After much anticipation, Rhino Records has unveiled details surrounding the release of the super deluxe edition box set commemorating The Monkees' second album, More Of The Monkees. Pre-orders for this 3-CD collection, produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval and available on December 15, 2017, begin today at Monkees.com. (UPDATE 12/9/2017: Rhino is now showing a release date of December 22, 2017. UPDATE #2 on 12/18/2017: Rhino has alerted customers that the set will now ship on December 29, 2017. UPDATE #3 on 12/22/2017: Despite the previously announced setback in the release date, emails from The Monkees Webstore are now providing shipping notification and a tracking number for the More Of The Monkees super deluxe edition.)
Limited to 4,500 numbered copies and boasting 91 tracks (55 of them previously unreleased), including the original mono and stereo mixes, alternate takes, backing tracks, and remixes, the set also contains highlights from The Monkees' January 21, 1967 concert at Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. "This is the most exciting archival dig through The Monkees' vault since 2009's The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees deluxe edition," Sandoval told Monkees.com. "Every track is newly mastered for this set; the live material is the most historically significant of their career." (Sandoval confirmed on Facebook that the Phoenix live material has vocals and is in stereo.) A special 7" vinyl single, "I'm A Believer" (remix) / "(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” (vocals only), will also be included.
Here is the first look at the hardbound 7"x7" box:
And a big thank you to Rhino's John Hughes for sharing these exclusive photos of the packaging with the Live Almanac:
Over the last seven years, many of the classic Monkees albums have been afforded lavish treatment by Rhino's specialty Handmade division, beginning with The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees in 2010. A box for Head arrived later that year (both now sold-out), and Instant Replay (2011) and The Monkees Present (2013) followed. Due to the success of those projects, Rhino Handmade went back to the beginning of The Monkees' catalog, issuing The Monkees in 2014 (which is currently unavailable).
Originally released on January 10, 1967, More Of The Monkees became the biggest selling Monkees album (certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA) and was the longest to stay at #1 on the Billboard chart (an incredible 18 weeks). It contains the group's most successful single, "I'm a Believer," which spent 7 weeks at #1 throughout late 1966 and early 1967, along with songs that have long been associated with The Monkees ("Mary, Mary" and "Steppin' Stone," a Top 20 hit, to name two). The remainder of its tracks include selections that have been staples in the group's live show for decades, and it features contributions from songwriters like Michael Nesmith, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Jack Keller & Diane Hildebrand, and Neil Diamond. But the album also has a well-documented backstory that included a power struggle for creative control over The Monkees' music, one that pitted the band against music publisher Don Kirshner.
Kirshner, known as "The Man With the Golden Ear," was brought into the Monkees project in the summer of 1966. Initial rehearsals by The Monkees to play their music on record and as a live act had progressed through the spring of 1966, but deadlines were fast approaching to meet the pending debut of The Monkees television series on NBC in September of that year. The group's grueling schedule of filming, recording, and rehearsing caused Kirshner to streamline the process. He refused to allow The Monkees to play their instruments on record, instead having them provide only vocal work in the studio, and it was Kirshner who selected the songs The Monkees were to perform. Kirshner went on to supervise the first two Monkees singles and albums, a situation that built resentment, particularly on behalf of Michael and Peter.
Legend holds that in early 1967, Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter discovered that More Of The Monkees had been released without their consultation, and went to a record shop to pick up a copy. Disliking the cover image (featuring The Monkees in J.C. Penney fashions for a cross-promotional effort) along with Kirshner's self-congratulatory liner notes, the stage was now fully set for a showdown between the two camps. An unsettled Michael Nesmith made his unhappiness clear about how The Monkees' music was being created in a January 1967 interview with the Saturday Evening Post, just as the group had started to appear live in concert. "The music had nothing to do with us," he said. "It was totally dishonest. Do you know how debilitating it is to sit up and have to duplicate somebody else's records?"
The Monkees quickly joined forces in the ensuing battle against Kirshner. During a tense meeting with the band and Kirshner in a Beverly Hills hotel room that same month, the situation between the two sides escalated. "The incident when Mike Nesmith put his fist through the wall at the Beverly Hills Hotel is very vivid and near and dear to my heart," Kirshner told Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval years later. "I had flown out to the Beverly Hills Hotel to give the boys a quarter of a million dollars apiece from some of the royalties on the first album. Mike had given me a lot of heat that he didn't like the records and he didn't like the albums. He wanted to do it his way. It was a little disconcerting to me because every album and single I put out was number one, but he had a right to his opinion." When Nesmith threatened to quit unless The Monkees were given some control over their musical output, Kirshner's attorney proceeded to remind Michael about his contract. Nez responded, by punching his fist through the wall, telling the attorney, "That could’ve been your face." "I was very impressed," Kirshner chuckled, "because I thought the Beverly Hills [Hotel] had pretty strong walls." Kirshner was later sacked and The Monkees soon began recording with a new producer, Chip Douglas, while also providing their own instrumental backing in the studio.
