The Monkees

Hey hey, what could they do?
*special introductory paragraph!
*The Monkees
*More Of The Monkees
*Headquarters
*Live 1967
*Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.
*The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
*Head
*33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee
*Monkee Business
*Instant Replay
*Present
*20 Smash Hits
*Changes
*Missing Links
*Missing Links Volume 2
*Missing Links Volume 3
*20th Anniversary Tour
*Pool It!
*Justus
A fake band. Put together in 1966 by Don Kirshner and his gang of thugs in a crass attempt to cash in on the success of the Beatles's movies, The Monkees were four charming young semi-musicians who had never even met before being thrown together on the set of a silly little musical sitcom. But it worked! America just adored cute little Brit Davy Jones, goofy "drummer" Micky Dolenz, downhome country boy Mike Nesmith, and token dumb guy Peter Tork. Strangely, the songs, though in no way a creation of these so-called "Monkees," were, for the most part, fun, catchy, exciting, and infectious, thanks to an arsenal of gifted songwriters like Carole King, Neil Diamond, and Boyce/Hart selflessly contributing their wares to the sick package. And studio musicians? Oh, studio musicians galore! The "Monkees" didn't even really pick up their instruments until the third album! Still, once you get past the obvious moral problems that one should have with this kind of bullshit entertainment, the Monkees (that being the four singers, dozens of songwriters, and thousands of session musicians who chipped in) delivered to the world some wonderfully entertaining '60s pop rock. The show was pretty funny, too! Later, the whole thing turned to crap, but for a while there, hoooo!

Reader Comments

Torkaholic (torkhlic@ix.netcom.com)
A minor correction to your introductory paragraph :) The Monkees were a "manufactured" band, but not by Don Kirshner. He later manufactured The Archies, but came too late to the party to have much to do with the creation of The Monkees. They were put together (in 1965, not 1966, if you really want to get picky ) by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider (aka Raybert Productions). The Golden Ear was simply a "hired hand", brought in as musical director because Rafelson and Schneider were TV execs with no music industry experience to speak of. And he was fired following the second album, after the famous "fist through the wall" confrontation with Nesmith.

WT014@lamp.ac.uk
Quote: "the songs, though in no way a creation of these so-called 'Monkees,'" and, "The 'Monkees' didn't even really pick up their instruments until the third album!"

Errrr.......not quite: Mike Nesmith had 2 of his own songs on the very first album, and allegedly even got Peter playing on either "Papa Gene's Blues" or "Sweet Young Thing."

They weren't a "real" band, just a fun TV show that happened to throw out some nice--and later, even GREAT--tunes, but they weren't just puppets, either.


The Monkees - Colgems 1966.
Rating = 8


Basically twelve variations on "Last Train To Clarksville," but, that being the mindbogglingly catchy ditty that it is, this is an awfully pleasant record anyway. The Davy Jones ballads, foreshadowing all future Davy Jones ballads, suck, but the guitar rock stuff is wonderful fun, and Mike's little country-western input gives the proceedings a hint of sincerity that they don't really deserve. Nevertheless, a mood of joy prevails, even in the "sad" songs, and (aside from the irritating fake humor of "Gonna Buy Me A Dog") it really makes you wanna go watch the TV show. If you like "Last Train To Clarksville," you won't be disappointed. If you don't like "Last Train To Clarksville," what the hell is your problem?
Reader Comments

monkeefan@hotmail.com (Jenny)
I don't see what you could possibly find wrong with "I'm gonna buy me a dog" I loved and I thought it was hilarious..it was supposed to be silly and it was.

TEAnutH@aol.com
Davy Jones' ballads did not SUCK! You suck Just because you did not like them other people do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

starostin@geocities.com (George Starostin)
Yup, an excellent album. Even despite the fact that they never wrote anything themselves. Corporate songwriting might be a good thing, after all - just look at the Elvis repertoire, for starters. I agree that 'I Wanna Be Free' is terribly oversweetened, and so is 'I'll Be True To You' (although the latter is actually a good song: the Hollies did it much better under the title... 'Yes I Will'!) But I disagree about 'Gonna Buy Me A Dog'. I think it's a terrific number, and very original, too. I mean, it probably wasn't original in the show, where it just looked like a silly number, but, thrown independently on the record, it becomes a fantastic groove - had anybody used speech on their records before? And don't tell me 'Hey Bulldog' owes nothing to this song! Other highlights include the hard-rockin' fiddle (sure) on 'Sweet Young Thing' and the hurried vocals on 'Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day'. Great! I give it a 9.

pedroandino@msn.com
oh man i love the monkees! it is soooooo super addicting! last train to clarksville rules! iwanna be free is so sweet my girlfriend loves that one! gonna buy me a dog is weird! no one does it like the monkees!

Speck1106@cs.com
I was there when this came out. Star trek had also come out around that time and if you notice Chekov on the bridge bore an amazing resemblance to Davey Jones. That was not a coincidence. Also batman and a whole slew of shlocky horse pucky. Anyway I was 8 years old and it was enjoyable to me. I heard More of the monkees before i got into The Cream, the Who and Hendrix and forgot the Monkees ever existed. I'll have to find the later recordings for some nostalgic laughs. Davey Jones did have a background in English music hall, supposedly. Peter Tork played banjo on the street in New york city . As soon as the monkees went off the air, Peter turned up on the street again and I heard he became a college prof. Mike Nesmith was the Monkee i thought actually had some creativity and it would be of interest to research and review his career. That rio song bit though, sorry Mike. When the monkees Clubs popped up in cities and towns they toured and the supporting act was Jimi Hendrix! So that is some food for thought. Maybe this partially explains why Jimi choked on his own vomit and died, god rest his soul. All in all the Monkees brought some joy to some peoples lives and that is better than nothing but, they could have been decent enough to quit earlier on. Thanks Mark for doing what no one else wants to do.

Add your thoughts?

More Of The Monkees - Colgems 1967.
Rating = 7


Although "I'm A Believer" and "Stepping Stone" are two of their best ever, and "Your Auntie Grizelda," "Sometime In The Morning," and "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" are more creative and memorable than almost anything on the debut (excluding "Last Train To Clarksville," of course), the remainder of this album is a whole hey of a lot weaker. Too many crappy ballads, a couple of weak rockers, and a complete lack of musical and spiritual growth kinda hold it back from being the pop legend that those five songs I listed in the first sentence deserve to be a part of. Still, it's The Monkees! The Monkees! Just listen to Davy Jones not really play that tambourine!

Reader Comments

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
Oh Mark.... I can't believe you even reviewed these guys........sure is a long way from AC/DC, isn't it? The only memory I have of this schlock is.....a rework of "I'm a Believer"...dedicated to the real ugly girl (every little boy gets stuck with one) who had a crush on you in elementary school.....it goes something like this..... "When I saw her face....and what a disaster......I started to run, but she could run faster....whoa, whoa...".........

space@wgn.net (King God Space)
"I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone" is the only Monkees song I can listen to all the way through without killing everyone in the room.

pedroandino@msn.com
this is more sugary than the debut but that's okay! stepping stone rules and this is like austin powers!

(several months later)

HEY! MY SECOND TIME REVIEWING TIHS ALBUM! I DION'T MEAN TO BE GAY BUT I DO LOVE THAT AUSTIN POWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I MEAN HE IS SEXY! I GO INSANE EVERYTIME I SEE HIS UNDERWEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANNA FUCK HIM HOW 'BOUT YOU!

SNYB2706@Allstate.com (Jay Ehrlich)
just listen to Davy Jones not really play that tamborine!!! THAT IS ONE OF THE FUNNIEST COMMENTS I HAVE EVER READ...Jesus H (for herbie)Christ..I gotta get out of the house more often...I remember thinking back then..why does this album suck so much? At least side one had "She"...a great song that was unlike any other Monkee song, and Auntie Grizelda had anti-establishment lyrics, and PETE!!! on vocals...and Steppin' Stone of course, with Pete on backing vocals!!! Side two is unlistenable, except for I'm a Believer, and even Look Out (here comes tomorrow) only has a catchy part because the rest is done so boring that the change has an impact. ..and I knew that even at age eleven (1967)...oh boy, I better type quick,my time on this planet is running out...by the way, I'm in bed by eleven every night, and if I'm not,......I go home....haha haha ha ...haaa...hahauh..hu h..er..uh...emm...( sounds of grown man weeping...fade to black )

Grindo23@aol.com
I always thought that "Stepping Stone" sounded as if it were really recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders.

S Fall
A masterful album. I prefer it to Revolver, actually. People overlook how weird The Monkees were. Your Auntie Grizelda is a seriously demented track. I always wish The Fall would cover it. This isn't impossible, given that they ripped off Valleri for Barmy and another song (title escapes me) for Mark'll Sink Us. Stepping Stone doesn't get enough credit for being an early punk track, but that's exactly what it is. The only true clunker is the spoken word thing by Davy Jones, but even that has a surreal charm. Pretty weird record by a pretty weird band.

fuxmeister@mac.com
oh wow, dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand) , i did that same thing. only i made the words "i saw her face, and i barfed all over. not a trace, of food in my guts." ah, good times. probably the best parody ever not recorded.

Add your thoughts?

Headquarters - Colgems 1967.
Rating = 8


Finally allowed to play at least some of the music, The Monkees churn out their strongest set of tracks yet, including some friggin' great compositions of their own! Tork gives us the hippy-dippy "For Pete's Sake" (which became the show's closing theme), Dolenz the rock'n'ragtime "Randy Scouse Git," and Nesmith the godlike country rockers "Sunny Girlfriend" and "You Just May Be The One." These are great songs, people! They might not have been Lennon/McCartney, but they weren't the complete idiots that lots of people wanted to believe they were, either. Most of the contributed tracks (especially the gorgeous "Shades Of Grey") are worthwhile, too, although a few try way too hard to sound like The Beatles. Honest mistake. Oasis are still doing it (and failing miserably)....
Reader Comments

bleharj@erols.com (Jeff Blehar)
First of all, I'm afraid I'm going to sacrifice all musical credibility I might have ever had with anyone, but dammit, I liked these guys!

About Headquarters, it's important to know that they played EVERY instrument on the album. Yep. Every one. Disbelievers may scoff, but it's true. Well, alright, they didn't play the horns and strings, but are you REALLY going to hold that against them? (They DID score those instruments, however) And one interesting thing to note is that it turns out that the best songs on this album are the ones written by Monkees members! Ain't that a kicker?

