Artist:
Donovan

A Gift from a Flower to a Garden: Deluxe Signed Box Set

£186.99

Release Date: 21 June, 2024

Limited edition numbered, handmade vinyl box sets individually hand-signed by Donovan, only 150 available.


Donovan’s music, his poetry - including two mono LPs, one for parents or grandparents and one for the children, with beautiful art illustrated lyrics, all approved by Donovan, with exclusive liner notes by Will Hodgkinson, chief rock and pop critic for The Times.


A Gift from a Flower to a Garden made for a few firsts: the first double LP of Donovan’s career, one of the first box sets in pop and, most importantly for Donovan himself; the first pop album for the children of tomorrow. He resolved to make A Gift from a Flower to a Garden an album of two halves. The first, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, was intended for his own generation as they started to think about the kind of world they wanted to leave behind. The second, For Little Ones, was for the children they had or would have in the years to come. The result was a kaleidoscopic folk-jazz suite on the power of love, imbued with all the romance and mystery of an Arthur Rackham illustration for an ancient English fairy tale. The songs, remarkably adventurous given Donovan was a globally famous singer at his commercial height, combined the influences he had amassed so far. There is something about A Gift from a Flower to a Garden that could never be repeated, though. It is such an innocent evocation of the childlike imagination, so redolent of its time, yet set apart from it too. All these years later, the peaceful qualities of this pioneering, enchanting, deeply unusual album feel more valuable than ever. 


With authenticity core to the project, The state51 Conspiracy followed the original Designer Sydney Randolph Maurer in all aspects, by engaging one of the UK’s leading experts in box set design, Daniel Mason at Something Else, to painstakingly recreate the box, records and accompanying ephemera - all originally commissioned by the legendary Clive Davis at Epic Records/CBS. The first challenge was to find the deep blue leatherette paper the original box set was covered in; a problem since it was no longer in production. “I knew people who had stacks of it, gathering dust on top shelves, so I bought it up wherever I could find it,” says Mason. Then came the reproduction of 12 loose leaf lyric sheets on fine art watercolour paper, each of them featuring a watermark and a fairytale-like illustration by Donovan’s artist friends Sheena McCall and Mick Taylor. Where, though, to find the same paper stock? “I found out that it was made at a paper mill in North Wales called Abbey Mills. Unfortunately the mill dissolved in the early 70s and very little of the paper remained. However enough paper remained to allow us to produce the numbered certificate also signed by Donovan that sits within the box.” 


Then to the iconic cover image. Donovan and Jimi Hendrix’s personal photographer Karl Ferris, used infra-red film to achieve the psychedelic effect on the cover, but the original negatives couldn’t be found. Mason then used digital technology to ramp up the colour levels on a reproduction from an original copy of the album while allowing it to remain a little bit faded, as it would be after half a century. The same labour of love and care has gone into producing all elements of the box; from the rebuilding of the famous front cover font to the hand-numbered and signed certificate; letterpress printed on the original paper stock of the 1968 UK release lyric sheets.


To cap it all off the original mono master tapes were waiting safely in the EMI Donovan  Archive and transferred from tape to digital by Abbey Road Studios where new lacquers were cut, ensuring Donovan's favoured mono version of the album would be presented both physically (and digitally for the very first time) in striking audiophile quality. The final touch to a five-year labour of love.


Label:
The state51 Conspiracy
Formats:
Vinyl Box Set
Cat#:
CON20000