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A Gift from a Flower to a Garden

Donovan

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Album Review

Rock music's first two-LP box set, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden overcomes its original shortcomings and stands out as a prime artifact of the flower-power era that produced it. The music still seems a bit fey, and overall more spacy than the average Moody Blues album of this era, but the sheer range of subjects and influences make this a surprisingly rewarding work. Essentially two albums recorded simultaneously in the summer of 1967, the electric tracks include Jack Bruce among the session players. The acoustic tracks represent an attempt by Donovan to get back to his old sound and depart from the heavily electric singles ("Sunshine Superman," etc.) and albums he'd been doing — it is folkier and bluesier (in an English folk sense) than much of his recent work.

Biography

Born: 10 May 1946 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Upon his emergence during the mid-'60s, Donovan was anointed "Britain's answer to Bob Dylan," a facile but largely unfounded comparison which compromised the Scottish folk-pop troubadour's own unique vision. Where the thrust of Dylan's music remains its bleak introspection and bitter realism, Donovan fully embraced the wide-eyed optimism of the flower power movement, his ethereal, ornate songs radiating a mystical beauty and childlike wonder; for better or worse, his recordings remain quintessential...
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