Original released on LP Epic E 30125 (stereo)
(US, August 1970)
This is, no doubt about it, my favourite Donovan album ever. I've listen to it hundreds of times, since its release, back in 1970. Until today, the music in this wonderful album brings me the memories of the beach of my native city (LM, in Mozambique). "Riki Tiki Tavi" is the stand out track and with it's child-like lyric it's one of those really catchy songs that you can't help but sing along with. The rest of the album flows really nicely and the more rock orientated "Celtic Rock" vibe really appeals to me. This album was quite a departure for Donovan in one way. It sterns from Donovan's post "Barabajagal" period, when he was still very much aware of his roots, while willing to experiment. His peculiar sense of humour, his charm, sincerity and singularly pleasant singing voice all combine to make this a true Donovan experience. Although it was a disappointing seller and signaled the start of Donovan's commercial decline, "Open Road" has been a new beginning for the singer. Prior to this, it was extremely difficult to find out who had played on any Donovan album; he had essentially used session musicians as necessary for each individual track. Here, he uses an actual band (and even features them on the cover). As a result, the album has an overall flow and feeling of wholeness that had been notably absent from his previous two LPs. That, combined with the fact that the songs are consistently appealing, makes this one of his strongest albums.