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Dutch (Pye / Negram) sleeve
Single by Donovan
from the album Fairytale
  • "To Sing for You" (UK)
  • "Josie" (USA)
Released28 May 1965 (UK)
June 1965 (US)
Length2:44 (Side A)
2:46 ("To Sing For You")
3:29 ("Josie")
LabelPye 7N15866 (UK)
Hickory 45-1324 (USA)
Songwriter(s)Donovan Leitch
Producer(s)Terry Kennedy, Peter Eden, Geoff Stephens
Donovan UK singles chronology
"Catch the Wind"
Donovan USA singles chronology
"Catch the Wind"
"Universal Soldier"

"Colours" is a song written and recorded by British singer-songwriter Donovan.[1] The "Colours" single was released in the United Kingdom on 28 May 1965 through Pye Records (Pye 7N 15866) and a few months later in the United States through Hickory Records (Hickory 45-1324). The "Colours" single was backed with "To Sing for You" (previously included on What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid) on the United Kingdom release and "Josie" (from What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid) on the United States release.

Release and reception

Swedish release of "Colours" single.
Swedish release of "Colours" single.

Donovan followed up the success of "Catch the Wind" with "Colours", which featured a similar folk style. The single matched the success of "Catch the Wind" in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 4 on the charts.[2] In the United States, "Colours" reached No.61,[3] and marked a decline in the artist's popularity relative to "Catch the Wind". A different mix of the song (without harmonica) was released on his second album Fairytale. Billboard praised the "intriguing lyric and melody."[4] Cash Box described it as a "tender, slow-moving, rhythmic pledge of romantic devotion sold by the songster in his distinctive Bob Dylan-ish style."[5]

When Epic Records was compiling Donovan's Greatest Hits, they were either unable or unwilling to secure the rights to the original recordings of "Catch the Wind" and "Colours". Donovan re-recorded both songs in the studio with Big Jim Sullivan playing guitar, John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards and Clem Cattini on drums, produced by Mickie Most. The re-recordings were included on the greatest hits album.

Other versions by Donovan

Covers by others

Single by No-Man
  • "Drink Judas"
  • "Colours (Remodelled)"
ReleasedJuly 1990 (7")
November 1990 (12")
RecordedNo-Man's Land, Hemel Hempstead (Title track)
GenreArt rock, dream pop
Length10:29 (7")
LabelHidden Art (7")
Probe Plus (12")
Songwriter(s)Donovan Leitch
Producer(s)Steven Wilson, Tim Bowness and Ben Coleman
No-Man singles chronology
"Ocean Song"


  1. ^ a b "Show 48 – The British are Coming! The British are Coming!: With an emphasis on Donovan, the Bee Gees and the Who. [Part 5] : UNT Digital Library". Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 251.
  4. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. 24 July 1965. p. 14. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 24 July 1965. p. 12. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Colours by No-Man (Single, Art Pop): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Colours by No-Man (Single; ; PP 27 T): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Steven Wilson – The Complete Discography (9th Edition)" (PDF). Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Colours". Valley Entertainment. Retrieved 17 March 2014.