Customer Reviews

209
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Monkees - Greatest Hits
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$7.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When asked the hypothetical question, what if you were stranded on a desert island with a portable CD player and could only have one CD, which CD would you want? Without hesitation, my answer is "The Monkees Greatest Hits." Their upbeat music has stood the test of time very well. I have very fond memories of watching their TV show as a young man growing up in the sixties. The Monkees had the best songwriters providing them with hits, and Mike Nesmith developed into a fine songwriter in his own right. Mike's voice was well suited for the brand of country rock he pioneered. Micky Dolenz had the perfect voice for rock and roll, and quickly developed into a decent drummer. Davy Jones was an accomplished actor who ably handled the pop tunes and ballads. Peter Tork's voice and guitar style seem best suited to folk music. Although he only provided the occasional lead vocal, as a trained musician, Peter always provided fine musical backing. The Monkees may have started out as a fictitious group assembled for a TV series, but they evolved into a real band. I feel that Rhino's compilation is the best single-disc collection of the Monkees.

"(Theme From) The Monkees" - The unforgettable theme song from their TV series is the obvious choice for the first song on this collection.

"Last Train To Clarksville" - Their first hit, written by Boyce and Hart, has one of the best opening guitar riffs in rock history.

"I Wanna Be Free" - This melodic ballad sung by Davy Jones, slyly warning his female fans not to fall in love with him.

"I'm A Believer" - This #1 smash hit was written by Neil Diamond. It's one of the best hit songs from the sixties, period.

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" - This is a socially conscious song, with a scorching lead vocal by Micky Dolenz.

"Mary, Mary" - This song is another melodic masterpiece, sung by Micky.

"A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - This is another tune penned by Neil Diamond, with Davy Jones on lead vocal.

"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - This is a perfect pop song about a lost love. Micky sings lead vocals, while Mike Nesmith provides backing vocals.

"Randy Scouse Git" - This song was written by none other than Micky Dolenz. By the way, Randy Scouse Git is a vulgar English term meaning a very stupid person.

"Pleasant Valley Sunday" - Gerry Goffin and Carole King's condemnation of suburbia sounds celebratory when performed by the Monkees.

"Words" - Written by Boyce and Hart, this songs features Micky on lead vocals, with Peter Tork providing backing vocals.

"Daydream Believer" - "Cheer up, sleepy Jean. Oh, what can it mean to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen?" Davy Jones manages to make sense of nonsensical lyrics. It's the best song he ever performed with the group.

"Goin' Down" - This is a jazzy blues number, with Micky performing vocal gymnastics that rivaled the best scat singers.

"Valleri" - This is a very melodic tune, with great guitar riffs. Originally featured on an episode of the Monkees TV show, it's popularity with viewers prompted the record company to release it as a single.

"D.W. Washburn" - It's a novelty number written by Lieber and Stoller, who also wrote many hit songs for Elvis Presley. Micky infuses the vocals with his good-natured humor.

"It's Nice To Be With You" - This nice ballad is pleasantly performed by Davy Jones.

"Porpoise Song" - This Goffin/King song was the theme to the Monkees' movie Head. Micky Dolenz did not manage to make sense of nonsensical lyrics. For that matter, the movie didn't make much sense.

"Listen To The Band" - Mike Nesmith wrote and sang lead on this outstanding song. At the time, it seemed to be the final hit song from the Monkees.

"That Was Then, This Is Now" - Credited to Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork only, the song title was a sly reference to the glory days of the Monkees, and foreshadowed their imminent reunion.

