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The Essential Donovan

Donovan

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Album Review

Long after his earliest material — recorded for Pye and Hickory — was remastered and reissued in several intriguing permutations, Donovan's Epic years had still received only cursory treatment (even while, ironically, the original records of many lesser artists were resurrected and lavished with attention). In 1999, the release of an expanded, remastered version of Donovan's Greatest Hits seemed to promise great things to come, though the label failed to follow through. The Essential Donovan merely reissues the superior Epic collection Donovan's Greatest Hits — and actually removes one track, "Riki Tiki Tavi" — in a new, chronological order. The music is obviously excellent, beginning with Donovan's wistful debut, "Catch the Wind," and progressing through his psychedelic pop hits of the late '60s, but Donovan's Greatest Hits presents the same material with perspective and a flair that this series compilation lacks.

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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The Essential Donovan, Donovan
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