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on 23 August 2012
I've had the vinyl LP since it came out - bought from Smiths if you please (they sold a wider range of music then, although I suppose Donovan was mainstream in the late 60s). I can't say I've played it much since - it's so much of its time (Donovan's use of the term 'negroes' in Ballad of a Crystal Man may sound quaint or even offensive now, but it was the progressive usage at the time, when the word n****rs was still not unknown). Cats and seagulls, those perennial symbols of personal freedom, feature prominently. How soon the cutting edge of rebellious stoned youth turns into ancient history. This is a great evocation of the period to say the least - a nostalgic trip (haha) for those of a certain age but also a technically proficient and accomplished performance by Donovan Leitch, who was much more than just the British Dylan (a marketing niche which the suits in the major record companies were tearing their hair out to fill). And I don't say that just because he slept on my floor once in the early 1960s - many people could make that claim! Accosted in Manchester's Albert Square one fine early - very early - morning by a suspicious plod who was not used to guitar toting hippies and said `'Ello, 'ello, what are you up to my lad?', Donovan gave the classic reply `Digging the dawn, man.' This record is the distilled essence of that attitude. And I defy anybody of a certain age not to join in the harmonies after a few small sherries... Fairytale
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on 24 September 2013
There are some iconic tracks on this album, and I always thought Donovan sang better than Dylan (to whom he was often compared). The Universal Soldier was a great anti-war song for the era and To Try for the Sun seemed a liberated gay confession .. although his strings of women seem to suggest it is not autobiographical and he was no 'fairy'! What a shame that the drugs burnt out his talent ... but this is his best album and seems to reek with 60's authenticity.
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on 18 February 2013
I have Donovan's original Fairytale LP from the '60s and I am so pleased to have found this favourite of mine on CD. Back then Donovan was often compared to Bob Dylan, but for me Donovan's voice is much sweeter and his songs have such poetry. This is one of the few albums I have had where I have liked every track. Sounds as good to me now as it did then.
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on 23 March 2013
To compare Donovan to Bob Dylan doesn't do justice to Donovan. His unique style, political message or just simply his voice put him in a class of his own. If you like folk which is tinged with passion then buy Fairytale as your opening to all the other great Donovan songs. Recommended.
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on 2 September 2013
If you already have the excellent 4 Cd set Breezes of Patchouli Oil, then this completes the collection of early Donovan material, including Sunny Goodge Street, Universal Soldier, Little Tin Soldier and Candy Man.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 November 2012
This 1965 album, recorded for Pye, was the second of Donovan's career, and the second he released in that year. It finds Donovan in a pensive, reflective mood but edging towards the slightly psychedelic style he would later be noted for. Clearly influenced by Bob Dylan, it contains a share of songs that aim at social commentary in a simple guitar/singer/songwriter folk style, along with a few simple love songs and some rather interesting ballads. The opening track, the delightful `Colours', is one of his best works. A simple, understated love song it has long been a firm favourite of mine. The album then meanders and meditates on the world, sometimes with a sense of naive awe and joy, sometimes with a darkly cynical edge. But always with a great tune and lyric. The original album closed with `The Little Tin Soldier' and `The Ballad of Geraldine', two tales that border on the twee (especially tin soldier), but are sung with such conviction that they really work rather well. It's an excellent album.

The re-issue is excellent. Great remastering, interesting extras (a contemporary EP, with the classic `Universal Soldier') and single) 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.
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on 13 April 2013
Never been a Donovan fan but remembered this title from long ago so gave it a try.
Really good words and guitar playing, recommended.
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on 12 September 2014
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 December 2015
In 1965, nineteen year old Donovan Leitch exploded onto the music scene via his television appearances on the then new music show 'Ready, Steady Go', where he performed his original songs with only the aid of his guitar, and became an instant success. It was a remarkable year for music, and this multi-talented folkie from Glasgow, Scotland released two highly acclaimed, bestselling albums on the Pye label. The first was 'What's Bin Hid and What's Bin Did, and the second was 'Fairytale', issued a few months after.

Here we have a collection of gentle, storytelling songs, all of them with a laid-back, tender, traditional folk style, often with shades of Bob Dylan in terms of the number of them which offer a social commentary and talking point. This is how the elfin-faced troubadour sounded before his remarkable work with producer Mickie Most a few years after, and some of these early gems represent him at his best. This is 'Ready Steady Go' Donovan.

'Fairytale' contains, amongst other noteworthy Donovan milestones, the classic hit single 'Colours', and the haunting, rather jazzy 'Sunny Goodge Street', which are jewels in the man's crown. With this deluxe CD edition from Sanctuary Records in 2002, you're listening experience is even enriched further with the inclusion of six outstanding bonus tracks from this legendary poet whose lyrics have the power to conquer up all kinds of wonderful imagery when you sit down on a nice Summer's day and listen in. My favourites out of the added extras are 'Universal Soldier' and 'The War Drags On', which prove, with hindsight, that it wasn't just Bob Dylan who was a master of his craft as a political songwriter. Was Donovan a poor man's equivalent of the American artist though? - I just can't see it.

I really love the album, and although I regard Donovan's debut: What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid in very high regard, I do think that 'Fairytale' was much superior. The song-writing was stronger, the style was showing those little signs of progressing from folk and branching into other styles, and ultimately it was a taster of the master-work which was followed. If you want to hear the best of Donovan at the start of his sixties work, then this classic album is the one to invest in, and treasure.
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on 7 October 2009
I bought this out of curiosity,not having heard any Donovan for over forty years. I used to like him a lot, but judgements made during drunken student life are likely to change. The music and his voice are pleasant if insipid, and the words lack the inspiration they one seemed to have. It was interesting to hear again, but I'm not too bothered if I never hear any more.
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