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