Harman Patil

Sunshine Superman

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B-side  "The Trip"
Format  7-inch single
Released  1 July 1966 (1966-07-01)
Recorded  December 1965, EMI Studios, London
Genre  Psychedelic pop folk rock psychedelic folk
Length  3:15, 4:34 (extended version)

"Sunshine Superman" is a song written and recorded by Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. The "Sunshine Superman" single was released in the United States through Epic Records (Epic 5-10045) in July 1966, but due to a contractual dispute the United Kingdom release was delayed until December 1966, where it appeared on Donovan's previous label, Pye Records (Pye 7N 17241). The "Sunshine Superman" single was backed with "The Trip" on both the United States and United Kingdom releases. It has been described as "[one of the] classics of the era," and as "the quintessential bright summer sing along".


"Sunshine Superman" reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and subsequently became the title track of Donovan's third album, Sunshine Superman. Chart positions were No. 1 (US), and No. 2 (UK) (the single was released in December 1966 in the UK). It was Donovan's only single to reach No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 survey. A different mix of "The Trip" (without harmonica) is also included in the album. It was the first product from the highly successful three-year collaboration between Donovan and producer Mickie Most and is generally considered to be one of the first examples of the musical genre that came to be known as psychedelia. The song features styles of psychedelic folk, psychedelic pop and folk rock.

In popular culture

Writer Grant Morrison referenced the song in an issue of Animal Man by creating Sunshine Superman, an African American version of Superman who was a member of the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, from a world based on the drug culture of the 1960s. Sunshine Superman and his world were wiped out by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, only to be brought back by the Psycho-Pirate before fading away again. Sunshine Superman returned for a brief, non-speaking cameo in Final Crisis #7, in an army of alternate Supermen. More recently, it has been resurrected in the New 52 DC Multiverse as Earth-47, still with an iteration of Sunshine Superman and the Love Syndicate A small excerpt of the song is featured in a season 8 episode of the television drama Criminal Minds.

Cover versions and performances

JJ Cale's first band The Leathercoated Minds covered the song on their album A Trip To The Sunset Strip in 1967.

The song was covered by Mike Vickers, former member of Manfred Mann, on his 1968 album, I Wish I Were a Group Again, with a verse removed from the song and an extra verse added (including multiple inserted rhymes).

Mel Tormé covered this song on his 1969 album Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head.

The song was covered by Dr. Lonnie Smith recorded live on Move Your Hand in Atlantic City on 9 August 1969. It was also covered by The Sugarman 3 on their debut 1998 album Sugar's Boogaloo.

Hardcore punk band Hüsker Dü covered "Sunshine Superman" as a brief 1:56 rendition on their 1983 studio debut Everything Falls Apart.

New York punk rock band Alice Donut covers the song (with changed lyrics) on their debut album Donut Comes Alive.

Spirit of the West covered the song for the 1992 Donovan tribute album Island of Circles. Their version also appears on their greatest hits compilation Spirituality 1983–2008: The Consummate Compendium.

Seattle band Telekinesis performed a version of the song in July 2013 for The A.V. Club's A.V. Undercover: Summer Break series.

In 1997, Imani Coppola sampled the instrumental track for her song "Legend of a Cowgirl".

The first two lines of the lyrics to "Sunshine Superman" are alluded to and parodied in the chorus to The Happy Mondays' song "Donovan" (from the album Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches). Shaun Ryder, lead singer of the band, was at the time in a relationship with Donovan's daughter, Oriole.


  • Donovan - vocals, acoustic guitar, tambura
  • Jimmy Page and Eric Ford - electric guitars
  • John Cameron - harpsichord and arrangement
  • Spike Heatley - double bass
  • Bobby Orr - drums
  • Tony Carr - percussion
  • John Paul Jones - bass
  • References

    Sunshine Superman Wikipedia

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