Live in Concert

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Like a lot of 1960s folk-rock veterans, Donovan has found his biggest modern audience in new recordings of his classic hits. This British release is one of them, a 1990s all-acoustic show running an hour and covering such material as "Sunshine Superman," "Jennifer Juniper," "Catch the Wind," "The Hurdy Gurdy Man," "Universal Soldier," "Atlantis," "Colours," "Cosmic Wheels," "Young Girl Blues," and "Wear Your Love Like Heaven," among others. His voice is better here than it was for many a '60s performance, and the recording quality is excellent. The old Columbia Live In Concert still has a certain dopey (in more ways than one) charm, having been recorded in the midst of flower power, but these performances are more engaging and include a bigger cross-section of his repertory. "Hurdy Gurdy Man," for example, works amazingly well without the psychedelic guitar of the studio original, complete with Donovan's wry recollections of his time with the Maharishi, the Beatles, Mia Farrow et al., and an extra verse associated with George Harrison; and "Sunshine Superman" (which includes Donovan's harmonica playing), "Cosmic Wheels," and "Atlantis" are better songs here than their originals. A couple of numbers that should be here aren't ("Hey Gyp" would be welcomed, and one is surprised that Donovan doesn't do more with "There Is a Mountain," given how famous the song is courtesy of the Allman Brothers), but this is still a pleasure.

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