Monkeefan99@aol.com (joey c.)
also------the bass was handled by the producer of the album-chip douglas,mr.tork played bass on a couple tracks....you just may be the one,i beleive was one of them

rgrimsley@gra.midco.net (Roger Grimsley)
I have an extensive music collection, and I still listen to the Monkees a lot! Their sound is great. “Early Morning Blues and Greens” is lovely and “Mr. Webster” still rings true. “Shades of Gray” is poignant. I don’t care how these guys came together, there musical product still brings good feelings every time I put them on.

wetpaint81@hotmail.com (Paul Venturi)
you ppl dont understand shit about this group the four of them actually fought for there rights to play music after this album and all the songs are good not just imn a beleievr or steppin stone but all of it you ppl lack so much knowledge of this group at all

blondechicksinger@hotmail.com (Music Lover)
This was the Monkees 3rd album and the first one for them to do "all by themselves" - that is, without the musical direction of Don Kirschner. And it's a darn good album, too! It makes me proud of the boys! (Grant it, it took them like, forever, to get all the tracks down, but that's OK. It's about the end result.)

Mike Nesmith really, really shines here. Both vocally and lyrically. I think it was because he was happy that The Monkees finally, after squabling and begging, had gotten the permission to control their own music.

"Shades of Grey" is such a beautiful and heart-wrenching ballad which makes you long for your childhood again. It actually sounds like some early Moody Blues songs. Very poignant and emotional.

"Early Morning Blues and Greens" is brilliant and Davy's voice is perfectly suited for it.

"For Pete's Sake" is one of the ultimate 60's songs every written. Peter had it goin' on, I tell you! Never tire of that song and I've heard it a kagillion times.

I bought the re-master to this a few years ago and it's got some extra tracks and outtakes. They do an impromptu version of "Peter Gunn" that's great. You could tell they were having fun.

It's a fun album that shows the talent of these 4 guys. If you don't buy any other Monkees studio album, get this one.

I give it a rating of 10!

Add your thoughts?

Live 1967 - Rhino 1987.
Rating = 7


All you freakers out there asking yourselves, "Could The Monkees actually play their instruments?," your answer is right here! And that answer??? Well, no, of course they couldn't. At least, not by 1967. They tried, though, and must be given credit for that. The formerly sparkly arpeggiated melodies have been reduced to not-quite-in-tune scruffy barre chords, the drum lines are, umm, "rudimentary," we'll say, and the bass lines seem to be simplified out the waz. Still, for the most part, this stuff sounds great - and completely different than it did in the studio versions (understandably, since The Monkees are essentially playing the role of a cover band here as they attempt to recreate hits they've never played before).

Well worth a listen - real raw and rockin' ("Mary Mary" in particular really comes to life on this recording, at least until it totally falls apart during the last sixty seconds, and the formerly abysmal ballad "I Wanna Be Free" is transformed into a delightful lounge romp thanks to Davy "Tom" Jones), even as inept as the guys seem at times. Say what you will, but The Monkees in 1967 played their instruments just as well as The Sex Pistols in 1977, and we all know how popular they are!!! Honestly, aside from "I'm A Believer" and "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," which are completely butchered by an overzealous young band who seem to expect the instruments to somehow play the melodies themselves, most of these tracks sound really good. The jokes, however, will suck your ass it smells.

Reader Comments

aswope@fuse.net (Bogus Andy)
About them not knowing how to play in 1967 Nesmith was playing guitar for years, he even released an album in like 1964 or early 1965, it was folk album, wrote every song and played on every song so yes he could play, Tork played in an early version of Buffalo Springfield (called something else though) before being a Monkee so yes he could play and Dolenz learned to play many instruments becaused it helped to get roles so yes he could play. Jones couldn't and didn't try to fool anyone about it he just sang their worst songs.

steve@audiomill.com (Steve Whitwill)
i know shit about this album, but placing a GG Allin reference in a Monkees review is just too tasty. go, mark!

virgip@cox.net
I responded earlier on another Monkees subject. as I said I have seen every one of these guys with the exception of Mike Nesmith play with their own bands in recent years . I have also spoken to them briefly after concerts. Every member of the Monkees is an accomplished musician -singer in his own right. Peter Tork years ago was a music teaching teaching guitar at a east coast university. So who with any knowledge of this is going to sit here and say these guys arent accomplished musicians ? Davy Jones may not play many instruments but has a beautiful voice. So what if they were originally a manufactured band? These guys probably laughed with their critics,all the way to the bank, to use a cliche'. Ive seen Peter Tork in recent years with his Shoe Suede Blues Band and this man is by no means a musical. imposter. Hes a wonderful guitarist. So is Dolenz , who i watched play Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" at a Monkees concert in Arlington , Texas in 1997. . Mike Nesmith is an accomplished musician and always has been. However, his inexcusably making fun of the Monkees teenybopper screaming fans (which i saw on a clip on VH1) makes him nothing short of an ingrate who doesnt deserve anyone buying. his records. The Beatles didnt seem to mind the screaming, so Nesmith should just be left alone to musical obscurity, far as Im concerned. (Though in know Nesmith certainly has made his mark.) Biting the hand that feeds you is never wise. im a Monkees fan but Nesmith is not a nice guy for degrading his fans

Matt Faris
With you on this one, as well. One day this album was sitting next to me unexpectedly, so I decided to give it a listen. I was shocked when I heard it. Not because The Monkees could or couldn't play their instruments, but just because of how pure rock it is. I appreciate a well polished and articulated live performance, and I love listening to music that has plenty of layers of studio arranged perfection, but it has such a strong sprit to it, and to me personally, the playing on this album, like much of The Flaming Lips' work (especially the early stuff), shows that what some may considered flawed can be to others something that is exactly the way it should be.

Add your thoughts?

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. - Colgems 1967.
Rating = 9


Bullshit entertainment doesn't get much better than this! Screw Monkee input - Nesmith contributes a ridiculous "psychedelic" song and a wonderful lounge pop number, but the other guys don't do jack! Just oodles and oodles of fantastic tracks contributed by outside writers. You've probably only ever heard "Pleasant Valley Sunday," but you need to hear the rest. More Beatle guitar rock, moog pop, country, tapdance shimmy - hooahh! Even the Davy stuff is great! No ballads from Mr. Jones! Well..."Hard To Believe" is kind of like a ballad, but it's so goldanged snappy and Tom Jonesy, only a nogoodnick would stick it in the same category as tripe like "I Wanna Be Free" and "The Day We Fall In Love" from the first two records. What a great record. Buy it a lot! If it had "Last Train To Clarksville," it'd be darn near perfect!

Reader Comments

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Yessir. Really impressive songs here...especially the Nesmith contributions...infectious, and so many hooks!..."Star Collector" is a great bubblegummy ditty...and Davey actually delivers vocally...but Mike...wow...really strong showing here...hold your head up proudly and buy this album...

LSDiety@aol.com
Great cd! Will definitely make "a believer" out of anyone that thought this band was as untalented as it was artificial. By the way, Nesmith's "silly psychedelic song" (or whatever you called it) "Daily Nightly" is the best thing the Monkees ever did, and "The Door Into Summer" is close behind.

btarcza@ix.netcom.com (Barb)
A little history note: The Monkees were the first pop/rock band ever to use a moog synthisizer. There were only two others in existence at the time this album was recorded.

kicks@kicks106.com (Dave Bartley)
THIS IS MY FAVORITE MONKEE ALBUM ! I LOVE THE NESMITH STUFF AND YES DAILY NIGHTLY HAS GREAT MOOG SYNTH ON IT AS DOES STAR COLLECTOR . PLUS ALMOST EVERY CUT WAS FEATURED IN MANY EPISODES .

huckcherry@hotmail.com (Xavier Fabriano)
I'm not a big Monkees fan, but "Star Collector" has got to be one of the best groupie put-downs before "Living Loving Maid"!

Monkeefan99@aol.com (joey c.)
the intro to love is only sleeping is a 6 string -semi-acustic guitar,with the bottom Estring tuned down to a D

pfflam@mac.com
Great songs on this album . . . when I'm not listening to Boris or Phil Niblock or something more 'serious', then I'm probably listening to Star Collector over and over, and really loudly!

Add your thoughts?

The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees - Colgems 1968.
Rating = 8


Having fought valiantly for the chance to prove that they were a 'real band,' The Monkees herein decided "Fuck it" and never recorded together again (until Justus of course, which hardly counts). Although Nesmith's creativity is at an all-time high here, with the scratchy C/W flapper anthem "Magnolia Simms" and semi-psychedelic pop gleamers "Auntie's Municipal Court," "Tapioca Tundra," and "Writing Wrongs" (all fabulous songs!), the outside writers really let 'em down on this one! Davy's back to crappy generic ballads ("Dream World," "We Were Made For Each Other"), and the rockers sound like cheap imitations of the effortless rockers of old ("I'll Be Back Up On My Feet," "P.O. Box 9847," and the miserable "Valleri," which Nesmith reportedly called "the worst single I have ever heard in my life"). Still, there's no denying the magic of "Daydream Believer" or the somehow actually realistic bitterness of the anti-war "Zor And Zam."

The good songs are similar to the Lord our saviour, and the weaker songs aren't so much bad as just disappointing after their last record, so I can give it an 8 without feeling tremendously guilty. You'll probably like it fine. That Mike could write!

Reader Comments

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
"Zor And Zam" put a grin on my face...Grace Slick-y vocals, martial-type beat...pretty cool though...could have been miserable...and again, Nesmith's c&w stuff is suprisingly good...I never was a big fan of the psychodelic trippy thing, but the simians pull it off with a minimum of self-embarrassment..."Daydream Believer" boosts the album too--what a great single...!

