Scotland's favourite pop-folk troubadour embraces the harsher reality of the '70s with mixed results

Trending Now

Like many who had fast-tracked the ’60s, Donovan found it hard to adjust to the changing mores of a new decade. His career was floundering, not helped by an ill-advised movie role as The Pied Piper Of Hamelin. Newly signed to Epic, no expense was spared in trying to buck the trend, hiring top musicians and iconic producers for these albums. For ’73’s Cosmic Wheels, Donovan was reunited with Mickie Most, who’d previously facilitated his transition from folk to the wonderfully ornate psychedelia of ’66’s Sunshine Superman. He then recruited de-frocked Stones manager Andrew Oldham, equally out of his time, for Essence To Essence. Critically lambasted on release, both are deliciously flawed, indulgent curios swathed in hippie philosophising, wide-eyed optimism and daft naivety. Listening back to “The Intergalactic Laxative” (from Cosmic Wheels), Donovan must wish the ground would open up and swallow him.


Latest Issue

Nirvana, Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse, Altın Gün, Sly Stone, Grateful Dead, The Jam, Will Sergeant, Rodney Crowell, Sparks, Rodrigo Amarante, Lump, Jakob Dylan and PJ Harvey


The Grateful Dead revisit the year that changed everything: “We were just coming alive”

1971 was a momentous year for the band – involving landmark shows, bizarre ESP experiments, French Acid Tests, new faces and emotional farewells. Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and other eyewitnesses share tales from this journey