Donovan ‎– Sunshine Superman

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Sunshine Superman is Donovan's third album. It was released in the United States in September 1966, but was not released in the United Kingdom because of a contractual dispute.

These recordings mark a distinct change in Donovan's music, representing some of the first psychedelia released. A full rock band backs up Donovan on many of the songs, and the instrumentation has been expanded to include sitar and other unique musical instruments. This change is partially the result of working with producer Mickie Most, whose pop sensibilities led to chart hits for many other artists at the time.

PERSONNEL:
Donovan (vocals, acoustic guitar); Bobby Ray (bass); “Fast” Eddy Hoh (drums); Shawn Phillips (sitar).

On “Sunshine Superman”:
Donovan (vocals, acoustic guitar); Jimmy Page & Eric Ford (electric guitar); John Cameron (keyboards, arrangement); Spike Healey (bass); Bobby Orr (drums); Tony Carr (percussion).

REISSUES:
• On 5 October 1990, Epic Records reissued the US version of Sunshine Superman (Epic EK 26217) in the US on compact disc.
• On 24 October 1994, EMI released Four Donovan Originals (EMI 7243 8 30867 2 6) in the UK. Four Donovan Originals is a compact disc box set containing four Donovan albums that were not previously released in the UK. The US version of Sunshine Superman is disc one of that set.
• On 7 October 1996, EMI reissued the US version of Sunshine Superman (EMI CDGOLD1066) on compact disc.
• On 24 May 2005, EMI reissued the US version of Sunshine Superman (EMI 8735662) on compact disc in the UK with seven bonus tracks.

Tracklist

Sunshine Superman 3:05
Legend Of A Girl Child Linda 6:36
Three King Fishers 3:07
Ferris Wheel 4:03
Bert's Blues 3:46
Season Of The Witch 4:46
The Trip 4:26
Guinevere 3:33
The Fat Angel 4:01
Celeste 4:00

Versions (42)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono) Epic LN 24217 US 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 Canada 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 New Zealand 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 US 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 Germany 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 Scandinavia 1966 Sell This Version
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic LN 24217 France 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 US 1966 Sell This Version
ELPS 3543 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic ELPS 3543 Australia 1966 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 US 1966 Sell This Version
ALD 6973 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono) CBS ALD 6973 South Africa 1966 Sell This Version
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono) Epic LN 24217 Canada 1966 Sell This Version
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono) Epic LN 24217 US 1966 Sell This Version
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono, Promo) Epic LN 24217 US 1966 Sell This Version
LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono, Promo) Epic LN 24217 US 1966 Sell This Version
BN S-26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic, Funckler BN S-26217 Netherlands 1967 Sell This Version
LN 24217 , BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono) Epic, Epic LN 24217 , BN 26217 Italy 1967 Sell This Version
CSJ-507 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Unofficial, Bla) 中聲 CSJ-507 Taiwan 1967 Sell This Version
SS-147 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Unofficial, Ora) Sun Shine Record SS-147 Taiwan 1967 Sell This Version
CSJ-507 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Unofficial, Ora) 中聲 CSJ-507 Taiwan 1967 Sell This Version
LM 2117, LM-2117 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Unofficial, Ora) Liming Record, Liming Record LM 2117, LM-2117 Taiwan 1967 Sell This Version
SONP 50195 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) CBS/Sony SONP 50195 Japan 1968 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic BN 26217 Netherlands 1971 Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, RE) Epic BN 26217 Canada 1974 Sell This Version
EPC 22016 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Epic EPC 22016 Netherlands 1976 Sell This Version
EK 26217, 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, RE) Epic, Epic EK 26217, 26217 US 1990 Sell This Version
EK 26217, 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, RE, RM) Epic, Epic EK 26217, 26217 US 1990 Sell This Version
ESCA 7535 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, Mono, RE) Epic ESCA 7535 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
none Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album) Altaya none Spain 1996 Sell This Version
GOLD 1066 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, RE) EMI Gold GOLD 1066 UK 1996 Sell This Version
ESCA 7656 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, Mono, RE) Epic ESCA 7656 Japan 1997 Sell This Version
7243 8 73566 2 7, 07243 873566 2 7 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, Mono, RE, RM) EMI, EMI 7243 8 73566 2 7, 07243 873566 2 7 UK & Europe 2005 Sell This Version
LP 5028 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, Mono, RE, 180) Sundazed Music, Epic LP 5028 US 2005 Sell This Version
50999-029095-2-3 Donovan Sunshine Superman (Stereo Special Edition)(2xCD, Album, RE, RM) EMI 50999-029095-2-3 UK & Europe 2011 Sell This Version
4746022 Donovan Sunshine Superman(CD, Album, RE) Epic 4746022 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
N16 10004 Donovan Sunshine Superman(Cass, Album) Epic N16 10004 US Unknown Sell This Version
LM 2177 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album) Liming Record LM 2177 Taiwan Unknown Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, RE) Epic BN 26217 US Unknown Sell This Version
BN 26217, LN 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, RE, RP) Epic, Epic BN 26217, LN 24217 Unknown Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, RP) Epic BN 26217 Netherlands Unknown Sell This Version
BN 26217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, Album, RP) Epic BN 26217 US Unknown Sell This Version
BN 24217, LN 24217, PE 24217 Donovan Sunshine Superman(LP, RE) Epic, Epic, Epic BN 24217, LN 24217, PE 24217 US Unknown Sell This Version

