on life, music etc beyond mainstream

On an island like Amrum,

in a remote forest area

(you can always find quiet places in the biggest holiday resorts),

it’s easy to complete your desert island collection.  Some time ago, I found a Speakers Corner reissue of an album from the summer of love, and, to my own surprise, though not containing any of his great hits, „Wear Your Love Like Heaven“ immediately turned to my favourite Donovan album.

And I really own some of his lovingly eccentric deliveries of hope, peace and shangrilas. Helas! When the album came out, our folkie from the Scottish hinterland had stopped drugs and turned to meditation. (Many years later, drone master Thomas Köner hugely admired the Rick Rubin-produced „Sutras“, in a time when Donovan became a footnote in the memory of the 60‘s.) 

Someone who got similarly impressed by this album, „could almost smell the patchouli incense wafting from his flower-draped recording studio.“

He had a real band playing behind him, harpsicord, B3 organ, bongos, acoustic guitar, flutes – and strings carefully dosed.

What really catches me,

draws me in everytime,

above everything else,

the nonchalance of his singing, 

all heartfelt, with an unashamed sense of optimism.

He‘s „there“, in the moment, no cliche, and the songs are so painfully short, I always feel a shade of sadness when the fade-out is mercilessly ending an atmosphere.

I would like so much immersing myself into endless jams of every single song and their stunning variety of moods of naivety, innocence and yearning.

But, this way, they never wear out their beauty and make you think: in a life where we will all turn to dust and ashes in the end (everything coming after, the big unknown, maybe nothingness), leaving the ones we love shattered in tears and pain: love is the first, and shortness the second essence of life.

This entry was posted on Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2018 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Donovan (voc, g); Mike O’Neil (org, p, hpd); Eric Leese (g); Harold McNair (fl); Mike Carr (vib); Jack Bruce, Cliff Barton (b); Keith Webb (dr); Candy John Carr (cga, bgo)

  2. Brian Whistler:

    100% agree. These few albums where he casually mixed folk, folk rock and a little bit of jazz together are so sunny and sweet. I bought the remasters a couple years back and my heart was at peace with happy memories and the joy of Donovan’s innocent discoveries. in a weird way, Michael Frank’s (not a fan,) early albums owe a debt to Wear your love and Mellow Yellow. Not to many folkies explored the folk jazz thing. I can only think of Tim Buckley Happy Sad, blue Afternoon period. And of course Joni.

  3. Michael Engelbrecht:

    And the awesome John Martyn!

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