"Heart And Soul" - This hit song further solidified the triumphant return of the Monkees, and is the obvious choice for the last song on this collection.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
85 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is an odd collection to call "Greatest Hits". It doesn't contain a complete collection of singles... Its debatable whether an album-only track like 'I Wanna Be Free' deserves inclusion over say, 'For Pete's Sake', or 'Cuddly Toy'. Likewise, 'D.W. Washburn' -- which was assuredly never a hit -- stands out from the rest of the tracks like a pothole in the road.
If you?re a completist, you may want to buy this if only because its the only single disc that contains 'Washburn' and 'Its Nice To Be With You'.
If you?re looking for a single-disc collection of the best Monkees songs, go for 'Best of The Monkees" which has 25 songs on one disc, and a much more balanced selection of songs that represented The Monkees's best work from their original run.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As we have seen through numerous attempts since 1969 (the year of the Monkees' very first 'hits' collection ever released), the Monkees simply had too many charted hits and equally famous album cuts to be covered in a single collection, so no one-disc set could ever give you all the essentials. However, this particular collection will give you almost all the, er, essential essentials. I question the omission of 'For Pete's Sake'and 'She,' but the wise move by Rhino to include the actual single versions of certain songs (for their first time on CD) attests that logical thought went into this collection.
If you're just looking for the basic hits, this is a good way to go. I will say though that if you want to go a little deeper, the Anthology paints a bigger overall picture (and collects most of the missing essentials.)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The Monkees had an incredibly good sound and their musical legacy is a fine one. This CD gives us twenty tracks by The Monkees that proves their capability as musicians. They were one awesome group!

The CD starts with the theme from "The Monkees." This catchy tune has them harmonizing and the guitars, drums and percussion work very well. The beat shifts from time to time to make the song bouncy and energetic; it's a great song to start off the album. "Last Train To Clarksville" follows and again The Monkees never cease to amaze me. They harmonize so well on this song as they sing of a woman taking a train to Clarksville to be with her sweetheart. The electric guitars on "Last Train To Clarksville" really help this number rock!

"I'm A Believer" is good rock even though the first few bars have that "bubblegum" flavor. They sing this with style and the guitars, percussion and drums carry the bulk of the musical arrangement. "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" is a great song about a relationship between a man and a woman when the man wants to try patch up their love affair. The background harmonizing is flawless and the guitars and even the handclapping make "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" a very strong number. Great!

The single version of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" continues the big hits and The Monkees make great use of the modulations between major and minor keys; and listen also for "Daydream Believer" with an awesome spoken intro. "Daydream Believer" is my very favorite tune by The Monkees; this sweet love ballad also rocks well and the musical effects are very nicely done.

The single version of "The Porpoise Song" is a somewhat lesser known tune by this group; but it has a stunning beginning and the melody is beautifully arranged and performed. Listen for some great guitars on "The Porpoise Song;" and The Monkees also sing this flawlessly. "Listen To The Band" starts with great percussion and the singing is stupendous. "Listen To The Band" rocks a bit harder than some of the other tunes by The Monkees; but it all works very well and I predict that you will enjoy "Listen To The Band" very much.

The CD ends with "Heart And Soul;" this tune rocks really well and I really like this number. "Heart And Soul" makes a strong ending for this album and the band performs this number without a superfluous note!

The artwork is very nicely done; and Ken Barnes contributes a fine, informative essay about the group and their recordings. We also get the song credits.

