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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 27 April 2013
Donovan was always for me the "Ambassador of Flower Power" from across the pond. While growing up in San Francisco during the 60's there was an insullar bubble around SF and the musicians it fostered. Everyone in California was becoming tuned in to West Coast Psychedelica, California had the SF scene and Los Angeles.
No internet then. There were a handful of ways we were exposed to "outside" music. Word of moulth; vinyl bins; thy ears; and radio, AM and FM.

Donovan penetrated that insular SF bubble through the radio. His AM hits were everywhere, as well as featured FM bits. In a cool way Donovan pays homage to Jefferson Airplane in 1966's FAT ANGEL (frm Sunshine Superman lp) before the Airplane really took off (there was a kinship of sorts). Through osmosis like this (other bands' covers of 'Season of the Witch') Donovan became a crucial step in defining the genre of 'psychedelic folk', and agruably cleared the way for more eccentric and eclectic UK bands' like 'The Incredible String Band' and 'Tyrannosaurus Rex'.

This box set here does an excellent job of presenting Donovan's music through his glory years of 66-69. It's houses 6 releases on 4 cds in a 4cd Jewel case. Each cd is arranged thus:

CD#1 contains SUNSHINE SUPERMAN (1966) and MELLOW YELLOW (1967), 30 tracks, running back to back for a total time of 78+ min. All of cd#1 is in mono.

CD#2 contains HURDY GURDY MAN (1968) and BARABAJAGAL (1969), 38 tracks, running back to back for a total time of 77+min. All but 1 track is in stereo.

CD#3 contains A GIFT FROM A FLOWER TO A GARDEN (1968), 22 tracks, double lp with WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN flowing into FOR LITTLE ONES. All in stereo with a total time of 62min.

CD#4 contains assorted tracks related to the previous albums (see amaz. track listing above).
Tracks 1-5 are Sunshine Superman related
Tracks 6-11 are Mellow Yellow related
Tracks 12-16 are Hurdy Gurdy Man related
Tracks 17-23 are Barabajagal related

I really like the fact that the "extras" are on the fourth disc and do not interfere with the flow of the official releases.

The booklet is a fine 24 page compendium of bio, track analysis, pix, historica et al. The print is small, the text expansive and up-to-date as to this specific release.
Keep in mind that the box set is packaged in a 4-cd Jewel case. There are no individual album sleeves, no clamshell box or slipcase. Even the 4-cd jewel case has its moments though: the inner jewel box has clear cd mounts allowing for the compiliers to design it with colorful artwork. This is no 'Original Album Series' pass-off either. It is a selected collection of Donovan's output (during the 2nd half of the 60's) an era immersed in an unprecedented "consciousness expanding" social experiment.

The overall effect of this presentation here is a well concieved, respectful and enlightening view of a wonderful musician whoose "vibe" meshed perfectly with the era...and in his own unique way helped to define it.

Get this along withSummer Day Reflection Songs and you'll have all the PYE recordings which preceed the years covered here. Don't hesitate to venture further into some other great psychedelic folk which I believe Donovan spearheaded includingOriginal Album Series and The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex. What a time it was!!!
66 comments| 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Fans will know that Donovan Leitch's Sixties catalogue is a labyrinth of different LPs pressed up by Pye in the UK and especially Epic in the USA - with a raft of non-album singles and rarities thrown into the complicated stew. His stay at both labels has been comprehensively covered by superlative EMI CD remasters in 2005 and 2009 - most bolstered up with copious amounts of bonus tracks. And that's where this 4CD Anthology comes in. It gathers up 5 of those albums (one a double) across the first 3 CDs and gives you a fourth 23-track disc which contains a smattering of the bonus material that came with those original 2005 CD reissues. Here are the Joss Sticks, Super Lungs, Magic Yellow Suns and Jennifer Junipers...

UK released April 2013 - "Breezes Of Patchouli: His Studio Recordings 1966-1969" is a 4CD set in a double jewel-case on EMI 928 6052 (Barcode 5099992860520) and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (78:01 minutes):
1. Sunshine Superman
2. Legend Of A Girl Child Linda
3. Three Kingfishers
4. Ferris Wheel
5. Bert's Blues
6. Season Of The Witch
7. The Trip
8. Guinevere
9. The Fat Angel
10. Celeste
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 3rd album "Sunshine Superman" - released 'only' in the USA September 1966 on Epic Records BN 26217 (Stereo)

