A Gift from a Flower to a Garden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A Gift From a Flower to a Garden
Donovan-A Gift from a Flower to a Garden.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1967
Genre
Length60:00 (22 Tracks)
LabelPye NPL20000 (Monaural) / NSPL 20000 (Stereo) (UK)
Epic L2N6071 (Monaural) / B2N171 (Stereo) (US)
ProducerMickie Most
Donovan chronology
Mellow Yellow
(1967)
A Gift From a Flower to a Garden
(1967)
Donovan in Concert
(1968)
Singles from A Gift From a Flower to a Garden
  1. "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" b/w "Oh Gosh!"
    Released: April 1967 (US)
Wear Your Love Like Heaven (first part)
Epic LN 24349 (Monaural) BN 26349 (Stereo) (US separate release) Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge, England[1]
Epic LN 24349 (Monaural)
BN 26349 (Stereo) (US separate release) Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge, England[1]
For Little Ones (second part)
Epic LN24350 (Monaural) BN26350 (Stereo) (US separate release)
Epic LN24350 (Monaural)
BN26350 (Stereo) (US separate release)

A Gift From a Flower to a Garden is the fifth album from Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan, and marks the first double-disc album of his career and one of the first box sets in folk music. It was released in the US (Epic Records L2N 6071 (monaural) / B2N 171 (stereo)) and the UK in December 1967 (Pye Records NPL 20000 (monaural) / NSPL 20000 (stereo)). At the same time, Epic Records also released each of the two records from A Gift From a Flower to a Garden as separate promotional albums in the US. The first record was released as Wear Your Love Like Heaven, and the second record was released as For Little Ones. This was done to allow budgeting for the double-disc album package, which included a folder of the printed lyrics to the second disc with artwork, and a cover featuring an infrared photo of Donovan by Karl Ferris who was his and Jimi Hendrix's personal photographer (requiring six colour separations for printing, instead of the usual four separations).

History[edit]

After recording the Mellow Yellow album, Donovan focused on releasing hit singles. "Epistle to Dippy" (essentially an inside-joke/open letter for a childhood friend) hit the top 20 in February 1967 and "There is a Mountain" (#11 US; No. 8 UK) followed in August.

Riding high on the success of these singles, Donovan entered the studio in October to record his next album. The double-disc album that resulted from these sessions consisted of one disc of acoustic and electric soul music (Wear Your Love Like Heaven) and another of acoustic children's music (For Little Ones). The acoustic album allowed Donovan to present a facet of his songwriting that had not been featured on his singles. It also allowed him to show his strength as a guitar player and performer in a way that he could not when augmented by session musicians. In fact, Donovan's live performances of the time featured instrumentation and performances more in line with For Little Ones than his hit singles and the first record of A Gift From a Flower to a Garden.

While Mickie Most produced the single from the album ("Wear Your Love Like Heaven" b/w "Oh Gosh"), and is credited with the album's production, Donovan actually produced the bulk of the material himself, allowing Most the credit to help sales.

In the album's liner notes, Donovan explained his purpose in creating two rather different discs (one for the present generation, and the other for the "dawning generation"), and also denounced the use of drugs. Several of his earlier records had contained both veiled and open references to drug use (particularly marijuana and LSD), but since the release of Mellow Yellow, he had both been arrested and prosecuted for marijuana possession, and had seen people he knew turning to harder drugs (speed, heroin, cocaine), and the damage this caused in their lives. Instead, Donovan promoted the use of meditation and other techniques, in his new songs.

Songs[edit]

"Mad John's Escape" is a song written for a friend of Donovan's who escaped from a mental health centre. The song details Mad John's escape and subsequent adventures.

"Under the Greenwood Tree" is originally written by William Shakespeare in As You Like It, and set to music by Donovan for the Royal National Theatre, who planned to use it in a stage production. At the end of the song, Donovan sings "Will you, won't you... join the dance?" in reference to the chorus of "The Lobster Quadrille" in Chapter X of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

"Epistle to Derroll" is dedicated to the banjo player and singer Derroll Adams, an early influence on Donovan.

