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Baker's Dozen

Prophets, Seers & Sages: Tony Visconti's Favourite Albums
Julian Marszalek , October 31st, 2012 09:01

While the veteran producer has recently been remastering T. Rex's The Slider for its 40th anniversary re-release, he found time to pick out 13 of his top records for us


Donovan – Sunshine Superman
In the 60s, we were getting the first wave of people that suddenly get on to psychedelia which I was totally happy about. It certainly makes your hear music in a different way and now people where writing and recording music with that in mind. A couple of the artists that I’ve mentioned have admitted tripping in the studio, which is ridiculously ludicrous! I mean, you’d pick up an apple and stare at it for five hours rather than a guitar but they pulled it off. And Sunshine Superman was maybe my need to hear more stuff from The Beatles when they weren’t as prolific as I’d have liked and so there was Donovan.

He was a true, what I later found out, Scottish poet and Donovan was making these beautiful songs and of course ‘Sunshine Superman’ was the big hit and ‘Mellow Yellow’ was a big hit. I know he was totally inspired by Bob Dylan The Folk Musician but by this time his rock records where rivalling Bob Dylan. I think they sounded better and they had a few more production tricks on them like brass sections and string sections. I always wondered what Bob Dylan would sound like with a string section and Donovan kind of filled that gap.

So I would just light up a spliff and listen to Sunshine Superman five times. I don’t think I’ve listened to it on acid but it definitely passed the spliff test!

It was surprising that it was produced by Mickie Most because he was not into psychedelic drugs; he was smart enough to stand to the side and let all of this happen. He supervised and he may have had some input musically but it was a brilliant album and Mickie Most has made a couple of other albums that I think are brilliant too. He was so versatile. When you met him he didn’t come off that way; he wasn’t a deep thinker but he was a cool guy.