The Monkees were a remarkably talented group but they don't get their due recognition these days; hopefully in our times more people will soon pick up this album and realize just how special The Monkees really were.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No matter how much musical "credibility" the Monkees have now, you can't deny that they sang some of the most fun and catchy songs to come out of 1960's pop (and if cedibility is a problem to you, then don't look too hard at some of the "artists" today then, either). Most of their hits are here, and it's not a bad place to start looking at Davey Jones and co.
Instantly recognizable hits like "(Theme From) The Monkees", "I'm a Believer", "Daydream Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone)", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", and "Last Train to Clarksville" are all here. Other real standouts are the lesser known "Porpoise Song", "The Girl That I Knew Somewhere", That Was Then, This is Now", "Words", and "Listen to the Band". Overall it's a load of great music at a very reasonable price, and you definitely get your money's worth on this compilation.
Also of note, is that this collection contains a lot of B-sides and alternative versions of songs that are unavailable on their other discs (I know, I know, possibly a scheme by Rhino), and it is essential to complete any Monkees collection. Even though it's a great set of music, I'm giving it 4 stars because I really don't think it's quite up to snuff as a replacement for the Arista label release "Then and Now... The Best of the Monkees", which is currently out of print (definitely pick it up on Ebay or a used CD store if you can find it). Still, it's a lot of fun to listen to, and a great glimpse into one of the most misunderstood bands in rock/pop history.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
To simply listen to this CD, it proves the Monkees undeniably have their share of enduring tracks. It's too bad that the old Arista compilation from 1986 is long gone. It included such Monkees staples that are mind-bogglingly absent here like "For Pete's Sake" which was the closing theme for the show, & more importantly, a very strong track. The problem with this disc is that it basically focuses solely on tracks that were singles, hence the absence of the aforementioned "For Pete's Sake", "You Just May Be The One", "What Am I Doin' Hangin' 'Round", & others, while including "I Wanna Be Free", & "D.W. Washburn". This disc, running about 60 minutes easily could have included those neglected tracks. Still, to avoid the nitpicking, this has such strong tracks like "Mary Mary", "Randy Scouse Git", "Goin' Down", & "Listen To The Band" which, apart from an outside co-write on "Goin Down", were all written by members of the group. This disc proves regardless of being manufactured, the Monkees really have numerous classics to their credit.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
When Rhino Records issued this version of The Monkee's greatest hits, they did their diehard fans a disservice because the far superior Arista Records version "That Was Then - This Is Now: The Best Of The Monkees" from 1986, which is no longer in print, included 25 of their greatest hits, which included the new songs "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" and "Kicks" which were recorded specifically for this compilation by Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork along with the hit "That Was Then - This Is Now" included on the Rhino release. "Greatest Hits" is a good start, but the Arista version from 1986 is a far superior collection of Monkee music, should you find a used copy somewhere. It does not however include the minor Monkees hit from 1987 from the "Pool It" release.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I get bored almost to tear when I hear sixties rock fans dismiss the Monkees music as garbage. Their reason? Oh, they don't play their own instruments! Well, you still think it's good music right? Oh yeah, but they don't play their own instruments, so it stinks! Such a brilliant arguement, eh?

1. (Theme From) The Monkees: Their opening song is almost the definition of sixties pop music. A fun and classic way to kick off the album. 9 out of 10 stars.

2. Last Train To Clarksville: Their first number 1 was at number one for a reason. Love the riffs, even if it's reminiscent of the Beatles' Paperback Writer! 9 out of 10.

3. I Wanna Be Free: Davy's aching ballad. So sincere, you can almost think that he meant the words and wasn't just reading his musical lyrics. 8 out of 10.

4. I'm A Believer: A HUGE staple of the sixties. Still in good rotation at you local classic rock radio station. It's one of their best! 10 out of 10.

5. (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone: A heavy song for the Monkees, Dolenz rocks out with the best of them here. 8.5 out of 10.

6. Mary, Mary: Nothing too special with this song. Interesting guitar licks, but simplistic lyrics hurt. 7.5 out of 10.

7. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You: A Neil Diamond written gem. Davy shows why he's one of the more popular Monkees on this track. 8.5 out of 10.

8. The Girl I Knew Somewhere: The beat is complex, and so are the lyrics. It's a good song. Period. 7.5 out of 10.

9. Randy Scouse Git: What's not to like? An overlooked Monkee classic done ALL BY THEMSELVES, putting to rest the beginning argument. 9.5 out of 10.

10. Pleasant Valley Sunday: They're on a roll here! I love the guitar and the semi-psychedelic Goffin/King images. You need to hear it to believe it. 9.5 out of 10.