Cover[edit]

The front cover photo design of Wear Your Love Like Heaven features a Pre-Raphaelite style infrared photograph of Donovan on the moat in front of Bodiam Castle by Karl Ferris who was his and Jimi Hendrix's personal photographer. The back cover photo was also a shot taken by Ferris in LA during Donovan's and Karl's initiation into Transcendental Meditation, and depicted Donovan visiting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic
(original double album)
[2]
AllMusic
(for Wear Your Love Like Heaven)
[3]
AllMusic
(for For Little Ones)
[4]
MusicHound[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[7]

A Gift from a Flower to a Garden spent 22 weeks on the US Billboard 200,[8] peaking at number 19. In 1970, the album earned a Gold Record award for half a million sales.

Track listing[edit]

Original double-length album[edit]

All tracks by Donovan Leitch, except where noted.

Wear Your Love Like Heaven (first part)[edit]

Side 1

  1. "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" – 2:30
  2. "Mad John's Escape" – 2:16
  3. "Skip-a-Long Sam" – 2:23
  4. "Sun" – 3:13
  5. "There Was a Time" – 1:59

Side 2

  1. "Oh Gosh" – 1:42
  2. "Little Boy in Corduroy" – 2:33
  3. "Under the Greenwood Tree" (Words by William Shakespeare, music by Leitch) – 1:53
  4. "The Land of Doesn't Have to Be" – 2:32
  5. "Someone's Singing" – 2:44

For Little Ones (second part)[edit]

Side 1

  1. "Song of the Naturalist's Wife" – 2:53
  2. "The Enchanted Gypsy" – 3:19
  3. "Voyage into the Golden Screen" – 3:12
  4. "Isle of Islay" – 2:20
  5. "The Mandolin Man and His Secret" – 3:32
  6. "Lay of the Last Tinker" – 1:47

Side 2

  1. "The Tinker and the Crab" – 2:52
  2. "Widow with a Shawl (A Portrait)" – 2:58
  3. "The Lullaby of Spring" – 3:25
  4. "The Magpie" – 1:27
  5. "Starfish-on-the-Toast" – 2:39
  6. "Epistle to Derroll" – 5:45

Personnel[edit]

  • Donovan – vocals, guitar, harmonica, whistling
  • Eric Leese – electric guitar
  • Cliff Barton – bass
  • Jack Bruce – bass on "Someone Singing"
  • Ken Baldock – double bass
  • Mike O'Neill – keyboards
  • Keith Webb – drums
  • Tony Carr – drums, bells, congas, finger cymbals
  • Mike Carr – vibraphone
  • "Candy" John Carr – congas
  • Harold McNair – flute

Release history[edit]

Region Date Title Label Format Catalog-Nr.
United States 12/1967 A Gift From a Flower to a Garden Epic mono LP L2N6071
United States 12/1967 A Gift From a Flower to a Garden Epic stereo LP B2N171
UK 16 April 1968 A Gift From a Flower to a Garden Pye mono LP NPL20000
UK 16 April 1968 A Gift From a Flower to a Garden Pye stereo LP NSPL 20000
United States Wear Your Love Like Heaven Epic monaural LP LN 24349
United States Wear Your Love Like Heaven Epic stereo LP BN 26349 (stereo)
United States For Little Ones Epic monaural LP LN24350
United States For Little Ones Epic stereo LP BN26350 (stereo)

Reissues[edit]

  • In 1993, BGO Records reissued A Gift from a Flower to a Garden on compact disc in the UK. Mono and Stereo versions were issued. See https://www.discogs.com/Donovan-A-Gift-From-A-Flower-To-A-Garden/release/3875953 for details.
  • On 12 September 2000, Collector's Choice Music reissued A Gift from a Flower to a Garden on compact disc in the US.
  • On 16 January 2001, Collectables Records released Mellow Yellow/Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Collectables 6644), which contained all of Mellow Yellow and the Wear Your Love Like Heaven portion of A Gift from a Flower to a Garden.
  • On 26 January 2009, EMI reissued A Gift from a Flower to a Garden, remastered, on compact disc with under a license agreement with Donovan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Musical Maps: wearyourlovelikeheaven".
  2. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Donovan A Gift from a Flower to a Garden". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  3. ^ Bush, John. "Donovan Wear Your Love Like Heaven". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. ^ Bush, John. "Donovan Wear Your Love Like Heaven". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 355. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
  6. ^ Randall, Mac; Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn). New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 253. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  8. ^ "Billboard - Google Books".

External links[edit]