Donovan's First Record and One of His Best
Danielle Lane | Horseshoe, North Carolina | 07/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Donovan's debut album in the UK and it was released on May 14th, just four days after Donovan turned nineteen, so the songs were all recorded when Don was just a Scottish lad. This is a folk type record with Donovan accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica. Though many people of the day were heralding Donovan as the British Dylan, his music is really quite different. True he does play the harmonica, but Donovan has a melodic voice that Dylan, and most anyone else for that matter, could ever equal. "Josie" is one of my all time favorite Donovan songs. I heard him sing it when I was sixteen at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California and was really blown away. "Remember the Alamo" not written by Don leaves a lot to be desired lyricwise in my opinion, but the way Donovan sings it makes you want to get up and shout. Boy could he get the most out of a song. Of course, "Catch the Wind" Donovan's first huge single is everybody's favorite (if it's not it should be), but Don's rendition of Woodie Guthrie's "Car Car" and the Traditional "Keep on Truckin'' are out standing as is his version of "Donna Donna," which I like much better than the way Joan Baez does it. And then there is "Goldwatch Blues," boy what a song, "If you've a son who wants a good career, just get him to sign on the dotted line and work for fifty years." "Here's your gold watch and shackles for your chain." Yeah isn't that they truth, sometimes, like the lad in the song says, "I just want to take a broom and sweep the bloody floor." And if you don't get what I'm saying, well I feel sorry for you."
Greg Tallent | Lexington, MA | 08/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is Donovan's first album. One of the most remarkable things about it is the sheer scope of the artist's talent. On his first album, Donovan manages to cover a variety of styles, from the poetic and beautifully romantic "Catch the Wind," to the jug-band style of "Keep on Truckin'" and the bluesy traditional folk song "You're Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond." Donovan's writing is at its finest here. I enjoy the romantic songs the best. "Josie," "Catch the Wind" and "Ramblin' Boy" are all simple but delicately expressive folk songs. It's amazing what beauty can come out of three chords and one scale. The bonus tracks on the reissue are all fantastic. "Colours" is a classic Donovan song. The lyrics are relatively simple but somehow Donovan is able to inject powerful meaning into a few words and leave the listener pondering the meaning of "yellow" and "blue." Also included is the original version of "Catch the Wind" with a tasteful string arrangement in the background. A great introduction to the early folk side of a talented songwriter."