11. Words: A competent B-side to PVS. Pete's backing vocal is a welcome addition. 8 out of 10.

12. Daydream Believer: Not only does it have one of the most catchy choruses ever (I challenge you to get it out!), it also has some enjoyable piano. 10 out of 10.

13. Goin' Down: Jazz, Monkee style! Another overlooked gem, eclipsed by Daydream... It sounds like Micky's going to pass out with his awesome lead vocal. 9 out of 10.

14. Valleri: It takes time, but you'll like it. I still think Goin' Down eserves to be their last big hit instead of this one though. 8 out of 10.

15. DW Washburn: The Monkees take a nosedive in sales and creativity here. This could have easily been replaced by earlier Monkees hits by underrepresented Mike Nesmith. 6 out of 10.

16. It's Nice To Be With You: See above. 5 out of 10.

17. Porpoise Song (Theme To Head): So many people find this song to be one of their best later hits. Not me. I still think they're reeling from the lack of interest. Too psychedelic too late, although relaxing at times. 6.5 out of 10.

18. Listen To The Band: Again, so man people find this to be a big later hit. This time, I agree. Mike's country flavor adds soul to the then-trio of Monkees. After this, they all but diappeared for more than a decade. 9 out of 10.

19. That Was Then, This Is Now: This was The Monkees beginning their eighties comeback. You can immediately tell. It sound more dated than the sixties hits, but it's still enjoyable. 8 out of 10.

20. Heart And Soul: This song is one of the main reasons I still own this hits collection and not the new one. This is an eighties pop rock treasure. The guitars are simply irresistible (80s humor... pardon the pun.). 9 out of 10.

Overall rating: 8.5 stars. This album is good, clean fun. You don't have to skip around often, and still enjoy the sounds of the sixties.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Had to put in my two cents worth having been a Monkees fan since 1966 and set the record straight...one of the reviews calls this collection "the worst of the worst" and says that not having even Hendrix or Jim Morrison in the lineup could have saved them...that's about as far away from the point of these guys as you could get! The Monkees were about entertaining people and having fun...Morrison or Hendrix would have been about as out of place here as mustard on chocolate...to be fair, Jimi and the boys understood each other and even toured (however briefly) together. Mike and Peter and company would get into disguise and go into the audience during his set to catch a look at him onstage. Furthermore, these were hardly what you could consider the worst of the worst when the chart success on a lot of the songs speaks for itself. Carole King, Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Harry Nilsson, and countless other fantastic songwriters all played a part in bringing this music to millions of fans and the reunion tours in the 80s and 90s showed they weren't wrong. Sure the CD works out to about an hour but there are 20 tracks here, and perhaps best of all, you get the sadly overlooked gem "Heart & Soul" from 1987 (thanks MTV for the sour grapes). The Monkees made a lot of fans happy, and people still enjoy the music to this day, never mind that the series is out on beautifully remastered DVDs. To the guy who said "worst of the worst", don't disrespect what you just don't understand!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a band who hit it big in the 60's with some massive hits.Their TV series was very popular,and they seemed to do no wrong earlier in their careers.But a combination of things lead to this groups downfall.Changing times was one of them,and people found out the did not play their own instruments on the recordings.These days thats common,and even back then alot of bands had outside help to make their albums.But they struggled to produce the hits after a while,their show ended,band members left till there was only 2 left.
But in those years some excellent songs were made.The Monkees Theme,Last Train To Clarksville,I'm A Believer,(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone,A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,,Pleasant Valley Sunday,Daydream Believer,as well as many other hits on this cd.Another song i like which is not here called Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow is a favorite of mine.
They had some great songwriters helping them such as Neil Diamond and the Boyce and Heart team.They also had writing credits to alot of songs of their own.This group was one of the best 60's bands.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Best of the Monkees
Best of the Monkees by Monkees (Audio CD - 2003)

Monkees
Monkees by Monkees (Audio CD - 2011)

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.