A live recording of a Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart show, Concert in Japan (recorded on July 20, 1976 at Yubin Chokin Hall in Tokyo, Japan), was released as a vinyl LP set in Japan in 1981. At the time, the live album was never given a formal release in the United States or elsewhere. A big thanks to Ben Belmares for sharing his photos of the original Japanese LP:
Concert in Japan was finally issued on compact disc in the United States in 1996 during The Monkees' 30th Anniversary, featuring liner notes by Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval. Once again, Ben Belmares was kind enough to save me the time of scanning my copy of the CD and provided everything below:
Live 1967 was the first official live album by The Monkees, compiled from the last three North American dates (Seattle, Washington on 8/25/67; Portland, Oregon on 8/26/67; and Spokane, Washington on 8/27/67) of the group's 1967 summer tour. It was a long time before anyone heard it as it wasn't given an official release until June 1987 by Rhino Records.
The CD version of the album featured four additional songs (tracks 10-13, highlighting each Monkee's solo segment in the show) that were not available on the vinyl or cassette versions.
In 2001, Rhino Handmade released all of the recordings made during the 1967 tour, including another show taped on August 12, 1967 in Mobile, Alabama. Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordings was a limited edition release of 3,500 copies only and is no longer available. (It can be downloaded on iTunes, however.)
For almost a month, Monkees fans were polled by the Live Almanac asking what they wanted to see as the next Monkees project after the completion of the 2014 spring tour. With the latest round of concerts over, and nearly 1,000 votes cast, fans overwhelmingly desire a live concert CD/DVD release (30.49%) and a new studio album (27.8%).
When it comes to the question of new music by The Monkees, each member of the group has expressed varying degrees of enthusiasm about such an endeavor. Though everyone seems open to the idea, no definite plans have been made. "Never say never; there’s always a chance," Peter said optimistically during a recent interview. "We have no concrete plans right now but there's no telling." "We talk about it regularly," added Michael. "When we are together we talk at length sometimes about Monkees projects we could do, including making (new) music." Micky was forthright with Rolling Stone in April 2013. "I'd love to make a new one," he said.
A live album would seemingly be an easier project to tackle. Fans have expressed their wishes for such a release on internet discussion forums (and in numerous emails to the Live Almanac). The tapes are there for a live CD to become a reality. At the 2014 Monkees convention this past winter, Andrew Sandoval confirmed that three shows on the 2012 Monkees tour were professionally recorded. He told convention goers that to date he has been unable to strike a deal for a live album release for various reasons. Tapes exist from the 2011 tour with Davy as well. "I have all of the 2011 tour recordings. That would be a great CD project someday," Sandoval told Examiner.com.
Monkees fans are frequently clamoring for a live DVD, too, but no concerts have been professionally filmed since the group returned to the stage in 2011. Micky, in an interview after the 2011 tour, wasn't sold on the idea of filming their show. "You don't record musicals either. And the reason is that you want people to come and see the show, but also, especially theatrical productions, they never look good when you try to film or tape them. You can't just capture the three-dimensionality of a space. It's like shooting the front of a house." Granted, with the large video wall stationed behind The Monkees during their live performance, it very well could prove to be a nightmare to film. But the group might consider other options for a concert DVD if taping the current live show proves logistically impossible. A soundstage would work (think Fleetwood Mac's The Dance in 1997). A concert filmed on a soundstage also opens up further possibilities (a VH1 Storytellers-like performance, perhaps?). And the astounding video wall footage produced by Andrew Sandoval, Rachel Lichtman, and Jonathan Nesmith over the last several tours could be synced to the live audio and offered as a bonus feature on a concert DVD.
Be sure to take a moment and vote in the new poll located on the right in the blog sidebar: "What is your favorite late period Monkees album?"
Who else had this bootleg that was released by Bird Brain Records? An audience recording with an undesirable sound quality, Live In Los Angeles could be found in record shops that would carry less than official merchandise. Though the tape source is dubious, the boot does capture a near exuberant audience throughout the duration of the show, especially when Nez showed up for the encore that night.
As someone who is generally a fan of live recordings, I've always been frustrated by the lack of official live albums by The Monkees. We had the '86 live album, the two 1967 releases, Live Summer Tour (an incomplete documentation of the 2001 show on the King Biscuit label), and that's been about it. There were others, like the ones sold at the concert merchandise booths on the 2001 and 2002 tours, but those were not Rhino sanctioned official offerings. (The 2001 live CD is especially horrendous, featuring, of all things, canned applause!)
Take a moment to refresh your memory of the 1987 setlist. And how about the 1989 shows that featured an unplugged set? What about the Justus shows with all four Monkees in the UK in 1997?! It would have been great for these tours to have been officially documented. (And by the way, who dropped the ball when it came to having the ultra-successful 1986 tour filmed for video release? I still can't figure that one.)
Perhaps at the top of my list would be live recordings from the previous three tours, which fans have widely praised as some of the group's best performances. How about a box set for this request, Rhino? We'll be ready to purchase. Drop them an email and let them know you're interested.
Visit Videoranch to place your order. To read what Nez has to say about the various editions, click here.
Andrew Sandoval's liner notes:
Thanks to Scott Nelson for submitting the latest email from Videoranch updating everyone on the status of Michael's Movies of the Mind live album.
Movies of the Mind
Live Album Special Edition Update 4
Thank you for your purchase of Michael Nesmith's limited edition "Movies Of The Mind" album project! Here is a production update on the three editions of the live album project. This is update #4:
We have been assured by our manufacturers that the finished goods for all editions will be in hand by Feb. 14th and we can then hand assemble each order to ship out beginning the week of Feb. 17th. Thank you so much for your patience with this delay.
The Super Deluxe Editions will come with a full color COA (Certificate of Authenticity) personally signed by Nez. Meanwhile, Nez has decided to sign each of the Super and Deluxe edition CDs right on the CD itself. We made a special space for him on the label at his request. If you purchased a Standard Edition, we left the same space on the CD label for a signature. So, if you happen to meet Nez in the future, he can sign your edition too. All three editions will come with a 12 page booklet and CD trifold wallet that is hand numbered.
Copies are still available for the limited run of single CD's featuring Nez' personal selections from the Deluxe Edition + a T-shirt. The track list was published in our last update and we can now add the detail that each Standard Edition will be hand numbered.
Click here to pre-order a Movies Of The Mind Standard Edition 1 CD/1 T-Shirt bundle.
If you have any questions about these or any of our other products, please call us at 831-384-8800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Videoranch Foreman
The latest from Nez on Facebook:
I have been busy finishing up the collector’s edition CD's of my Movies of the Mind concert live album. It’s been a long time since I have worked on releasing a CD. It seems odd. Weirdly old fashioned. Things have changed so much.
I think the three Editions are coming along well and they look nice. They are signed and numbered like an artist’s run of prints, beautifully packaged with collector's goodies and they are priced like first editions are – which is to say expensive -- but there are only a few hundred of each.
The landscape of recorded music is such unusual territory these days it is hard to know what to do. For instance part of the Super Deluxe Edition – sold out, thank you for that – has a vinyl LP in the set.
I put it there because of the advice I was getting from Andrew Sandoval, the producer of the Editions, as well as collectors and fans who said it would be a good addition.
It’s a puzzle to me.
I remember how happy I was when the CD came along and made the LP obsolete. No more pops and scratches – no more hiss – no more distorted highs and muddy lows. I was thrilled.
Then software started popping up to reintroduce all those things digitally and finally the LP itself knocked at my back door.
“Who’s there?” I wondered. “You!!?? I thought you left.”
“No” said the LP, “I have been hanging out in the back yard with the compost pile until I saw the light from your computer inviting me back in. It really smells out there. I don't belong with all that garbage. Can I come in?”
What could I say? I let him in. (The LP is male – figures)
So there is a 12” inch LP in the Super Deluxe Edition of 200. I put songs on the LP that I have been sketching for a while and some performances from the Spring Tour.
The “new” songs have been around for awhile. They are part of a section of my music garden I have been working on and are still fragile buds – tiny – I'm not even sure what species – maybe a fruit – maybe a vegetable – some kind of plant, in any case. They are pretty little things and have a good aroma and they are attractive.
The first song-bulbs are split and now repotted in the LP but still in the download section of Videoranch. The Videoranch files are digital of course – they don't sound like the LP. Nothing does, actually.
As I say there are three collectors’ Editions and the Super Deluxe and Deluxe are sold out. There are around 200 of the Standard Edition still available.
I will bring those last 200 with me to the Monkees convention. They don't have the vinyl LP but they are a lot cheaper than the other two.
I worry, too, about bringing my solo merch to the Convention. I figure Monkees fans want Monkees stuff and not my solo work. My Monkees fan friends assure me this is not the case so I am bringing Nez stuff -- but I have real trepidations about it.
Those same trepidations apply to my solo show and the Q&A Session that are set up for the Convention. I’ll do the Movies of the Mind show like I wrote it but I decided at the last minute to throw in an extra Monkees song.
The Q&A session was a bit of a problem to solve. I didn't know quite what the Convention hosts wanted but they gave me pretty much free reign to set it up however I wanted so I took it.
I thought a long time and finally decided to invite Rachel Rosenfelt Publisher and Editor of The New Inquiry magazine to ask the questions. She is bringing another editor from TNI with her; Rob Horning. I gave Rachel and Rob the permission to ask me anything.
The three of us will be talking about all things Monkees from what I hope is a high and interesting perspective. Both Rachel and Rob are wicked smart, both are young – Rachel is 28 and just recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the brightest and best “30 under-30’s in the U.S." – both are deep thinkers and avid Monkees fans. I think it will be a good session.
I hope they don't ask me about LP’s though. I am clueless as to the appeal. If they do maybe I will just bust into a crazy non-sequitur song like “Shrimp Boats are A’Comin”. That makes as much sense to me as a vinyl LP.
Still, overall I am happy to be working hard on this Editions release and the Convention. I am getting more and more excited to be going – the LP mystery notwithstanding. See you there.
"Back in California. Starting work on the live album. It sounded pretty good from the samples we listened to on the road. I'll start editing the best of all the versions of the songs and it will come out in January. It is only a limited edition and won't be available on Amazon or iTunes for a while.
The Super Deluxe is sold out and the Deluxe is almost sold out but there are a stack of the Standards left.
You can read all about it here. www.videoranch.com.
Live albums are hard to do -- so many things have to fit together -- and it's not like taking a recording of one show and having that be the representative of all the live shows. It is almost impossible to catch all the subtleties and nuances in one show. We did 22 shows on this tour and I think there is a little magic in all of them. But it will be a long and arduous editing process. The band performances and the slight changes in the arrangements and the different reactions of the crowds make editing it all together almost intractable --- finding the one take where everything meets and melds just right.
Nonetheless I am going to try to leave each song as complete in one take as I can and try to use the whole song and performance as a minimum meme.
It may not work.
Then again, it might.
Like all Thanksgiving dinners -- one never knows. Just plenty to be grateful for."
A new interview with Micky was published today on Variety's website. In it Micky discusses the 2012 tour, Davy Jones and also broaches the topic of future Monkees projects. Here's a quote from the piece, which is available to read here:
As for future Monkees projects, however, Dolenz defers to Nesmith. "I think he's going to do some solo dates to play his own music. Peter and I would like to record with Mike again but we presently have no plans. We recorded all the shows, so there might be a live album coming out. I don't think getting a deal would be a problem. We just have to agree on new music that we'd all want to record."