JakeDave@webtv.net (Anne Riordan)
I don't think Nesmith's songs on The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees are as uniformly good as you do, but at least he was trying to contribute substantially to the Monkee "oeuvre". I think "I'll Be Back Upon My Feet" is actually one of their best songs, though its earlier version which appears on the TV show is probably better and less contrived than that on TBTBTM.

brain_of_j@hotmail.com (Tommy Joyce)
Oh, come on, Mark! Put some sense in these ratings! I don't even know how many god-awesome albums you have rated 8 and you rate bloody Monkees 8? Do you understand how you degrade all those other albums by doing this? But the worst thing is that you rate Pearl Jam's Yield the same as this, but for Monkees you even rate some records on 9 and 10(! - is that as good as The White Album then, yes?), while Pearl Jam you don't rate any higher! Do you REALLY think that the Monkees are a better band than Pearl Jam?

aiden@ndirect.co.uk
With regard to Mr Joyce's comment above, I'm not entirely sure what his point is. I don't agree with every line of your reviews, but I respect your right to an opinion. Mr Joyce, There is no law that says serious musos must prefer Pearl Jam to The Monkees. My band appears on Yamaha's Best Of British Unsigned Band CD, and I think that, (the first 2 dire albums aside, which they had nothing to do with) the Monkees were more creative, artistically valid and just plain better than Pearl Jam. I respect your right to the contrary opinion but please don't expect everyone to agree. The fish and the tambourine, are not really alike a fish swims and is wet, a tambourine shakes and is dry.

pfaigan@zfree.co.nz (D.Zarakov)
OF COURSE the Monkees are better than Pearl Jam. Christ, what isn't???

mr.qwerty@bigfoot.com
Response to Tommy Joyce's comments

Irony: The Monkees are rightly revered as an awesome seminal band from Pop's Golden Age. Pearl Jam are a bunch of 10th rate sub-Led Zep strutting musos from pop's embarrassing flabby middle age. Their name is seminal but there the analogy ends.

nancy@classicengineering.com (Nancy Zwyghuizen)
I just totally agree with D. Zarakov - who isn't better than pearl jam? the monkees are great!!!!

astika@trancetrip.com (Olivia)
I'm glad someone else finally appreciates the Mike songs on this album. Most Monkees fans totally hate Writing Wrongs (because Monkees fans suck) but it happens to be one of my favorite Monkees songs (because I'm just cool like that).

TheRubberCow@aol.com
wow, I'm one of those sucky Monkees fans, too? Actually, I thought I was the only Monkees fan. But I don't care for "Writing Wrongs" much. I guess if I heard it in the right mood, it might hit me, but it just seems drag too much...and I hardly ever accuse of that! But anyway, I don't think this is one of the good Monkees albums. It does have some good stuff here and there, like, "Valleri" and "Daydream", not the mention the excellent "Zor and Zam" (boy those horns really sound good when Mickey says "war"!) But there is more crap on this album than their other ones, like "P.O. Box 9847" (despite the great "I'm not liking what I'm writing" parts) and "The Poster." I actually don't mind the first few Jones songs as much. But even the ok songs are not as good as the ok songs on the other albums. Mike's songs here are ok, but after hearing people praise them so much, and then actually hearing them, I was dissapointed. And I think "I'll Be Back..." is just ok. Maybe there's just too much orchestra (actually, you know there is orch. on every single track.) If the sound was different, the album might not have as much ennui. But, don't let me stop you others from liking it. Enjoy anyway! They need it.

unborn_umbrella_birds@yahoo.com (Jason Hernandez)
I love the song "Writing Wrongs". I think it's the best thing on the album and maybe one of my favorite songs ever. Top 500, at least. And maybe I just have no taste whatsoever, but I don't find "Valleri" that offensively bad. It's color-by-numbers psych-pop 1968 and not a highlight of the album, but I'd rather hear it than "Magnolia Simms" (which goes on too long) and "PO Box 9847".

This is an often underrated album. Davy's ballads are underrated, too. With more interesting production, "Dream World" would probably have more fans.

jcjh20@hotmail.com (Joe)
Why's everyone shit on "PO Box 9847"? That one's awesome! My favorite song on the album, besides "Daydream Believer", which is a heavenly pop song filled with beauty. "PO Box..." i think is a great quirky little psych number, with really cool things like a marxaphone solo, creepy sounding strings, and a really cool tack piano. Not to mention like 3 different great melodys. The rest of the songs aren't as good, but other highlights are "Zor And Zam", which totally sounds very much like the Jefferson Airplane (not that i'm that much of a fan, but they do a great imitation), "Valleri" which everyone also shits on, but i don't see that... it's just an inoffensive early-Beach Boysy type pop song. Catchy as a shim too, so whats wrong with that? "Tapioca Tundra", "I'll Be Back Up On My Feet" and a few others are good, but those Davy Jones songs are a little bit too over-the-top for my tastes, and i usually can enjoy that stuff (like Neil Sedaka!). I'd probably give it a 7, overall. The Monkees had some awesome songs sometimes, but most of their albums have too many tracks that just don't compare to the best, this one included.

Hister333@aol.com
You didn't like Valleri? That's my FAVORITE Monkees song, and the only Davey Jones song I like. I haven't heard the "Missing Links" version, but I hear it's the same one that was used on the TV show, and it's a lot more stripped down. I was gonna attack Tommy Joyce's asinine question, but it looks like plenty of people got there first...Um...one last thing. You never gave the Raiders' any credit on this page for the extent that the Monkees ripped them off. You GOTTA see the episode of Happening '70 where the Raiders have the Monkees as special guests. Smooches.

TheDrOldsmobile@aol.com
Im a Monkees fans but also a musical purist. That being said Headquarters and Pisces are the best two Monkees albums and are very creditable musically. As far as The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees go, this is the first album where the Monkees revert to basically solo artist under the heading of the Monkees. So basically you have the two singer /actors Micky and Davy as solo artist backed by session musicians. So Monkees musical creditability takes a hit on this album with the Davy and Micky songs so this album doesnt have the musical strength and sincerity as Headquarters and Pisces. But what about the two musicians? The biggest tragedy of this album besides the Monkees reverting to solo artist is that Peter Tork is entirely overlooked as his then currently available songs are passed over by musical supervisor Lester Sill. He plays piano on Daydream Believer but this track is leftover from the Pisces album. Even the CD bonus tracks only yield one song-Ladys Baby. Mathmatically there should have been three songs each by the now four solo artists performing as the Monkees to equal the sum of 12 for a Monkees album. So as far as Monkees musical creditability is concerned, Nesmith is left to shoulder this burden. Mike is credited with: guitar, organ, and percussion on his tracks according to Andrew Sandoval's new book entitled- The Monkees- A Day By Day Story of 60s TV Pop Sensation. Nesmith saves this album from sucking. His songs are poems put to music like Daily Nightly from the previous Pisces album. If music is not important to you as a Monkee fan then it is easy to pass up Writing Wrongs. Writing Wrongs, Magnolia Simms, Tapioca Tundra, and Aunties Municipal Court are all masterpieces. Auntie's Municipal Court is the only new Monkees song to feature more than one Monkee as Mike elects Micky to sing the song. This song also features Nesmith's wife on backing vocals . Nesmith's songs save this album from falling back to strictly the session prepared pop prevalent on the first two Monkees albums.

Other problems that plague this album that are musically unrelated are the legends that the corporate executives put the album together as at this time the Monkees were engrossed in filming their upcoming feature film eventually entitled Head. The title of the album and the front album cover is sappy. It was pieced together from photos from the episode entitled Hitting the High Seas. It has also been said that even a Screen Gems executive actually placed his photo on the album cover under one of the flowers. Nevertheless, as I said Nesmith saves this album. This album is in no way what Headquarters and Pisces were but the most creative Nesmith offerings found their way onto this album. Many more Nesmith songs did not surface for twenty or thirty years until Rhino released the Missing Links in three volumes at a glacial pace. Ah Rhino records- the salvation of the Monkees fan. Legend also has it the Monkees creators Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, while working on a project, came to Columbia pictures in the early to mid 80s to get outtake footage of their 1969 film Easy Rider only to find that Columbia had destroyed the footage. RAYBERT sued Columbia Pictures and were awarded all Monkees music and video. RAYBERT subsequently sold this treasure to Rhino Records. At which time Rhino Monkee repackages began to appear in the mid 80s in the form of vinyl and cassette tapes as well as the VHS copy of the Monkees feature film Head originally priced at 69.95!

Have I mentioned that Nesmith saved the Birds and the Bees from sucking?

virgip@cox.net
Hey! i liked the song "Valleri." Many other people obviously also did, because it was a hit. Of course i certainly do agree sometimes absolutely miserable songs make big hits. Songs like the 1970s era "Billy Dont Be a Hero" by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods prove this, as do numerous songs from the disco era such as "Funkytown" by Lipps Inc. In my personal opinion, though not a rock masterpeice, "Valleri" was far from being a miserable song. As far as Mike Nemiths opinion goes, this guy was also seen on TV in an old interview making fun of his teenybopper fans who screamed over the Monkees and bought the Monkees millions of records. In case the ungrateful Nesmith forgets, these fans were the basic reason these guys had the money and fame they had. So to heck with the ungrateful Mike Nesmith, his so called "inventing music video and vhI", Liquid Paper and all. Nesmith also supposedly made Carole King cry when he made fun of her early songs to her face. King is an enormous songwriting talent with many more hits to her credit as a performer and songwriter than Nesmith will probably ever have. So to heck with Mike Nesmiths opinion. Nesmith also once said the Monkees had just a couple of decent hit songs which I totally dosagee with. THey had several wonderful pop hits which once again, may not be pop masterpeices but are certainly enjoyable or not horrible to listen to. And I have seen each one of the Monkees except for Mike Nesmith in concert in recent years with their own bands. Every one of these guys are accomplished singers and musicians in thier own right. Im a Monkee fan but I am sorry, Mike Nesmith can be a very rude, pompous , ungrateful human being,-Thanks, Virginia, Texas

Add your thoughts?

Head - Colgems 1968.
Rating = 8


The soundtrack to The Monkees' quirky acid-washed moving picture (co-written by Jack Nicholson???), this is kinda short and mostly song-free (there are only six actual melodies), but thoroughly enjoyable in spite of its brevity. Goofy soundbites and orchestra music from the movie separate the songs and give the whole thing a joyful circusy feel that keeps the doldrums at bay. And the songs, you ask? Nesmith's "Circle Sky" kicks moose, Tork's tracks are okay, and Goffin/King's "Porpoise Song" is the best Pink Floyd rip-off you'll ever hear. Basically, a short fun one. Like Scott Baio.

Reader Comments

sandauer@earthlink.net (Nadine Sandauer)
I basically agreed with everything you wrote about the Monkee LPs, except that Tork's songs on Head were more than ok... they were the driving force behind the lp and the movie, but that's just my opinion!

