140. Donovan

Donovan Leitch, aka “Donovan”, was a popular Scottish singer-songwriter in the late 1960s. My mom liked the song “Sunshine Superman”, and our family had a copy of the album Donovan’s Greatest Hits, which received regular airplay for years.

Donovan’s Wikipedia Page

Donovan was a singles artist, and I have virtually no experience with his music outside of the hit songs played on the local AM radio stations. “Sunshine Superman” turned out one of my least favorite of those hits; there are others I ike quite a bit.

I left out a couple of top 40 songs (“Lalena” and “Epistle To Dippy”), and included a couple of marginal hits from the early 1970s, “Atlantis” and “Barabajagal”. Donovan’s songs feature poetic lyrics, with varying tempos and musical accompaniment, clearly and beautifully sung. The influence of both Bob Dylan and The Beatles is clear. The songs have modest lyrical weight, and perhaps the psychedelic influence is a bit too strong, but a few of these still sound good to me.

Season Of The Witch, Donovan ✭✭✭✭

Wear Your Love Like Heaven, Donovan ✭✭✭
There Is A Mountain, Donovan ✭✭✭
Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan ✭✭✭
Mellow Yellow, Donovan ✭✭✭
Catch The Wind, Donovan ✭✭✭

There Is A Mountain, Donovan ✭✭
Sunshine Superman, Donovan ✭✭

Atlantis, Donovan
Barabajagal, Donovan

Earlier this year, while trying to rate every song in the collection, I had to decide whether to listen to the Allman Brothers 33 minute long jam session called “Mountain Jam”, based on the Donovan song “There Is A Mountain”. One day at the gym I bit the bullet and plowed through the entire thing. It was quite pleasant, as all songs featuring Duane Allman are, and it earned a permanent spot in the collection, for occasional use. “Mountain Jam”, at 33:41, the longest recording in the iPod collection.

Mountain Jam, The Allman Brothers ✭✭

One thought on “140. Donovan

  1. Richard Supan November 11, 2009 / 5:31 PM

    I recall some comparison of Donovan as the “British version of Bob Dylan”. I don’t know if this were true, but I do think there was some rivalry between the two.

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