Nov 142010
 

from SLOW DOWN WORLD

written by  Donovan Leitch

In the mid-seventies David Foster was building up a strong reputation as premiere session ace. He entered the George Harrison circle and through his connection with the former beatle,  he went on to work for more A-list performers. Among those names was folk-pop singer/songwriter, Donovan Leitch simply known to worldwide audiences as Donovan.

Donovan was defined as the UK answer to Bob Dylan and  found big success in the second half of the sixties with evergreens like “Mellow Yellow, “Sun” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” After his initital string of hits, Donovan’s popularity began to fade in the seventies though he kept releasing good albums like 1976’s “Slow Down World.” Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by the singer, “Slow Down World” brought Donovan’s delicate folk-pop sounds in contact with the cream of the LA session guys of the era. The material included, mostly written by the singer, was quite enjoyable and gained from the instrumental performances of people like Wilton Felder of the Crusaders, Tom Scott, Jim Keltner and David Foster. Foster had a strong hand on the album playing various keyboards on several tracks and also doing some arranging. There are romantic ballads like “My Love Is True,” acoustic themes like “The Mountain” and the Dylan-inspired “Liberation Rag.” The single off the album was an original up-beat number entitled “A Well Known Has-Been.” This track mixes perfectly the singer’s unique style with a danceable beat embellished by great horns and soulful back-up vocals courtesy of Foster’s former Skylark bandmates B.J. Cook and Donny Gerrard. The bittersweet lyrics are also an interesting counterpart to the delicious beat.


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Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar: Donovan Leitch
Piano & Clavinet: David Foster
Rhythm Electric Guitar: Phillip Donnelly
Bass: Wilton Felder
Drums: Jim Keltner
Percussion & Talking Drum: Emil Richards
Shakers & Conga: Bobbye Hall
Tenor Sax: Tom Scott
Slide Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Chuck Findley
Trombone: Lew McCrary
Backing Vocals: B.J. Cook, Donny Gerrard, Ed Whiting & Africa

Horn Arrangement by Donovan & David Foster

Produced by Donovan Leitch


Lyrics

Tonight my life is heavy
I’m weak and down at heel
The prisoner in the dungeon
Will know just how I feel

I’m a well known has-been, a well known has-been
I’ve got a brand on me
When I look at my tomorrows
Sorrow’s all I see
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see

How sad my disposition
How long can it I bear?
How deep my melancholy
Can anybody care?

For the well known has-been, the well known has-been
I’ve got a brand on me, yeah
When I look at my tomorrows
Sorrow’s all I see
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see

Well known has-been, well known has-been
Well known has-been

I pretend I’m unaffected
By the chains that bear me down
And when only those who love me
Can see behind the frown

Of the well known has-been, the well known has-been
I got a brand on me, yeah
When I look at my tomorrows
Sorrow’s all I see
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see (sorrow’s all I see)
Sorrow’s all I see

From these broken days of anguish
Some day soon I’m gonna rise
I’m gonna raise my head to Heaven
I’m gonna fly the starry skies

And the well known has-been, the well known has-been
I’ll lose the brand on me, yeah
I won’t look at my tomorrows
When today is all I see

Today’s all I see (today’s all I see)
Today’s all I see (today’s all I see)
Today’s all I see (today’s all I see)
Today’s all I see