A Gift From a Flower To a Garden - Pye 1968

Tracks: 1. Wear Your Love Like Heaven / 2. Mad John's Escape/ 3. Skip-A-Long Sam / 4. Sun / 5. There Was a Time / 6. Oh Gosh / 7. Little Boy in Corduroy / 8. Under the Greenwood Tree / 9. Land of Doesn't Have to Be / 10. Someone Singing / 11. Song of the Naturalist's Wife / 12. Enchanted Gypsy / 13. Voyage into the Golden Screen / 14. Isle of Islay / 15. Mandolin Man and His Secret / 16. Lay of the Last Tinker / 17. Tinker and the Crab / 18. Widow with Shawl / 19. Lullaby of Spring / 20. Magpie / 21. Starfish-On-The-Toast / 22. Epistle to Derroll


1968 was the year, when the double-album concept really was beginning to break though. The Beatles released their "White Album", Jimi Hendrix released "Electric Ladyland" and Donovan this album, which with a playing time of about sixty minutes today plays easily on a single CD.

The original album was divided into two records which thematically were meant be to different in their approach. First record, which was released in some countries as a single album titled "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", was a continuation of Donovan's "new" electric style with Mickey Most as his producer. When Donovan in like Dylan turned electric in 1966 with "Sunshine Superman" Most was his producer and their partnership continued throughout the sixties.

Though record one is mostly with drums and electric backing it's really not a rock-record. And apart from "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", "Mad John's Escape" and a few other tracks most songs would not stick out on record two which was more or less a return to the pure acoustic folk-style which Donovan had left in 1965. Record two "For Little Ones" could thematically seem like a childrens' album, and while some songs would work fine as childrens' songs others lyrically probably would not really work. Most, of course, is also credited as the producer of this record.

As a whole the double album is a very pleasant and mostly quiet album featuring simply arranged melodic tunes among which only few stand out. On record one the before-mentioned "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" and "Mad John's Escape" are obvious favourites along with the quieter "Land of Doesn't Have to Be".

On record two it may be harder to bring forward particular songs, but "The Tinker and the Crab" and the beautiful closing track "Epistle to Derroll" are among my favourites.

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