reasons is an abridged version of the first two albums and misses some great tracks from the full albums.
To sum up.. you can hear the embodiment of the 60's in this album, you really can hear the innocence in his voice..not fake and certainly not cashing in (there is a lot of debate about whether Donovans 'Sunshine Superman' single or the Byrds 'Eight Miles High' was the first Pyschedelic single).
If you long for a better place when you shut your eyes then this is a good starting place...but that is what it is, a starting place that isn't represntative of all of Donovans styles. Hey, you have to start someplace though and it's where I started my long appreciation of this mans brilliance.
I hope you enjoy.