Looking back today, the "controversy" about who played what instrument on the earliest Monkees recordings seems trite as many of the top groups at that time (The Mamas & the Papas, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, etc.) also utilized ace studio musicians (The Wrecking Crew) just like The Monkees. But in 1967, along with the "manufactured" criticisms that had already befallen The Monkees, the infamous "they don't play their own instruments" story line became one that has, to this day, never fully dissipated.
But now, fifty years later and after the dust has settled, Rhino Records and Andrew Sandoval will afford us another opportunity to revisit the blockbuster More Of The Monkees album. Here is the complete track listing for the super deluxe edition, and you can listen to Sandoval go in-depth about the contents of the box on the latest episode of "Zilch."
1. She (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.40
2. When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door) [Remastered] [Mono Mix] 1.48
3. Mary, Mary (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.20
4. Hold On Girl (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.28
5. Your Auntie Grizelda (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.36
6. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone [Remastered] [Mono Mix] 2.34
7. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Remastered] [Mono Mix] 2.16
8. The Kind Of Girl I Could Love (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 1.54
9. The Day We Fall In Love (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.25
10. Sometime In The Morning (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.31
11. Laugh (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.29
12. I'm A Believer (Remastered) [Mono Mix] 2.49
13. She (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.42
14. When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door) [Stereo Mix] [Remastered] 1.50
15. Mary, Mary (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.19
16. Hold On Girl (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.31
17. Your Auntie Grizelda (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.32
18. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone [Stereo Mix] [Remastered] 2.26
19. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Stereo Mix] [Remastered] 2.18
20. The Kind Of Girl I Could Love (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 1.54
21. The Day We Fall In Love (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.27
22. Sometime In The Morning (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.32
23. Laugh (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.31
24. I'm A Believer (Stereo Mix) [Remastered] 2.49
25. I'll Be Back Up On My Feet (First Recorded Version) [Remastered] 2.38
26. Of You (Mono Mix) [Remastered] 1.58
27. I Don't Think You Know Me (Second Recorded Version - Mono Mix) [Remastered] 2.20
28. Words (First Recorded Version - Mono Mix) 2.51
29. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Mono TV Mix] 2.56
30. Tear Drop City (1966 Mono Mix) [Remastered] 2.18
31. Sometime In The Morning (Alternate Mono Mix) 2.32
32. Valleri (First Recorded Version - Mono TV Mix) [Remastered] 2.32
1. Whatever's Right (Backing Track) 2.32
2. Valleri (First Recorded Version - Backing Track 1 & 2) 3.02
3 . (Theme From) The Monkees [Second Version - Backing Track - Take 1] 1.06
4. Words (First Recorded Version) [Mono TV Mix][Remastered] 2.49
5. She (Mono TV Mix) 2.36
6. I Love You Really (Version One) 0.13
7. I Love You Really (Version Three) 0.13
8. I Love You Really (Version Two) 0.12
9. Ladies Aid Society (Backing Track - Part One - Take 22) 2.40
10. Ladies Aid Society (Backing Track - Part Two - Take 1) 1.19
11. Ladies Aid Society (Original Mono Mix) [Remastered] 3.25
12. Kicking Stones (Backing Track - Take 11) 2.57
13. Kicking Stones (Original Mono Mix) 2.21
14. I Don't Think You Know Me (First Recorded Version - Mike's Vocal - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.21
15. Mr. Webster (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.52
16. Hold On Girl (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.46
17. Through The Looking Glass (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.34
18. Different Drum (TV Version) 0.39
19. Undecided 0.30
20. Sometime In The Morning (Backing Track - Take 1) 2.43
21. Sometime In The Morning (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.30
22. I Don't Think You Know Me (Backing Track - Take 4) 2.22
23. I Don't Think You Know Me (2017 Stereo Mix) 2.24
24. Your Auntie Grizelda (Session Excerpt) 0.54
25. Your Auntie Grizelda (Mono TV Mix) 2.37
26. Hold On Girl (Alternate Backing Track) 2.44
27. Hold On Girl (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.34
28. I'm A Believer (Backing Track - Take 4) 3.17
29. I'm A Believer (Alternate Vocal Take - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.41
30. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Backing Track - Take 3] 2.10
31. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [Unedited Version - 2017 Stereo Remix] 2.55
32. Mary, Mary (Vocal Overdub Session) 11.04
1. (I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love [2017 Stereo Remix] 3.18
2. Tear Drop City (Original Speed - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.22
3. Looking For The Good Times (Backing Track with Backing Vocals) 2.04
