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Donovan – Sunshine Superman (1966)

August 29, 2017

[Album 564/1001]

‘Of its time.’

I’ve definitely used the expression to describe a song or a style that sounds unmistakably like a certain time or place.

But I don’t think it’s possible to use it to describe Donovan’s Sunshine Superman,

For starters, I have the US LP from ’66, which is a different tracklist from the UK version released in ’67.Donovan-Sunshine_Superman

There are moments of folk, which might suggest early 60s.

There are moments of psychedelia, which would lead me later in the decade.

Not to mention the moments of medieval themes, which would rewind the clock several centuries.

And then in the liner notes, he speaks of “mordor” (a few years prior to Robert Plant & co.), which puts us in the third age of the fictional middle earth?

To paraphrase the popular Sean Bean meme, one does not simply assign a time/place to a Donovan record!

But like the Lord of the Rings, I’m not sure if I fully understand what’s going on, but I think I’ll enjoy re-immersing in this Donovan world every few years.

Wherever, and whenever, his world may be.

…..

Verbalize the Positive

In this particular time/place (2017/on computer with internet access), apparently it’s pretty easy to make your own version of Boromir’s quote!

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From → 1960s

16 Comments
  1. When I tackled Donovan back in April, it was the 1967 album ‘Mellow Yellow’ that was the focus. However, I was compelled to tell the torturous story of the US/UK releases and observe that I found ‘Sunshine Superman’ superior. Hope you do too.

    • I believe I had ‘sunshine superman’ in my top 5 sunshine tracks – I imagine it would chart in a top 5 superman tracks as well!

  2. I’ve never really got the Donovan thing. In fact, I may be guilty of saying I’ve found it very much ‘of its time’ (shocker!).

    • I was bought up on him, it’s all bollocks as far as I’m concerned! Ha, take that parents!

    • Haha, you did better than I did than J at specifying a specific Donovan time, he was a bit all over the space-time continuum for me to narrow it down!

  3. I am not a Donovan fan. I find him pretentious and way too new-agey.

    However, he is often unfairly deemed a copyist, a jumper-on-the-bandwagon, especially with his fingerpicking stuff. He was a huge influence on the Beatles (he was in India with them), and this is heard all over the White Album. However, because the album (I believe it is the one which is the subject of this blog entry) came out later than planned due to record-company problems etc, many had assumed that he had copied the people whom he had influenced!

    Deep Purple did an interesting cover version of a Donovan song!

    • I remember reading that about the Beatles India trip – and as the White album is my favourite album, I appreciate his influence!

  4. One of those blokes who was always around the scene but was never quite the scene.

    • But if you’re spending time hanging out with the Beatles in ’68, you’ve gotta be doing something right!

      • That’s true. And I heard that he helped and influenced The Beatles with guitar tunings

  5. Donovan is OK in my books. A few good tunes but I don’t go out of my way to listen to them.

  6. Hey good on ya for covering this guy! You’re right, he’s a bit all over the map, but that’s what makes him so interesting. Well done!

    • My thanks Aaron – I tend to be a bit all over the map with who/when I choose to review, so perhaps that’s what drew me to Donovan!

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