Donovan – Hurdy Gurdy Man – Limited Green Colored Vinyl, LP, Sundazed, 2018
MONO EDITION! With 1968’s The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan delivered one of his most fully-realized works, with a psychedelic/progressive edge as well as an exotic Eastern flavor that reflects the influence of his then-recent trip with the Beatles to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi—an experience that helped to inspire Donovan to renounce drug use and encourage his fans to try meditation instead of chemical consumption. While the title track introduced a heavier-sounding Donovan to AM radio listeners and became one of his biggest hit singles, the smash “Jennifer Juniper” maintains his gentle, romantic side. The album’s playful experimental spirit is reflected in the innovative use of drones on such tracks as “Peregrine” and “Tangier,” and in the music-hall diversion of “As I Recall It,” while “A Sunny Day,” “The River Song” and “The Entertaining of a Shy Girl” showcase Donovan’s knack for idyllic, pastoral songcraft. Sundazed’s vinyl edition of The Hurdy Gurdy Man features the album’s rare, much sought-after original mono mix, doing justice to the sonic presence and creative imagination of this vintage gem.