ARTIST: The Monkees
TITLE: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.
YEAR RELEASED: 1967
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: Pleasant Valley Sunday (#3 US, #11 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Words, though you probably heard most of these on the TV show.
LINEUP: Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and some studio hot shots
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Probably their most consistent album as a group, the Monkees used their artistic freedom and made an album of great pop songs made with a lot of session pros augmenting the band.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: With their freedom set in stone, the Monkees finally made an album without restrictions AND by using studio musicians to make the album they heard in their mind. Chip Douglas was the producer, and he helped them pick a lot of great tracks that were pop songs of the time but not always the most commercial.
Using the great writers of the time (like Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) Douglas and the Monkees put together a varied set of songs that were a little psychedelic at times, had some political commentary weaved in there, somewhat heavy at times, and memorable for the most part. Even Tork’s oddball cut “Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky” isn’t a time waster.
The star cuts are the single, “Salesman”, “She Hangs Out”, “Daily Nightly” and “Star Collector”. But the whole thing is pretty neat.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Daily Nightly” uses a Moog synthesizer played by Dolenz, one of the first Moogs used on a pop record.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Deluxe. Super Deluxe. You know the drill.
GRADE: A: For as much grief as the Monkees have received over time, THIS is really a quintessential 60’s pop record.