on 6 October 2011
You forget how good this guy was/is. I'm 62 now - and I was still at school when this came out, so it's pure nostalgia - but for those younger folk who missed out on hearing him first-time-around, give yourselves a chance to hear what was going on over on this side of the puddle at the same time that Dylan was taking the world by storm from America. Wonderful poetry accompanied by a superb guitar style.
Looking to expand my Donovan collection past a couple of `best of' albums, I started with this 1964 debut album for Pye, reissued in 2001 on Castle.
Its a great album of gentle, folky material. Clearly very influenced by Bob Dylan's early work Donovan treats us to a series of gentle guitar led songs that alternate between simple love songs and tracks with a more political edge that decry the state of the world. It contains the original recording of `Colours', a beautiful love song that has to be one of my favourite tracks of all time. Yet to descend into full psychedelic hippiehood, this is a set of elegant simple acoustic tracks that have a quiet and gentle beauty to them.
The re-issue is excellent. Great remastering, interesting extras (including the somewhat different single version of colours) that add to the programme and a great set of liner notes. It's a great place for people to start their classic Donovan collection. 5 stars.
on 30 March 2015
I had this on vinyl as a teenager and have now just bought it again after many,many years ( 40 approx.!!)
I remember each song as if I heard them yesterday.
First,Donovan was always an excellent guitar player.His choice of songs and self-written songs Catch The Wind,Josie and and Sing For You are excellent.This also includes a song by the great Mick Softley called Goldwatch Blues and a Woody Guthrie song,Car Car (not a typo !).
There is one instrumental called Tangerine Puppet which features Don's guitar and you can see why he so highly regarded
.Listening to this today,I find it astonishing how he developed into such a clever writer of pop songs.
As much as I like Sunshine Superman,Hurdy Gurdy Man and the great Season Of The Witch,I find this his most consistently honest work
on 26 July 2013
I had this album back in the 60s as a teenager. I still love it. Of course, some it is very derivative - Donovan was soaking up influences like everybody else - Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Davy Graham etc. But there was still a lot of originality on that first album, and lots of signposts towards the brilliant stuff Donovan would come out with on albums like Sunshine Superman, Mellow Yellow and A Gift From a Flower to a Garden. Some of his originals, like "To Sing For You" and "Rambling Boy" have an innocent charm to them, "Catch the Wind wwas, and still is a wonderful piece - so poetic, so evocative, and he was still just a kid! What's so nice about re-acquiring an album like this, that one loved in one's youth, is that it's a great reminder of the time in which it first appeared, and yet it still sounds great. As I said, I love it. End of story.
on 24 June 2012
I was the same age as Donovan when this album came out and my "then" boyfriend bought me it for my birthday ......for obvious reasons !!! We didn't end up together but I am so glad he introduced me to Donovan,such a talent & so underrated, thanks Kenny x
on 14 January 2011
My Mother used to play this record back in the 1970's when I was growing up. It has a special place in my heart accordingly and so this deluxe version was a must have.
The recording is sparkly and clean with all the presence of the old LP. The bonus tracks are a welcomed addition and the sleeve notes comprehensive and interesting.
For those of you who have not heard or investigated the charm of Donovan, this album would be a great place to start....forget about the all to frequent comparisons of Donovan to Dylan etc...Donovan is remarkable and this album will not fail to impress fans new or old.
It all started here, in 1965, nineteen year old Donovan Leitch, that elfin faced Glaswegian with his unique voice and talent around the acoustic guitar cut his first debut album. 'What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid' was a commercial success, released several days before his 19th birthday, peaking at no.9 in the UK charts, and a respectable no.30 in the US, when it was issued stateside under the title 'Catch the Wind'.
This came before the legendary producer Mickie Most took Donovan under his wing, helping to turn him into a psychedelic rock pioneer, with a string of memorable albums under his direction, and leaving him with a stack of classic songs like 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' and 'Sunshine Superman' under his belt. Here on record, we have that sound forever captured which first made British television audiences of the 'Ready Steady Go' music show go crazy for Donovan -- pure traditional, story-telling folk music.
Although all of those similarity comparisons between him and Bob Dylan have long since been odious, if you are a Dylan fan, then I struggle to believe that you won't love this particular release, especially the upbeat track 'Keep On Truckin'', and 'Goldwatch Blues', one of his finest protest songs. If anything, I'd say that the LP offered a softer, more accessible folk sound than Bob Dylan, an artist I do really love.
Whilst this isn't my favourite Donovan album, it is a polished little gem, and very impressive for a debut. It contains his first two singles 'Catch the Wind' and 'Colours', which, as well as helping to pave the way for American success, both got to the dizzy heights of no.4 in the British charts. This is excellent, gentle music from one of my all-time favourite poets, perfect for reflecting and listening to on a lazy Summer's day. Even as a late teen, could this young man ever write, play and record a tune which has the power to create such wonderful imagery inside your head, and help to take you to another place. At least that's the effect his music has always had on me.
This release from Sanctuary Records in 2002, marked the first complete re-issue of this classic album, and as well as every track sounding cleaner than ever, it also includes four bonus tracks. Those extra tracks are the single versions of 'Catch the Wind' and 'Colours', as well as the rare B side 'Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do?', and 'Every Man Has His Chain', which originally appeared on a French EP.
This isn't the Donovan sound which music lovers would later associate with this talented man as the '60s went on, but the work of an acoustic troubadour, and a top notch one at that.
on 1 August 2009
Firstly to the last person who reviewed, I found my parents copy of the 12" LP and when i put it on it was just amazing. There will LP versions in old charity shops and such, I love vinyl so much. All in all just a superb album!