Mellow Yellow (album)

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Mellow Yellow
Donovan-Mellow Yellow.jpg
Studio album by Donovan
Released March 1967
Recorded 1966
Genre Folk rock
Length 34:13
Label Epic LN 24239
Producer Mickie Most
Donovan chronology
Sunshine Superman
Mellow Yellow
A Gift from a Flower to a Garden

Mellow Yellow is the fourth album from British singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the US in March 1967 (Epic Records LN 24239 (monaural) / BN 26239 (rechanneled stereo),[1] but 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 industry at the age of 20.[citation needed]

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.

John Cameron played blues piano, harpsichord, and undertook arrangements.

Paul McCartney played bass guitar and provided background vocals on some of the tracks. He is uncredited for his work on the album.


According to a recent biography ("Darker Than The Deepest Sea: The Search For Nick Drake"), the album was a significant influence on Nick Drake.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars Original
Allmusic 4/5 stars Bonus tracks

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Donovan Leitch. Songs marked with a ‘+’ have been remixed into stereo.

Original album[edit]

Side one
  1. "Mellow Yellow" – 3:47
  2. "Writer in the Sun" – 4:33 +
  3. "Sand and Foam" – 3:19
  4. "The Observation" – 2:23
  5. "Bleak City Woman" – 2:24
Side two
  1. "House of Jansch" – 2:43
  2. "Young Girl Blues" – 3:45
  3. "Museum" – 2:54
  4. "Hampstead Incident" – 4:41 +
  5. "Sunny South Kensington" – 3:48 +

2005 EMI CD version[edit]

The ten tracks as on the original release plus the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Epistle to Dippy" – 3:11
  2. "Preachin' Love" – 2:40
  3. "Good Time" – 1:54
  4. "There is a Mountain" – 2:36 +
  5. "Superlungs" (second version) – 3:17
  6. "Epistle to Dippy" (alternative arrangement) – 3:13 +
  7. "Sidewalk (The Observation)" (demo) – 2:29
  8. "Writer in the Sun" (demo) – 3:30
  9. "Hampstead Incident" (demo) – 3:52
  10. "Museum" (demo) – 3:49


  1. ^ John McIver. "Donovan Discography". Retrieved 11 January 2012. 

External links[edit]