Steven64@phoenixat.com
A deejay I knew in New York City played this album one night and it totally blew me away. I didn't understand at first how they could've been a manufactured image when they sang so well. But they fought hard to be a real band which I believe is all that mattered in the end. As Mike Nesmith pointed out recently that there is no way in the world anyone could have seen the impact they made on the kids back then. Thank God they are still around to talk about it.

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Yr right, Mark, PAC&J LTD. is their best LP. But my pick is "Love is Only Sleeping" -- great bass line (or whatever that is that leads off & keeps repeating), and the whole thing just falls 2gether perfectly at the end -- 4 stars.

"Daily Nightly" is also a hoot, not 2 mention "Words," "Cuddly Toy, "Door Into Summer," "What Am I Doin Hangin Round"....

I'm a late convert 2 "Pleasant Valley Sunday," but now don't C how I could have resisted 4 YEARS something that turns in2 such great chaotic noise at the end....

Actually, these guys did lotsa great songs, & U hit most of em in yr reviews. I'm a sucker 4 "Take A Giant Step" on the 1st album, "Auntie Grizelda," practically ALL of Nesmith's stuff, especially "Papa Gene's Blues," "Sweet Young Thing," "Listen to the Band," "Tapioca Tundra," "Sunny Girlfriend," "The Kind of Girl I Could Love"... somebody stop me .... Also like "No Time," "Band 6," "Zilch," "Shades of Gray," "I'll Be Back On My Feet,"....

& their stuff after PISCES, AQUARIUS is cool in places, 2. HEAD's really underrated -- "Porpoise Song" is brilliant, "Can You Dig It" is cool, "War Chant" is good cheap laffs -- but my fave is "As We Go Along" -- Mickey sounds so HAPPY!

...With The Monkees tackled, I trust that U will continue yr quest 4 the best in bullshit Ntertainment, get off yr Bhind & review the first 3 ABSOLUTELY CLASSIC Partridge Family albums at some time in the not-2-distant future...?

tomb@cadvision.com (Tom Bagley)
"Circle Sky" does indeed kick moose, esp. in the flick, where the song ends with the screaming chickies ripping apart the band!

dolores@whaven.freeserve.co.uk (John Coan)
Hey hey hey! What about 'Daddy's Song'?? A Nilsson classic, the best song on here, and the best cod-Broadway pop song ever. Soooo good, it can make grannies drop their walking-sticks and dance like a happy Ian Curtis. When he was alive. But he's dead, thank God....

This album has only 6 songs but they are all splendid. This is the one to buy, and now it's beautiful remastered by those very nice Rhino people. So...cut through the crap...get this.

Will you please censor/screen the nonsense posts you get from illiterate eejits, Mr. Prindle's pal? We don't need drivelling cunts molesting us folk with good taste. We don't need lobotomised Nirvana fans taking up our time with half-baked loony bullshit. We don't need fuckwit pseuds arsing on about Sonic fucking Youth. Get to fuck......

misterkite@mindspring.com (Adam Bruneau)
Without a doubt this is one of the most important releases of modern pop music of all time. It's the shuddering, extremely odd sound of pop music tearing itself to pieces in confused anger. The sound of a robot being woken up, finding that it's a robot, trying desperately to be human, and eventually trying so hard that it tears itself to pieces. I know that last metaphor about robots is kind of cliche, especially when discussing The Monkees and their situation, but I really meant for it to be more literal and surreal than that....

To begin with, this is not an album that you can simply download from Napster and burn to a CDr. You have to BUY this album, it's all a part of the process. It's essential to the understanding of the album&video package. You see, Head DOES make for a great artistic comment on pop culture but ironically it's pretty much completely the opposite of how The Monkees want it to be. The Monkees weren't a 'fake band'....they were merely driven insane by having this stupid notion pounded into their brains by hippies, with-it college students, music critics, etc. They were simply musicians, going to work daily, getting paid to sing songs and portray a happpy-go-lucky image. They live in a CAPITALIST WORLD and were MAKING A LIVING doing things that were fun and entertaining to millions. Sure they didn't write they're own songs, but does that really matter? Were they physically hurting people by not writing their music? By not playing their music? Sadly enough, the hippie mantra "be true to yourself" (actually, "be one of us") drove them to try and be a 'real band', a move which this album&video package were the climax of. Extremely admirable, yet in a way misled....The result of it all, while not quite in line with the original intent, is just as interesting.

Perhaps it's a shame that all of this idealism drove them to this, a very sloppy explosion of the LSD-shattered psyche. The very idea of a movie co-written with Jack Nicholson during an acid-fueled weekend and featuring cameos from Dennis Hopper, Frank Zappa, and Toni Basil (the woman that would later record the classic pop song "Mickey"!) is just absurd. The album is similarly absurd....a few cool songs strung together by an amateur sound collage of dialog from the film (as edited together by Nicholson!) in an attempt to sound 'real'. And do you want to know the really funny thing about it all? It all has a very fake tint to it, even when the band is actually singing 'subversive' lyrics like "We're a manufactured band"....and that's what makes it seem so surreal and strange. Not the fact that this is a fake band trying to sound real. But that this is in actuality a fake band trying to sound real but sounding fake at the same time because THAT's WHO THEY WERE! And at times things sound so fakely real that it could almost be made out as a series of parodies, each inside the other one. Are The Monkees making fun of the plastic, manufactured version of The Monkees, or are they making fun of the idea of a real Monkees?

I think that the former is the intent of the Head main product, but the latter is what it comes across as....The Monkees, trying to be a 'real' Monkees, and in the process being exactly that: The REAL Monkees. Which happen to be The FAKE Monkees as well. (Sigh)....It's definitely confusing, but I think the whole thing is so full of interesting moments that it could be a terrific conversation piece if you have any artsy friends. The album itself is not that amazing, but if the idea of it tickles your sense of the absurd, the plastic, and the playfully ironic, you're in for the treat of a lifetime.....

billsangry@aol.com
The most underrated psychedelic album of all time. Seriously....

rolando.aponte@exxonmobil.com
To all the pseudo-intelectuals who think that bashing The Monkees is a "tour-de-force" and praising Nirvana is cool..... the Monkees had more talent, creativity and inspiration than most of today's garbage groups. There is nothing wrong with melodies and musical hooks and a little bit of bubblegum... If you enjoy admit it and don't feel ashamed!!!!

7headedchicken@gmail.com
Just thought I'd pick the day that you were planning on jumping in a time machine and travelling back to 1968 to see the first screening of this movie to comment on your review of the soundtrack. I like the Goffin/King "Porpoise Song", of course, but what really stands out to me is the other King contribution, "As We Go Along." It's such a beatiful song, and very Carol King. And I love the part that coincides with it in the movie. And what other Monkees song besides "Love Is Only Sleeping" is in an odd time signature? And isn't Peter Tork a great songwriter? I know you said that his songs here are just ok, but I think things like "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" are way overlooked psychedelic classics from the 60's [just listen to that guitar break in 3/4 (or 6/8?) in the middle] and I'm sad to believe that he didn't get more chances at writing and realising music in and out of the Monkees.

Add your thoughts?

33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee - Zilch Records.
Rating = 7

Another asinine Monkees release. This is a bootleg recording of their ill-fated TV reunion special, which aired about a year after the show was taken off the air. Nobody watched it, nobody cared, it stunk.

What? Oop! Pardon my philanthropy. I never saw the special, but now I've heard it, because as far as I can tell, this shittyass tinny mono recording is the result of somebody just holding their crappyass tape recorder up to their poopyass TV speaker while the turdyass movie played on a dookyeyass tape in the lovefudgeyass VCR (beta or VHS? I fear deep in my heart that we'll never know for sure - and this harms me both mentally and physically).

So it's a bunch of nonsense about the Monkees being a prefabricated band (wasn't that theme already covered in HEAD?) and then there are some covers of early rock and roll songs, a pointless "blues" version of "I'm A Believer" by Mr. Soul himself Mick Dolenz, an endless psychedelic version of "Listen To The Band," and some drug-influenced dialogue here and there. If you're a big Monkee fan like me, you should try to hunt this down because if nothing else, it makes for a spirited and funny listen. If you don't like the Monkees, be sure and find this and buy it no matter what the cost because it's going to make you the biggest Ted Nugent fan in the univert.

Reader Comments

ikemc@earthlink.net (Ike McFadden)
Quite like your site, just wanted to add my two cents regarding 33 1/3rd.

To start with, if you haven't seen the special -- you really are doing a bit of a diservice in terms of reviewing it. If every any band in history shouldn't have their music divorced from the moving image, it is the Monkees. In my opinion, 33 1/3rd is one of the most groundbreaking counter-cultural items every aired on national television. It is hampered severely by a low budget, a nonunion crew, and poor production quality, but the ideas being portrayed are unlike anything else that has been seen on primetime before or since. The show is largely a swipe at commercial capitalist culture and a criticism of how media is used to manipulate the masses. Try finding any of those messages on a recent episode of "Friends".

As well, the scene where atonal music is coupled with experimental dancers is as close to 'video art' as has ever been aired on mainstream television.

I agree that some of the music is a bit tiresome in places. However, there are a number of highlights:

1) Micky's 'gospelized' version of "I'm a believer". Brilliant reworking of a classic with an impassioned duet delivery and monstrously creative keyboards.

2) Mike's "Only Thing I Believe". A wonderfully self-critical analysis of being a fabricated media creation and his moral unease at using his musical skills to sell pants and toothpaste to pre-teens.

3) The 50's icon medley. On one stage, we have the Monkees, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino and Little Richard interwoven with a black southern folk gospel choir. Rarely have I ever seen such a mult-generational and multi-ethnic performance all in one.

Certainly, the group's reach exceeded it's grasp in this particular project. However, 33 1/3rd remains one of the most unique, absurd, thoughtful, insane and truly unusual productions in television history.

Again, thanks for your enjoyable site.

Monkeefan99@aol.com (joey c.)
couldnt agree more with your comments ike, very well put ,id just like to add one thing to it though,to me,the final scene of the monkees performing listen to the band was the best group perfomance of the monkees ,in my opinion it is the highlight of the special-untill it is ruined by the other "hip "musicians who join in during the song,its preceeded by peter playing a bach peice on a vox organ-then followed by micky on drums pete on keys mike singing and playing guitar and davy banging away on tamborine,anyway when mike sings....."play the drum a little bit louder...."micky comes in right on que ---pete fills it out quite nicely on keys too i might add... their best live perfomance as a quartet without question-but then why should anyone listen to me since i know nothing

Tom.Czarnota@business.nsw.gov.au
This was like Rowan and Martin's Laugh In on acid. Very much a period piece and something that slipped under the watchful eye of the TV executives of the day. Today you'd never get away with it on network television.

