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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 September 2015
Donovan's third album, released in 1966 is a marvellous musical experience from the king of flower power himself. Unfairly labelled as a 'poor-man's Bob Dylan', this psychedelic folk/rock masterpiece beautifully demonstrates the talent this mere 19/20 year old had at writing memorable catchy tunes, and a performing a musical work which was ahead of it's time. This was a trailblazing record!

Produced by prolific hit maker Mickie Most, the album is named after the catchy, sing-along pop single which peaked at no.2 in the UK charts, and also contains another one of Donovan' most popular and heaviest songs, the much-covered, psychedelic 'Seasons of the Witch'. Whilst those two tracks are the ultimate highlights, there are plenty of other gems to discover, with the thought provoking lyrics which blend nicely with the beautiful melodies and Donovan's innovative work, along with stunning contributions by composer John Cameron, this is one of the most playable albums of it's kind that I have in my large CD collection.

This excellent, and long overdue 2011 re-issue contains the entire album mixed in stereo for the first time. It really sounds superb, crisp and clean, and would have been worth the price for that alone. However, the guys at EMI really pushed the boat out, and also included seven bonus tracks, three of which had never been released. The booklet is a collector's delight, and features some cool pictures of this talented Glaswegian, as well as a detailed write-up by Lorne Murdoch. 'Sunshine Superman' is a classic, and this is a five star re-issue which does it justice.
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This new version of Sunshine Superman compliments rather than replaces the 2005 reissue, so if you have the earlier disc this one won't make it obsolete. The 2005 disc featured the ten track mono version of the U.S. edition of the album along with seven bonus tracks. On this new version you get a brand new stereo mix of the U.S. album and nine bonus tracks on disc one, whilst disc two features the mono mix of the twelve track U.K. version of the album along with three bonus tracks. There are differences with bonus material featured on the two CD releases and I have added a track-listing to show what you get here. The multitrack masters for three tracks on the U.K. mono album could not be located so no new stereo versions could be created for them - that is why they are not included!

This release is another by top compiler Tim Chacksfield and the new mix and master is by Abbey Roads senior engineer Peter Mew. It is presented in a three way card gatefold sleeve containing the two CDs and a very informative booklet detailing recording dates, personnel, track info and much more besides.

The new stereo mix gives this classic mid sixties album a new lease of life and is well priced in comparison with similar projects by other labels. Five stars for the price and quality and well worth adding to your 2005 version! Tracks as follows:

Disc One New US Version Stereo Album:

01. Sunshine Superman (3:19)
02. Legend of A Girl Child Linda (6:52)
03. Three King Fishers (3:19)
04. Ferris Wheel (4:13)
05. Bert's Blues (3:59)
06. Season of the Witch (4:58)
07. The Trip (4:38)
08. Guinevere (3:44)
09. The Fat Angel (4:18)
10. Celeste (4:13)
Bonus Tracks
11. Breezes of Patchouli (4:39)
12. Museum (1st Version) (2:53)
13. Superlungs (1st Version, Unissued Alternative Take) (4:14)
14. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be (2:43)
15. Sunny South Kensington (3:57)
16. Epistle to Dippy (Early Alternative Arrangement) (3:12)
UK Sunshine Superman Stereo Tracks
17. Writer in the Sun (4:33)
18. Hampstead Incident (4:51)
19. Sunshine Superman (Long Version) (4:42)

Disc Two Original UK Mono Album:

