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YMMV / Donovan

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  • Archive Panic: See that discography on the main page there? Yep. And it leaves out some outtake collections and live albums. Needless to say if you wanna catch up on your Donovan you'd better ask for a week off work.
  • Awesome Music: Is there ever! "Colours", "To Try for the Sun", "Sunshine Superman", "The Fat Angel", "Season of the Witch", "Oh Gosh", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", "The Voyage of the Moon", "Atlantis" the list goes on and on for days...!
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  • Covered Up: Many of Donovan's interpretations of more obscure folk-era songs are mistakenly viewed as Donovan originals.
  • Ear Worm: "Happiness runs in a circular motion / Thought is like a little boat upon the sea / Everybody is a part of everything anyway / You can have everything if you let yourself be"
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Donovan himself as a psychedelic-era folk singer.
  • Epic Riff: "Sunshine Superman". To the point that it became a go-to soundcheck jam number for Led Zeppelin and similar bands of the era. To a lesser extent, this applies to "Season of the witch" as well.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Donovan might've himself been on good terms with Bob Dylan, but the fans of either artist certainly weren't back in them days.
  • Gateway Series: To the more folksy side of '60s psychedelia.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Americans love Donovan. After he'd stopped charting everywhere else, he continued to to so in the US until the late mid-'70s.
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  • Growing the Beard: "Sunshine Superman", full stop. It's nothing less than a full-scale Kafkaesque metamorphosis from the acoustic guitar balladeer of earlier times.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Donovan doesn't confirm or deny whether the murderered seals in "Celia of the Seals" were beaten to death with lead-filled snow shoes...
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of Donovan's beloved red-hued Gibson J-45 guitar and its warm, distinctive sound. Heard on the majority of his recordings from 1965 to the early 1970s, at Which point it Was stolen, never to be heard from again.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Donovan doesn't seem much pleased with his concerts attracting the worst and most disruptive kind of drugged-out hippies... particularly as he'd already tried to get away from normal rock band-type crowds.
  • Narm: On more than a number of songs, Donovan sings in an inexplicably strange manner, sounding like some sort of Indian native with a shaky grasp on English, paricularly in pronunciation of consonants. Some people view this as alternately pretentious or off-putting, or both, considering Donovan is a native English speaker (albeit with a pea-soup Scots accent).
  • Nightmare Fuel: Despite otherwise being Sweet Dreams Fuel, H.M.S. Donovan features three spooky cuts, not at all helped by the Mood Whiplash for which there is no preparation:
    • "The Walrus and the Carpenter" is already a creepy poem with a Downer Ending from hell, only now the titular walrus has a borderline demonic voice. In fact, the whole production gives off a vibe of a play staged by inmates in a lunatic asylum... thankfully, on the right side of manic/depressive, but still.
    • "Little Ben" is about a little child who is taken away by a fairy queen to what is implied to be Another Dimension the doorway to which is in a Rowan grove. The dark and sparse melody as well as the lack of any kind of resolution makes this a harrowingly creepy listen. (Children who long to be "away wi'the faeries" probably love it.)
    • "Lord of the Reedy River". A woman falls in love with a swan, and transforms into one herself to be with her love. Again, it's the disturbing chords and Nothing Is Scarier vibes evoked by its lack of resolution of all that gets under your skin. Kate Bush's cover version does not help.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The guest artists on "The Walrus and the Carpenter".
  • Signature Song: "Catch the Wind" for his pre-psychedelic period; "Sunshine Superman" or "Season of the Witch" after.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • "Celia of the Seals" and its themes of excessive, cruel hunting has only become more relevant as more and more animal face mass extinction at the hands of Man.
    • "Universal Soldier". Just... that.
  • Squick: "The Pee Song". There's just something extremely off-putting about grown adults singing a song that includes references to urination in every line. Donovan's uncomfortably evocative onomatopoeia and dog noises do little to assuage this.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Some of his altruistic platitudes can go a little too far sometimes. Rather fittingly, his cover of obscure proto-commercial jingle "Coulter's Candy" definitely veers into this.
  • Tear Jerker: "Celeste".
    I wouldn't like to try / the changes she's going through...
  • Values Resonance:
    • "Celia of the Seals" and its themes of excessive, cruel hunting has only become more relevant as more and more animal face mass extinction at the hands of Man.
    • "Universal Soldier". Just... that.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: A lot of it was, but most of it was actually made after Donovan quit harder drugs.


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