Open Road - Dawn / Epic 1970

Tracks: 1. Changes / 2. Song For John / 3. Curry Land / 4. Joe Bean's Theme / 5. People Used To / 6. Celtic Rock / 7. Riki Tiki Tavi / 8. Clara Clairvoyant / 9. Roots Of Oak / 10. Season Of Farewell / 11. Poke At The Pope / 12. New Year's Resolution


Open Road is Donovan's eighth studio album. It is also considered the debut album from his shortlived band Open Road. Open Road was released in 1970 on Epic in the USA and on a new label Dawn in Great Britain. For the Open Road sessions Donovan had spilt from producer Mickey Most and decided to produce the album by himself. Donovan's production is less polished than Most's, which were more or less pointed towards the charts.

Donovan assembled the band Open Road with guitarist Mike Thomson, drummer John Carr and keyboardist Mike O'Neil. Shortly after the release of the album, Donovan left Open Road who continued for short period to record and release one more album in 1971 (Windy Daze).

Though the album has only one (minor) hit-single it actually sold quite well, especially in the US. There is a nice relaxed and organic feel to most songs, though only a few of them are likely to stick with you, unless, of course, unless, of course, you consciously wish to remember them. Some songs have a certain kinship with the earlier Donovan songs; for example, "Clare Clairvoyant" which may lead your thoughts towards "Season of the Witch" and the almost Syd Barrett-like "Curry Land" towards "Lalena".

The strongest songs (my favorites) are the catchy and rocking "Changes". The melodic, classic Donovan songs "Season of Farewell" and "Like We Used to", besides the fine finishing number "New Year's Resolution." I recently repurchased the album on CD and it's actually much better than I remembered it.

I will now try to look for the sequel "HMS Donovan" which allegedly may be difficult to find - perhaps because it was exclusively released on the company Dawn

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