ARTIST: The Monkees
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #45
SINGLES: Porpoise Song (#62)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Circle Sky
LINEUP: Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and lots of session musicians and actors
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The soundtrack to the Monkees gobsmackingly odd movie is just as odd as the movie.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: “Porpoise Song” and “Circle Sky” are amongst the Monkees’ best tracks. Peter Tork has a couple of nice songs here as well, and a lot of session and LA musician heavyweights play on this. But it’s…strange.
Of the 14 original tracks, only six are real songs, and one is their “War Chant” which has more significance in the movie than on this soundtrack. One of the real songs is yet another tribute to music of vaudeville – making it the third such ‘tribute’ in a year.
The dialogue in oddly placed, and just makes no sense in context without the movie. I guess this could have been an EP, but the strategy was to have a multi-media experience. But the movie was buried and mostly unseen, and thus this album made no sense to a lot of people and was way way over the head of many of their fans. It’s sad, because “Porpoise Song” and “Circle Sky” deserve more than this.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Jack Nicholson was the one who compiled the dialogue and wrote the script for the movie.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: As usual, Rhino documents the heck out of this group. There is a nice live version of “Circle Sky” which shows that the band was competent out on the road.
GRADE: C-: This is best picked apart, and the good tracks saved and the other stuff just shunted off.