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Another Fine Donovan Re-Issue!,
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This review is from: The Hurdy Gurdy Man (Audio CD)
"Hurdy Gurdy Man" was Donovan's 1968 album, built up around the strong singles "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "Jennifer Juniper". Like Donovan's other Micky Most produced albums this one touches upon a great varity of musical styles and instrumentations, with tasteful and original arrangements by John Cameron. Some of the more rocking tunes were arranged by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin - e.g. the stunningly build-up title track, starting with Donovan's silent humming joined by his acoustic guitar and building up towords its climax with electric guitars and drums. The overall sound-quality of this re-mastered version is great!
"Jennifer Juniper" is a beautifully arranged pop-ballad featuring both oboe and harp.
The album features a handful catchy free and easy tunes among which "The Entertaining of a Shy Girl"and "The Sun is a very Magic Fellow" stand out!
A couple of the droning tunes, combing traditional Eastern sounds with Celtic sounds, may sound a little dated.
"West Indian Lady" revives memories of the Caribbean feel of Donovan's earlier single "There is a Mountain".
A few tracks like "As I Recall it" and "Get Thy Bearings" are quite jazzy, and "Hi, It's Been a Long Time" is a great pop-tune, beautifully instrumentated.
Among the 7 bonus-tracks several stand out. The B-side "Teen Angel" is an early Donovan composition; a fine melody and a great addition.
The album out-take "What a Beautiful Creature You Are" is a fun track with a very catchy melody. The song features singer Lulu. The song ought have been included on the original album.
The two re-recordings of "Catch the Wind" and Colours" done for a for a best of album, are both fine, though they lack the charm of the original versions.
All in all another fine Donovan reissue!