Sunday, June 27, 2010


Mellow Yellow is the fourth album from Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the United States in March 1967 (Epic Records LN 24239 (monaural) / BN 26239 (rechanneled stereo)[1], but was not released in the UK because of a continuing contractual dispute that also prevented Sunshine Superman from a UK release. In June 1967, a cross-section of both albums was released as Sunshine Superman (Pye Records NPL 18181) in the UK. "Mellow Yellow" was the name of Donovan's hit single released the previous November.
The songs on Mellow Yellow represent a transition in Donovan's writing. Donovan's songs had previously illustrated his infatuation with an ability to define the mid-sixties pop music scene. On Mellow Yellow this is still evident in "Sunny South Kensington", "Museum" (originally recorded for the Sunshine Superman album and rerecorded for Mellow Yellow) and the title track, but is also tempered with world-weary observations of that scene ("Young Girl Blues"). The contractual problems that prevented the release of Donovan's music in the UK led him to write such songs as the resigned "Writer in the Sun", where he contemplates the possibility of his own forced retirement from the music business at age 20.

Mickie Most's production and the arrangements of John Paul Jones accommodate these two divergent traits of Donovan's songwriting throughout Mellow Yellow. The peppier songs feature a diverse selection of instruments similar to Sunshine Superman and helped make a top 10 hit out of the title track on both sides of the Atlantic. The introspective ruminations feature sparse instrumentation that highlights Donovan's guitar playing, singing, and lyrics.

On Mellow Yellow, Donovan gave a nod to his friend Bert Jansch on "House of Jansch", marking the third Donovan album in a row that paid tribute to the British folk personage.

It has been rumored that Donovan's friend Paul McCartney whispers the "quite rightly" part of "Mellow Yellow", but this is actually whispered by Donovan. It is possible that Paul was in the studio crowd heard cheering at the end of the song but it has been contested whether or not Paul was there at all.

Tracks :

1. Mellow Yellow (3:45)
2. Writer In The Sun (4:32)
3. Sand And Foam (3:21)
4. The Observation (2:25)
5. Bleak City Woman (2:26)
6. House Of Jansch (2:45)
7. Young Girl Blues (3:47)
8. Museum (2:55)
9. Hampstead Incident (4:44)
10. Sunny South Kensington (3:51)


  1. Hello, and many thanks for this gem, a real one. Nice work, keep on going!

  2. sorry, I forgot to mention that many, many years ago, I read somewhere the McCartney was the drummer in Mellow Yellow (the song). Sounded coherent to me. If we observe his drumming style in the McCartney album (1970) it's quite similar to the 'Mellow Yellow' drumming.

  3. Thank you for such a great blog.
    Just raided your archive from way back in Sept 08 ; Fleetwood MAc & Otis Spann' Colossus'.
    never heard of this album, a lovely surprise!
    Keep up the great work.
    Flann O Brienn

  4. I remember Donovan's hits from listening to the radio in the 60s and I'm slowly collecting all the original albums.

    Thanks for this wonderful music.

  5. What of Shawn Phillips? His influence and involvement with Mr Leitch doesn't ever get the credit it deserves.


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