In 1965, before Donovan's U.S. contract was transferred to Epic, he made 30-plus recordings for Pye in the U.K., all in an acoustic folk mold (with occasional additional instruments and percussion). It would not seem to be such a heroic feat to gather all of that material in one place, but prior to this double-CD compilation, that had never occurred. This is the anthology to rectify that gap permanently. The two CDs contain all 34 known songs from this era, including a few rarities: the original single versions of "Catch the Wind" and "Colours," an alternate take of "The Ballad of a Crystal Man," and "Every Man Has His Chain," which during the '60s only showed up on a French EP. These rarities aren't so amazing that you necessarily need to shell out if you already have most of the cuts, but for historical completism's sake their presence is most satisfying. The historical liner notes, covering the pre-"Sunshine Superman" period almost exclusively, are thorough and excellent. And the music is fine, quite consistent folk or pre-folk-rock that should permanently put an end to all the unwarranted dismissals of his early work as twee Dylan imitation. Donovan was his own man, even at this young age, and hard to beat as far as tuneful yet meaningful mid-'60s folk went.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2