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More reissues for this single

To Susan On The West Coast Waiting/Atlantis

Side A:

To Susan On The West Coast Waiting

Side B:
Atlantis

 

All tracks by Donovan P. Leitch.

Musicians:

· Donovan: vocals, acoustic guitar and mouth harp.

Trivia:

· Contract disputes at the time caused different releases of the song Atlantis in the UK and the US. It was originally released in the UK as a single, backed with I Love My Shirt. It was released in the 1969 album Barabajagal in the US, but not in the UK, so Atlantis was next released in the US as the B side to the To Susan On The West Coast Waiting single.

· The record company thought that Atlantis would not make a good A side in the US because of his length, the elaborated lyrics and the fact that one third of the song was a poem read by Donovan. That was why, despite its success in Europe, Atlantis was used as the B side in the To Susan On The West Coast Waiting single. The record company was proved wrong (as usual) when Atlantis became a worldwide success, exceeding To Susan On The West Coast Waiting, most of all in countries like Austria, the US, Germany and Switzerland, where it became a number-one hit in 1969. The song itself became an anthem of the hippie movement. In the later reissues the sides were changed: Atlantis was A side, backed with To Susan On The West Coast Waiting.

· The first third of the song is a poem recited by Donovan, about the civilization of Atlantis, and island in the middle of the Atlantic. The Atlantean colonists are depicted as the founders of the myths and beliefs of ancient times. Knowing that their island was about to disappear in the sea they sent out ships to preserve their masters' wisdom, and so they brought civilization and culture to primitive humans. All this exotic and mythological images had great success in the 60's hippies minds: the symbol of the counterculture movement, with the hope that true love will be found if ever Atlantis can be reached.

· It's believed that Paul McCartney collaborated in the song with backing vocals. Some books about The Beatles' chronology claim that, while others prove the opposite saying that Atlantis was recorded in Los Angeles in November 1968, and McCartney spent most of that month in his farm in Scotland.

· Atlantis was used in one of the most violent scenes of Martin Scorsese's 1990 film Goodfellas, where mobster Billy Batts, played by Frank Vincent, was brutally beaten by Joe Pesci's and Robert DeNiro's characters.

· The song was re-recorded by Donovan himself for a parody used in an episode of Futurama, The Deep South. The lyrics were:

Atlanta was a city, landlocked

Hundreds of miles from the area

We now call the Atlantic Ocean

Yet so desperate the city's desire for tourism

That they moved offshore, becoming an island

And an even bigger delta hub

Until the city over-developed and it started to sink

Knowing their fate, the quality people ran away

Ted Turner, Hank Aaron, Jeff Foxworthy

The guy who invented Coca-Cola, the magician

And the other so-called Gods of our legends

Though Gods they were

And also Jane Fonda was there

The others chose to remain behind

On their porches with their rifles

And one day evolve into mermaids

And sing and dance and ring in the new

· The female vocals in To Susan On The West Coast Waiting were recorded by three fans who had been waiting for days to see Donovan in the recording studio. He invited them to record the chorus for the song.

Released: January 20, 1969

Recorded: Nov 1968

· American Recording

Los Angeles, CA

Label: Epic 5-10434

Country: USA

Format: vinyl single

Producer: Mickie Most

Chart:

Side A:

Billboard: 01/03/1969

2 weeks, #35

Cash Box: reached #31

Record World: reached #27

Side B:

Billboard: 26/04/1969

10 weeks, #7

Cash Box: reached #9

Record World: reached #9

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