Add your thoughts?

Monkee Business - Rhino 1982.
Rating = 8


A PIC DISC!

A MOTHERFUCKING PIC DISC!

A MOTHERFUCKING COCKSUCKING PIC DISC!

A MOTHERFUCKING COCKSUCKING CLAMLAPPING PIC DISC!

A MOTHERFUCKING COCKSUCKING CLAMLAPPING BUTTSCREWING PIC DISC!

A MOTHERFUCKING COCKSUCKING CLAMLAPPING BUTTSCREWING BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN PIC DISC!

And it's got some rarities like the Italian version of their theme song and something called "Steam Engine" and something called "It's Nice To Be With You" and something called "Love To Love" and some other stuff you've heard, but in their singles version and whatnot and also a few that are pulled straight from Pisces for what seems like no reason whatsoever is what this is.

AND IT'S A PIC DISC!

A MOTHER...

100 GOTO 10

Add your thoughts?

Instant Replay - Colgems 1969.
Rating = 6


Not that Peter Tork was the mastermind or anything, but Head was the last honestly recommendable Monkees album, and also the last one he was on. This one is made up of old and new songs sung by the other three. Again, Nesmith's two compositions are beautifully heartfelt C/W, but, for the most part, the outside writers really stank up the work bench drawer this go-round. The Monkees were on their way out (their show was off the air; their TV-movie flopped miserably) - maybe the writers just didn't care anymore?

Whatever the reason, aside from Nesmith's two, a complete "Last Train To Clarksville" retread called "Teardrop City," an Association-esque harmony love rocker called "I Won't Be The Same Without Her," and a circusy treat entitled "Through The Looking Glass," what we've got here is a bunch of horridly sappy Davy Jones ballads and weak Sgt. Pepper's rip-offs. What happened to the guitar rock of old, dammit???? Mellow muthafuqs....

Reader Comments

7headedchicken@gmail.com
High, I just noticed that not one soul has commented yet on your review of Instant Replay, so while I don't actually own this one anymore, along with all my albums and other worldly belongings of old (fate is unkind, sometimes), I remember a very good song being on there called "You and I", if I remember correctly. And it was co-written by Davy Jones with someone else, or maybe even written by him alone, if I remember correctly. Well, I really liked (and probably still would, if I remember correctly) the lyrics to that song a lot, as well as the guitar arrangement. I'm thinking the rest of the album is what you said it was, if I remember correctly, but enough of this crap...I'm going to read on and maybe contribute something more intelligent than this to your site at some point in the future, if I remember correctly.

Add your thoughts?

Present - Colgems 1969.
Rating = 4


Weak. Mike's got a couple more winners here, including the super-catchy "Listen To The Band," but he's also leaning a little TOO far towards the country/western side of things with a really boring shenanigan called "Never Tell A Woman Yes," and an undelightfully jaunty cover tune called "Oklahoma Backroom Dancer." Davy still rips the tears out of your head with "If I Knew," but he also dips into the hellish doldrums of art rock dentist muzak with "French Song." And Micky? Oh, Micky. The catchy ballad shuffle, "Little Girl," somehow pulls it off, but the dippy children's music that comprises the remainder of his input here would have been better off left in the poopdish. To top off the whole package, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart contribute two of the lamest songs I've ever heard in my many a fine day on God's Green America. So, essentially, there are only four good songs on the whole record. And that's no good!
Reader Comments

sc.j.webb@reading.ac.uk (Clive Webb)
I think Present is a rather more accomplished album than you suggest. Admittedly there are few standout tracks, but nonetheless it is more than the sum of its parts. The one truly wretched track is "Ladies Aid Society." Since the band had full artistic control over this album, it is surprising that the song was included. The Davy Jones song "Smile", recorded around this time, is a much better track.

openmindedonly@mail.com (Darren Finizio)
god are you wrong about this album,this is a bona-fide tour de force!...listen again,take a hot bath on a saturday afternoonb when its sunny outside and crank...this is every bit as accomplished as the beatles "abbey road" from what i can hear...i held off for a long time on this one but when i bought it i was gloriously stunned...this lp,pisces,headquarters and missing links vol. 2 are perfect through and through..the rest i have no qualms with except for daveys stuff which is as good as hermans hermits.

Add your thoughts?

* 20 Smash Hits - Platinum ??.*
Rating = 10


If you're in the market for B.S., you'd might as well just grab a compilation. You're not really missing out any artistic full-length aspirations or anything. I'm not sure what the other compilations are like, but this German one has all the hits, plus the previously singles-only tracks "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and "Someday Man," both of which you need!!!!! One complaint: they could have replaced "I Wanna Be Free" with "Porpoise Song" and had themselves both a more comprehensive collection (there's nothing from Head on here! Changes, either, but that wasn't really The Monkees anyway, so we'll let that one slide.) and a more perfect one ("I Wanna Be Free" is both lousy and offensive!). But otherwise, the hits just don't stop a-coming!

Go get a Monkees compilation tonight. I'm not sure about that Then And Now one, 'cause it's got a few '80s tracks that might not be worth your while, but just make sure that the one you're buying has "Last Train To Clarksville" on it and your joy will last all night. And the next night. And the night after that. And the following day. Huh-huhhh! Look at me! I'm a piece of shit battery commercial!!! You'll just love those crazy Monkees.

Unless you hate them.

Reader Comments

s71naylo@rbuhsd.k12.ca.us (Lori and Becky)
Well, since you only like Mike (God of country?!?) and "Last Train To Clarksville," how can you can yourself a Monkee fan? What's wrong with Davy songs? What's wrong with his tambourine playing, for that matter? AND WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU GOT AGAINST "GONNA BUY ME A DOG"? Just wondering.

P.S. What was with that strange reference to Scott Baio anyway?

dbarley@rci.rogers.com (David Bailey)
I have to agree with many of your comments. Nesmith is a very talented guy. I would say Tork's tracks on Head are very good rather than OK. Jones' "You And I" is a good guitar rocker on Instant Replay. I'm surprised you like "Hard to Believe." Most of the people I know would have dropped it and replaced it with "Goin' Down." There is one good track on Changes, that being "Oh My My." It's a good track. The rest of the album is kind of sad. You didn't mention "Mary Mary" or "The Kind Of Girl I Could Love," the two Nesmith tracks on More Of The Monkees. I thought both of these tracks were first-rate. All in all some very interesting comments, good stuff.

laura@gseal.mdn.com (Galen Clavio)
Why did Nesmith quit the band? Because his mother invented white-out.

enik@mail.del.net (Nik Everett)
Good reviews in general of the Monkees catalog. A very underrated band, some really great classic pop. Also, Mike Nesmith has never really gotten the credit he deserves for being an early pioneer of country rock. If you can find it, look for the out-of-print Best of Mike Nesmith-The Early Stuff on Rhino, really great.

jason_a@earthlink.net (Jason Adams)
Dear lord, "I Wanna Be Free" and "Shades Of Gray" are cringe-inducing. Sounds like the sort of things that would be filler tracks on a modern boy band album. Those are the only bad ones, however. The rest is delightful bubblegum bliss.

Add your thoughts?

Changes - Colgems 1970.
Rating = 6


Hey, here's something stupid! Mike Nesmith (who, rumor has it, is a domineering asshole when it comes to The Monkees, but hey, that's all liquid under the paper now, huh?) quit the band shortly after Present to pursue a solo career and, for no good reason whatsoever, Mickey and Davy continued to call themselves "The Monkees," even though they had nothing at all to say, the two of them being pretty much just actors with no real musical vision to speak of. So what happened? Well, once they agreed to hand over the bulk of the songwriting responsibilities to outside writers (especially producer Jeff Barry, who co-wrote more than half of the tracks on here), they got BETTER!!!

Well, not better, maybe, but certainly less irritating. There, I said it! Not only are most of the tracks (especially the Monkee-penned tunes) on Present poorly written; they're also extremely annoying to listen to! Dumb voices and cutesy-ass children's music does not make an enjoyable listening experience make. These Changes tunes are basic little pop ditties, though! The sort of harmless fluff that you could imagine Dave and Mick performing in Vegas while decked out in sequined suits and half-naked prostitutes. No artistic aspirations at all, thank god, but just a bunch of simplistic little pop tunes for you and yours. And, sure, only a couple of them really stick in your head for more than two and a half minutes at a stretch (I pretty much love "Ticket On A Ferry Ride," "Tell Me Love" and "All Alone In The Dark," but you're free to have your opinions on these sorts of matters), but not a one of the tracks out and out SUCK like "Ladies Aid Society" and "Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye" (although the sole Monkee-penned original, "Midnight Train," is certainly no walk through the backyard).

So there - Mike and Pete were probably rolling in the graves of their careers when they heard these mindless little numbers, but who cares about them, eh??? Open your heart, have a good time, and just sorta be willing to admit that this album really should have been credited to "Davey, Mickey, and friends."

After Changes, The Monkees retired until about 1987 or so (unless you count that Dolenz, Jones, Boyce And Hart fiasco!), when they reunited with Peter Tork for a catchy single called "That Was Then, This Is Now," followed by a total piece of swill called Pool It!, which you'll read about in a few minutes probably.

Reader Comments

pedroandino@msn.com
now this is a letdown! this maybe a lot of fun but it is more like a nightmare! but hey this is sweet, dippy, sugary, tasty bubblegum pop that you may picture scooby doo and the gang in the mystery machine or at the malt shop! these guys are like a duo. i can picture them in the las vegas stripshow! cool psychedelic colors! cocktail music! sweet sexy girls in beehives and miniskirts doin' the twist! these guys must have been watching too much star trek and the jetsons! and having too much dental floss! they were screaming in the nightmare zone! the were crying like little bitches in the phantom zone! but hey maybe i'm too harsh but i don't like this album!

(a few months later)

GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS THE WORST MONKEES ALBUM I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS AND POOOP IT ARE THE WORST SHIIITY FECES FILLED MONSTROCITIES EVER! OOOH LIKE THE SHITTY KISS ALBUM UNMASKED, IT HAS STUPID BUBBLEGUM SONGS THE BANANA SPLITS WILL NOT PLAY! ALL ALONE IN THE DARK! BOO HOO MUTHAFUCKA! TICKET ON A FERRY RIDE! BYE BYE BABY BYE BYE UGH! JUST LIKE MAKE EM SAY UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! NANANANA!

