ARTIST: The Monkees
TITLE: The Monkees
YEAR RELEASED: 1966
CHART ACTION: #1 US and UK
SINGLES: Last Train to Clarksville (#1 US, #23 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Theme From The Monkees, Saturday’s Child, Take A Giant Step, Gonna Buy Me A Dog
LINEUP: Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz plus Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and gallons of sessioneers who did almost everything.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Here they come…walking down the street…they get the funniest looks from…everyone they meet.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I’m not going to re-hash the Monkees story here. I’m going to focus on the records.
This ain’t half bad, really. The songs (coming mostly from Boyce and Hart with some King / Goffin and David Gates cuts) are mostly decent – and some are great. “Saturday’s Child” is surprisingly heavy. Nesmith actually wrote two songs that foreshadowed country/rock. “Let’s Dance On” is just FUN! Those of us who remember them fondly will love this trip down memory lane.
What’s NOT good, at least to me, are Davy Jones’ star turns. Gawd, they gave me diabetes. The spoken part of “I’ll Be True To You” is laughably treacly. What’s worse is they break up the album’s fun vibe. But the little girls understood!
NOTES & MINUTAE: On a majority of the cuts, only one Monkee is present, even in vocals. The backing vocals were done by Boyce, Hart and session pros.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. It seems with every generation a new re-issue comes and they find even more tracks to append onto these things. Some are great – some, not so much.
GRADE: B : It’s an A for fun and nostalgia. I just can’t really give it any higher than a B, though, realistically. If they didn’t need to give Davy star turns it could have been better.