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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Open Road
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.47+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 23 November 2003
Most people, if they recall Donovan at all, think of hits such as Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow. This little gem of an album was, as far as I know, the only one he recorded as a "band", loosely referred to as "Open Road".
By incorporating more of a rock sound with prominent lead guitar on several tracks, his folky style songs have an interesting new sound.
Open Road has some excellent songs - check out Curry Land and Joe Bean. Celtic Rock takes a familiar Donovan tune but introduces some of Edward Lear's Jabberwocky poem for lyrics. As a contrast, there are some excruciatingly tacky items like Poke At The Pope which is as bad as the title implies.
The only song which I believe was released as a single, was Riki Tiki Tavi - more typical Donovan sing-along style.
Overall I would say that, if you know and like most of the well known Donavan material, this would be a valid and enjoyable addition to your collection, for about half the songs are really good to hear repeatedly (how many modern albums can you say that about anyway?)
If you are new to Donavan - try "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" or "Greatest Hits".
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 December 2015
Although the decade was to ultimately see a commercial decline in his musical sales, Donovan Leitch began the 1970s in superb fashion with a very interesting album. After splitting with his long time record producer Mickie Most, he took on the role himself of producing 'Open Road', which, as the only LP he has ever recorded with a band, marked a slightly new direction of sound, this is not Donovan the folkie - it's Donovan the rocker, and very American is this Glaswegian in his style.

Although it didn't light any bonfires anywhere in the world in terms of chart success, it did at least spawn one minor hit in the US, 'Riki Tiki Tavi', a rootsy and insanely catchy tune which provides one of several standouts. The other great songs include the feel-good opener 'Changes', the country-folk-ish 'Song for John', and the wonderfully strange and mysterious 'Roots of Oak', which is one of the best-kept secrets in Donovan's song book. Very bravely, especially for it's time in 1970, the master poet dared to criticise the far from perfect Catholic Church with the anti-religious 'Poke at the Pope', although it's one of the weakest tracks.

After the stream of hit singles and albums throughout the mid to late '60s, Donovan clearly wanted to take control of his sound instead of leaving that with the power of a producer, and with this exciting release, he gave his public the overlooked 'Open Road'. Whilst it is more of a band record than that of Donovan LP solo, the musicians in which he enlisted to help him out are so red hot, making some of these great songs sound not all that dissimilar to Led Zeppelin, especially 'Celtic Rock', another standout.

This 2000 CD release from Repertoire, housed in a cardboard case and containing a booklet with a detailed essay by Chris Welch, who rightly states ''There was always an inner strength to Donovan that made him a much more important artist than a product of passing fashion'', is not something you should purchase if you're new to Donovan's music. Instead of this, I'd advise that you buy one of the many greatest hits sets (for example, the excellent two-disc anthology: Retrospective, which was released earlier this year), but if you'd like to hear how versatile the Hurdy Gurdy man really is, or if you're a devoted fan, then you must hear 'Open Road' without hesitation.
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on 6 November 2016
I've been a lifelong fan of Donovan and his music , and this one contains gems ! Unfortunately there was a definite shift away from folky sounds the previous year ('69) and this was in some ways Donovans attempt to ride the changing times , while at the same time remaining true to himself . The result was this great album which seemed to fall largely on deaf ears at the time , yet still sounds fresh today where much of the music popular at the time has dated . He would win the public back soon with Cosmic Wheels , but this one is hugely underrated .
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on 13 September 2006
Ironically, this was the album that first made me take Donovan seriously. Ironic both because it was one of his later albums, and also because of its sharply barbed wit, especially in songs like Riki Tiki Tavi and Poke at the Pope - a gem of an atheist anthem that would probably cause outcry, certainly stern words from cardinals, if released in today's more religiously restrictive times.

Supportive (Changes), reflective (People Used To, Season of Farewell), songs combine with a typically imaginative instrumental line up to make this an all-time great.
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on 20 November 2011
This is one of those lost treasures. A sublime album from first to last. My own tastes were so far removed from Donovan that I laughed when someone lent me this album and suggested I try it. Sheer joy. Beautiful writing, well crafted songs and not a dud track.
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on 23 June 2015
I like Donovan. I used to have this on Vinyl. But truth be told I was disappointed on it after not hearing it for a few years. There are a few good songs which make the album worth buying. This includes a different version of the Jaberwocky.
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on 7 June 2013
Haven't heard it for years, but still as fresh and vibrant as ever from talented artist. Stands up to any work Donovan's contemporaries.
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on 10 April 2013
Great stuff on this one folks.
Took me a while to discover it mind you. I've been a fan of Donovan's for years , thought he was a great singles artist, but never thought of him as an albums guy. I have a couple of his 60's album's and enjoy them but more as depositories for wonderful , individual songs . My purchase of Open Road changed all that. It's an album that hangs together well , thoughtful and mature , cohesive. Pity he didn't explore this direction further really as he could have come out with an all time classic in time. This isn't quite at that level but it's a very satisfying listen and a pleasant surprise, take a chance , you won't regret it !
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on 23 May 2016
Quick delivery. Great CD. Very happy
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on 26 February 2013
this is donovan at his best. i have all of dons albums but this one just stands out as the one. good music and fun all the way. this was made in the seventies, but still sounds as fresh today. celtic rock, rocks
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