- Album name: Fairytale
- Artist name: Donovan
- Year: 1965
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Hickory Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Who owned it: my father
- Buy it on Amazon: $24.00
Level of familiarity before listening
I have never listened to this record, but it will be the third by Donovan that I’ll have reviewed. The previous two were:
- The Real Donovan (1966): 4/5
- A Gift From a Flower to a Garden (1967): 3/5
What I expected
What it was actually like
To Try for the Sun was a nice folk style song, simple but pleasant, and might have benefited from a little bit of harmony, but then it might have been a different song. It also included the Dylan-style harmonica-chord-blow technique that I wrote about on The Real Donovan:
And do you know how Dylan would sometimes sing a verse and then blow out a long chord on the harmonica? I don’t know that I had ever heard anyone else doing that until Donovan. Maybe Donovan did it first, though?
Candy Man and The Ballad of a Crystal Man were quite similar in style. Summer Day Reflection Song, The Ballad of Geraldine and Belated Forgiveness Plea were also similar, but without the harmonica. Jersey Thursday was similar, without the harmonica, and also with some more creative and interesting guitar. The Little Tin Soldier was similar, except faster paced and more intense.
Circus of Sour sounded a bit half-assed to me, and a bit Oompa Loompa. Sunny Goodge Street was an unlikely jazz song that found its way onto this folk rock record, with flute and upright bass and a totally un-rock- and un-folk-like sound.
There was nothing particular wrong with Donovan’s version of Universal Soldier, the really obnoxious Buffy Sainte-Marie song, but I did not care for it and generally find “protest music” distasteful.
Colours stole the show, which maybe was not surprising because it’s such a great and classic song, certainly the best on the record. I loved the banjo in it, and loved being reminded that it existed, and then reminded that Donovan and Joan Baez performed it as a wonderful duet, and then reminded that it was not Baez, but Donovan, who wrote it. His manager or producer should have insisted that he only do songs like that. Also, here is a strong cover. And it got me thinking that Morning, Morning by the Fugs was the yin to its yang.
4/5: would listen again
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