March 08, 2013

Donovan - Catch the Wind (1965)

Born Donovan Phillips Leitch on May 10th, 1946, this Scottish singer had already reached local fame around the British folk circles and pubs before getting his record deal with Pye in 1964. Although his demo tape revealed a style that resembled Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, his first official release, What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid, showed a style that was branching out and becoming his own. To his own dismay, Pye began to market him as “the Brittish answer to Bob Dylan,” which led to some believing he wasn’t much more than an imposter. Donovan was able to shed this image, however, becoming one of the first British artists to take on the flower power image. He also began releasing psychedelically-influenced songs like “Sunshine Superman” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” which we previously featured. The turn of the decade saw him end his long partnership with famed producer Mickie Most and take a self-imposed exile to Greece for six months. Attempting to redefine and rediscover himself, the music he made upon his return and thereafter began to lose popularity with the public. In more recent years, Donovan has been consistently touring around the UK, performing at festivals, and lending his music and his voice to cartoons such as The Simpsons and Futurama. Most recently, he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th, 2012.

Released on Pye Records and written by Donovan himself, this song was Donovan’s first single and first national success. The single version of the song, released first, contained an echo over the singing and a string section in the background that would later be omitted when the song was re-recorded for his What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid album (that album was later renamed Catch the Wind). As a single, the song was backed with the B-Side “Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do?,” released on March 12th, 1965, and reached number twenty-three in the US and number four in the UK. The lesser-known album version, heard below, features a harmonica solo near the end that is not found on the single version.

album art

Donovan - Catch the Wind (1965)

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In the chilly hours and minutes
Of uncertainty
I want to be
In the warm hold of your lovin' mind

To feel you all around me
And to take your hand
Along the sand
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When sundown pales the sky
I want to hide a while
Behind your smile
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find

For me to love you now
Would be the sweetest thing
t’would make me sing
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

When rain has hung the leaves with tears
I want you near
To kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind

Standin' in your heart
Is where I want to be
And long to be
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind

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