Side one of this two record box set has Wear Your Love Like Heaven in Super Hot stamper sound, with some of the most natural vocal reproduction we heard in our entire shootout. Many copies had “hyped-up” phony sound — fine for the old consoles and radios of the day (1967) but not too enjoyable on the modern, much more revealing rigs we use today.
The tonality of the midrange — where the guitars and vocals are found of course — must be correct for this music to work. This copy does a very respectable job on three of the sides, and that’s not easy to do.
Not to mention condition issues. When’s the last time you saw a clean yellow label Epic original Donovan record in the bins? It takes us years to find enough clean copies to do a shootout like this, and we are out beating the bushes every week in the record capital of the world.
That said, Epic ’60s vinyl is rarely of audiophile quality.
A++ sonics, the best of the four sides. More extension up top than most, and clear mids. The bottom could use a bit more weight, thus the Two Plus grade, not three.
The weakest side, with A Plus sound. The third track sounds full and natural but the second track and some others were a bit honky and suffered from smeared transients (as many records do).
A+ to A++, with clear, sweet, present vocals. The sound tends to get a bit boxy as the bottom and top are not as extended as they are on the best pressings.
A+ to A++, recessed but sweet in the midrange. Very natural, although some smear and veiling holds it back.
Wear Your Love Like Heaven
Mad John’s Escape
There Was a Time
Little Boy in Corduroy
Under the Greenwood Tree
The Land of Doesn’t Have to Be
Song of the Naturalist’s Wife
The Enchanted Gypsy
Voyage into the Golden Screen
Isle of Islay
The Mandolin Man and His Secret
Lay of the Last Tinker
The Tinker and the Crab
Widow With Shawl (A Portrait)
The Lullaby of Spring
Epistle to Derroll
… enough time has passed that the music has overcome its original shortcomings and now stands out as a prime artifact of the flower-power era that produced it… the sheer range of subjects and influences make this a surprisingly rewarding work.