2005 Digitally remastered re-issue features seven bonus tracks 'Breezes Of Patchulie', 'Museum' (First Version), 'Superlungs' (First Version), 'The Land Of Doesn't Have To', 'Sunshine', 'Good Trip' (Demo), 'House Of Jansch... more »' (Demo). Sunshine Superman marked the coming of psychedelia and utilised the production skills of already established producer, Mickie Most, whose bass heavy style complements Donovan's enigmatic lyrics and their beatnik delivery brilliantly. EMI.« less
2005 Digitally remastered re-issue features seven bonus tracks 'Breezes Of Patchulie', 'Museum' (First Version), 'Superlungs' (First Version), 'The Land Of Doesn't Have To', 'Sunshine', 'Good Trip' (Demo), 'House Of Jansch' (Demo). Sunshine Superman marked the coming of psychedelia and utilised the production skills of already established producer, Mickie Most, whose bass heavy style complements Donovan's enigmatic lyrics and their beatnik delivery brilliantly. EMI.
a music fan | Portland, OR United States | 06/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Donovan had died young like Nick Drake or lost his mind like Syd Barrett, everyone would recognize his greatness now. Rather, like Paul McCartney, Donovan is a well-adjusted guy who's lived a full life, who made some absolutely brilliant music in the 60's and some less-than-brilliant music after the 60's. Good for him, but lousy for his legend.
In my opinion, Sunshine Superman is his best album, although Mellow Yellow, A Gift From a Flower to a Garden, and Hurdy Gurdy Man are also excellent. Sunshine Superman includes three of Donovan's greatest hits -- the title track, Season of the Witch, and the Trip -- all great rock songs, but, for me, what makes this record shine is the other album tracks. Songs like Legend of a Girl Child Linda, Three Kingfishers, the Fat Angel and bonus track Breezes of Patchulie are simply some of the best psychedelic-chamber-folk-pop songs ever recorded. John Cameron's arrangements are gorgeous throughout. If you like languid mood music with beautiful melodies, and the sounds of sitars and harpsichords, these tunes are bliss (and honestly, if you don't like such things, you shouldn't be listening to Donovan anyway).
One more thing: this record sounds AMAZING. Partly this is due to whoever engineered it forty years ago, but whoever remastered it this year is a genius. EMI, PLEASE hire the responsible party to remaster the Beatles' catalog IMMEDIATELY.
One complaint though: the liner notes are very poorly written."
Releases a lot of sunshine on this pivitol album
J. Niss | Western Mass | 06/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this is the remastering we've always hoped for (not the royal "we" but the millions to whom this recording is elemental). thank you thank you thank you to Donovan and all involved in this superb remastering! and oh! the extra cuts (you can't get this soon enough). in the past i'd sought and found white label promo first pressings (vinyl) of Sunshine Superman in search of the sound quality I longed for. never thought i'd say it about digital 16 bit vs analog but THIS IS IT!!! This is the pressing of this to own. Trust me on this one..."
After forty years, finally a definitive version of a masterp
Michael Topper | Pacific Palisades, California United States | 01/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Sunshine Superman" remains to this day Donovan's greatest work, a pioneering masterpiece which ranks as one of the best albums of all time. That the 19-year-old could write and perform a work so ahead of its time--he was working on the same artistic level as The Beatles, who were recording "Revolver" during the same months--seems astonishing today, but it took forty years for a proper version of the album to be released.
"Sunshine Superman" originally appeared in September 1966 in the US only in "reprocessed stereo", and when it was finally released in the UK in June of '67 (which made it seem less pioneering than it was in those heady times) it was combined with songs from "Mellow Yellow" in a mono version that sounded OK but in spite of the clear genius of the songwriting and arrangments, the sound on both versions seemed "off" and the CD versions up to this point did nothing to improve matters. Finally, forty years later, some wizard at EMI properly remastered the sound and the results are astonishing: the acoustic guitars, sitars, tablas, harpsichords and organs have a deep, rich resonance to them which wraps around the listener's ear like a fine silk tapestry.
