Mellow Yellow (Donovan)


Donovan’s ‘Mellow Yellow’ was at its peak position of #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. A few months later it would climb to #8 in the UK.

By late '66 young Donovan (still only 20 years old) had moved on from more traditional folk fare and his music had taken on a psychedelic hue that brilliantly captured the groovy zeitgeist of the times. Songs like this one provided a commentary on the hip London scene that Donovan moved in, and no doubt the eponymous mellowness had a lot to do with marijuana. There was a rumour that the title referred to the smoking of dried banana leaves (wrongly believed at the time to get you high), and Donovan later admitted that the 'electric banana' was a reference to vibrators.

There are connections between this and other 'yellow' song of 1966. Donovan had a 'small part' in writing the lyrics for the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine', and Paul McCartney played bass on some of the 'Mellow Yellow' album.

B-side: 'Sunny South Kensington' (USA), 'Preachin' Love' (UK) 
Recorded: October 1966
Released: 24 October 1966 (USA), February 1967 (UK)
Highest chart position: #8 (UK), #2 (US) 
Length: 3:42
Label: Epic 5-10098; Pye 7N 17267 
Writer: Donovan
Producer: Mickie Most

Mellow Yellow (Donovan)