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Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan
Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #4

Donovan Leitch, at his most memorable, reflected and connected the folky beginnings of Bob Dylan with the pop instincts of the Beatles, and counted both among his friends. The singer-songwriter's airy voice and whimsical s...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Donovan
Title: Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan
Members Wishing: 11
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 9/13/2005
Album Type: Box set, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: British & Celtic Folk, Europe, British Isles, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock, British Invasion
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaCD Credits: 4
UPC: 827969391921

Donovan Leitch, at his most memorable, reflected and connected the folky beginnings of Bob Dylan with the pop instincts of the Beatles, and counted both among his friends. The singer-songwriter's airy voice and whimsical songs were malleable enough to encompass wildly diverse styles, including the sparse protest-folk of "Universal Soldier," the smoky cabaret jazz of "Sunny Goodge Street," and the harder psychedelia of "Hurdy Gurdy Man," as well as the easygoing sunshine sound of "Mellow Yellow" and the plush, orchestral "Lalena." Add some whimsical fairy tales, darker blues, and bouncy Caribbean rhythms, and you have an artist whose enormous swath is difficult to absorb, let alone anthologize. This three-CD-plus-one-DVD set covers Donovan's work from 1964 to 2004 and is the most ambitious attempt yet to organize his extensive career. It includes 60 tracks, 15 of them previously unreleased or hard to find (many of these live and acoustic). The remastered sound is so clear it often seems Donovan is whispering into your ear. Try for the Sun is geared toward the hardcore fan, as those just wanting a taste can make do with Donovan's Greatest Hits or Troubadour: The Definitive Collection, 1964-1976. But for those with the time, interest, and patience, this nearly four-hour set, with its sumptuous packaging, extensive liner notes, and rare video footage, is a journey of its own that presents the most complete portrait available of this enigmatic and legendary artist. --Hal Horowitz More Donovan

Donovan's Greatest Hits

Troubadour: The Definitive Collection, 1964-1976

Beat Cafe

CD Reviews

Donovan Captured Quite Rightly
Norm | Montana USA | 09/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The sound on these remastered tracks is terrific. Donovan's earliest recordings are a remnant of a time when innocent musings and magical wonder of the cosmos were a quiet force prevailing against a war machine and deaf leaders. This music can be a medicine that helps sooth human spirits in this violent, self-destructing civilization. With the crystal clarity of the remastered recordings, Donovan's music is new again. Although the documentary on dvd is a dated curio upon first viewing, Donovan's music and the performance footage make it worthwhile.

This description is from Sony Music:
Spanning his recording career from 1964 to 2004, TRY FOR THE SUN presents 60 tracks, 20 of which are in glorious original mono sound. Included are every one of Donovan's 17 U.S. chart singles (and 8 well-chosen B sides), plus more than a dozen signature album tracks, 12 previously unreleased studio recordings, 7 previously unreleased live concert numbers (from 1967 and 1971), 2 live concert numbers previously unissued in the U.S., and a track from his rare 1964 demo. The bonus DVD marks the long overdue premiere of the 1970 documentary, There Is An Ocean. Filmed during a voyage to Greece, the doc presents a revealing portrait of Donovan in the company of friends and family, with plenty of never-before-seen live performance footage included."
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 10/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

Since Amazon can't seem to get it together & publish a complete track list, here's the one off AMG:

1 Catch the Wind [Single Version] 2:17
2 Josie 3:27
3 Co'dine [demo version] 4:47
4 Colours 2:45
5 Universal Soldier 2:12
6 Sunny Goodge Street 2:55
7 Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness) 3:10
8 Sunshine Superman [Extended Version] 4:33
9 The Trip [Single Version] 4:34
10 Legend of a Girl Child Linda 6:53
11 Three King Fishers 3:17
12 Season of the Witch 4:56
13 Guinevere 3:41
14 The Fat Angel 4:12
15 Mellow Yellow 3:43
16 Sand and Foam 3:17
17 Young Girl Blues 3:46
18 Museum 2:56
19 Hampstead Incident 4:42
20 Sunny South Kensington 3:49
21 Epistle to Dippy 3:10
22 Preachin' Love 2:39
23 There Is a Mountain 2:35
24 Wear Your Love Like Heaven 2:25
25 Oh Gosh 1:48
26 Isle of Islay 2:22
27 Epistle to Derroll [live] 5:43
28 To Try for the Sun [live] 3:20
29 Someone's Singing [live] 3:55
30 The Tinker and the Crab [live] 3:06
31 Jennifer Juniper 2:42
32 Poor Cow 2:57
33 Hurdy Gurdy Man 3:20
34 Get Thy Bearings 2:53
35 Lalena 2:56
36 Barabajagal (Love Is Hot) 3:24
37 Lord of the Reedy River [#] 3:04
38 Moon in Capricorn [#] 2:03
39 To Susan on the West Coast Waiting 3:13
40 Atlantis 5:08
41 Celia of the Seals 3:00
42 The Song of the Wandering Aengus
43 The Ferryman's Daughter [#] 1:49
44 She Moved Through the Fair [#] 2:52
45 The Traveling People [#] 1:50
46 Riki Tiki Tavi 2:55
47 Clara Clairvoyant 2:52
48 Young But Growing [live] 4:33
49 Keep on Truckin' [live] 2:53
50 Stealin' [live] 4:09
51 I Like You 5:17
52 Maria Magenta 2:12
53 A Working Man [live] 3:09
54 Tinker Tune [live] 2:50
55 Sailing Homeward 2:57
56 Your Broken Heart 3:33
57 Dark-Eyed Blue Jean Angel 3:52
58 Please Don't Bend 4:12
59 Love Floats 4:20
60 Happiness Runs [#] 3:43"
Sony finally starts to get it together
William M. Feagin | Upstate New York, USA | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While Sony-BMG has long been probably the best of the majors (you've got to give props to a major label with an actual customer service division that will replace your defective copies of their CDs at no charge), I feel they have done a very scattershot job on many of their classic artists where remasters are concerned. (Still not quite as horrible as the short shrift EMI has given the Beatles' CD catalogue, which sorely deserve some audiophile remasters--SACD, anyone? Preferably hybrid? Even DualDisc, which I am lukewarm about, would do.) Donovan has probably suffered the most of any artist--the expanded remaster of his Greatest Hits album that Sony released in 1999 showed real promise, but beyond that and the Troubadour set, they dropped the ball. And those two comps only came out as well as they did because Donovan himself was directly involved. They haven't bothered with any of his original albums for Epic, save early CD releases of Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man and Barabajagal. EMI, Donovan's UK label when he left Pye (Hickory in the US), has definitely picked up the slack with their recent remasters, however, and Sony ought to take a page from their book and license those CDs for U.S. release on the Legacy imprimatur--snap to it, Sony!

Fortunately, they *have* presented us with this lovely box set, which redeems them considerably. This, as some reviewers have noted, is certainly not for the casual Donovan fan (they'd do better just buying the Greatest Hits CD) but for the truly dedicated who have great regard for this gentle Celtic bard. And they've presented us with a wealth of gems--this was the first time I'd heard the single mix of "Catch the Wind" (nice, though I feel the version with just Donovan on guitar, voice and harmonica and Brian Locking on bass is superior--for simplicity's sake if nothing else), and there are more of the Pye/Hickory tracks here than on prior Sony comps (although Summer Day Reflection Songs, released in 2000, covers those first 2 albums most completely). I loved the live tracks recorded for (but not included on) the In Concert album--absolutely magickal versions of "Epistle to Derroll" and "To Try for the Sun" that make me wish I'd been able to see Donovan live on his most recent tour of the States--and the unissued Moon in Capricorn tracks like "She Moved Through the Fair" (one of the best versions of that traditional Irish ballad I've yet heard), "Lord of the Reedy River" and Ewan MacColl's "The Traveling People," which Donovan performs just beautifully, and the B-side "The Song of the Wandering Aengus" (even more captivating than Judy Collins' 1962 recording of that song). And this, too, is a career-spanner for Donovan, covering the albums he released in America--there are a number of mid '80s releases for British RCA that remain out of print and which didn't really cover any new material, and his sole Arista album, 1977's Donovan, is not covered here--with a track each from Sutras ("Please Don't Bend") and Beat Cafe ("Love Floats," a sexy, atmospheric song that slightly recalls "Barabajagal").

The real bonus, however, is the DVD containing the documentary "There is an Ocean." While I could have done without watching Donovan's stepson, Julian Jones, having an innocuous little boy's pee on the side of a hill, the rest is certainly worth watching, seeing Donovan, Candy John Carr and Mike Thomson set up and play open-air acoustic sets for native Greek and international hippie audiences, playing songs from the Open Road album and other projects that would surface later on. There are tracks that I wish they had included on the box--I particularly miss "Breezes of Patchulie," "The Quest," "Yellow Star," "What the Soul Desires" and a couple others included on Troubadour--but if one really needs these tracks, Troubadour is indeed still in print, and there are EMI's expanded remasters. For now, we have this set, which is certainly fine. Kudos to Sony for finally getting it together, and kudos to Donovan for all the wonderful music he's given us."