Sutras (album)

Infobox Album |
Name = Sutras
Type = Album
Artist = Donovan

Released = October 14 1996
Recorded = 1995 – 1996
Genre = folk
Length = 50:51
Label = American Recordings
Producer = Rick Rubin
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|3|5 [ link]
* "Rolling Stone" Rating|2|5 [ link] |
Last album = "The Children of Lir"
(Ireland 1994)
This album = "Sutras"
Next album = "Rising Again" [live]

"Sutras" is the nineteenth studio album, and twenty-second album overall, from Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. It was released in the UK (American Recordings 74321 39743 2) and the US (American Recordings 43705) on October 14 1996. The US version does not contain the final track, "The Garden".


By the mid-1990s, the CD reissues of Donovan's 1960s albums and the "" boxed set reacquainted Donovan's fans with his music. These releases also introduced Donovan to newer generations, which helped rebuild his fan base.

In 1993, producer and American Recordings founder Rick Rubin contacted Johnny Cash to record a set of songs featuring Cash with sparse instrumentation. Cash's "American Recordings" succeeded both critically and commercially, and signaled a fresh start in his career. This success prompted Rick Rubin to search for other artists who would benefit from the same model. While in the studio with Tom Petty, Rubin mentioned that he would like to work with Donovan. Petty suggested that he call Donovan, which he did.

Donovan agreed to have Rick Rubin produce his next album, and prepared over one hundred songs for the recording sessions. The sessions were to feature sparse instrumentation, much like the sessions that made Cash's "American Recordings" such a success. Rubin insisted that Donovan listen to the folk material that Donovan recorded for Pye Records in 1964 and 1965 for inspiration. The recording sessions commenced in 1995, and the deeply meditative "Sutras" was released late the following year.

"Sutras" received mixed reviews and failed to achieve the kind of commercial success Johnny Cash's "American Recordings" had. Donovan did not receive a longer contract, and "Sutras" became his only collaboration with Rick Rubin; it is now out of print in the US. Yet for all its lack of commercial and critical success, "Sutras" galvanized Donovan's fan base by reestablishing him as a current artist releasing new material. The internet in particular served a vital role in uniting Donovan's fans after the release of "Sutras". Donovan paid close attention to this movement, and spent the next five years reorganizing his business around the internet to better reach his fans.

Track listing

All tracks by Donovan Leitch, except where noted. The US version of Sutras retained the same track sequence, but deleted the last song on the album (The Garden), making it a 14 track album.

Original UK Release

#"Please Don't Bend" – 4:14
#"Give It All Up" – 3:09
#"Sleep" (traditional; arranged by Donovan) – 2:47
#"Everlasting Sea" – 3:33
#"High Your Love" – 2:31
#"The Clear-Browed One" – 3:20
#"The Way" – 2:16
#"Deep Peace" (Donovan, MacLeod, Walton) – 3:11
#"Nirvana" – 3:31
#"Eldorado" (words by Edgar Allan Poe; music by Donovan) – 3:06
#"Be Mine" – 3:28
#"Lady of the Lamp" – 3:53
#"The Evernow" – 4:09
#"Universe Am I" – 4:46
#"The Garden" – 2:51

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