Personnel: Donovan (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Madeline Bell, Rod Stewart (vocals); Jeff Beck, Ron Wood (guitar); Harold McNair (flute); Alan Hawkshaw (piano); Nicky Hopkins (keyboards); Tony Carr (drums, percussion); Aynsley Dunbar (drums).
Recording information: American Recording Company, Los Angeles, CA (05/??/1968-02/14/1969); Olympic Studios, London, England (05/??/1968-02/14/1969).
Donovan's last truly great album of the 1960s, 1968's BARABAJAGAL shows interesting artistic growth at least as marked as his transformation from folk troubadour to daffy hippie-pop guru. The title track and "Trudi" feature the Rod Stewart-era Jeff Beck Group as Donovan's backing band; consequently both these songs have a surprising amount of sonic heft to them.
Of course, Donovan is pretty much incapable of getting heavy, but the hard-candy pop suits him well. A version of Terry Reid's marijuana/fellatio multiple-entendre "Superlungs My Supergirl" is similarly rockin', but for most of the rest of the album, Donovan reverts to his usual folkish psych-pop. The hit "Atlantis," the Cat Stevens-like "I Love My Shirt" and the unexpectedly tender "To Susan On the West Coast Waiting" are also highlights.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.120) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]he mixture of cosmic sentiment, music exotica and pop nous that first reared its head around 1966 often works wonders..."