Released in late 2014, the 3-CD Rhino Handmade release is currently not available for ordering at the official online Monkees store. Customers are instead prompted to subscribe to an email list to be notified when it's back in stock. In late April 2015, Rhino alerted fans that less than 500 copies of the limited edition run of 4,000 remained.
Previously, Handmade sets for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees and the Head soundtrack have sold out, along with The Headquarters Sessions and Summer 1967: The Complete US Concert Recordings. Still available, however, are boxes for both Instant Replay and The Monkees Present.
Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart's "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" played a key role in the episode, and this article highlights an attempt Michael Nesmith made at the song when he produced a backing track for it on July 7, 1966 at RCA Hollywood. That session featured multiple guitarists including Peter Tork, along with Wrecking Crew aces Glen Campbell, James Burton, Al Casey, and Jim Helms. The bassist was Bill Pitman, while Hal Blaine played drums and Billy Preston handled organ duties.
Nesmith's backing track never received a vocal and went unheard until 2006 when it was released on a deluxe edition of The Monkees' debut album. Boyce & Hart later cut their own (drastically different) version, and it was this take that was ultimately included on The Monkees.
The Monkees' debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville," was first recorded on this day in 1966 at RCA Victor Studio B in Hollywood. Written and produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and released by Colgems on August 16 (backed with Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Take a Giant Step"), the song debuted on the Billboard charts on September 3 at #101. By November 5, The Monkees had scored their first #1 single, knocking off "96 Tears" by Question Mark & The Mysterians. The Recording Industry Association of America awarded "Last Train to Clarksville" (and The Monkees' debut album) a gold record on October 27.
Purchase The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) from Rhino Handmade
Here are the CD sleeves for The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition). These might come in handy for your iTunes library, too! Click each image to enlarge...
Andrew Sandoval commented on the review on Facebook:
Great review of the new The Monkees Super Deluxe Box Set. The one track that they are upset that is missing - Michael Nesmith's vocal version of "I Don't Think You Know Me" - was actually completed after the first album. So, it really belongs on a "More Of The Monkees" Super Deluxe Edition. I sure hope it does, at least. If not, you can find it on the 2006 Deluxe or 1987's Missing Links. All of these compilations are carefully thought out. And someone else stumbled on my secret. If you play the set backwards - Disc 3, then 2 & 1 - you get everything chronologically: Disc 3 pre-Monkees, Disc 2 Making "The Monkees," Disc 1 the album as released and then the TV mixes.
WORLD PREMIERE #2: "I WANNA BE FREE (OVERDUBBED DEMO – TAKE TWO)" FROM THE MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)
My copy of The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) arrived in the mail today. Here's a peek at the last paragraph of Andrew Sandoval's essay which is featured in the booklet that accompanies the set...an encouraging sign that the deluxe boxes will continue...
"Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Monkees new Rhino Handmade box set - for all those waiting, here's a sneak preview of 'All The King's Horses.' A bit of historical background: this is one of Michael Nesmith's earliest productions for The Monkees, but it was initially only featured on the soundtrack of the television show - never on record. In 1989, Bill Inglot mixed a version from the only surviving multitrack of the song (issued in January 1990 on Missing Links 2).... However, that tape was missing the final vocal overdubs and no other source existed in Rhino's vault. 25 years later, Sony (who own the Screen Gems shows for syndication) allowed me access to their original film mag and 1/4" elements to get a 'clean' version of the final production without sound effects and horse gallops (yes, we all lived with that bootleg for decades). And hear it is...
But one more thing: I also located an original acetate lacquer disc of The Monkees' earliest sessions which featured Michael double tracking the lead vocals without Micky. These vocals were later replaced with what you hear on Missing Links 2 and the new box set. The only existing acetate of this audio snapshot was given by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart to a neighborhood toddler near their Hollywood Hills songwriting hideaway. That youngster eventually sold it to me and I am sharing it officially with all Monkees fans via Rhino on this box set - it is included on disc two of the set with all of the other notable session material that could be culled from the scratchy wonder. Enjoy!"