50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY!!! The REAL Sunshine Superman Album!
I am not going to make any remarks about how great this album, although indeed great it was, and still is. What I am going to talk about is the fact that FINALLY this album has been in true stereo, every song, for the first time ever - coming off the original multi-track recordings. If you think you know what the Sunshine Superman album sounds like, think again. As...
Published on 17 Jun 2011 by Toadis McKeever
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not to burst anyones bubble...
Firstly, the remixing of this classic album is fantastic and creates the proper 3D stereo sound stage it has been lacking for so long.
However not to burst anyones bubble...but unfotunately for my tastes the album has been mastered around the 18db level, which in my view does not make good enough use of the dynamic range available.
Now I am no fan of...
Published on 8 Jun 2012 by Mr. C. A. Smith
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY!!! The REAL Sunshine Superman Album!,
I am not going to make any remarks about how great this album, although indeed great it was, and still is. What I am going to talk about is the fact that FINALLY this album has been in true stereo, every song, for the first time ever - coming off the original multi-track recordings. If you think you know what the Sunshine Superman album sounds like, think again. As much as you may love this album, and may have even heard it hundreds of times, like I have, until you hear this in true stereo, you haven't really "heard" it. In addition to having a much cleaner, richer sound, this new stereo mix brings out many, many little intricate sounds that are buried, or way in the background in the mono mix. Also, Donovan's voice is much, much clearer, situated right in the center, with very nice natural studio echo (which you can't hear on the mono mix) and the instruments are surrounding him in perfect soundstage presence. I always thought a few of the songs on Sunshine Superman, particularly Celeste, had a slight sort of distorted sound. Not now. Perfectly clear as can be. Even all the bonus tracks on disc one are in true stereo. The ones that were issued on the 2005 EMI remaster were in semi-distorted mono, especially Breezes of Patchuli. Now, here in stereo, they too really open up. This is truly an amazingly pleasing listen. [Unfortunately, it seems back in the 60's, EPIC Records, on which both the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums were issued were not the only ones that were never released back then in true stereo. Their (EPIC's) stereo was that fake stereo that actually sounds much worse than the mono versions. If you listen to U.S. albums on EPIC by the Yardbirds, the Dave Clark Five, and other original EPIC "stereo" pressings, you find that none of them were issued in true stereo.] Getting back to this new release...When you listen to disc 2, after you listen to the stereo disc 1, the songs on disc 2, in the original UK mono mix, sound dead in comparison. After so many lack-luster reissues of this album over the years, finally it has been released the way it should have been released in the beginning. Hopefully the original U.S. Mellow Yellow album will likewise be issued in true stereo, coming off the original multi-track tapes, like this was. I'm not holding my breath, but I am hoping. Let's get with it Donovan, and make that happen. Really, now is the time for a true stereo Mellow Yellow, while we are all riding high (naturally) on this way-overdue beautiful reissue of Sunshine Superman. Listen to this release of the REAL Sunshine Superman album LOUD.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic Masterpiece,
By A Customer
Donovan's Sunshine Superman record is a work of genius. A remarkable piece of work, not least for being produced when he was only 20yrs old, it contains several songs that deserve to be whispered in hushed tones whenever people are discussing the musical achievements of the 1960s: the title track of course, a pounding piece of pure pop psychedelia, but also Season Of The Witch, Celeste, Ferris Wheel, The Trip and The Fat Angel. These are awesome songs. Full of swirling lyrics, driving bass lines and guitar figures that will last forever.
This record places Donovan in the vanguard of the musical developments of the 1960s. The shock is that only a few weeks earlier he was still regarded as a 'folk' performer. The leap in sound and vision of this record is a wonder to behold, easily the equal of any other record produced at this time and streets ahead of most. It represents a real fusion of sounds, combining western pop, eastern ragas and a sophisticated lyrical romanticism the like of which was completely revolutionary.
That this record is routinely neglected in reviews of the 60s is a complete traversty. Donovan had suggested the future development of his lyrics in Sunny Goodge Street and Summer Day Reflection Song, but nothing prepared anybody for the revolutionary leap made here. But more than the lyrical development are the musical textures created in the record, a tribute to the exceptional teaming of Donovan and Mickie Most, and a hint of what was to come when a partnership was formed with the truly great John Cameron. These textures are what ultimately makes the record. Simply stunning.
The recently added bonus tracks are interesting, but not essential, and its the first 10 tracks which make this record the classic it is. THIS is the record which proved that 'psychedlia' could be combined with 'pop'. The tragedy is that it wasn't initially released in the UK in anything like this form. Some of us paid a fortune to get this on vinyl import years ago. Do yourself a real favour, catch up with a stone cold classic. For less than £7.00 new!
Now, everyone sing along...When I look out my window, what do you think I see?
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Track Listing,
This new version of Sunshine Superman compliments rather than replaces the 2005 reissue, so if you have the earlier disc this one won't make it obsolete. The 2005 disc featured the ten track mono version of the U.S. edition of the album along with seven bonus tracks. On this new version you get a brand new stereo mix of the U.S. album and nine bonus tracks on disc one, whilst disc two features the mono mix of the twelve track U.K. version of the album along with three bonus tracks. There are differences with bonus material featured on the two CD releases and I have added a track-listing to show what you get here. The multitrack masters for three tracks on the U.K. mono album could not be located so no new stereo versions could be created for them - that is why they are not included!
This release is another by top compiler Tim Chacksfield and the new mix and master is by Abbey Roads senior engineer Peter Mew. It is presented in a three way card gatefold sleeve containing the two CDs and a very informative booklet detailing recording dates, personnel, track info and much more besides.
The new stereo mix gives this classic mid sixties album a new lease of life and is well priced in comparison with similar projects by other labels. Five stars for the price and quality and well worth adding to your 2005 version! Tracks as follows:
Disc One New US Version Stereo Album:
01. Sunshine Superman (3:19)
02. Legend of A Girl Child Linda (6:52)
03. Three King Fishers (3:19)
04. Ferris Wheel (4:13)
05. Bert's Blues (3:59)
06. Season of the Witch (4:58)
07. The Trip (4:38)
08. Guinevere (3:44)
09. The Fat Angel (4:18)
10. Celeste (4:13)
11. Breezes of Patchouli (4:39)
12. Museum (1st Version) (2:53)
13. Superlungs (1st Version, Unissued Alternative Take) (4:14)
14. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be (2:43)
15. Sunny South Kensington (3:57)
16. Epistle to Dippy (Early Alternative Arrangement) (3:12)
UK Sunshine Superman Stereo Tracks
17. Writer in the Sun (4:33)
18. Hampstead Incident (4:51)
19. Sunshine Superman (Long Version) (4:42)
Disc Two Original UK Mono Album:
01. Sunshine Superman (3:17)
02. Legend of A Girl Child Linda (6:54)
03. The Observation (2:25)
04. Guinevere (3:42)
05. Celeste (4:12)
06. Writer in the Sun (4:31)
07. Season of the Witch (4:59)
08. Hampstead Incident (4:44)
09. Sand and Foam (3:21)
10. Young Girl Blues (4:48)
11. Three King Fishers (3:18)
12. Bert's Blues (4:03)
US Sunshine Superman Mono Tracks
13. Ferris Wheel (4:15)
14. The Trip (4:38)
15. The Fat Angel (4:11)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only Sunshine Superman for me,
By A Customer
For me, this is the true version of this album because it is the format of the original UK release, of which I had the vinyl edition way back then. For some reason, it was decided to combine parts of the US versions of this and the Mellow Yellow albums to make up this UK version, so I can understand how confusion has been caused.
I take my hat off to BGO who have produced this CD with the original tracklisting, together with original artwork - and if the music wasn't enough on it's own, that front cover is surely a classic of the period too!
