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A Gift From A Flower To A Garden Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Dec. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Beat Goes On Records
  • ASIN: B0000011N5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,625 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This review is mainly for Donovan fans.

The first CD release of this was by BGO back in 1993 and it was mono, although the remastering was great. BGO realised their mistake and quickly issued a stereo version. Unfortunately they did a crap job 'remastering' (for want of a better word) and the result was that it stayed in the CD drawer and was rarely played.

I was apprehensive when I saw the upcoming release of this by EMI using THAT word 'Remastered' again, but ordered it none the less. 4 days after release date it turns up on my doorstep on the other side of the world for less than a local release (including postage). Great job Amazon U.K..

The verdict: SOUND IS SUPERB. Don't hesitate getting this one.

The only down side is EMI couldn't use the Karl Ferris cover shots, but they do have most of the Mick Taylor and Sheens McCall artwork and the presentaion is top class.
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Format: Audio CD
I still have my original boxed set of this double album, complete with all it's beautifully presented sheets of lyrics. It was always a favourite of mine, not just because I like folk music, but because it lacks the pop music bias of much of Donovan's otherwise excellent work. In these tracks he isn't trying to appeal to just those people who liked his top 10 music, he's out to create beautiful and etheral soundscapes which arise naturally from the long legacy of British folk music. There are mystical images, romanticism and impressions of idyllic landscapes .... yet underneath many songs there is also a subtle darkness that gives his music great depth.

Without wanting to sound grandiose or precocious, this album strikes me as being the musical equivalent of 'art nouveau' .... beautiful in the way it is designed and presented; inherently associated with an individual's view of the natural and mythical world; and timeless.

Having said all that, there are subtle influences of jazz and modern rhythms which prevent 'Gift' from being a reworking of stale ideas. Even so long after it's initial release, the whole thing remains fresh and will repay you handsomely the more times you listen to it.
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Format: Audio CD
A Gift From A Flower To A Garden sees the fruition of many of the themes and ideas hinted at in Donovan’s two earlier ‘electric’ records. Here, there is a unity of musical purpose and vision, and a richness of textures, which only surfaced at times on Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow. As you may know, the project was sumptuously packaged in its original form: a double album with a folio of lyrics and drawings, all presented in a box with the famous Donovan –in-robes photo on the front. Wonderful. And as for the music, well this is something else…
The first half, for grown-ups, is characterised by a richness and depth of musical performance, and by a coherent ‘sound’ which fits perfectly with the lyrical content. Bass, drums, organ, guitars and jazz inflections provided by vibes, create a wonderfully deep and rich soundscape. Wear Your Love Like Heaven is probably the best known of these compositions, and that sound is reproduced on other songs such as Mad John’s Escape, Skip Along Sam, Someone Singing and The Land of Doesn’t Have To Be, to simply gorgeous effect. This deep and rich sound is complimented by lyrics which perfectly capture the optimism of the times and Donovan’s poetic sensibility. From Mad John in his transport café, to the terrific adaptation of Under The Greenwood Tree, this is music which just makes sense. And everything is enveloped in melodies to just die for. If you think All You Need Is Love is the pinnacle of flower power sentiments, listen again to this perfect pop psychedelia.
The second half, For Little Ones, compliments the first half perfectly. Its always confused me this. Many of the songs just do not reflect child-like concerns: Widow With A Shawl is a case in point.
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Format: Audio CD
Here we have another fine album from one of my now all-time favourite singer-songwriters. Be aware the two albums are distinctly different: the first is a collection of more upbeat and more commercial material (most of which was added as the record label felt the music of the second half of this album wasn't commercial enough but I'll come to that in a moment) and the second half is mainly folky, acoustic material, with 'songs for children' as Donovan himself put it.
For me, the first half of the album is good, but the second half is amazing. Check 'The Enchanted Gypsy', 'Isle Of Islay' and 'Lullaby Of Spring', wonderful songs about nature, enchanting tales and the passing of the seasons. It's perhaps not as surreal as the music on 'Sunshine Superman' but as the cover art suggests, Donovan's love of the seaside really shines through on this set.
Whilst I am quite a fan of music with the darker emotions I can't help but appreciate this guy's mastery of writing about all that is good and beutiful in this world. I wouldn't quite say it's 5 out of 5 for me because of how I feel about the first 10 songs overall but this CD is worth the last 12 alone. Highly recommended.
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