Donovan – Lady Of The Stars (1983)

FrontCover1.JPGLady of the Stars is the seventeenth studio album, and nineteenth album overall, by the British singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the UK (RCA PL 70060) and the US (Allegiance Records AV 437) in January 1984.

By 1983, Donovan’s albums were receiving little distribution in the UK and none in the US. His popularity had steadily decreased through the 1970s and early 1980s and mainstream record companies were not convinced that Donovan’s albums could generate enough record sales to warrant release. Donovan decided that to win over the record companies and reach his American and British fans, he would record new versions of both “Sunshine Superman” and “Season of the Witch” for inclusion on his next album. Both songs were released on the Sunshine Superman album in 1966 and Donovan’s Greatest Hits in 1969. The name recognition of these two songs would give the record companies marketing leverage and guarantee release.

In addition to “Sunshine Superman” and “Season of the Witch”, Donovan updated three other songs from his canon. Two of these songs, “Lady of the Stars” (written for Donovan’s wife Linda Lawrence) and “Local Boy Chops Wood” (written about Brian Jones) were as well recorded and released on Donovan in 1977, “Boy for Every Girl” had been recorded for his 1973 album Essence to Essence. Donovan also included five new songs and titled the album Lady of the Stars for his wife Linda.

Lady of the Stars was released in Britain through RCA, and licensed in the US to Allegiance Records. It became the first Donovan album to receive a US release since Donovan in 1977.

After this, Donovan took an extended hiatus from recording, and would not release another studio album until Sutras twelve years later. (by wikipedia)

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Donovan re-recorded some old hits — “Season of the Witch” and “Sunshine Superman” — and cut some new songs for this independent label release. The result is a pleasant, but inconsequential, effort. (by William Ruhlmann)

Back in the early 1980s I became interested in Donovan and his music. Donovan had been most succesful during the 1960s and early 1970s. At that time it was very difficult to get hold of any of his back catalogue on vinyl. His album success had declined anyway and in order to gain interest from record companies Donovan decided to update a few songs for his next album.
In 1983 Donovan recorded the new album which was released at the beginning of 1984. This was that album,. Lady of the Stars. It was great to get a brand new album from Donovan. For this album there were new versions of Sunshine Superman and Season of the Witch. Both tracks originally on the Sunshine Superman album in the mid 1960s were very popular. Also there is an update version of Local Boy chops wood that appeared on the album Donovan from 1977.

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There is another update with the song Boy for every girl, that appeared on the Essence to Essence album from 1977. The last update is for the title track Lady of the Stars originally written for his wife Linda. Finally the album does have five new songs. The albums new tracks were welcome additions and the updated tracks only add familiarity and I much prefer the original versions. However as an album it is not too bad. Not the best Donovan album by any means but it was welcome back in the 1980s and the new and more original five tracks make it worth it. (by Marcia)

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Personnel:
Barry Beckett (keyboards on 01. – 04., 06. + 07.)
Bonnie Bramlett (background vocals on 06.)
Pete Carr (guitar on 01. – 03., 05., 06. – 08. + 10)
Paulino De Costa (percussion on 07.)
Wilton Fender (bass on 08. + 10.)
James Gadson (drums on 03.)
Bob Glaub (bass on 03., 04., 08. + 09.)
Rayford Griffin (drums on 04., 05, 07. – 10.)
Jim Horn (saxophone, flute on 02., 04. – 06. + 09.)
Donovan Leitch (vocals, guitar)
Astrella Leitch (background vocals on 04.)
Dave Mason (guitar on 06.)
Graham Nash (background vocals on 01., 02. + 09.)
Jeff Paccaro (drums on 02.)
Lezlee Pariser (background vocals on 06.)
Billy Payne (keyboards on 01., 03., 05., 06. + 09.)
Mike ‘Reedo’ Reed (drums on 01. + 06.
Bruce ‘Fingers’ Robb (organ on 02.)
John Sebastian (autoharp on 02.)
Jim Strauss (bass on 06.)
Lee Sklar (bass on 02.)
Jim Strauss (bass on 01.)
Jai Winding (keyboards on 05. + 07.)
Richie Zito (guitar on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Of The Stars 4.37
02. I Love You Baby 3.28
03. Bye, Bye Girl 3.24
04. Every Reason 3.06
05. Season Of The Witch (New Version) 5.26
06. Boy For Every Girl (New Version) 4.36
07. Local Boy Chops Wood (New Version) 3.27
08. Sunshine Superman (New Version) 4.03
09. Living For The Love Light 3.47
10. Till I See You Again 3.16

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Donovan – BBC Session 1965 – 1968

FrontCover1Donovan began his career as an itinerant folk musician, creating acoustic hits in 1965 with the gentle Catch The Wind and Colours and his version of Buffy Sainte Marie’s protest anthem Universal Soldier before transforming the pop music landscape with a series of enigmatic and wondrous pop masterpieces that continue to be played on radio and television. – donovan.ie

Initially labelled an imitator of Bob Dylan, Donovan developed an eclectic and distinctive style that blended folk, jazz, pop, psychedelia, and world music (notably calypso). – wikipedia

Thanks to mjk5510 for sharing the tracks at yeeshkul.com.

mjk5510 noted: “A little bit of flower power for all to enjoy… quality varies a bit due to multiple sessions but is consistently excellent.”

Very good FM radio broadcasts.

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Personnel:
Donovan (vocals, guitar)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

Tracklist:

Unknown Dates:
01. Interview 1.02
02. Jennifer Juniper (Leitch) 2.49
03. Lalena (Leitch) 2.49
04. As I Recall It (Leitch) 2.23
05. Young Girl Blues (Leitch) 5.52
06. Entertaining Of A Shy Girl (Leitch) 1.51
07. Interview 0.54
08. Hurdy Gurdy Man (Leitch) 3.35
09. Mad John’s Escape (Leitch) 2.33
10. 1965 Interview 0.57
11. Turquise (Leitch) 3.15
12. Bert’s Blues (Leitch) 2.53
13. Colours (Leitch) 3.17

Top Gear – January 16, 1968:
14. As I Recall It 2:27 (Leitch)
15. Young Girl Blues (Leitch) 6.13

Top Gear – June 11, 1968:
16. Hi It’s Been A Long Time (Leitch) 2.40
17. Lalena (Leitch) 2.58
18. The Unicorn/The Owl And The Pussycat (Leitch) 2.08

DonovanIndiaIndia, 1968 (l-r): Jenny Boyd, Jane Asher, Paul McCartney, Donovan, Mia Farrow, George Harrison, the Maharishi, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, John Lennon & Pattie Boyd

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