The recent reissue may be great for the bonus tracks but if you really want to experience this album as we first did in the UK, I suggest you to buy this one.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem,
This album and Mellow Yellow saw Donovan at his peak. The jazzy arrangements by John Cameron developed a new sound for him that unfortunately was not sustained afterwards. The best songs on this CD will surely stand as Donovan's masterpieces. The first (title) track does good enough service as a hit single warm-up, Legend of Girl Child Linda is long and veers slightly towards tweeness, but after that the album hits its stride with a succession of masterpieces. Distinctive arrangements - jazzy strings (Bert's Blues), guitars electric and acoustic, & sitars that actually work musically (the trancy Fat Angel). Rhythms hit a slow groove (Season of the Witch; Fat Angel), Sound textures luxuriate (Guinevere, Celeste). If you want to try out Donovan this would be the place to start.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, Mystical, Mesmerising Superman,
The two versions of this album (United States and UK) causes some confusion. Following contractual disputes between Pye Records and Epic records, the UK version of Sunshine Superman was finally released in June 1967, just in time for the summer of love. It comprises a cross section of tracks from the original American Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow releases and is all the stronger for it - making it the better version to own despite being difficult to buy new.
1967 was the height of hippiedom and psychedelic music, leaders and followers, folkies and pop groups alike - The Incredible String Band's psychedelic folk classic "5000 Spirits or the Layers of an Onion", The Beatles "Sgt Pepper", The Stones "Their Satanic Majesties Request" etc all released that year (I think!). - everyone was into it until the drugs, the times and the music changed forever.
To think this is only Donovan's third album, and he started writing some of the material for this album back in 1965, further adds to the credit it deserves - it was way ahead of its time back then. OK so some of the tracks may have dated for some of today's tastes but most are timeless and defy categorization - so you won't necessarily have to put your sixties head on!
Magical, mystical, mesmerizing, jazzy, folky, Eastern, Arthurian/Middle Earth-ish themes and influences played with outstanding musicianship with gorgeous string arrangements. Favourites? "Legend of a Girl Child Linda", "Observation", "Guinevere", "Sand and Foam" and "Three Kingfishers". Ignore the US version opted for the one with the fairy tale illustration and be peacefully transported.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original UK version,
This mono CD version of the album Sunshine Superman by Donovan is first class in terms of it being the original mono mix of the original UK version of the album.
This album was originally released first in America. It was swiftly followed by the album Mellow Yellow. Here in the UK we were behind with release dates and a UK version of the album Sunshine Superman was issued that comprised tracks from the original Sunshine Superman and the original Mellow Yellow albums. The UK version had the art work that Donovan had favoured and the album was released in mono sound. This is the album that most Donovan fans would have had in the 1960s in the UK. Only a selected few may have had the original American version via expensive import.
Donovan had been compared to, and influenced by Bob Dylan. The album Sunshine Superman sees Donovan develop a more unique and individual style that takes him away from comparison to Dylan.
Donovan became one of the first British pop musicians to adopt a flower power image.
"Sunshine Superman" is one of the first overtly psychedelic pop records. It is innovative and blends folk, folk rock, pop, blues, jazz and eastern music influences. It is also clear that Donovan had been influenced by the "west coast sound" like The Byrds. The arrangement is augmented by the sounds of harpsichord, sitar, tablas, congas, oboe, and strings. All of which help to create a chamber-style folk jazz atmosphere. The lyrics make reference to drug use such as LSD. And there are great songs such as "Bert's Blues" (a tribute to guitar hero Bert Jansch).
This album pre dates the psychodelic tinged albums by the Beatles and it is clear that influenced the Beatles just as much as they influenced Donovan.
There is a Re Mastered version and a Re Mastered Stereo version available which also contains this mono version of the original UK version. This is just the mono UK version with no bonus tracks and is faithful to the original release. It is a wonderful slice of the 1960s music.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Donovan's best-selling sixties album finally available,
Sunshine Superman was Donovan's best selling album in the sixties, not least because it included the single Sunshine Superman (For John And Paul), a huge hit both in America and the UK. It marked an important turning point in Donovan's career as he had changed managers, producers and record labels, and developed his sound with the addition of a band of musicians. He also had a brilliant new arranger in the person of John Cameron, whose work on Sunshine Superman was such an integral part of the record.