4. I'll Spend My Life With You (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.32
5. Apples, Peaches, Bananas And Pears (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.18
6. Don't Listen To Linda (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.29
7. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Mono TV Mix) 2.13
8. Laugh (Mono TV Mix) 2.33
9. The Day We Fall In Love (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.30
10. The Girl I Left Behind Me (Backing Track) 2.34
11. Mary, Mary (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.20
12. Valleri (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.38
13. Words (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.52
14. Your Auntie Grizelda (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.36
15. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow (With Peter's Narration - 2017 Stereo Remix) 2.50
16. I Never Thought It Peculiar (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.27
17. Laugh (2017 Stereo Remix) 2.46
18. She's So Far Out, She's In (Live In Arizona, 1967) 2.44
19. You Just May Be The One (Live In Arizona, 1967) 2.06
20. I Wanna Be Free (Live In Arizona, 1967) 2.54
21. Sweet Young Thing (Live In Arizona, 1967) 2.25
22. Papa Gene's Blues (Live In Arizona, 1967) 2.14
23. I Can't Get Her Off Of My Mind (Live In Arizona, 1967) 3.00
24. Cripple Creek (Live In Arizona, 1967) 3.08
25. You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover (Live In Arizona, 1967) 4.25
26. Gonna Build A Mountain (Live In Arizona, 1967) 3.17
27. I Got A Woman (Live In Arizona, 1967) 6.27
Michael Nesmith's memoir, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff, arrived earlier this year with a companion compact disc from Rhino Records, which featured highlights of Michael's musical career. As always, a big thanks to Ben Belmares for providing scans of the CD to the Live Almanac!
In 1994, Rhino Records began issuing the original Monkees albums on compact disc, digitally remastered with bonus tracks. The Monkees Present was part of the second wave of the campaign, released on November 15, 1994, along with More Of The Monkees and Head. The package featured liner notes written by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval.
The Monkees Present was originally intended to be a double album with color artwork, but for various reasons that plan was shelved. The '94 CD reissue featured a colorized cover, and a previous blog post examined why the color artwork was ultimately scrapped.
In 2013, The Monkees Present was once again reissued, this time by Rhino Handmade as a 3-CD box set.
7a Records co-founder Iain Lee has delivered the scoop to The Monkees Live Almanac regarding their first ever Michael Nesmith-related release!
Michael Nesmith at the BBC Paris Theatre will be issued as a limited edition 12" vinyl picture disc and as a CD digipak. The compact disc version will be accompanied by a 12-page booklet that includes a rare 1975 interview with Michael, an essay by Iain, and an interview with Dave Pegg from the Fairport Convention, who played with Nez in the past.
Recorded in London on November 27, 1975, the concert had been tucked away in the archives of the BBC until 7a licensed the master tapes, which have been digitally remastered. Nesmith has approved its release, too. The album features Nez performing alone with his guitar, singing First National Band-era songs along with cuts from his then upcoming LP, The Prison. Here is the complete track listing:
Silver Moon (5:11)
Some of Shelly's Blues (4:18)
Dance Between the Raindrops (8:35)
Marie's Theme (7:10)
Closing Theme (Lampost) (4:51)
At The BBC Theatre will arrive on September 15, 2017 in the United Kingdom and a week later in the United States. Pre-order links are available below.
A big thank you to Iain and his partner at 7a, Glenn Gretlund, for sharing these details with the Live Almanac. Don't forget to follow 7a Records on Facebook and Twitter. You can read more about 7a's past releases in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac.
Last week, Ben Belmares was kind enough to share his scans of the recently released Summer of Love vinyl collection. Today he provided the Live Almanac with images from the CD package. Thanks again, Ben!
As previously reported, Summer of Love, advertised as a collection highlighting the psychedelic side of The Monkees, will be released on July 18, 2017. It will be available on both Red/White Splatter Vinyl and Compact Disc. Rhino Records issued an official press release to announce the compilation.
Here's the track listing for the LP and CD, both of which are slated (at least initially) to be a brick & mortar retail exclusive:
Reaction to the Summer of Love compilation from the Monkees fan community has been mixed, with a sizable portion taking issue with certain songs ("She" and "Saturday's Child," in particular) being selected to represent the group's "psychedelic" output in lieu of other options, such as "Daily Nightly," "The Door Into Summer," "Do I Have To Do This All Over Again," "Auntie's Municipal Court," etc. Rhino's John Hughes commented on Facebook about the track listing:
"This [the Summer of Love compilation] was meant to satisfy a few different masters - a marketing focus on 1967 specifically, leaning towards the psychedelic side to make it somewhat unique from other comps,
but it had to have enough 'familiar' songs for the casual fan. We did our best."
7a Records recently announced their next project, Listen to the Bands, a CD and digital release that features songs from The Monkees' catalog as performed by a variety of bands and artists. Coming soon, all proceeds will benefit the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation. Check out the selections and performers below, which includes The Wayne Avers Group (Wayne has acted as The Monkees' touring guitarist and musical director since 1996), The Characters, and Deep End (who worked with beloved former Monkees producer Chip Douglas). Live Almanac contributors Joe Alterio and Scott Erickson will also be spotlighted. Congratulations to everyone!
1. Listen To The Band – The Unswept
2. She – The Flashcubes
3. (Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow – The Characters
4. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone – Rich & Nico
5. The Girl I Knew Somewhere – Gary Owen
6. You And I – WORDS
7. If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again – Scott Parker
8. What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round – Bradley James Skistimas
9. For Pete’s Sake – The Wayne Avers Group
10. Love To Love – Michael Lynch
11. Me & Magdalena - Lynsey Moon & The Somethings
12. Gotta Give It Time – Freddy And The Four Gone Conclusions
13. Porpoise Song – Lazy Flies
14. As We Go Along - John Montagna
15. The Door Into Summer - Deep End With Chip Douglas
16. Pleasant Valley Sunday - Glowbox
17. The Crippled Lion - The Roundups feat. Joe Alterio
18. Lady’s Baby – Scott Erickson
19. Through The Looking Glass - Joe Kane's Radiophonic Tuckshop & The Martial Art
20. Alternate Title - The Balcony Shirts Band
21. P.O. Box 9847 - The Sleestacks
22. Auntie’s Municipal Court - What Is Kind
23. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - Dan Carasco
24. The Day We Fall In Love - The Dredge/Hibbett Conunundrum
25. Listen To The Band - Nude Furniture
Stu Phillips is a composer of film scores and television series theme music, as well as being a conductor and record producer. In addition to composing and conducting the background music heard on The Monkees' TV show, Stu is also responsible for the themes to 1980s shows like Knight Rider and Battlestar Galactica.
Stu Phillips Presents: The Monkees Songbook Played By The Golden Gate will be released on compact disc by the label Varese Sarabande on April 28, 2017. The Live Almanac highlighted this album, originally issued in 1967, in a blog post a couple of years ago. It's already available for downloading on iTunes, and you can pre-order it from Amazon.
Thanks to Scott Nelson for the heads-up on this release!
This compact disc and digital download doesn't have a release date scheduled yet, but all proceeds will benefit the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation. Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for further updates!
This collection is scheduled to be released on April 14, 2017, and you can pre-order it from Amazon. It will also be available as a digital download.
The Second Disc: Different Drum: Michael Nesmith’s “Infinite Tuesday” Offers Soundtrack to His Autobiography
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!
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:
Last summer, 7a Records released the very first official collection of Micky Dolenz's early 1970s singles on vinyl and later as a digital download. And now here's an exclusive look at their next project - The MGM Collection on compact disc, along with a plethora of bonus tracks! Look for it this October, and you can pre-order via Amazon US and Amazon UK.
Thanks a lot to Iain Lee of 7a for passing along the press release to the Live Almanac.
A few notes on the bonus tracks:
In 1979, Chrysalis Records in the UK released "Love Light"/"Alicia" as a single there. According to The Monkees: A Manufactured Image, the first 1,000 copies were pressed with a picture sleeve. The B-side is a Dolenz original.
Micky toured Japan in January 1982. The Monkees had experienced a massive revival there when "Daydream Believer" was used in a television commercial in 1980. "To Be Or Not To Be" was released as a single in Japan to coincide with the tour, and was backed by Micky's own "Beverly Hills."
Earlier this year, two long lost Dolenz solo tracks, "Chance of a Lifetime" and "Livin' On Lies," were issued as a 7" vinyl single on Record Store Day exclusively in the UK. A limited edition release in the US quickly followed.
"Porpoise Song," "Good Morning Good Morning," "Crying in the Rain," and "Randy Scouse Git" were performed by Micky, Christian Nesmith, Circe Link, and company during a special 2015 online concert event. A limited edition vinyl EP arrived in July.
This is a (seemingly) rare 1997 CD compilation released on Bellaphon Records in the European Union. Scott Catton submitted the scans below of his personal copy. We both recalled seeing it at our local Borders in the late '90s, and for me, the cover (featuring a scene from the second season episode "Some Like It Lukewarm") always stood out. But for one reason or another, I never picked it up. Scott reports there is no booklet inside, just a 4-page insert with the song listings. Speaking of, this collection features an eclectic track selection, which is quite heavy on The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees era.
Thanks to Michelle Weinstock who found this item on Amazon entitled Revisiting the Past, scheduled for release on October 16, 2016:
No further information is available at the moment about this compact disc. Stay tuned, and thanks, Michelle, for the heads up!
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith