The Essential Donovan features 36 tracks that neatly sum up the gypsy minstrel’s best work. Hardcore fans should also seek Summer Day Reflection Songs or a similar set to further explore his early acoustic folk years, but Essential features six solid early tracks, including “Turquoise” (a touching song for Joan Baez) and Donovan’s take on Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier.” Then, with “Sunshine Superman,” the exploration into sounds previously unknown begins. Featuring milestone productions from Mickie Most and session musicians like future Led Zeppelin members John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, Donovan’s work has proven to be both of its age and beyond it. “Season of the Witch,” “There Is a Mountain,” and “Mellow Yellow” may be the obvious numbers, but the album also adds the underrated “Legend of a Girl Child Linda,” live versions of “Sunny Goodge Street” and “Sand and Foam,” and the single versions of his many other hits..
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