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Mono and original album,
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This review is from: Sunshine Superman (Audio CD)
This mono re mastered version of the original album Sunshine Superman by Donovan is first class in terms of it being the original mono mix of the original album.
Also on a positive note, this is the album as it always should have been. The line up of tracks is the original running order of tracks and each track is united by the same atmosphere and ideas of interpretational style.
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. A CD version of this UK album was issued in 1990 on BGO records.
Now we get the original American version with bonus tracks as a re master from EMI.
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 "The Fat Angel", which is a tribute to "Mama" Cass Elliott of The Mamas & the Papas. There is also another tribute with "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.
However on a negative note, we never get a complete version of the UK album. The tracks that are missing are "The Observation", "Sand and Foam" and "Young girl blues". All of which originally come from Mellow Yellow but were on the UK version of Sunshine Superman. There were five tracks in total that were substituted from Mellow Yellow that helped to make the UK version of Sunshine Superman. Only two of these tracks have been included as Stereo versions on this release. EMI have failed to give us a complete version of the UK album. I admit that when you listen to the sound of those three tracks it is clear that they were meant to be in the original album of Mellow Yellow because the sound and themes are in keeping with the other tracks on that album and not Sunshine Superman. But for decades these tracks were a part of the album Sunshine Superman as understood in the UK.
I would have had preference to the idea of having the whole of the original album with bonus tracks of the tracks that had been used to make up the UK version all on one disc.
However we can get the missing tracks from the UK version of Sunshine Superman on the re mastered mono version of Mellow Yellow.
There is a number of bonus tracks and there are two bonus tracks previously unreleased, "Good trip" Demo version and "House of Jansh" demo version, that are included here. Although I would prefer these sort of bonus tracks to be compiled onto a seperate album. (Like the Beatles Past Masters albums)
This is a good re master in mono of the original album as it was released in the USA.