"Heart and Soul," the first single from The Monkees' album Pool It!, was released in July 1987. The music video, despite being banned by MTV, was played heavily on alternate cable outlets, including Nickelodeon's Nick Rocks:
The B-side, Peter Tork's own "MGBGT," was recorded live during one of the final stops on The Monkees' massively successful 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour in 1986:
The front and back of the picture sleeve:
Rhino Records issued a promo CD for "Heart and Soul," along with a limited edition pink vinyl version of the single, which came in a hard stock picture sleeve:
The Monkees have performed the song live over the years, debuting it on the 1987 summer tour, where it was featured prominently in the encore. It stayed in the set list for the group's 1988 visit to Australia. After those performances, "Heart and Soul" would not be aired again in a live setting until 1996 and 1997, and it made a few select appearances on the 50th Anniversary Tour in 2016.
Revisiting the Past was released on the City Lights label back in October. Seemingly aimed at cashing in on The Monkees' 50th Anniversary, the 10-track CD (also available for download on iTunes) features interview clips with both Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork from 1987. The source of the interviews is unknown to me. (The liner notes may provide more information, but I have yet to purchase the disc.)
The collection is a time period piece for sure, with Micky talking about the Monkee movie that ultimately never got made in the '80s, and Peter hoping "Gettin' In" would become a single off the Pool It! album.
Thanks to Mike for reminding me about this release!
UPDATE 12/30/16: The entire Revisiting the Past audio is now posted on The Monkees' official YouTube channel:
Peter has a lot to say about the sounds and style of Pool It! and more in this flashback piece from 1987...
The Monkees performed at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey on Sunday, May 29:
And here's "Take a Giant Step" and "Heart and Soul" from last night's soundcheck:
This was a fun poll, asking Monkees fans to choose their two favorite songs from Pool It! It's been running for a while now, but every time I checked the results and prepared to close it, inevitably there was a tie between a couple of songs.
Pool It!, the oft-maligned 1987 Monkees reunion album, was never the commercial juggernaut that was hoped, and its success was ultimately complicated by the breakdown of relations between The Monkees and MTV in early 1987, along with tensions surrounding the recording sessions (scroll down for the Pool It! entry). Monkees fans at the time were divided in their reactions to the new LP and its overall production. Some applauded the group for going in a new, current direction while others wondered what had happened to the classic Monkees sounds of yesteryear.
Despite being blacklisted by MTV, the creative music video for the first single, "Heart and Soul," was a hit on cable television music shows outside of MTV, and the song was well-received on the 1987 summer tour, where it opened the encore performance each night. But times were different, and MTV was a powerful entity that influenced radio programmers and more. As a result, "Heart and Soul," despite being a well-produced pop track, failed to connect with the general record buying public. In this poll, however, it easily takes the top spot in the minds of Monkees fans.
"Gettin' In," written by Peter Tork, was also played nightly on the 1987 tour. Peter hasn't talked much about the song over the years, but he did revive it during his 'In This Generation' solo tour in 2013. "Gettin' In" consistently held the second spot during the voting.
Rounding out the top five were "Midnight," an album track sung by Micky; the second single, "Every Step of the Way;" and "Don't Bring Me Down," another album track that received airplay on cable music show Nick Rocks in late 1987 after a video was produced highlighting a contest winner's day with The Monkees.
Take a moment to vote in the new Live Almanac poll (in the blog sidebar to the right), "What is your favorite Monkees album cover?"
The Monkees' 1987 reunion album, Pool It!, was released by Rhino Records on August 19, 1987.
Some of the scans below - the back cover of the LP and vinyl sides 1 & 2 - come from the great website Monkee45s.
By the way, how can it be 27 years ago that this LP was released?!
After forming The New Monks in late 1980, Peter Tork recorded several demos in 1981 for Sire Records (a venture that was ultimately unsuccessful in landing the group a recording deal). "Since You Went Away" was written by a friend of Peter's, Michael Levine, and was one of the tracks demoed. Check out the New Monks' take on it below, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel.
This song was later recorded and released on the 1987 Monkees album, Pool It!
Peter was doing some interesting things during this time period, both with the New Monks and The Peter Tork Project. An early '80s solo album by Peter, pre-Monkees reunion, very well might have been an interesting listen.
I've often wondered if Peter brought in a lot of songs from his New Monks/Project time period during the sessions for Pool It! The album's producer, Roger Bechirian, had this to say in an interview years after the album had been recorded:
"You know who was good? Peter Tork was an amazing multi-instrumentalist. I had no idea! He had a bunch of songs that would've made a great album. But of course they wouldn't have it - Jones wouldn't have it. Peter was great. I was really, really taken with him. He was full of life and had loads of ideas."