Sunshine Superman – Donovan (1967)

Album no. 98/1001

Are you ready to take another step back into medieval times? Donovan is here to help you do just that – with fabulous hair.

Donovan is another Scottish folkster – much like our friend Bert Jansch – and was a pretty big wig back in the 60s.

Supposedly, old mate Donovan was friends with The Beatles, and taught John Lennon the finger-picking technique used on ‘Dear Prudence’ – so that’s one good thing. He also had an apparent ‘rivalry’ with our other mate Bobby Dylan.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No, but I can tell you I’m already put off from the album cover. Yuck.

NK: Never once.

Standout track

CL: Jesus. Help. This is not good. I know we talked about Tim Buckley and how he was a bit of a fan of the medieval, but old mate Donovan has taken this to the next level.

NK: It’s a very short list. ‘Sunshine Superman’ is a slightly creepy but catchy enough pop song, but it sounds pretty out of place along with everything else here. He goes straight from that into singing about castles and knights and witches. ‘Guinevere’ is off the hook. It starts out “Guinevere of the royal court of Arthur, draped in white velvet, silk and lace” and it goes on from there. The chorus (if you can call it that) is more of the same;

The jester he sleeps, but the raven he peeps, through the dark foreboding skies of the royal domain.

Get around it.

CL: Everything goes on forever. ‘Celeste’ is MAAAAAAYBE tolerable. Just. But even then, I still didn’t enjoy it. I just didn’t want to stick something in my ears until they bled.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: I hated this. Never. Do not listen. Save yourself a good 42 minutes.

NK: When you’re reading Tolkien or other similar fantasy filled with dragons and knights errant and round tables and feasts in forest glades and you don’t mind songs going for seven minutes. That’s pretty rare for me, but I imagine there are people who do that all the time.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Maybe the gods from medieval times can tell me? Because I don’t know.

NK: Well. I guess this is the next step in the emerging ‘make you feel like you’re in a forest’ genre. If you were reading fantasy and taking drugs I can see why you’d get into this, for sure. I still can’t get over how different the title track is from everything else on the album. The sixties must have been really fun.

CL: Or not fun.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Thank you, no.

NK: Sorry Donovan, you’re on your own pal.


CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Sunshine Superman on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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