Complete with denim cap, harmonica harness and nasal inflection, Donovan left the runway in 1964 as chief British “answer” to Dylan. Yet, while Donovan too went electric and proved capable of lyrical surreality, he found a more comfortable niche with primarily acoustic arrangements behind a poetic gentleness. This was manifested most conspicuously on this CD remastering of a 1968 double-album born mainly of Donovan going along with The Beatles when they sought nirvana with the Maharishi, whose image adorns the front cover, at his yoga-ashram in India.
In its balmy quietness, the new songs that poured from Donovan epitomised mid-60s pop’s gingerbread castle hour, with titles such as Skip-Along Sam, Little Boy In Corduroy and, most famously (though not included here) Jennifer Juniper. Yet Donovan stops sufficiently short of open ickiness to convince, however fleetingly, that god had, indeed, seen (so Donovan said then) “all the ugliness that was being created and had chosen pop to be the great force of love and beauty”.