11. Mellow Yellow
12. Writer In The Sun
13. Sand And Foam
14. The Observation
15. Bleak City Woman
16. House Of Jansch
17. Young Girl Blues
18. Museum
19. Hampstead Incident
20. Sunny South Kensington
Tracks 11 to 20 are his 4th album "Mellow Yellow" - released 'only' in the USA February 1967 on Epic Records BN 26239 (Stereo)

Disc 2 (77:29 minutes):
1. Hurdy Gurdy Man
2. Peregrine
3. The Entertaining Of A Shy Girl
4. As I Recall It
5. Get Thy Bearings
6. Hi It's Been A Long Time
7. West Indian Lady
8. Jennifer Juniper
9. The River Song
10. Tangier
11. A Sunny Day
12. The Sun Is A Very Magic Fellow
13. Teas
Tracks 1 to 13 are his album "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" - released 'only' in the USA October 1968 on Epic Records BN 26420 (Stereo)

Track 14 is "Jennifer Juniper" (Italian Version)

15. Barabajagal
16. Superlungs My Supergirl
17. Where Is She
18. Happiness Runs
19. I Love My Shirt
20. The Love Song
21. To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
22. Atlantis
23. Trudi
24. Pamela Jo
Tracks 15 to 24 are the album "Barabajagal" -released 'only' in the USA September 1969 on Epic Records BN 26481 credited to DONOVAN with THE JEFF BECK GROUP

Track 25 is "A Poor Man's Sunshine (Nativity)" - a previously unreleased session outtake that first appeared on the May 2005 Expanded CD for "Barabajagal"

Disc 3 (62:05 minutes):
1. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
2. Mad John's Escape
3. Skip-A-Long Sam
4. Sun
5. There Was A Time
6. Oh Gosh
7. Little Boy In Corduroy
8. Under The Greenwood Tree
9. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be
10. Someone Singing
11. Song Of The Naturalists Wife
12. The Enchanted Gypsy
13. Voyage Into The Golden Screen
14. Isle Of Islay
15. The Mandolin Man And His Secret
16. Lay Of The Last Tinker
17. The Tinker And The Crab
18. Widow With Shawl (A Portrait)
19. The Lullaby Of Spring
20. The Magpie
21. Starfish On-The-Toast
22. Epistle To Derroll
Tracks 1 to 22 are the album double-album "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden". This April 1968 2LP Box Set with Art Prints gathered together two American-Only LPs on Epic both issued in December 1967 in Mono and Stereo - "You're Your Love Like Heaven" (Side 1 and 2) and "For Little Ones" (Side 3 and 4). The "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" Box set was issued in both the USA and UK in Mono and Stereo - this CD remaster uses the rare STEREO mix.

Disc 4 - Associated Recordings (75:41):
1. Breezes Of Patchuli
2. Museum (First Version)
3. Superlungs (First Version)
4. The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be
5. Sunshine Superman (Original Longer Stereo Version)
Tracks 1 to 5 are 5 of the 7 bonus tracks that first appeared on the May 2005 CD remaster of "Sunshine Superman" (below are also May 2005 CD remasters)

6. Epistle To Dippy
7. Preachin' Love
8. Good Time
9. There Is A Mountain
10. Superlungs (Second Version)
11. Epistle To Dippy (Alternate Arrangement)
Tracks 6 to 11 are 6 of 10 bonus tracks that first appeared on "Mellow Yellow"

12. Teen Angel
13. Poor Cow
14. Lalena
15. Aye My Love
16. What A Beautiful Creature You Are
17. Colours
18. Catch The Wind
Tracks 12 to 18 are all 7 of the bonus tracks that first appeared on "The Hurdy Gurdy Man"

19. The Stromberg Twins
20. Snakeskin
21. Lauretta's Cousin Laurinda
22. The Swan (Lord Of Reedy River)
23. New Year's Resolution (Donovan's Celtic Jam)
Tracks 19 to 23 are 5 of the 12 bonus tracks that first appeared on "Barabajagal"

His first 2 LPs "What's Bin Did And What's Bin Hid" and "Fairytale" (both from 1965) are not covered by this set - they're available elsewhere (see my review fro "Fairytale"). The good news is that the 2005 and 2009 remasters carried out by PETER MEW at Abbey Road have been used for this release and the STEREO sound is glorious to say the least. Songs like "Sunshine Superman", "Goo Goo Barabajagal" and "Mellow Yellow" sound amazingly good. The audio clarity is wonderful. And when you veer away from the chart hits - it's the LP goodies like the unbelievable cool "Season Of The Witch" and "Sunny South Kensington" with their guitars and clavinets that impress so much. The 24-page booklet is also pleasingly comprehensive with period colour photos and superbly outlined liner-notes by noted writer and musicologist LORNE MURDOCH (even though those "Flower" art-prints are still AWOL due to contractual reasons).