Tdellman@aol.com
I am 50 yers old and I have been listening to the Monkees' music since 1966. There is not much of their music I don't have. I like most of the songs on Changes. 99 Pounds gives me chills when I listen to it , and it excites me like Valeri did.I felt like I was hearing them again for the first time. I love the song I Never Thought It Peculier, that song is classic Monkees material and of course the song was written by Boyce & Hart.

Add your thoughts?

Missing Links - Rhino 1987.
Rating = 8


This compilation of previously unreleased tracks brings up two key questions: (1) Why the hey did they release Present when they had this great stuff sitting in the attic? and (2) How the heck did Mike Nesmith get songwriting credit for "You Just May Be The One," when it's a complete rip-off of "I Don't Think You Know Me," credited here to Goffin/King? I suppose I'll just have to leave my Mike Plagiarism fears at the door and concentrate instead on what a great set of outtakes you could own if you purchased this delightful Rhino LP.

So what's on here, hey? Well, there are two amazingly beautiful country ballads by Mr. Nesmith (or whoever the bastard stole them from), three adorable happy rants co-written and voxed by Mr. Davy (one of which, the protest track "War Games," might be the best song he's ever helped write!), and a slew of other great to middlin' tracks contributed by outside composers (including "So Goes Love," which you may have heard by fellow '60s pop hounds The Turtles!). Yeah, some of the numbers ("Apples, Peaches, Bananas, And Pears" and "Teeny Tiny Gnome" come to mind) are DEFINITELY inferior tracks of the classic Monkee ilk, but they're not bad! None of these tracks, in fact, are bad! So again, why'd they release Present? Or should I just drop the subject?

Reader Comments

sc.j.webb@reading.ac.uk (Clive Webb)
"You Just May Be The One" was written either before or immediately after Nesmith joined the Monkees. This might argue against your accusation of plagiarism. Besides, it's a better song than "I Don't Think You Know Me."

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
The first Missing Links is worth getting. As is the second Missing Links, only less so than the first Missing Links. As for the third Missing Links, that is probably the best as it has acoustic versions of "Through the looking glass" and there are more songs. Its really good. But all are worth checking out. All the kings horses (by Nesmith) is so catchy that its amazing it didn't come out until ML2. Oh well. Then again, neither did All of your toys (from 1) which features all 4 Monkees singing. Go figure!

tater794@yahoo.com (JG)
I too, wondered the same thing. What the heck was "Present" all about when they had this stuff?!

This collection is classic Monkees De-luxe. "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears" is my guilty pleasure. I'd have this cranked up in my car, be-bopping along down the highway like the bubblegum doofus I was (and still am, at times....sshhh!)

"All of Your Toys" is so catchy with that cake-and-ice-cream-child's-birthday-party keyboard into! It makes you want to jump up, go out and eat a bunch of candy bars and sing and bop your head from side to side.

Though a bit too nasally, I just LUV Davy's voice in "So Goes Love"! Soooo goooeees luuuuuvvvvv...don't tryyyy to livve withoouuutut iiiiiit..... I mean, it's DAVY. He's too cute for anyone to worry about how he sings.

To tell the truth, when I got this on cassette way back in 1980-something, I listened to it more than I did the studio albums.

That is, until I got the box set.....

All in all, I give it an 8.

Tdellman@aol.com
I think if the song All of Your Toys had been released when it was supposed to have been, it would have been a big hit. I know it was with me. When I first heard it I played it for two weeks straight.

Add your thoughts?

Missing Links Volume Two - Rhino 1990.
Rating = 9


If anybody can give me a convincing reason why these outtakes collections should be better than the actual studio albums, I'm all ears. Dear goodness, this CD is awesome! Nineteen tunes, including never-before-released killer Nesmith tunes like "All The King's Horses" and a slew of awesome country originals, as well as far superior renditions of "Valleri," "Mr. Webster" and "Hold On Girl" and a bunch of just majorly cool songs you've never heard. Buy the daylights out of this one. Jeez, were they surrounded by some great songwriters! It's all stuff from '66 and '68 too, so never fear, Jeer.

Reader Comments

nicholas.foreman@amford.co.uk
Aruably better than anything they released after CAP and J. Worth it along for the swagger of Valeri and St Matthew

Add your thoughts?

Missing Links Volume 3 - Rhino 1996.
Rating = 7


Ok, so the well is starting to run dry. But there's still some great stuff on here! A couple more nice Mike country numbers, a few entertaining alternate mixes -- and "Penny Music," which is so annoying, it makes my girlfriend erupt into a profanity tantrum every time I play it. Some shit here and there, but hooee, how's about that Kellogg's Jingle?

Reader Comments

poorroyschieder@hotmail.com (Derek Nicholson)
I absolutely adore Angel band. One of the most beautiful gosel songs ever recorded by a non gospel artist. That Nez fella came up with some darn interesting ideas. His cover of How insensitive is not as satisfying as angel but a creepier country tune i have never heard. Check out William Shatners version of how insensitive. It will make yer day complete.

Add your thoughts?

20th Anniversary Tour - FSH 1986.
Rating = 7


This Monkees album was b

......

nnnnnnn

NNNNNNNNNNNN.... I CAN'T DO IT!!! I CAN'T GO ON LIVING THIS LIE!!!! THIS ISN'T A MONKEES ALBUM AT ALL!!!!! IT'S A "Davy Jones Micky Dolenz Peter Tork" ALBUM!!! HAVE MERCY ON ME!!! CAN YOU NOT FATHOM WHAT TORMENT IT HAS BEEN TO KEEP THIS DARK SECRET HIDDEN AWAY IN THE DEEPEST POCKETS OF MY (david) SOUL?!??!?!?!?!?

Well it sucked. But the album's not half-bad! That's why I gave it a 7, the exact middle number between 1 and 10. I'll grant you a few things - first of all three wishes, but only two can be George Bush dead - secondly I'll grant you that Micky Dolenz's voice has aged pretty poorly, by this point reduced to a nasally smarmy imitation of its former rock and roll hedonistic sex glory. But the same thing happened to Burton Cummings, so believe me, even the Earth's most superior beings are no match for the ravages of AIDS. Thirdly, I'll grant you lissy sess.

HAHAHAHAH!!!! DO YOU FUCKING GET IT???? READ IT OUT LOUD, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!!! IT'S THE FUNNIEST PLAY ON WORDS SINCE I ATE FOUR CANS OF ALPHABET SOUP AND HAD DIARRHEA ALL OVER A BUNCH OF STARVING KIDS!!!!!

There's nothing funny about AIDS or starvation.

BUT "GRANT YOU LISSY SESS"???? THAT'S COMEDY DIAMONDS!!!!!

This album is probably a bootleg but nevertheless it's a really fun Vegas Goodetime Monkee Revue for the whole family -- but without any of that damned country-western! Actually da boyz (which is what the Monkees' fans called them back in the mid- to late-60s) strangely decided to perform a Peter-sung "Listen To The Band" at this show, though I for one am a bit unclear as to when that song became a "hit" or "classic." Maybe when the Three Doctors Band recorded a cover of it?

So to continue, Micky sounds smarmy, Davy has REALLY pumped up the Tom Jones vibrato in his voice (converting "I Wanna Be Free" from a despicable misognynist "snapcrackle" into an overblown trumpet of "pop" in the process!) and Peter is now the intellectual one, constantly quoting Sartre and ruminating on the age-old question of how to untangle the web of experience, and in particular, how to untangle the observer from the observation. Dr. Tork expresses his theorem in a confusing but enlightening new dramatic piece entitled "MGB-GT." But that's not the only new tune on here! Davy also reaches into the depths of his crankcase to churn the butter out of ground up human testicles(TM) that is "I'll Love You Forever." What he doesn't seem to realize is that "I'll Love You Forever" is a very, very sad book about a dog dying. Unless that's "I'll Always Love You." Either way it made me cry when I was little (23) and the last thing I need is some 3 foot 2 bag with a mullet rubbing salts in my old wounds.

And finally there are the hits. TONS of hits!!! 22 songs total! You name it, it's here! "Last Train to Clarksville"? Here! "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone"? Here! "Pleasant Valley Sunday"? Here! "Zor And Zam"? Don't name that one. "Valleri"? Here! "I'm A Believer"? Here! "(Theme From) The Monkees"? Here twice! Once on hilarious concert-opening skipping record and again on concert-closing instrumental with horns replacing vocals! "Daydream Believer"? Here! "That Was Then, This Is Now"? Luckily for everybody in the audience that night and even luckier for those of us listening at home seventeen years later, they even played that one!

The actual band backing up The Davy Jones Micky Dolenz Peter Tork Band sounds fine, though noticeably a bit awkward on the "rockers" (which DON'T) ("rockers" that is. They don't rockers.). But who wouldn't love to hear the top-speed quicksilver Spanish guitar solos of "Valleri" pumped through fuzz and turned into Van Halem metal? NOBODY wouldn't! I LOVE Van Halem!

So in conclusion - and this is the most important part -

Reader Comments

knowstev@med.umich.edu (Steven Knowlton)
Interestingly, Ulysses S. Grant had the childhood nickname of "Useless". Kind of like this review (just kidding!)

Anyway, I'm glad he's still enough of a household name for Mark to make puns about him! What a fascinating man.

If you thought the Music Babble sniping was silly, it may comfort you to know that Civil War buffs are just as tightly-wound. Check out the U.S. Grant message board: http://pub120.ezboard.com/fcivilwar35959frm1

BigDogToddo@aol.com
Just an FYI, This album was only sold at concerts. I saw the guys at the Minnesota State Fair in 87 or 88, a year or two after there 20 th anv appearance at the Carlton Celebraty room here in MN. Warm Up act was none other than Weird Al Yankovic. It was when Columbia Pics forbid them from using the Monkees name. So it is a cool thing to have. I think Rhino may have re-issued it NOT SURE.

Add your thoughts?