The album contains not a single weak track and although the pace towards the end of the first side slows to a crawl (with three slow tracks in a row), all are gorgeous. The title track and "Season Of The Witch" were memorable psychedelic rockers, while stoned ballads like "Three Kingfishers" and "Guinevere" are awash in a dreamy, novel synthesis of Indian and Celtic influences that is simply intoxicating. The combination of acoustic and electric guitars, electric violin, harpsichord, strings, sitars and tablas made it one of the first pyschedelic reocords and Donovan has since belatedly been recognized for his contributions to the movement, his influence on The Beatles being particularly strong (see The White Album).
The next two albums, "Mellow Yellow" and "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden" were equally focused and essential but "Sunshine Superman" remains his greatest, both lyrically and musically, and the measure by which all of his later works were compared. This remastered version also contains the essential outtakes "Breezes Of Patchulie", "Museum" and "Superlungs" which are all in the same breathtaking mold as the album (all three should have been included, actually, and "Museum" and "Superlungs" may have balanced the album a bit more with rockers, but both found their way in satisfactory versions on later works), as well as a few acoustic demos never before released. In all, an essential purchase for all Donovan fans, who have been waiting years and years for something like this to come out--and unlike some reviewers here, I thought the liners were fine and quite detailed."
An Ineffable Musical Experience
Big Wave Dave | San Jose, CA USA | 01/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Other reviewers have delineated the technical brilliance of this album. I would not have much to add or subtract from their observations, except to affirm that the clarity of the mix enabled me to hear things I had never heard before, which injected new life into some well-worn tracks. The rest of my comments will be unapologetically subjective, possibly because Donovan has an odd way of reaching each individual at a personal level, though his stance is usually an acerbic but kindly, somewhat detached observer. In the musical firmament of the '60s, Donovan was the Pleiades, the mystic purple star system where faerie visions came and went, suggesting spiritual and sensual doings of an evanescent and yet intense character. No one else was even close. "Purple Haze" was the pile driver version of the grail at the end of that quest. "Sunshine Superman" was the lyrical version. Funny thing is, Donovan's songs still take you there, if you let them. I grew up in the SF Bay Area, and the Flower Power movement (if you could call it a "movement") emerged about the time I got my driver's license. I went in search of it, borrowing my parents' car. (Incidentally, the term "Flower Power" was coined by a reviewer of a Donovan concert who noted the flowers he tossed to the audience.) Maybe I found a little piece of the dream one fine day with a girl who seemed to know the power of silence, but for the most part it was illusion. I wanted to believe, but reality kept conflicting. Then I attended a Donovan concert at the Fillmore. For that two-hour moment, which was actually of infinite duration, it all came true. Like the gateway to the Pied Piper's Kingdom, the door is now nothing but a rock wall, but it is hard to forget having been among the elves for a moment, and the one who played the pipes that transported me there. Donovan's music suggested the beauty possible in a '60s mindset, and no album suggests it better than "Sunshine Superman." Think what a miracle it was to hear so much groundbreaking, diverse, and original music exploding all at once, and here was this guy singing songs that fitted it all perfectly, and yet didn't belong in any one stylistic camp or category at all. This quality of poetic vison and independence from convention still comes through today, surprisingly. Donovan's music brushes off the dust that tried to collect on its robes, and keeps on walkin', shimmering and catching the dreamlight. There is no absolute definitive interpretation of any of the songs. I think that's what you'll like about them. They're like kaleidoscope images that attract different parts of your soul on different days. Some of it is silly, and yet overall there's something profound about it. There are classics on this CD, such as "Sunshine Superman" and "Season of the Witch." But there are some underrated wonders here, too, such as "Bert's Blues," which is kind of a jazz/pop soliloquy on the "To Be or Not To Be" question. I will always be nostalgic for a belief in Peace and Love, even if the dream is deader than JFK, RFK, and MLK. But maybe another place and time? If you were there, you know what I mean. If you weren't, this might be your ticket. And if this isn't a five-star experience, then what is?"
One Important track missing
Syd | Chicago | 07/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this is the one we've been waiting for. However there is one very important track from the era not on the CD: that is the single version of The Trip, the b-side to Sunshine. This version featured a harmonica solo not on the LP version. They should have included this instead of the dublicate demos that are also on the others CDs of this series."