Who doesn’t like a bit of Donovan? Well, quite a few people actually. Listening to his music – which should be what people judge him on – he sounds harmless. But I hear his autobiography paints him as something else.
I have that book too. It’s sat on my bookshelf, in my ever-growing ‘to read’ pile. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to read it though. I like these songs. They paint nice memories. I remember being at an all-night house party in London in the late ‘90s, and this record got put on in the early hours just as dawn was breaking. I don’t want memories like this to be ruined if he turns out to be a tit.
Donovan also seems to be a bit of a source of ridicule for Bob Dylan in D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back. Dylan’s amusement of Donovan’s coverage in the English press is one of the funniest moments in the documentary. That sort of makes sense, I suppose. Donovan’s music isn’t exactly challenging; a mile away from the cerebral workouts of Dylan’s brand of folk. Donovan’s work in comparison is almost ‘folk music for elevators’.
My favourite tune on this collection is Hurdy Gurdy Man, used to soundtrack the opening scene of David Fincher’s Zodiac. I love that film and the song is used perfectly. I couldn’t imagine a more ominous song, although Donovan’s own Season Of The Witch is pretty haunting too.
Hit: Mellow Yellow
Hidden Gem: Hurdy Gurdy Man