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Is Donovan Misunderstood?


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Showing 76-100 of 114 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 31, 2012 1:13:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012 1:31:22 AM PDT
Gary L says:
Donovan seemed to have started his career as kind of a balladeer, a troubadour. He probably saw a useful place for his material in a lot of the flower power movement, as when I saw him, performing, seated on the stage with flowers in a white robe. Guru-like, quite a spectacle.

There is nothing flower-power-ish about "Catch the Wind", or about "Try For the Sun", but there is about a lot of his material as "Jennifer Juniper" (and album art, as in "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden", "Sunshine Superman" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man"). He seems just to have seen a natural fit there, and Sunshine Superman has drugs all over it, from its title to the hallucinatory visions in "Three King Fishers": "Oh, I dreamed you were a jewel/Sitting on a golden crown on my head". Can easily imagine this imagery making its way into the indescribable BBC program "The Mighty Boosh". They have all kinds of references like that. (Once on the program Roger Daltry cameo'd as a cleanup guy with a broom).

Posted on May 31, 2012 1:22:36 AM PDT
FromABuick6 says:
Barabajagal is one of the greatest songs i've ever heard in my life. Who can forget Catch The Wind, Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Season Of The Witch and Hurdy Gurdy Man?

Posted on May 31, 2012 2:26:39 AM PDT
@Gary L: that line from "Three Kingfishers" is one of my favorites of all time. If "The Mighty Boosh" is all lines like that, maybe I should take a gander...

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 3:26:44 AM PDT
lizard-of-oz says:
WHO ?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 3:28:12 AM PDT
lizard-of-oz says:
JASON?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 6:31:03 AM PDT
ronct says:
Day off from school?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012 8:13:00 AM PDT
Modzilla says:
If you like your comedy psychedelic, maybe you should.... (2nd series is best IMHO)

Posted on May 31, 2012 2:51:11 PM PDT
daniel says:
He was funny on the Hall of Fame induction. On purpose, I mean. He was cool.

Posted on May 31, 2012 7:54:52 PM PDT
Donovan has an amazing catalog of tunes, recorded the best "flower power" songs in the 60's and 70's, stayed honest and humble and still is performing and creating. He deserves continued adulation in the music world.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 8:48:29 AM PDT
quixotictic says:
>>The song "Try for the Sun" is not an early gay love song. It is an autobiographical song about Donovan's life on the road with his best friend Gypsy Dave Mills.

Can you cite any source that interprets the song in that way? "Try for the Sun" never suggested sex to me in any way. I've always appreciated Donovan for taking the long view when it comes to love and friendship (e.g., "Freedom is a word I rarely use without thinking of the times when I've been loved"). I'm sure it's his very spiritual approach and his openness that others see as fey.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 10:23:29 AM PDT
Eddie H. says:
I always had to be in the mood for Donavan...Barabajagal is real good,A Gift from a Flower To a Garden has some real good songs, I happen to like Essence To Essence also...He obviously had a big influence on Marc Bolan...T-Rex's early material is very reminicient of Donavon!

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 3:45:47 PM PDT
Jimi jac says:
Whereas Donovan a lot of great songs, I don't feel he produced a career defining album. This is probably Michie Most fault, who was much better at producing hit singles.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 3:33:09 AM PDT
@Jimi jac: You wouldn't consider "Sunshine Superman" a career defining album? I sure would.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 7:17:19 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
@Michael Topper/Jimi jac:

Ditto. And I surely wouldn't say that Most's work on it was limited to hit singles. I think it is a solid album throughout and I can't remember anything from it making the single charts in the UK or US excepting the title song.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 10:21:40 AM PDT
deltastrat says:
Catherine, liner notes show Bohnam, Jones, and Page backing Donovan on Hurdy Gurdy. Right or wrong, damn the liner notes, but that's Bohnam drumming.......and yes, Shawn Philips did play guitar and sitar on many of Donovan's songs.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 10:33:51 AM PDT
I noticed they used "Season of the Witch" in the new Dark Shadows movie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 2:40:16 AM PDT
Jimi jac says:
What I mean is none of his records have become revered by the Public like "Pet Sounds", Or "Sgt Pepper" or "Let it Bleed"

Although my Favourite Donovan Album would be "A Gift From a Flower to a Garden" Which Most only produce one of the songs, Donovan did the rest.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2012 10:35:24 AM PDT
quixotictic says:
While maybe there isn't one that's career-defining, Donovan's early albums are solid from start to finish. You have to give Most some credit, but consider that Donovan produced A Gift from a Flower to a Garden except for "Wear Your Love Like Heaven," and the first record fits right in with the rest of his 1960s material. That leads me to believe Donovan didn't leave all the arranging to Most.

Posted on Jun 6, 2012 12:19:07 PM PDT
@quixotictic: although some credit must be given to Most, the *real* credit for the unusual and pioneering arrangements on the albums from "Sunshine Superman" through "Hurdy Gurdy Man" must be given to John Cameron. He was Donovan's secret weapon during that time. Although, even then, as long as we're mentioning "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden", it must be noted that the masterful "For Little Ones" disc is almost entirely Donovan and his acoustic guitar.

@Jimi jac: if you meant it that way, then yes, no Donovan album has become quite as universally popular as "Pepper, "Dark Side", "Rumours" etc. Although "Sunshine Superman" still comes closest, as it is his biggest-selling album. It certainly *deserves* to be as huge as "Dark Side" or "Pepper" IMO. But really, there's not too many artists out there who have albums as massive as those. I'd say a grand total of about 30.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 1:15:38 AM PDT
Jimi jac says:
I wonder if Donovon had played Woodstock, Isle of White or The Monterey Music Festival he would be held in much higher regard today.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 2:36:36 AM PDT
Modzilla says:
He did play the Isle of Wight in 1970

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 2:41:26 AM PDT
Jimi jac says:
You tell I'm a big Donovan fan then!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 5:37:18 PM PDT
Hinch says:
venussansfurs

Good recommendation! I have that, but I may need to update to the cd. I love his early folky stuff ("Catch The Wind","Colours") but I also love his later music too. "Sunshine Superman" is a classic, as well as "Season of The Witch", which has been covered by quite a few.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 5:47:32 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Catch The Wind (live '65)

http://youtu.be/Apn7e7DQCNk

Atlantis

http://youtu.be/leI7sfmipuI

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:24:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 6:28:34 PM PDT
Thanks. Funny you mention that, as a band I was once in covered "Season of the Witch"! I have a copy of that hits CD too, and mine was released before they added the bonus tracks, so I need to update it myself. Only thing, it's got one or two slightly abbreviated song versions on it (I hate when they do that), but it's a good comp overall. Also have the 'Troubadour' box set, that's a good one as well with more of the folky stuff in it.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  45
Total posts:  114
Initial post:  May 23, 2010
Latest post:  Oct 15, 2012

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