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streetmouse

streetmouse

February 19, 2017
referencing Sunshine Superman, LP, Album, Mono, LN 24217

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I bought Sunshine Superman, stuffing it in the bag between some school clothes so that my parents wouldn’t notice, though in answer to my exhausted look, the clerk touched the side of his nose, and gave me a gracious smile, saying, “Enjoy the new duds young lady.” He’d just made me feel very hip.

And hip is how Donovan must have felt on this his third outing, where he nearly singlehandedly invents the genre of psychedelic folk, one where he stepped from the traditional folk shadows, brightened up his instrumentation, fleshed out his songs, finally found his own voice [instead of riding in Dylan’s back pocket], with the opening track, and set the air alive in 1966 with the opening music riffs that will forever be linked as a part of the soundtrack to those more mellow psychedelic years.

The single, “Sunshine Superman,” that opens the album sets both the stage and sets a tempo that is nearly impossible to follow up, as the song was every bit as unexpected as “Monday Monday” by the Mama’s and The Papa’s, where listeners nearly stopped in their tracks, lost in the spellbinding music and lyrics … sounds that stood solidly in sharp contrast to anything we were hearing on AM radio in those days. While it’s true that Donovan was still lost in his gentle medieval manuscripts and themed visions, laced with baroque harpsichords and lightly layered acoustic guitars, he does deliver a bouncy quality of charm, melodies and yes, sunshine.

Even when the man attempts to present something more hip and relevant, such as “The Trip,” full of its subtle references to LSD, in 1966 Donovan was competing that year with Surrealistic Pillow by The Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles’ Revolver, Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde, Parsley Sage … by Simon & Garfunkel, and a host of other first rated releases of melodic sonic intensity that would tender Donovan as an also-ran.

To make matters worse, Sunshine Superman was not released in the UK due to contractual disputes, with a compilation of Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow being pressed and distributed there as Sunshine Superman. Another odd note was that with more and more people now having stereophonic systems in their homes, the only track mixed in stereo was the song “Season Of The Witch,” a song that rocked back everyone, and is still a highly covered number, with perhaps the best cover done on the Super Session featuring Al Kooper, Stephen Stills and Mike Bloomfield. It’s also worth noting that Donovan’s song “Three King Fishers” was recorded by The Jefferson Airplane on the album Bless Its Point Little Head, and that for The Beatles’ video of “A Day In The Life,” there is a close up of a spinning turntable, on which the Epic Records’ version of Sunshine Superman is playing. So without a doubt, all of this shows that the work of Donovan on this outing was much more musically and timely important, than many would give him credit for.

While the album is a bit of a time capsule now, and the lesser songs have been bleached by the sun and almost totally forgotten, there are a number of tracks found here that can not be denied, and still call for a fresh listen every now and then.

*** The Fun Facts: “Legend Of A Girl Child Linda” … Donovan first met his future wife, Linda Lawrence, in 1965 when she was recovering from a broken relationship with Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones. The pair dated briefly, but not wanting the scrutiny and uncertainty of being a pop star's girlfriend all over again, Lawrence broke it off at the end of the year. Donovan responded with this song, though he did end up marrying a different Linda.

On the single “Sunshine Superman” the notes of both Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones can be heard psychedelia-sizing the number.

In the song “I Dig Rock And Roll Music,” by Peter Paul and Mary, in an attempt to remain relevant, mention the Donovan, The Beatles, and Mama Cass.

Donovan was the first of psychedelic age musicians to be busted for marijuana.

Review by Jenell Kesler
majornougat

majornougat

October 10, 2016
referencing Sunshine Superman, LP, Album, Mono, LN 24217

I have a copy with the cover having both the Mono LN 24217 and BN 26217 with a big "electronically rechannelled for stereo. Normal? Rare? Cover frame is also at a noticeable angle skewed. Record labelling has the LN code.
NotPresentNowPresent

NotPresentNowPresent

July 31, 2016
referencing Sunshine Superman, LP, Album, BN 26217
There is also a mono version of this one. Double flipback cover, fully laminated
germ007

germ007

May 25, 2016
referencing Sunshine Superman, LP, Album, Mono, LN 24217
I just picked up this release but both labels are side 1. I don't see any mention of this mis-labeling anywhere. Wondering if it is common for this early release or is mine unique.
MrRecordMan

MrRecordMan

November 16, 2012
edited over 4 years ago
referencing Sunshine Superman, CD, Album, Mono, RE, RM, 7243 8 73566 2 7, 07243 873566 2 7
The album is in mono here but The Trip seems to be "mono" but slightly offset stereo (and I do not mean duo-phonic / phased). This is the same as the 2011 RE.