The acoustic "House Of Jansch" and "River Song" are gorgeous as are the Sixties Dream anthems "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" and "To Susan On The West Coast Waiting". He can also get surprisingly Rock Funky with tracks like the previously unreleased "Snakeskin" and all Sitar groovy on "Fat Angel". Even the re-recorded 1968 versions of his classics "Colours" and "Catch The Wind" are lovely - they don't trump the originals -by any means but remind you of how beautiful they really were and what a tunesmith the man is.

"Fly Translove Airways...get you there on time..." DONOVAN sings on "Fat Angel" - I'd agree. Too often dismissed, as a sort of lesser Dylan from England - this superb-sounding 4CD retro is a fabulous reminder of his huge songwriting talent. Buy it...
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I love these big compilations such as the Barclay James Harvest box and the Kevin Ayers sets all on EMI. This Donovan box covers all the albums from 1966 to 1969 during the most productive years Donovan recorded with producer Mickey Most. There are many highlights on these CDs such as Mellow Yellow, the haunting Legend Of a Girl Called Linda and my favourite Lalena.
This is a bargain as well considering how much it would cost if you tried to buy all these albums individually.
The booklet is a bit strange with little info on who played on these sessions apart from a few hints mentioning Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and a few other musicians.
This is more of a budget release for those who just want all his best albums in one box and this just does that.
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On the face of it this is a good release. There are five original Donovan albums and some bonus tracks. And if you only want the original albums and really don't want ALL the bonus tracks and bits and bobs from previous issues then this is a fine set. Basically it is a great release for a casual collector of Donovan, but not so good if you are serious about getting as much as you can by Donovan.
And a good set if you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to buy the original CD issues of these same re masters with more tracks.

But if you have collected the albums before with the 2005 re masters don't bother re buying again here because there is nothing new and in fact you get less.
If you want to seriously collect music by Donovan I would not bother with this release. Go get the original individual albums on the 2005 re masters, you get more tracks.

Going back to the good points. Disc one has two albums together on one disc. But no bonus tracks. Sunshine superman sees the US version of the album, not the British version. (although it is the intended version by Donovan himself) Mellow Yellow album follows on the same disc.
Disc two has two more albums that followed the last two. Hurdy Gurdy Man and Barabajagal. Once again both on the same disc but only two bonus tracks. One track, Jennifer Juniper (Italian version) is the only thing on this release that hasn't been issued before,
Disc Three has the whole of a double album called A gift from a flower to a garden. Disc four has 23 bonus tracks that have all appeared before on the original individual albums of the same re masters back in 2005.

The front of the CD box suggests that these are His studio Recordings 1966-69. Admittedly it doesn't claim to be all the recordings, but there are a number of tracks that were released the first time these re masters came out that are not here. They are missing.
The release of Sunshine Superman back in 2005 included some bonus tracks that are here on disc four but it also contained two more recordings of Good Trip, and House of Jansch.
The release of Mellow Yellow in 2005 included some bonus tracks that are here on disc four but it also contained four more recordings, these were, Sidewalk the Observation, Writer in the sun, Hampstead Incident and Museum.
The release of Hurdy Gurdy Man in 2005 included some bonus tracks that are all here on disc four and it also contains the 1968 re recorded versions of Colours and Catch the Wind that appeared on the 1969 issue of the Greatest Hits.
The release of Barabajagal in 2005 included bonus tracks that are here on disc four but it also included seven more bonus tracks not included here. They were, Runaway, Sweet Beverley, Marjorie Margarine, Little white flower, Good morning Mr wind, Palais Girl and Lord of the |Universe. A lot of missing tracks they could have included in this set.

The whole package on this release then is five albums and some bonus tracks on four CD discs in a traditional double CD like case.
Good value for the money yes and good if you just want the original albums. Not good if you want to get as much as you can of Donovan recordings. There are tracks missing.

