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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Donovan

Sunshine Superman: The Journey Of Donovan DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Many music documentaries you see these days are “unauthorized” and don’t include the music of the artist or any real involvement by them. This is not the case here. Donovan tells this story in his own words and with his own music. Those who are his fans might know the stories already, but you will probably learn things you didn’t know. If you are a more casual fan this is the mother lode of knowing Donovan. For those who only know a little about the man but have an interest in the music of the 1960’s will surely want to pick this up for a slice of the times.

Just this documentary, taking up the first DVD of this set, would be well worth the price of admission. It’s packed with music, insights, live performances and just about anything else you could ask for. Of course, disc two makes you realize what it is you should have requested in addition.

This DVD includes a lot of bonus material. The first section has longer sections of non-musical stuff from the main documentary. This will be of interest, but perhaps not so much as the rest of the disc. The second section includes longer versions of Donovan’s TV appearances that were touched on in the main film.  The third section consists of music videos. Yes, there were music videos before MTV. For me this might be the highlight of the bonus goodies. We get videos of “Sunshine Superman,” “Wear Your Love Like Heaven,” “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “In an Old Fashioned Picture Book,” “Yellow Star,” “Cosmic Wheels” and “Columbus Stockade Blues.” By itself this would be worth picking up, and yet it’s just a bonus on this awesome set.

Perhaps just as valuable as the last section we get four unreleased Donovan songs as the next bonus. Seven concert performances are included next. We also get a number of sections called “The Private Donovan.” All in all this bonus set is incredible. How many times have you watched a music documentary and felt like you missed out because they cut off the footage before you had a chance to see all of it? Well, no worries here because they include all the important stuff in full version here on this set. This is one of the most complete and well thought out DVD music documentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s a “must have” for anyone who has any interest in Donovan’s music. It really will give you a new understanding and appreciation.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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