Pool It! - Rhino 1987.
Rating = 1


Don't you mean POOP It? We don't swim in your TOILET, do we? This is one lousy album. One of the worst I've ever sat through three times. Corny, generic nonsense 80s synth pop, completely pre-programmed and pre-written (aside from a throwaway apiece by Peter and Davy) with no redeeming social value or hookiness whatsoever. This music has not a whit to do with The Monkees' '60s output. A weak-kneed reunion indeed. "Don't Bring Me Down" isn't too bad, but most of the others definitely ARE that bad. As evidenced by the generic yet catchy silliness on Changes, it's really not that hard to write a decent pop song. Heck, I could have written all of these songs with my brain resting on the floor four feet away from my body, but somehow these outside writers fail and fail and fail again. Damn you outside writers and all you stand for! Skip it, then skip it again. Or buy it and break it over your knee. Shame on you, Micky Dolenz! The world naturally assumed you could do no wrong!
Reader Comments

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
Actually, I rather like Pool It! Its not great, but its not bad. I mean, it doesn't have Nesmith, who always wrote the best Monkees songs (I wont be the same without her, Girl I knew Somewhere, Some of Shellys blues, etc) but its accessible. I can't believe you only gave it one star (dot, whatever). Its really quite good. And I really like the way Davy and Micky sing.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
I'm laughing my ass off right now about the reviews of Toss It! by the Monkees, and also because a few years back at a local hockey game, Davy Jones came in to sing the national anthem and he messed up the words to the point that he had to stop before the ending and go "Yah, that's it! Right on folks!". People around me were going apeshit with laughter.

mr.qwerty@bigfoot.com
When I read you review and you gave the album just one star, I couldn't believe it. I hadn't listened to the album in probably 12 years, but I didn't remember it being that bad. So I pulled it out again and gave it a spin in 2001 and unfortunately I have to say, I mostly agree. It's just so god-damned bland - like our heroes have been hoodwinked into taking part in some Las Vegas schmaltzy cabaret spot for 40 minutes. I don't think you can blame the writers, a couple of these songs I knew already in their original form: Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric is an absolute gold nugget from (they could almost do no wrong) Stiff Label era - UK Punk - circa 1976/77 - and Every Step of The Way is great pop rocker from Ian (Mott The Hoople) Hunter. It's the totally pedestrian, bland up your own ass production and arrangements, that make this album an absolute stinker. Pity Don Kirshner wasn't around this time!

Even bubblegum pop's most perfect voice: Micky Dolenz is buried under half a ton of Fender Rhodes and sickly reverb so he doesn't sound like Micky anymore. Luckily things would never get this low again, Just Us is a vast improvement in my opinion, but have you heard "Micky Dolenz Puts You To Sleep" on Kid Rhino where he trashes The Porpoise Song - formerly one of his greatest moments. Definitely one to be avoided, even by your kids (the obvious intended audience).

So Pool It goes back on my CD shelves never to darken the player again, along with the Davy Jones Anthology series - no don't get me started...

pedroandino@msn.com
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORSE THAN CHANGES NO TWICE AS WORSE AS CHANGES! MNA EVEN THE MONKEES HATE THIS SHITTY ALBUM! I REMEMBER THE COMEBACK ON MTV AND THEY PLAYED OLD MONKEE EPISODES! AND IT WAS COOL BUT I HATED POOL IT! EEEEEEEK ! THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT! I SWEAR IF I EVER SEE THEM DO HEUY LEWIIS AGAIN I WILL BLEED !

tater794@yahoo.com
OK, so it's not a masterpiece, but HEY HEY! It was The Monkees and we were all SOOOOO very happy that they had reunited and were touring and recording....

I do love the picture on the front of this album with the three of them floating in a pool. Davy actually looks pretty hot.

My pick for best song off this album is probably the island-y sounding "She's Movin' in With Rico". It's classic, novelty Monkees, yet still a solid pop song. Micky Dolenz's voice sounds as great as ever with songs like ,"Heart and Soul", "Don't Bring Me Down", and the solid rock/pop number, "Midnight" which is about a drug deal gone bad or something, and honestly, had it been recorded by Glenn Frey, it could've been on the Miami Vice soundtrack.

Of course, what would any Monkees album be without the love songs by Mr. Jones? "I'll Love You Forever" is simply a beautiful love song, although not quite as cornball as some of his earlier work, it is still the stars-in-your-eyes, puppy dog, teen idol Davy Jones ballad. His lead vocals are good on the rocker, "Every Step of the Way", (which was written by Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople fame.)

Peter Tork should have stuck to songwriting, instrumentals and harmonies on this album. His lead vocals are weak. But, he is truly, one of the BEST pop/rock composers of that generation. (i.e., "For Pete's Sake")

If you're a Monkees completist, get it. If not, don't worry about it.

Add your thoughts?

Justus - Rhino 1996.
Rating = 4


Okay, it's not the greatest Monkees album of all time. But still, I've heard worse records!!! (Pool It!, for example.) And this alone is pretty cool, considering the concept of the record and all. See, this is the first album that all four Monkees have played on since 1968 - and not only that, but it's also the first Monkees album on which EVERY SINGLE SONG was written by a band member, and, as far as I know, EVERY INSTRUMENT was played by Peter, Mike, Micky, and Davy. I could be wrong about that second count, but I don't think so. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sure doesn't sound like any session musicians were around. All instruments are played very rudimentarily (but nicely - like only The Monkees can!!!), and there aren't any strings or horns or cheesy keyboards or anything. Dig, eh?

So now then, about the songs. Well, they're nice. Not groundbreaking or phenomenally creative in any way, but still very nice. It was such a relief to pick this up and find it not oversaturated with corny keyboards like that "That Was Then, This Is Now" song was about ten years earlier. Just four guys in a studio - Mike thrashin' out cute little distorted riffs and bluesy lead lines, Pete doin' some GREAT stuff on the bass, and Micky doing a perfectly fine job on the ol' trappers. (Again, please let me know if studio musicians were involved. I'd hate to think I was giving the ol' guys too much credit.).

So anyway, they've done a good re-recording of "Circle Sky," plus another grungey Nesmith song called "Admiral Mike" that might be old, but I wouldn't know one way or another. Then there's two cool Tork songs that are amongst the finest on the record, except for the kinda weak vocals. Davey also wrote two - a really catchy adult pop song called "It's Not Too Late" and a dull ballad called "Oh, What A Night." And herein lies the problem with the record - Micky Dolenz wrote half of the songs, and none of them are any good. Mike and Pete had gooduns, Davey's okay, but Micky's stuff is really generic - predictable ballads and shitrock like "Dyin' Of A Broken Heart" and "Regional Girl." He still has a nice voice, though - gotta give him that. This is adult pop for cheesy adult people who like the beach and Jimmy Buffett. Don't spend your salary on it or anything, but if you can get it for four dollars like I did, go ahead. What the hell? It's at least as good as Present.

Reader Comments

monkeefan@hotmail.com (Jenny)
I can't say that I agree with you on hardly any of your opinions..I have every Monkees album ever made and I liked all of them. Sure some were better than others, but that's how it is with all bands. I still wouldn't go as far as to say ANY of them "sucked" they were all good in their own way. I own JUSTUS and POOL IT and seeing that they are the only ones I have that aren't on record they are the ones that I listen to most and I think they're great. POOL IT was a little different than the others, but it was 80's music what did you expect. And as for JUSTUS, they made this album for themselves not for the critics..this was the first album that they could really sing what they felt and not what they were being forced to sing by contract or image. The songs on JUSTUS were very non-classic Monkees tunes..and a bit bitter. But they're in their 50's now and they've got an enormous amount of life experience behind them. As artists, they chose to write about their experiences. AT 50 why would they want to sing the sentiments of a teenager like they used to (when they were teenagers).. That's not to say they won't have light adult feelings on another album. And as for Davy singing too many ballads, that's what he was supposed to do and that's what he did and it sounded great so why mess with a good thing? He did sing some things that weren't extremly "mushy" just not as many as he probably could have. It's been said they were trying to be like the Beatles..I am a Beatles fan..but in my opinion the Monkees were better, they seemed to be more open and fun. And they were hired to act like the Beatles so that's what they did and they seem to be being put down on for it..but after the show went off the air and they made their "own" music they were once again put down and basically told to go back to the "Beatle like" music they were being bugged about before..people need to make up their minds and realize the true talent in this group of, attractive, men. And as far as them not playing their own insturments..they weren't aloud..true they couldn't play well anyway..but they were not allowed to try for several years..because Mike often argued this point. Mike and Peter are both VERY talented..this is also proven by their success today..especially Peter being skilled in several different insturments. And it was totally out of Micky's control that they "gave" him the drums when he was more of a guitar player than anything..it takes time to learn an instrument and I think he did pretty good after having it pretty much forced upon him. Anyway that's all I have to say for now I just don't think that you are giving them half the credit they deserve.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Oh good god almighty. The fact that they have a career AT ALL in 1997 is a miracle. They ought to be praising whoever that they do. And some of what they did career-wise was embarassing and pathetic--let's not make excuses here--there's a little bs involved about being forced to release crap and not play on their albums. There was a time when they could have walked away, and they didn't.

Having said that, they were the best artificial group ever...so what the hell.

arnoldnicholas@hotmail.com
This one goes out to monkeesfan. Exactly how retarded are you? Making a completely ludicrous claim that the Monkees were better than the Beatles is 100 times worse than Oasis' same claim. Point one, musical talent, Beatles - Yes Monkees - No. All the Monkees were good for was a semi-funny late '60s TV show and Pizza hut commercials. I'll take the absolute worst Beatles album (Beatles for Sale) and put it up against anything the Monkees have ever done in the past or will ever do in the future.

I suppose if you are into that bubble gum pop music the Monkees, or should I say the Monkees' studio musicians, turned out then stick with the all-too-mushy-and-lame actors. Personally, I will spend my time with a thought-provoking, talented BAND.

nmorris@manhattan.edu (Joe)
Justus is a damn fine album. The promo video sucks (with some lame filler material indeed) but the album is damn fine.

Actually, to respond to the earlier comment - I HATE Beatles for Sale. I'd rather listen to Headquarters than that rubbish. Half is covers (and lame ones at that), and the rest are NOT memorable. "What you're doing" is a good song, but most of it: it wasn't particularly inspired. I find Headquarters more memorable than hearing the Beatles warble through Holly's Words of Love. Actually, Beatles for Sale is pretty bland. It certainly wasn't representative of the group.