As the booklet essay describes, these changes turned out to come at a cost due to complications at the British side of the business end, as the new arrangement had been negotiated in America and had contractual complications in the UK which led to huge delays in records coming out, if at all. This seemed especially perplexing in Britain as whereas in America there was a clear change of label from Hickory to Epic, in the UK he remained on Pye.
Sunshine Superman (For John And Paul) had been recorded in December 1965, when it was ahead of its time, but things were moving so fast that by the time it was released the following summer it already sounded as if Donovan was trying to catch up with the times, especially since during the delay Pye had been damagingly releasing older unrepresentative material on singles, such as Josie and Remember The Alamo, and when the album was released that September it was in America only. Sunshine Superman was never released in the UK in its original form, and not at all until June 1967, months after Donovan's follow-up album had been released in America.
If Donovan had been considered to be no more than a folk singer, this album burst out of the folk confines to dumbfound those preconceptions. The songs were based on Donovan's personal experiences and observations, and included Legend Of A Girl Child Linda, about Linda Lawrence; Bert's Blues, concerning a love triangle involving Donovan, the singer Beverley and Bert Jansch; The Trip, about a jazz and folk-rock club in Hollywood where Donovan had been playing; Fat Angel, allegedly inspired by Cass Elliott of the Mamas and the Papas, and soon taken up in live performance by the Jefferson Airplane, who are name-checked in the lyric; and the brilliant Season Of The Witch, best known in the UK in its version by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity. Most of these were recorded in Hollywood in Spring 1966 with a set of hip L.A. musicians including Shawn Phillips on sitar and Cyrus Faryar from the Modern Folk Quartet. They used an array of instruments including harpsichords, celestes and all manner of percussion, creating a palette far removed from the days of pure acoustic guitar and harmonica, and showcasing Donovan's development as a maturing songwriter, adapting and embracing change and experimentation.
The British version of Sunshine Superman dropped three of the songs (Ferris Wheel, The Trip, Fat Angel) and substituted five from Mellow Yellow (The Observation, Writer In The Sun, Hampstead Incident, Sand And Foam, Young Girl Blues), which was also permanently absent from the UK release schedules, and so this CD probably marks the first time the original album has been for sale in the UK.
Mono masters have been used throughout for the album, though among the bonus tracks is a longer stereo mix of Sunshine Superman (For John And Paul) that was prepared for the album Donovan's Greatest Hits) in 1978 (available as Greatest Hits...And More with extra tracks). There are six other bonus tracks including a couple of out-takes, early versions of Superlungs My Supergirl and Museum (a song he gave to the aforementioned Beverley) and finally two October 1966 demos for songs on Mellow Yellow.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A HEAD OF IT'S TIME,
The author of this album will say at length how he was influential on his peers especially the Beatles and it is is easy to dismiss this until you realise that this magnificent album was recorded in late 1965 and 1966. It is still as spellbinding for me now as it was when I listened to it over and over in 1968.
I cannot help but think that George Martin listened to it carefully but so did many others later and would Nick Drakes albums have sounded like they do without the sound on this album.
I do not detract from any of these other artists work that I also love but this should be in the collection of any one who has an interest in the music of the 1960's or for that matter any other time as it is for me it is timeless.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine Superman: Donovan - Epistle to Dippiness,
This 1966 (US release) or 1967 (UK release) album is the third from hippie troubadour Donovan. And while it contains some masterpieces I have to say that it is the first of his albums that I do not find enrapturing from start to finish.
Marking a transition period from wannabe Dylan replica to hippie flower power artist, the album falls very much into two types of track. Songs like Sunshine Superman work well and are rightly highly regarded. They bounce along with infection beats and intriguing lyrics. Then there are tracks like Legend of a Girl Child Linda, which try too hard to be deep, meaningful folky numbers, and are eventually annoying with their earnestness and guitar twiddling. In all three stars for the music itself, a mix of great and mediocre tracks.
The release itself is worth 5 stars. With a superbly cleaned up sound, a double disc release comprising the original mono album and (as far as is possible) stereo remixes, accompanied by more extras than you would think possible. Held in a nice fold out double CD digipack and with an excellent booklet, care has very obviously been taken with this, and it has paid off. So 3 stars for the music, 5 for the presentation, 4 stars total.
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