More of the Monkees
Deluxe Edition, Limited Edition
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The Monkees formed in 1966 when Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork were picked out of a mass casting call to portray a band on a zany T.V. sit-com designed to mimic the madcap spirit of the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night. The brainchild of producer/directors Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, the show was a ratings phenomenon and won 1967's Outstanding Comedy Series Emmyr. Through the efforts of music industry legend Don Kirshner, who employed the biggest Brill Building songwriters of the day to pen hits for the group, The Monkees' records were a smash as well. Their first two LPs 1966's The Monkees and 1967's More Of The Monkees each scored #1 on Billboardr's album chart, and delivered the #1 hits Last Train To Clarksville and I'm A Believer. They both sound better than ever on new 2-CD Deluxe Limited Editions, expanded with bonus rarities. . c 1967's More Of The Monkees was the band's top seller, racking up 70 weeks on Billboardr's album chart, including 18 weeks at #1, becoming the 3rd best-selling LP of the '60s (ranking higher than any Beatles album). The Monkees topped the pop singles charts again with the Neil Diamond-penned I'm A Believer. Album also features the Top 20 hit (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone and the classic cut She, both composed by Boyce & Hart. Twelve bonus tracks on Disc 1 include Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) with Peter's narration, an alternate mix of I'm A Believer and the previously unissued Whatever's Right. Disc 2's six bonus cuts include the first recorded version of Valleri and a previously unreleased alternate version of Tear Drop City.
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Still, to Kirshner's credit, he did not just rush-produce an album of crapola to cash in on the red-hot TV series. Instead, he drew on Brill Building songwriters such as Neil Sedaka, Carole Bayer, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Diamond, along with top flight producers, to put the album together. The result is an album that captures some of the mainstream trends and sounds in pop music at the time and still stands up today as an enduring, entertaining, exercise in mid-60s AM radio music. "More of the Monkees", for the most part, offers songs with catchy hooks, toe-tapping, smile-inducing melodies, lyrics that generally rise above the cliched, and evidence of the group growing into their own as performers with a unique voice.
"She" sets the tone for the album, a rock-inflected number about a typical pop song subject, a guy who feels wronged by a woman but still loves her anyway. "When Love Comes Knocking at Your Door" shows a Beatles influence, while "Mary Mary" shows off Michael Nesmith's ability as a songwriter, "Mary Mary" holds its own with the other songs on this album. People Tork shows off his vocal skills in "Your Auntie Grizelda," a song that plays off the growing generation gap in American society at the time. "Grizelda" also gives hints of experimentation with word play, instruments and sound effects that would become one of the group's trademarks. "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" is a declaration of romantic independence that, in retrospect, can also be the group's anthem for greater creative control, while "The Kind of Girl I Could Love" is Byrds inspired.
The album's only serious mis-step is "The Kind of Girl I Could Love," a truly awful, cringe-inducing number featuring Davey Jones crooning Hallmark card sentiments designed to send 12-year-old girls in booby sox into romantic swoons beneath their unicorn posters. If someone is ever possessed by a notion of releasing a collection of the 10 gooiest songs of all time, "The Kind of Girl I Could Love" would have a space reserved on it. Fortunately, the album quickly recovers with "Sometime in the Morning," with crisp, sparkling harmonies and a Mama & the Papas sound. "Laugh" shows off the group's vocal prowess, and the album concludes with "I'm a Believer," arguably one of the top 20 or so catchiest songs to come out of the 1960s. The packaging includes the original album back cover with Kirshner's carny barker liner notes and, inside, songwriting and performance credits.
"More of the Monkees" may not, technically, be the best Monkees album in terms of artistic achievement, but it is the album that launched them on their way and which also captures the mid-60s pop sound which has never really been duplicated in pop music since. More of the Monkees is a must have for both fans of the group and any one who enjoys pop music of that never-to-be-repeated period.
set aside the monkees and the cd is great. which is why i purchased the cd in the first place. there are tons of great songs in here, but i have no idea why they produced 2 talking numbers.. and all the weird random stuff to take up record time. but of course the music is fantastic. great music to work out to.