Mellow Yellow - Epic (US) 1967

Tracks: 1. Mellow Yellow / 2. Writer In The Sun / 3. Sand And Foam / 4. The Observation / 5. Bleak City Woman / 6. House Of Jansch / 7. Young Girl Blues / 8. Museum / 9. Hampstead Incident / 10. Sunny South Kensington / 11. Epistle to Dippy [*] / 12. Preachin' Love [*] / 13. Good Time [#][*] / 14. There Is a Mountain [*] / 15. Superlungs [alt][#][*] / 16. Epistle to Dippy [Alt.] [#][*] / 17. Sidewalk (The Observaion] [Demo] / 18. Writer in the Sun [#][*][Demo] / 19. Hampstead Incident [#][*][Demo] / 20. Museum [#][*][Demo]


"Mellow Yellow" was Donovans's second electric album, and his second produced by Micky Most. To call the album electric is probably a little misguiding, as many tracks are almost pure acoustic recordings; but compared to Donovan first two albums these songs are arranged with a great variety of instruments. Though Donovan is covering quite many different styles ( blues, jazz, folk, classical and pop ) the album works very well as a whole; a fact that arranger John Cameron deserves credit for. His arrangements are both tasteful and varied, creating the atmosphere that makes an album.

The list of guest musician features both classical players and well-known studio musicians like John Paul Jones, Harold McNair and Phil Seamen.

The extremely catchy title-track is well-known to everybody who was there in the sixties, and it still has the charm, so no wonder it made it to number one in the charts back then. Other highlights are the moving "Young Girl Blues", the catchy "Museum" and the complex "Hampstead Incident". The charming "Sunny South Kensington" works as a reminder of Donovan's first electic hit "Sunshine Superman" and has some amusing Dylan inspired lyrics.

No less than 10 bonus-track, make the CD-reissue quite a scoop. The two single hits "Epistle to Dippy" and "There is a Mountain" would be stand-out on any Donovan album, and here in particular they work extremely well, being recording during some of the same sessions. I always thought that "There is a Mountain" had the same optimistic feel as Traffic's "You Can All Join In"; both quite typical of the hippie way of thinking in the late 1960's.

The demos are mostly Donovan alone with his guitar, before the final arrangements. The swinging jazzy B-side "Preachin` Love" is another gem. A CD that can only be highly recommended!

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