As I’ve said before, I didn’t greatly care for Donovan, though he did give me a big laugh when he claimed in his autobiography to have been a major influence on the Beatles, Dylan and just about every name on the 60s folk scene.
His composition Colours was released in May 1965 in the UK, where it reached No 4, and the following month in the US, where it got to No 61.
A different mix without harmonica (a great improvement) was included on his October 1965 album Fairytale.
He re-recorded it in 1968 for the 1969 album Donovan’s Greatest Hits, produced by Mickie Most. It’s not far off a parody, with a ghastly vocal backing and someone kicking a football around the studio.
5 Replies to “Donovan: Colours”
Although I am aware of his ridiculousness I do have a soft soft for Donovan, he made some great hit singles in the 1960s. “Colours” and “Catch the Wind” are classics of a certain type of folk song, the type that influenced the young Roy Harper and Al Stewart amongst others. For a short time Donovan and Dylan were equals in the eyes of the British public. I’ve known people, older than myself and with a more casual interest in music, who are more aware of Donovan than Dylan. I’m not sure if Donovan had a hit record in Britain before Dylan, if he did that might explain this “layman’s” view.
He was a major part of the hippy movement where silliness was vital, and a favourite of mine is his profound “First There Is A Mountain” (then there is no mountain then there is).
Actor Terence Stamp sang “Colours” in the film “Poor Cow”. His brother Chris Stamp was co-manager of The Who.
A tenuous link… the film “Poor Cow” also included this great song by The Ivy League:
This spawned a cover version by Sagittarius, who were a studio concoction rather than a proper group. This version has a “musique concrete” bridge. (I had to look that up!)
Happy New Year Alan and Margaret!
And the same to you, Andy. All the best and keep those comments coming!