The trouble in comparing the Beatles with the Monkees is that the Monkees weren't really a group. They didn't even break up - they just faded. By Changes, who cared? Peter had left years ago after the disastrous 33 1/3, and Mike left soon after, which is when basically the group gave up the ghost.

That said, however, as Good as the Beatles were, the Monkees hold up. Not to knock the Beatles, but Nesmith was a great songwriter (Don't Call on Me, If I ever get to Saginaw again) and the others could really sing (Micky on Goin Down, Davy on "Time and Time again). Actually, it could be that I like the Monkees better. I certainly like Head more than Help! or Magical Mystery Tour for that matter! So there!

tinkerdog@webtv.net
Mike Nesmith was playing guitar and singing folk music in 1962 in San Antonio at a little sidewalk cafe off Broadway in Alamo Heights. That's when I met him and he told me that he had been playing for 4 months at that time. He was pretty darn good at it too and had a pretty good local following. It's too bad I didn't have the foresight to film him at that time with my little 8mm camera but I wasn't good at foreseeing the future back then. I do know that Mike was musically talented before becoming a Monkee. So you skeptics who say none of them were musicians before the group was formed are wrong, because at least one was.

MonkeeGerl@webtv.net (Marcia Hack)
I BELIEVE THE MONKEES ARE VERY FUNNY AND ENTERTAINING AND BELIEVE VERY STRONGLY THAT KIDS TODAY NEED TO SEE MORE OF THE HUMOROUS SIDE THAN THE VILENT SIDE OF TODAY'S ENTERTAINMENT.... I HAVE SEEN THE MONKEES IN CONCERT AND HAVE WATCHED THEIR SHOW FOR 13 YEARS SINCE THEY CAME BACK IN RERUNS IN 1986. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE OF THE MONKEES ON TELEVISION AND IN MOVIES!

guitarguy@webtv.net (Shawn Annis)
Lets try and remember "when" these songs were put out and "who" they were aimed at.

I was an 8 year old kid when the Monkees first appeared and they sounded just fine to me and my 11, 12 and 13 year old sisters.

They (Monkees) weren't supposed to be anything other than a kiddie group and pulled that off quite succesfuly , if I remember correctly.

Randyyman@webtv.net (R W)
When rating an album the critic has two ways that he can rate an album. First he can rate it by comparing it to other artist's albums. Second he can rate it by comparing it to other albums in the artist's catalog. If you're going to compare the Monkees albums to the Beatles albums then the Monkees albums will lose everytime, due to the over powering talents of the Beatles. When you compare the Monkees albums to each other than you will be able to give some of their albums an 8 or 9 on the scale. This does not mean that this album is better than say The Beatles Revolver album, but that the artist has done an exceptional job putting together an album well worth your $15. And that it was better or worse that their last effort.

ejst@hotmail.com (E.J.)
Okay get off the Monkees back! Peter Tork (before he was ten!) played the piano, guitar, banjo AND the French horn. Micky played the guitar before he was a Monkee, about the drums... LAY OFF!!! He was learning. Mike was the creator of several bands before he was a Monkee. Okay so Davy was a jockey, and an actor/singer. And have you ever tried to keep in time with the tambourine wile playing the maracas?

robertn2k@comcast.net (Wort)
It’s very interesting and often entertaining to listen to folks attribute this or that to a band or musical group and then to hear what really happened from the band members themselves. It’s a fact that Beatles had far more respect for the Monkees than many fans and music critics and have admitted such on several occasions. It’s also quite evident from recent specials and interviews over the last 5 to 10 years that the Monkees are very much at peace with their role in POP history and Nez’s contributions as a singer/songwriter and video pioneer are simple facts. Justus is not a great album, but it is certainly a good album and a nice ending to the Monkees musical story. As a long time Monkee fan I always felt that they were at their best when they kept it simple. Headquarters and PAC&J are the best Monkee albums because the work is not over produced….which happend on so much of their later stuff.

BigDogToddo@aol.com
The Monkees/Beatles talk is FOOLISH. I like the Monkees and hate most of the Beatles stuff and I still wouldn't make that argument. I mean with lyrics like "She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah, She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah".... Wait a minute maybe I will make that argument!

gullox4@sbcglobal.net (Mike Gullo)
I just read through your reviews of albums by The Monkees, Michael Nesmith, and others (who I won't mention, because it is your reviews of Monkees/Nesmith that initially got me to your web site).

While I don't agree with all of your reviews (though there are certain points you make within each one that I certainly see eye-to-eye with), I appreciate your approach to the reviews. It seems obvious to me that you take a "Frank Zappa approach" to expressing your feelings about things (that is, being EXTREMELY frank (no pun intended) about your feelings) which I definitely respect. Thanks for your insight, and I will definitely spend more time reading your reviews.

pedroandino@msn.com
WHEW!!!!! NICE WORK MAN! STILL I T MAY OR MAY NOT BE OLD SKOOL MONKEES BUT I DO LOVED THEM BOTH YOUNG AND OLD! THE NEW STUFF RULED! YOU CAN HEAR THE MONKEES PLAY! THE POWER CHORDS! THE BASS! THE DRUMS! THE ORGAN! MAN LIFE IS GOOD! HEY I HAD A COLLAGE GIRL WHO IS SO INTO THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND, GIN BLOSSOMS AND HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH! THEN SHE LOVED JUSTUS! SHE LOVED IT ! SHE IS NOT INTO GANGSTA RAP OR ANY SHITTY ICKY STUFF! I DID HAVE WITH ME SOME HOOTIE, GIN BLOSSOMS AND GUESS WHAT METALLICA'S MASTER OF PUPPETS! BETTER THAN ST.ANGER! AND 2 ODDITES! ENCINO MAN AND RATT REACH FOR THE SKY! HEY! I HAVE DIVERSE TASTE!

gag05@bigpond.com.au
The monkey are just a guilty pleasure ... coz know matter how much u h8 them for the fact they didn’t write most of there songs… they made a very lame 60s psychedelic tv show…they didn’t play there own instruments or whatever, the melodies are so irresistibly catchy its not funny!!! And speaking of guilty pleasures... I found a Herman’s Hermits greatest hits cd in my dads room, so I gave it a spin.. And it totally fukin rulz, “no milk today” and “im into something good” are just the greatest songs ever. J

Fyrekat1983@aol.com
monkees were different in the way they were made for a tv series and they actually became a real band. that is like the a-team series stars actually becoming there characters in real life. they compare them to the beatles, beatles were better but monkees held their own. monkees were corny, but they were harmless, i think that's why we look back upon them today. i liked the hidden joke in "head" when they did a sequel they would write on the poster " from the people who gave you head" i thought it was odd you and some other people still have strong opions about the monkees and i thought nobody gave a shit anymore. i mean "pool it" was a hit and the "just us" bombed.....they toured a casino and seemed like the public lost interest, guess not

mike.regan1@sympatico.ca
I've only glanced at a couple of the reviews (so far) but I wanted to say something about The Monkees work. When one considers the workload (the series, the concerts, the filming of a feature and a tv special, the press commitments, personal appearance commitments etc), the fact that these guys fought (and won) the right to control more of what they did and how it sounded. And the added bonus: they actually 'became the group'. 6 albums (as 4) and 2 (as 3) in roughly a 3 year period (with the quality of 'much of the music')... Why is anyone still arguing the point? These guys were 'F*****' AMAZING! It just so happens that the right guys walked through the door at the right time and got picked.

I'm A Believer would be over there with Ohio Express and the 1910 Fruitgum Company if these guys didn't come up with 'Goin' Down, Randy Scouse Git, For Pete's Sake and Listen to the Band. It's the scope and the growth of the material (very much like the Beatles) that has lent relevance and credibility so... enough already!

Enough about Beatles vs Monkees, too. If J,P,G & Ringo have been cool about them... so can we.

vivienhealy@fsmail.net
I have always been a Monkees fan - the Beatles were good at first but then I was a little too young to appreciate them properly. In recent years, I have bought a few of their CDs.

Back to the Monkees: I enjoyed their early albums when they didn't play instruments, and I enjoyed their later stuff, when they did. It didn't really matter to me whether they played or not, if I like a song, I like it.

I saw them in concert in 2001 where they had a backing band. It was one of the best concerts I have been to - Davy and Micky's voices were superb and have aged very well. I also have a live CD of Mike Nesmith which he recorded in the early 90s, and his voice is excellent. I wish he had been in the line-up when I saw them live. Mike was always my favourite both musically and as a teenage crush. I still like him now.

Basically, what I am trying to say is ... if you like the songs and they make you happy, then go for it, if you don't .. so what. I doubt if I'll ever change my mind about the Monkees now - I'll always like them.

goldilocks417@yahoo.com
No, it's not the quintessential album of the 1990's...but it's The Monkees. Personally, I like this album. Do I listen to it every day? No. But when I do, I enjoy it. The songs "You and I" and "It's Not Too Late", "Dyin' of A Broken Heart" and "Regional Girl", hook you in immediately. (Frankly, I prefer the "Head" version of "Circle Sky" but anyway...), the rest of the songs grow on you. If one has followed the Monkees since Day 1, it can be appreciated for what it is: the original 4 members getting together and doing an album with help from NO ONE ELSE. And they didn't need it. They still have enough talent, to write, produce, perform and record. Just think about it: here these guys haven't worked together (at least all 4 of them at the same time) in over 10 years and decided to just do an album. Kudos to them! I'm reminded of the 2nd verse from the TV show's theme song: "We do whatever we want to...do what we like to do...." And they did! That says alot.

sean@rattlehead.com
I love you on redeye! After reading your Monkees review (I know, go figure), I just wanted to add something about the Monkees that I've always noticed (and appreciated) about them. It's not that they were manufactured, as much as they were a "accidentally manufactured". It was just a TV show! The group was pulled out of a casting call. No one expected the songs to catch as well as they did. Last Train to Clarksville was #1 before the show debut! The key is this: no one ever expected them to be a real band. Think of that; nobody planned for that. The music and the actors were always going to be kept separate. Nowadays, they'd have the merchandising set up before the casting, even.

It's almost like Hollywood stumbled on a formula, you know? After the Monkees, everything was definitely calculated as the biz goes... but the Monkees were more of a laboratory accident. And the worst part, is they all played different instruments at an semi-amateur level, so they had to re-learn different skills. I've always thought of them as this bizarre unique alchemy which could've turned out far, far worse... there will probably never be another set of circumstances that will yield a result like that.

Keep up the good work!

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