Saturday, 18 October 2008

"Fairytale" by DONOVAN. His 1965 2nd Album On CD.



Released in October 1965, Donovan's 2nd album for Pye Records is represented here by Tracks 1 to 12 and it's something of a lost Sixties Folk/Rock classic - Tracks 13 to 18 are bonuses - original LP and CD reissued pictured above)).

The album's opener "Colours" is a balls-to-the-wall 60's classic - it truly is. Fairytale" features a lot of tracks like that - just Donovan and his acoustic guitar - more Folk than Pop really. In fact, when you hear almost any track on this very hard-to-find LP, it's easy to see why Donovan was often referred to as Britain's Bob Dylan. And it wasn't just because of the similar vocal styles - they were both such good songwriters and commentators on the times.

Highlights include "The Ballad Of A Crystal Man" which is represented on this disc twice - the full album version and the edited EP version - it's a fantastically strong and emotive anti-Vietnam piece equal to anything his Bobness put out on the other side of the pond. Lyrically the other songs are equally clever and even witty too. There's a "violent hash smoker" in "Sunny Goodge Street", while a quietly sinister "Jersey Thursday" gives us sly white powder references, "on a tiny piece of coloured glass, my love was born - and reds, and golds and yellows were the colours of the dawn..." Oh yeah!!

The extras (13 to 18) also make the purchase so worthwhile for fans. "Turquoise" and "Hey GYP (Dig The Slowness)" are his 3rd 7" single for Pye Records and both tracks are non-album. The last four songs, "Universal Soldier", "Do You Hear Me Now", "Ballad Of A Crystal Man" and "The War Drags On" are again non-album and make up the 4-tracks of the rare UK-only "Universal Soldier EP" from September 1965. ("Universal Soldier" and "Do You Hear Me Now" were released as a 7" in the States on Hickory).

So - a good album bolstered up with relevant bonuses. And the remastered sound quality on all is excellent too - very clear and not excessively hissy like some Sixties recordings can be.

"Fairytale" is a snip at any price for fans and a great way of discovering the wildly underrated Donovan for the uninitiated - especially those who want to veer away from his better-known hits. Highly Recommended.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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