on 16 February 2006
Barababajagal and Trudi (In bed with me) with the JEFF BECK GROUP is a must ! We find a lot of bonus tracks : "runaway"
(alternate take of "ONE NIGNT IN TIME" Japanese release) - "The swan" (alternate take "Lord of the Reedy river" HMS DONOVAN) - "A poor man's Sunshine" & "Lord of the Universe" (Find long time after on "BEAT CAFE") - "Marjorie" (alternate take "Marjorie Marjoraine" LOVE IS ONLY FEELING the last only LP release, not on CD !!!!!) - "Little white Flower" (only released on the bootleg LP OLD FASHIONNED PICTURE BOOK) - "Good morning Mr Wind" (alternate take HMS DONOVAN) - "Palais Girl" (1968 studio recording for shelved proposed album). All the other songs sound smooth and pretty : Where is she ? , The love song, To Susan..., and of course ATLANTIS (the hit used for the Walt Disney picture ATLANTIS re-recorded with NO ANGELS not this version here).
John Lennon said : Listen to this man, he's a poet. He is as important as we are (The Beatles), I'm in France and his music came to me. He is a major poet.
on 12 May 2005
This EMI remastered version of the album "Barabajagal" is truly a release of the previously unreleased if I ever saw one! No less than 13 previously unreleased tracks are featured on this CD. Some of them are alternative versions of already released songs (e.g. "New Years Resolution"), but some of them is material, which has not been released ever before. An example of that is the song "Stromberg Twins", which was originally meant for "Barabajagal", but never made it unto the record. Or the amazing songs "Little White Flower" and "Lord of the Universe", which have gone unreleased until now. Strange, but true.
But in ones excitement about all the previously unreleased material on this CD one should not forget "Barabajagal" itself. "Barabajagal" is very much a worthwhile album to lend an ear. From the upbeat hills of "Superlungs My Supergirl" and "Barabajagal" to the introspective seashore of "Happiness Runs" and "To Susan On the West Coast Waiting" this album addresses a wide spectrum of moods and insights.
on 3 November 2007
"Barabajagal" was Donovan's last album to be released in the 1960's and his fifth produced by Mickie Most.
Compared to his previous albums this is probably the most versatile, partly due to the fact that it was recorded during several sessions, featuring different musicians.
The three hit singles "Atlantis"; "To Susan on the West Coast" and "Barabajagal" are good examples of the album's great variety. "Atlantis" is a fine folky tune with an ecstatic ending ending much like the Beatles' "Hey Jude". "To Susan on the West Coast" is an acoustic anti-war song and "Barabajagal" is an almost riff-based rocker with solid backing by Jeff Beck Group.
Among the tracks I like "Happines Runs" and "Superlungs My Supergirl", but the rest are mostly sub-par tracks. The original album had a very short playing time, a little more than thirty minutes. Fortunately a lot of relevant bonus-tracks have been added to the album.
Interesting to hear "Stromberg Twins", another track with backing from Jeff Beck and his band; and song that ought have been included originally. But the strongest material are found among the last seven tracks, which are just demos; but all sounding great.
"Marjorie" and "Palais Girl" are really great songs that finally get a deserved release.
The booklet contains the final chapter of the Mickie Most Years ( part 4, Nov. 68 to Dec. 1969 ), which is great read; and although the album is not quite up to the standards of its predecessors, it's still a quite fine album.
'Barabajagal' is a Donovan Leitch album which often divides the critics and fans alike, but I have always had a real soft spot it. This was the Scottish poet's final studio record of the 1960s, which was the man's most commercially successful decade as a recording artist, and initially, was only released in America, where it peaked in their charts at a respectable no. 23, but never in Britain, due to a running contractual dispute.