01. Sunshine Superman (3:17)
02. Legend of A Girl Child Linda (6:54)
03. The Observation (2:25)
04. Guinevere (3:42)
05. Celeste (4:12)
06. Writer in the Sun (4:31)
07. Season of the Witch (4:59)
08. Hampstead Incident (4:44)
09. Sand and Foam (3:21)
10. Young Girl Blues (4:48)
11. Three King Fishers (3:18)
12. Bert's Blues (4:03)
US Sunshine Superman Mono Tracks
13. Ferris Wheel (4:15)
14. The Trip (4:38)
15. The Fat Angel (4:11)
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on 12 November 2015
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on 26 January 2016
Very good album for the time
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on 17 June 2011
I am not going to make any remarks about how great this album, although indeed great it was, and still is. What I am going to talk about is the fact that FINALLY this album has been in true stereo, every song, for the first time ever - coming off the original multi-track recordings. If you think you know what the Sunshine Superman album sounds like, think again. As much as you may love this album, and may have even heard it hundreds of times, like I have, until you hear this in true stereo, you haven't really "heard" it. In addition to having a much cleaner, richer sound, this new stereo mix brings out many, many little intricate sounds that are buried, or way in the background in the mono mix. Also, Donovan's voice is much, much clearer, situated right in the center, with very nice natural studio echo (which you can't hear on the mono mix) and the instruments are surrounding him in perfect soundstage presence. I always thought a few of the songs on Sunshine Superman, particularly Celeste, had a slight sort of distorted sound. Not now. Perfectly clear as can be. Even all the bonus tracks on disc one are in true stereo. The ones that were issued on the 2005 EMI remaster were in semi-distorted mono, especially Breezes of Patchuli. Now, here in stereo, they too really open up. This is truly an amazingly pleasing listen. [Unfortunately, it seems back in the 60's, EPIC Records, on which both the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums were issued were not the only ones that were never released back then in true stereo. Their (EPIC's) stereo was that fake stereo that actually sounds much worse than the mono versions. If you listen to U.S. albums on EPIC by the Yardbirds, the Dave Clark Five, and other original EPIC "stereo" pressings, you find that none of them were issued in true stereo.] Getting back to this new release...When you listen to disc 2, after you listen to the stereo disc 1, the songs on disc 2, in the original UK mono mix, sound dead in comparison. After so many lack-luster reissues of this album over the years, finally it has been released the way it should have been released in the beginning. Hopefully the original U.S. Mellow Yellow album will likewise be issued in true stereo, coming off the original multi-track tapes, like this was. I'm not holding my breath, but I am hoping. Let's get with it Donovan, and make that happen. Really, now is the time for a true stereo Mellow Yellow, while we are all riding high (naturally) on this way-overdue beautiful reissue of Sunshine Superman. Listen to this release of the REAL Sunshine Superman album LOUD.
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on 4 August 2005
For me, this is the true version of this album because it is the format of the original UK release, of which I had the vinyl edition way back then. For some reason, it was decided to combine parts of the US versions of this and the Mellow Yellow albums to make up this UK version, so I can understand how confusion has been caused.
I take my hat off to BGO who have produced this CD with the original tracklisting, together with original artwork - and if the music wasn't enough on it's own, that front cover is surely a classic of the period too!
The recent reissue may be great for the bonus tracks but if you really want to experience this album as we first did in the UK, I suggest you to buy this one.
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on 13 August 2015
Not as good as some of his others. I prefer just Donovon and his guitar. No added musical effects.
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on 5 March 2006
This album and Mellow Yellow saw Donovan at his peak. The jazzy arrangements by John Cameron developed a new sound for him that unfortunately was not sustained afterwards. The best songs on this CD will surely stand as Donovan's masterpieces. The first (title) track does good enough service as a hit single warm-up, Legend of Girl Child Linda is long and veers slightly towards tweeness, but after that the album hits its stride with a succession of masterpieces. Distinctive arrangements - jazzy strings (Bert's Blues), guitars electric and acoustic, & sitars that actually work musically (the trancy Fat Angel). Rhythms hit a slow groove (Season of the Witch; Fat Angel), Sound textures luxuriate (Guinevere, Celeste). If you want to try out Donovan this would be the place to start.
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This mono CD version of the album Sunshine Superman by Donovan is first class in terms of it being the original mono mix of the original UK version of the album.

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. This is the album that most Donovan fans would have had in the 1960s in the UK. Only a selected few may have had the original American version via expensive import.

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 "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.

There is a Re Mastered version and a Re Mastered Stereo version available which also contains this mono version of the original UK version. This is just the mono UK version with no bonus tracks and is faithful to the original release. It is a wonderful slice of the 1960s music.
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on 13 February 2006
Donovan's Sunshine Superman record is a work of genius. A remarkable piece of work, not least for being produced when he was only 20yrs old, it contains several songs that deserve to be whispered in hushed tones whenever people are discussing the musical achievements of the 1960s: the title track of course, a pounding piece of pure pop psychedelia, but also Season Of The Witch, Celeste, Ferris Wheel, The Trip and The Fat Angel. These are awesome songs. Full of swirling lyrics, driving bass lines and guitar figures that will last forever.
This record places Donovan in the vanguard of the musical developments of the 1960s. The shock is that only a few weeks earlier he was still regarded as a 'folk' performer. The leap in sound and vision of this record is a wonder to behold, easily the equal of any other record produced at this time and streets ahead of most. It represents a real fusion of sounds, combining western pop, eastern ragas and a sophisticated lyrical romanticism the like of which was completely revolutionary.
That this record is routinely neglected in reviews of the 60s is a complete traversty. Donovan had suggested the future development of his lyrics in Sunny Goodge Street and Summer Day Reflection Song, but nothing prepared anybody for the revolutionary leap made here. But more than the lyrical development are the musical textures created in the record, a tribute to the exceptional teaming of Donovan and Mickie Most, and a hint of what was to come when a partnership was formed with the truly great John Cameron. These textures are what ultimately makes the record. Simply stunning.
The recently added bonus tracks are interesting, but not essential, and its the first 10 tracks which make this record the classic it is. THIS is the record which proved that 'psychedlia' could be combined with 'pop'. The tragedy is that it wasn't initially released in the UK in anything like this form. Some of us paid a fortune to get this on vinyl import years ago. Do yourself a real favour, catch up with a stone cold classic. For less than £7.00 new!
Now, everyone sing along...When I look out my window, what do you think I see?
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