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More reissues for this album

Sunshine Superman

Side 1:

01. Sunshine Superman
02. Legend Of A Girl Child Linda
03. Three King Fishers
04. Ferris Wheel
05. Bert's Blues

Side 2:
06. Season Of The Witch
07. The Trip
08. Guinevere
09. The Fat Angel
10. Celeste

All songs by Donovan P. Leitch.

Bonus tracks from other reissues

Breezes Of Patchulie

Museum (First Version)

Superlungs (First Version)

The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be (Bonus Track)*

Sunshine Superman (Stereo Version)

Good Trip (Demo)*

House Of Jansch (Demo)*

All bonus tracks by Donovan P. Leitch.

* Previously unreleased.

Released: August 26, 1966

Recorded: Dec 1965/May 1966

· Columbia Studios

Hollywood, CA

· Abbey Road Studios

Abbey Rd., London

Label: Epic LN 24217 (mono)

Epic BN 26217 (stereo)

Country: USA

Format: vinyl LP

Producer: Mickie Most


Billboard: 15/10/1966

29 weeks, #11

Cash Box: 16 weeks, #12

Record World: 17 weeks, #5


· Donovan: vocals, acoustic guitar. Electric guitar on track 06.

· Jimmy Page: electric guitar on track 01.

· Eric Ford: electric guitar on tracks 01 and Museum.

· Don Brown: electric guitar on tracks 06, 07 and Superlungs.

· Bobby Ray: bass on tracks 04, 06, 07, 09, 10, Breezes Of Patchulie and Superlungs.

· Spike Heatley: bass on track 01.

· John Paul Jones: bass on track 01.

· Fast Eddie Hoh: drums on tracks 06, 07, 10, Breezes Of Patchulie and Superlungs.

· Bobby Orr: drums on track 01 and Museum.

· Candy John Carr: bongos on tracks 03, 04, 08 and 09.

· Tony Carr: percussion on track 01 and Museum.

· Shawn Phillips: sitar on tracks 03, 04, 08, 09, 10 and Breezes Of Patchulie.

· John Cameron: arrangements on tracks 02 and 05. Harpsichord on tracks 01, 02 and 05.

· Lenny Maitlin: organ on tracks 06, 10, Breezes Of Patchulie and Superlungs.

· Cyrus Faryar: violin. Bouzouki on tracks 10 and Breezes Of Patchulie.

· Peter Pilafian: electric violin on tracks 03, 07, 08, 10 and Breezes Of Patchulie.

· Harold McNair: flute on Museum.

Singles out of this album:

· Sunshine Superman/The Trip


· Although the album was ready for release in the UK in January 1966, on PYE Records, it wasn't possible due to a contractual dispute: PYE Records claimed that the label couldn't release a Mickie Most production in the UK, as the producer was under contract with EMI. Almost a year after, in June 1967 the dispute was somehow resolved, and a mix of the Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums was released as Sunshine Superman (PYE Records NPL 18181) in the UK, to keep the English fans up to date.

· After recording what Donovan thought was his masterpiece, these problems with the labels made him believe that Sunshine Superman would never be released. In June 1966 Donovan was arrested in London for drug possession: this prevented him from entry to the US for a while, so he couldn't go there to promote the album. All these events made him very sad so he retired to a Greek island with his friend Gypsy Dave. A few months later Donovan received a call to the only phone in the village. It was his manager: the Sunshine Superman single was #1 in the US. Donovan and Gypsy Dave didn't have enough money to go back to England. The owner of the tavern where Donovan received the phone call offered him the money to go back to Athens, where two airplane tickets were waiting for them, in exchange for Donovan's record player and the three albums he took there: Sunshine Superman, Revolver by The Beatles and the first Leonard Cohen's album.

· The Sunshine Superman single topped the US chart on September 3, 1966, and hit #2 in the UK. This success was his first hit, making him widely known.

· Linda Lawrence was the biggest inspiration on Donovan's music. They had just broken up when he wrote Sunshine Superman, which was an open letter to her. The beautiful piece Legend Of A Girl Child Linda was dedicated to Linda as well. She became Donovan's muse and inspired many of his songs.

· Donovan composed two different songs named The Land Of Doesn't Have To Be: one of them was an out-take from the Sunshine Superman album, and the other one is included in A Gift From A Flower To A Garden.

· Three King Fishers was a misprint. Presumably the original title was Twelve King Fishers, like the lyrics say.

· Ferris Wheel was dedicated to a girl Donovan met, who told him that once she caught her hair in a ferris wheel.

· Bert's Blues is dedicated to Bert Jansch.

· Season Of The Witch is not about his drug arrest, despite Donovan's claims ("the event I sang of was the time I became the first drug bust in Britain"). It was written with Shawn Phillips during their US tour at the end of 1965, months before the drug bust.

· The Trip was believed to be a song about drugs, and it was, but it takes its name from a Los Angeles club and describes some events that occured when he first went to this club, besides a scene in London's Savoy Hotel when he met Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.

· The Fat Angel was written for Mama Cass from The Mamas & The Papas. It mentioned a new San Francisco band called Jefferson Airplane. They used to play the song in their shows and recorded a cover for their 1968 live album Bless Its Pointed Little Head, to thank Donovan for mentioning them in the lyrics.

· Donovan recorded several other songs for the album but were put aside, like Museum (later rerecorded and released on Mellow Yellow), Superlungs (later rerecorded and released as Superlungs My Supergirl on Barabajagal) and Breezes of Patchulie (originally called Darkness Of My Night and released on Donovan's demo collection Sixty Four). These out-takes were included on Troubadour: The Definitive Collection 1964–1976 and in the 2005 digitally remastered Sunshine Superman reissue, as bonus tracks.

· In The Beatles' video A Day In The Life you can see the Epic Records version of Sunshine Superman spinning on a record player.

· Sleeve design by Dick Smith. Photo by Barry Feinstein.

· Donovan has explained several times that he wanted a different cover for the original album: the one with the big "S" made out of hand-drawing superheroes and fairytale characters, that appeared in the 1967 UK reissue, designed by two Donovan's friends: Mick Taylor and Sheena McCall. But Epic Records wanted a picture, not a drawing, so they used a photo by Barry Feinstein, surrounded by an artwork of Dick Smith, whom Donovan didn't even know. Mick Taylor and Sheena McCall also designed a circular version of the title that appeared on the reverse, headed with the message "dedicated to the bearer of the eastern gift". There was also a text by Donovan, explaining the songs.

· Some of the later reissues list Three King Fishers as Three Kingfishers.

· Sunshine Superman is regularly cited as one of the finest albums of the psychedelic era.

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