Artsy-craftsy types might find connect-the-dot album covers to be a bit stultifying — where’s the creativity? Connect these dots – and in this precise order, commands the album cover. Sorry, I prefer to make my own decisions.
One Donovan album I have had a hard time finding in second-hand shops is one that tickled my brain as a youngster with its D-I-Y concept: Inside the gatefold of 1973’s Cosmic Wheels, as the Unofficial Donovan website points out, “there’s a copy of The Flammarion woodcut (an anonymous wood engraving) with the note, ‘Get your cosmic crayons, kids, and colour in’.”
Black & white gatefold cover for Donovan’s 1973 album, Cosmic Wheels
With a bit of grit and a modicum of talent, you, too, can transform this monochromatic image into a dazzling cosmological work of wonderment. Clearly, no half measures will do — full and total commitment is required the moment your colored pencil is pressed into service:
Hard to believe, as Wikipedia claims, that Cosmic Wheels hit the Top 20 on this side of the Atlantic, given the challenge of locating a used copy. An edited version of I Like You from Cosmic Wheels would reach #66 in the US and became the last charting single Donovan would have.
Thanks to brother Bryan for pointing out the quality of musical personnel who helped bring these songs to life: Chris Spedding, John ‘Rabbit‘ Bundrick, Cozy Powell, Alan White, Jim Horn, Bobby Keys, Phil Chen, and even Suzi Quatro, among others.
In a bizarre artistic move, Donovan Leitch would release the most scatological recording ever associated with almighty Columbia Records, “Intergalactic Laxative” — a song that would almost certainly incur fines from the FCC if played on radio, even today. I had originally intended to feature this album track (and B-side) as an oddball Dr. Demento-like selection … until I actually heard the song. But since I’m trying to run a clean website, regrettably I must go with the A-side instead: