Cosmic Wheels

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For the 1998 CD called Cosmic Wheels, see Rising (Donovan album).
Cosmic Wheels
Studio album by Donovan
Released March 1973
Recorded 1972
Genre folk
Length 37:56
Label Epic
Producer Donovan Leitch
Mickie Most
Donovan chronology
HMS Donovan
(1971)
Cosmic Wheels
(1973)
Live in Japan: Spring Tour 1973
(1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C−[2]

Cosmic Wheels is the tenth studio album, and eleventh album overall, from British singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in both the UK (Epic SEPC 65450) and the US (Epic KE 32156) in March 1973.

History[edit]

After the introspection of fatherhood and family life contained in the songs of H.M.S. Donovan, Donovan turned his attention to popular music again in 1972. It had been three years since "Atlantis" entered the top 10. Since that time, Donovan had released a mildly successful album with band Open Road and a solo children's album that failed to make the charts in the UK and did not even see a release in the US.

In hopes of fomenting success, Donovan brought in Mickie Most to share the producer duties on his next album. The Cosmic Wheels sessions were recorded in Morgan Studios in London, England. In the UK at that time, glam rock ruled the top of the charts, defined by bands and artists such as T. Rex, Alice Cooper, and David Bowie among others. Several of these bands and artists claimed Donovan as a key influence in their music. This praise coupled with the chart success of the genre likely had great influence on the musical direction Cosmic Wheels would take.

While Donovan was recording Cosmic Wheels, Alice Cooper was recording their 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies in the same studio. Alice Cooper guitarist Michael Bruce suggested asking Donovan to sing co-lead on the title track with Alice Cooper himself. Donovan agreed, and the resulting song helped propel Billion Dollar Babies to #1 in the US.

Cosmic Wheels reached the top 20 in both the US and UK, enjoying the same chart success as many of Donovan's previous albums. By 1973 the music business had shifted to promoting album-oriented rock, relegating singles to less promotion and fewer sales. An edited form of "I Like You" reached #66 in the U.S. and became the last charting single Donovan would have.

Reissues[edit]

  • On August 15, 1994, Epic's Rewind Records label reissued Cosmic Wheels (Epic/Rewind 477378 2) on CD in the UK.
  • On February 23, 2004, Diablo Records released Cosmic Wheels/Essence to Essence (DIAB8051) in the UK on CD. This compilation includes all of Cosmic Wheels and all of Essence to Essence on one disc.
  • "Comic Wheels" is the third release of THE SEVENTIES COLLECTION as Digital Download on iTunes. The digital release of the original 1973 album "Cosmic Wheels" will be August 19, 2010.

Track listing[edit]

Donovan was inspired by the Flammarion engraving (Paris 1888)

All tracks by Donovan Leitch.
Side one

  1. "Cosmic Wheels" – 4:02
  2. "Earth Sign Man" – 3:56
  3. "Sleep" – 3:48
  4. "Maria Magenta" – 2:12
  5. "Wild Witch Lady" – 4:27

Side two

  1. "The Music Makers" – 4:28
  2. "The Intergalactic Laxative" – 2:49
  3. "I Like You" – 5:18
  4. "Only the Blues" – 3:13
  5. "Appearances" – 3:44

Personnel[edit]

  • Leslye Ash – Vocals
  • John "Rabbit" Bundrick – Keyboards
  • Tony Carr – Percussion
  • Valerie Carrington – Vocals
  • Clive Chaman – Bass
  • Phil Chen – Bass
  • Nick Curtis – Vocals
  • Donovan – Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
  • Lesley Duncan – Vocals
  • Jack Emblow – Accordion
  • Julie Forsythe – Vocals
  • Leslie Fyson – Vocals
  • Peter Halling – Violin
  • Jim Horn – Saxophone
  • Bobby Keys – Saxophone
  • John McCarthy – Vocals
  • Cozy Powell – Drums
  • Suzi Quatro – Vocals
  • Chris Spedding – Guitar
  • Gaynor Stewart – Vocals
  • Jill Utting – Vocals
  • Dennis Ball (Misspelled as "Dennis Wall") – Bass[3]
  • Alan White – Drums
  • Cary Wilson – Vocals

References[edit]

External links[edit]