Thursday, October 15, 2009

Donovan's Colours


When I first started writing this blog I posted a feature called 'Friday Is For Covers' with a vague hope of starting a regular series highlighting cover versions of various songs that I dig.

For one reason or another this never really took off, but my fascination with covers continues - specifically the different ways that songs are re-interpreted and given new meanings or new directions by different artist.

Donovan's "Colours" is the perfect case in point. Originally released as a single by Donovan in 1965, the songs simple folk style proved popular with the music buying public, reaching #4 in the UK singles charts.

Aside from Donovan's various arrangements of "Colours" recorded throughout his career, two versions of the song spark my imagination and bring something new to this simple yet enduring composition. The first being Van Dyke Parks' 1968 instrumental adaption entitled, appropriately enough, "Donovan's Colours". Available on Park's first album Song Cycle. The second, "Variations on 'Colours'" by Kevin Barker's Currituck Co. Also an instrumental cover, this version relies heavily on finger picked acoustic guitar and what sounds like a xylophone, and sits stylistically somewhere between the Donovan original and Park's version.

MP3: Donovan - Colours
MP3: Van Dyke Parks - Donovan's Colours
MP3: Currituck Co. - Variations on 'Colours'

Donovan on Myspace
Van Dyke Parks on Myspace
Currituck Co. on Myspace

Support The Artist. Buy.Buy.Buy.

Previously on SOTR: Donovan

1 comment:

Max Jenkins said...

Ever heard Juliana Hatfield's cover of "I Know It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like it)"? It surely goes down as one of the most transformative covers. I'd love to see you do a piece on it.

I too am mesmerized by brilliant covers. I also enjoy "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Taken by Trees.