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Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964-1976 Limited Edition, Box set

4.2 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Box set, October 29, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Includes Sunshine Superman; Hurdy Gurdy Man; Mellow Yellow; Season of the Witch; Epistle to Dippy; Wear Your Love Like Heaven; There Is a Mountain , and more of his hits, plus key album tracks, alternate versions (of Museum; Superlungs , and Riki Tiki Tavi ), early tracks ( Catch the Wind ) and three unreleased cuts. 44 trippy tracks in all!


Heaven knows, the Scotsman born Donovan Leitch was ripe for ridicule, even when he was hitting the charts with regularity. He was the ultimate flower child, and his airier pronouncements made cynics want to tighten up those love beads around his neck. Listening to Troubadour, however, it's striking how versatile, melodic, and agreeable most of his material sounds decades after "Mellow Yellow" has faded into a jaundiced yellow. Clearly under the sway of Bob Dylan early on in his career, Donovan nevertheless was capable of directing his reverence into something as enchanting as "Catch the Wind." Amping up as the '60s progressed, he assembled a series of psychedelic-pop classics, including "Season of the Witch," the "Hey Jude"-like sing-along "Atlantis," and the uncharacteristically driving "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (the latter features three-quarters of what was to become Led Zeppelin providing stellar support). This two-disc anthology may be more Donovan than some desire, but the booklet, seven previously unreleased tracks, and expansive perspective it provides makes it a more-than-worthy overview for those who take their paisley folk-rock with a beatific smile. --Steven Stolder

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. London Town
  2. Codine
  3. Catch The Wind
  4. Universal Soldier
  5. Colours
  6. Sunshine Superman
  7. Season Of The Witch
  8. The Trip
  9. Guinevere
  10. Breezes Of Patchulie
  11. Museum
  12. Super Lungs
  13. Mellow Yellow
  14. Writer In The Sun
  15. Sand And Foam
  16. Sunny South Kensington
  17. Epistle To Dippy
  18. There Is A Mountain
  19. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
  20. Oh Gosh
  21. The Tinker And The Crab
  22. Poor Cow

Disc: 2

  1. Hurdy Gurdy Man
  2. Jennifer Juniper
  3. Teen Angel
  4. Lalena
  5. To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
  6. Atlantis
  7. Barabajagal
  8. Happiness Runs
  9. Celia Of The Seals
  10. Riki Tiki Tavi
  11. Clara Clairvoyant
  12. Roots Of Oak
  13. Riki Tiki Tavi (Previously Unreleased Version)
  14. Maria Magenta
  15. Cosmic Wheels
  16. I Like You
  17. Yellow Star
  18. Rock And Roll Souljer
  19. The Quest
  20. Age Of Treason
  21. What The Soul Desires
  22. Dark-Eyed Blue Jean Angel