Also note that the albums Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow are in Mono not stereo. This was true the first time around as well. There has been a brilliant Stereo version of the album Sunshine Superman that has been released before and it is worth looking out for as well as the individual 2005 're masters instead of this issue.
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on 25 April 2014
It is just as it says on the cover, his studio recordings from 1966 - 1969. Remastered to give a vibrant sharp crisp sound which has most of his well known songs. The four CDs covers 6 albums and great to put on and chill. I still wonder why they compare Donovan to Dylan beats me as they were two different songsmiths who wrote and played their own songs, the only common link was they were around at the same time. Most enjoyable disc set.
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on 28 September 2014
For the uninitiated out there who still believe Donovan to be (as he was painted at the time) a poor mans dylan, well, you really should buy this album. Of course there are familiarities (as there were with practically all singer/songwriters of the period, such was dylans influence)- especially with his early material - But Donovan was a very complete artist in his own right and had his own unique sound and vibe going on. This wonderfully remastered CD is the prime example of how otherwordly and beguiling this mans music was at times. This CD finds him in his 'flower-power' stage and there can surely be no other set of songs that sum up those few brief years in the 60's quite as precisley.

The question is, how do they translate all these years later in the bleak, barren and computerized modern era? Well - hit and miss to be totally honest. There are many fabulous tracks on here - the highlights for me being the incredible soundscapes of 'three kingfishers, 'guinivere' and 'tangier' - (take a listen to them and then dare to throw me bob dylan comparisons!) much of it however, to be fair, sounds rather twee and sugary. But in considering this you really do have to appreciate the time that these songs were operating in - because they were very different times than we have now for sure.

A few years back Donovan also came out with an incredible record called 'Sutras' which is simply unmissable and if you havent got a copy yet i suggest you go and buy one immediately - in the meantime, get this, find the great tunes amongst the daisies, and savour the mystical music of a (very)under-valued and under-rated british treasure who should never be forgotten.
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on 5 June 2014
Buy this set; don't hesitate; you don't need to, because if you liked his music back in the day you really will enjoy this set. Hardly any repetition of tracks as is sometimes the case. The compilers have done a great job and produced a set that will stand the test of time. A great reminder of just how great Donovan is. Sadly he was under that shadow of the fab four in the UK but was recognised in the US. This music doesn't date it sounds as fresh today as it did when he wrote it apart from the slightly hippyish early tracks of course!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 December 2015
As something of a Donovan Leitch fanatic, nothing for me can beat buying the excellent re-issues of his classic albums separately, all of which contain bonus tracks, but as a collector, I still had to obtain this lavish four CD boxset from EMI in 2013. If you want a big fat helping of the Scottish poets' finest work of the '60s after 1965, all produced by the famed hit maker Mickie Most, then 'Breezes of Patchouli (His Studio Recordings: 1966-1969)' will save you a lot of time and money if you really don't wish to obtain anything else.

What you get on here is the following:

On Disc One:
1. The complete 'Sunshine Superman' album (1966), containing the key tracks 'Sunshine Superman' and 'Season Of The Witch'.
2. The complete 'Mellow Yellow' album (1967), containing the key track 'Mellow Yellow'.

On Disc Two:
1. The complete 'The Hurdy Gurdy Man' album (1968), containing the key tracks 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' and 'Jennifer Juniper'.
2. The complete 'Barabajagal' album (1969), containing the key tracks 'Barabajagal', 'Superlungs My Supergirl', 'Happiness Runs', 'To Susan On The West Coast Waiting', and 'Atlantis'.
3. A bonus track from the 'Barabajagal' sessions: 'A Poor Man's Sunshine'.

On Disc Three:
1. The complete 'A Gift From A Flower To A Garden' album (1967), containing the key track 'Wear Your Love Like Heaven'. This was a double LP release, with one record containing material aimed at the adults, and the other, containing beautiful songs pitched at the younger ones.

On Disc Four:
1. A collection titled 'Associated Recordings', with early hits like 'Colours' and ' Catch The Wind', other essentials, alternative versions, and a sexy duet with fellow scot Lulu called 'What A Beautiful Creature You Are'.

Like I've already said - I do consider any devotee's best bet is to purchase all of these albums separately, but if you aren't as fanatical about the Hurdy Gurdy Man as I am, then you should buy this box instead, and you'll find it superb value for money. With four classic studio albums, most of the really essential hit singles, and a disc packed with rarities, it's a music lover's delight, and an outstanding retrospective of Donovan at his most commercially successful peak.
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on 2 September 2013
A fantastic collection of material for all Donovan fans, lacking in my opinion only the earlier Sunny Goodge Street, Universal soldier and Little Tin Soldier. All of which can be found on "Fairy Tale"
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on 8 October 2013
Great remastering and great compilation of the essential Donovan albums to a very good price. Very interesting to listen to these recordings, perfectly produced by Mickie Most, this is a great buy for anyone interested in pop and rock music. Superb!
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