The most famous song on this Mickie Most produced album has got to be the title track, which is a relatively heavy rocker, with it's backing provided by The Jeff Beck Group, and this was to become Donovan's last top 40 hit single in any country. Other gems include the upbeat rocker 'Superlungs (My Supergirl)', which was originally recorded during the 'Sunshine Superman' sessions but neglected, with it's fabulous psychedelic effect, the gentle, laid-back 'Where Is She', the pure joy which is the sing-along track 'Happiness Runs', the sheer brilliance of the song writing of the atmospheric anti-war tune 'To Susan on the West Coast Waiting', and 'Atlantis', which had Paul McCartney on backing vocals, and is a folky song so good that it's even mentioned on the front cover. The others aren't quite as noteworthy, but I do enjoy the very silly but charming 'I Love My Shirt', which was aimed at children, and really is lovely in it's innocence.
Whilst not as strong as Donovan's previous offerings, there are plenty of little treats to taste on 'Barabajagal'. If I was to rate this album based on it's original listing, I would still have given it a five star review. However, this excellent 2005 re-issue from EMI, to celebrate the man's 40th anniversary, like all of the others, is a ten star release, with a booklet featuring detailed liner notes, rare pictures an memorabilia, but best of all - the generous inclusion of 13 previously unreleased bonus tracks which were hidden away for far too long. Some of these rarities are better than the album's final cuts which I haven't mentioned, namely the soothing 'The Swan (Lord of the Reedy River)', and two demos, the beautiful 'Marjorie (Margarine)', and 'Palais Girl', which, with the remaining 10, double the length of the record. Each track is digitally remastered, and they all sound superb.
This was Donovan's final LP of his best decade, and one which doesn't deserve to remain so largely unheard.
on 14 January 2012
Barabajagal contains Donovan's final two charting singles, the funky, saucy Barabajagal and ambitious New-Agey Atlantis. Sex and mysticism are Donovan's main pre-occupations here, and sometimes things getting a little questionable in these regards. The best tracks are sound if not truly outstanding, Happiness Runs and To Susan On The West Coast Waiting are nice but fall short of his finest work. There is a good mixture of styles providing variety from rock through some perky reggae to folk, but there are a few shaky moments such as the throwaway, plain awful I Love My Shirt and painful singalong Pamela Jo, which manage to taint the album as a whole.
I get the distinct feeling with this album that Donovan had used his best ideas elsewhere and was basically treading water, with diminishing results. Whether this was a consequence of consciously struggling to live up to his myth or over-confidence that everything he wrote must be good, I suspect Barabajagal's faults are a side-effect of fame and success. Like Paul McCartney and so many others "silly love songs" became the order of the day. Sweet nothings. This feeling is magnified at times when taking a traipse amongst the plentiful bonus tracks, where lyrics often seem feeble, repetitive and pointless. Saying that, some of the cd's best tracks are tucked away here too, The Swan (Lord Of The Reedy River) and Little White Flower (demo) are both gorgeous, and I'm quite taken by the meandering New Year's Resolution (Donovan's Celtic Jam). Elsewhere, having nothing better to do, he seems to be randomly picking girls names and coming up with something faintly amusing that rhymes with them, and voila, we have the core of a new song. Sometimes there are some lovely melodies behind these weak lyrics, which go some way to redeeming them.
I don't think this album is likely to see as much wear and tear as the likes of the excellent Gift From A Flower To A Garden and Mellow Yellow, but it's not a disaster by any means.
I wouldn't call myself a Donovan fan but one listen to this album and I knew I had to own it. There's just the right mixture of sublime acoustic jangle and electric groove. Donovan's mellifluous, lilting vocals are an absolute joy, and boy! can he pen a tune. I've been put off his stuff in the past by the childish quality of some of his songs and that element is present here but in very small doses. "I Love My Shirt" is the main offender and that's not too bad. The rest of the album is pure bliss. I love the story-telling style of "Atlantis" and the cheekiness of "The Stromberg Twins". The title track and "Snakeskin" both have really catchy grooves but for me the bonus tracks are the best. "The Swan" is like a W B Yeats poem, with its dream-like quality and superb lyric. "Runaway" reminds me a bit of Syd Barrett's solo, acoustic stuff and "New Years Resolution" shows off Donovan's proficiency as a Celtic-style guitarist to impressive effect. Overall, I'd advise this album for relaxing by the fireside on a winter's night, mug of tea in hand and carpet slippers on feet.