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 29, 1996)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Original Release Date: August 11, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition, Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027GB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Donovan began his career as a folkie, but he will be remembered forever as the leading proponent of flower power hipness.
Early folk-oriented tunes like "Catch the Wind," "Colours" and "Universal Soldier" all charted in the UK, but only "Catch the Wind" dented the US charts (No. 23). In late-65 Donovan splits from his manager and hooks up with new producer Mickie Most (Herman's Hermits, Animals, Lulu, etc.). In the process he switches direction from folk to pop.
His first single for Most is "Sunshine Superman"--which was originally titled "For John and Paul." It goes to No. 2 in the UK and tops the US chart. What follows is a string of memorable hits, including "Mellow Yellow" with Paul McCartney on background "whispered" vocals. [Did anyone REALLY believe this was about smoking banana skins! ] There's the percussion-flute workout "There Is a Mountain," (which the Allman Brothers would convert to "Mountain Jam" on Eat a Peach.]
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Donovan would maintain his popularity throughout the sixties. This also meant expanding his sound. "Hurdy Gurdy Man" starts out with Donovan's trademark vibrato vocal and cosmic lyrics, but with Jimmy Page on guitar and the future Led Zeppelin rhythm section on board it was one of the few Donovan tracks that rocked. Another hard-driving song (and Donovan's last US top 40 hit), "Barabajagal (Love Is Hot)," features the Jeff Beck Group.
Donovan leaves Mickie Most and releases "Celia of the Seals" as a duet with longtime bassist Danny Thompson. It only reaches US No. 84.
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By A Customer on September 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've loved Donovan's music for a long time and accumulated albums, singles, tapes, CDs, etc., of his by the bushelful. However, I write this at a time when my infatuation with the man has faded quite a bit. This could be due to overkill on my part. At any rate, this collection has some good things going for it. All his hits are here. Some previously rare tracks have been included that are mostly quite good. A few oddball album tracks made it on here that really didn't deserve to be here. For big fans, this set is a must. For casual, "I just want the hits and the rest make me throw up" fans, you are getting a bit too much here. Go with a single CD of hits and not this 2-CD collection. You have to at least like the sentiment behind flower power to get into the lesser-known songs here. In reality, the choice of album cuts from both the 60s and 70s material is somewhat questionable--there are superior tracks that could have been chosen in some instances. Put a good band behind him, and Donovan can do magic with a song. He can also do quite well with just him and his guitar, as many of the songs on this set demonstrate. I think Donovan himself chose the songs on here--so I guess a few of the choices I don't agree with. Some of his favorites songs he wrote for his beloved wife Linda--"I Like You" is one that doesn't come off real well; "Dark-eyed Blue-Jean Angel" works better. For most listeners, the collection probably should have been limited to the years 1965-1971 or perhaps 1973, and trimming off the last few years of input. That would have allowed more space for great songs like "Three Kingfishers" from the Sunshine Superman album and "Young Girl Blues" from Mellow Yellow. All in all, his songs have aged well and deserve to be remembered for posterity.
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By A Customer on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my wife's favorite CDs, and I must say that Donovan has worn exceptionally well. Back in the sixties, I was one of those who dismissed him as a minor Dylan wanna-be with an occasional Top 40 hit. Thirty-five years later, Dylan himself has turned into a Dylan imitator while Donovan is revealed as the Real Deal. Listening to this, I'm amazed at what a diverse and high-quality body of work he generated. This will take you back to the Peace, Love and Flower Power era, but in a way that's still completely enjoyable and won't have you wincing with embarrassment like your Strawberry Alarm Clock albums might do. The songs all have a gentle, mystical quality that's enhanced by Donovan's odd phrasing and Scottish brogue. Even his commentary on the Vietnam War ("To Susan On the West Coast Waiting") is gentle -- and delivers its message far more effectively and timelessly than a Country Joe rant ("Gimme an F!"). There are perhaps four songs on here that I could've done without, but the rest are all keepers. As with Dylan, you gotta love some of the quirky lyrics ("Elevator in the brain hotel, broken down but just as well") -- and, hey, anyone who can have you singing "My antedeluvian BAY-BEE!" without feeling like a complete fool has got to be a rare talent. All in all, I guess this is one of my favorite CDs too.
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Format: Audio CD
As one who has owned copies of Greatest Hits (both the original CD release and the expanded remaster from 1999), this comp and the 3-CD Try for the Sun box, I have to admit there has yet to be a Donovan anthology that truly does justice to the man's catalogue, as each one seems to exclude one track or another that a fan would want to have there. These, however, are such minor quibbles as to be truly insignificant. Greatest Hits is perfect for the casual fan looking for Don's classic-era songs; Troubadour gives us a complete overview of his decade with Epic plus the two years preceding it in which he cemented his reputation as a Scots Woody Guthrie; while Try for the Sun is for the true completist.

I first bought this set when it was released and there were few enough Donovan CDs to be had; Sony had only seen fit to put Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Barabajagal and Greatest Hits out, and sad to say, they are still woefully deficient in their reissue of his catalogue (although Troubadour forgave a multitude of sins, as the Try for the Sun box has also done). Troubadour gives you two wonderful Donovan demos, "London Town" (Don's take on Tim Hardin's "Green Rocky Road") and "Cod'ine" (an early anti-drug song, and one of two Buffy Sainte-Marie songs Don covered, the other being the more famous "Universal Soldier," also included here), and his three hit singles for Pye/Hickory: "Catch the Wind," "Colours" and the aforementioned "Universal Soldier." From there, it launches full-on into his Epic years (1966-76); for me, this collection truly opened my eyes to all Don's music, and the rarities were often the most revealing as to his talents.
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Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964-1976
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