By Justin Rakowski
Salt Lake City – December 6, 1969. As The Monkees walked off stage, nothing would ever be the same. At least in terms of their original run as a quartet, that was unceremoniously reduced to a trio earlier in the year. Apart from a few contractual obligations, Michael Nesmith was no longer a Monkee. This left Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones to continue on in some capacity. In addition to making a few promotional appearances under the guise of The Monkees throughout 1970, Micky and Davy undertook what would be the final Monkees album of the original Colgems era. Released in June of 1970, Changes unfortunately did nothing to bolster their fading popularity. While the single "Oh My My" barely cracked the Billboard Hot 100, Changes failed to grab the attention of what remaining fans they had and did not chart in its initial production run.
As decades passed and different waves of Monkees reunions cropped up, leading to more positive reevaluations of their career and musical output, Changes still held a somewhat “black sheep” quality when compared to The Monkees' other Colgems records. Growing up in the 1990s, I was too young to remember the massive resurgence in popularity the group experienced during their 20th Anniversary in 1986. Luckily, I discovered the "Pre-Fab Four" through Nick at Nite reruns during the mid-90s, leading me to hunt down every album released through the Rhino Records reissues on CD. Even as a young Monkees fan, Changes carried a stigma like no other Monkees LP had and initially I barely gave it a listen. Over the course of the ensuing years, my appreciation of the album grew slightly, but it still never reached the level of importance as their other albums.
In 2012, I met the woman who I would fall in love with and ultimately marry a few short years later. On one of our first dates, I discovered that she was quite familiar with a good number of Monkees songs, albeit the ones that were featured on the show, as she too watched the Nick at Nite reruns. Naturally, I gave her copies of all their albums, excited to see which one she would hold dear to her heart. After making her way through everything, I was shocked to find that she adored Changes and had memorized the lyrics to every song featured on the album in only a few short days. Her love for the album was contagious and I now started to listen with a different set of ears and appreciate it for what it was – a solidly written and performed set of catchy bubblegum songs that acted as a perfect bookend to a period that started with an album (The Monkees) that was essentially a solidly written and performed set of catchy bubblegum songs.
Through all of this, as many Monkees fans know, the multitrack recordings for all of the Jeff Barry-produced songs from the 1970 sessions are missing. Unfortunately this also includes two tracks, "Which Way Do You Want It" and "Ride Baby Ride," that were recorded but ultimately left off the final pressing of Changes. Given all these facts, we’ve been told time and time again that a Super Deluxe set of the album would be impossible given the lack of content. Once a Super Deluxe set of Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. is released in the coming years, the journey that Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval started nearly a decade ago will have ended. As a fan of both The Monkees and Andrew, I am incredibly grateful for the amount of dedication from them to bring us such wonderful sets and can’t wait to have a shelf with all the Super Deluxe sets next to each other, providing us with perhaps the most complete auditory history of a band’s output. But, the set will feel quite lonely if Changes isn’t there in some capacity to bookend everything as it did almost 50 years ago when it was first issued.
With all of that in mind, I propose a solution. When the time comes to make a decision on the merits of a Super Deluxe set of Changes and the missing tracks that still have not been found, here is a track listing that could fill three CDs and properly tell the story of The Monkees' Colgems-era output, including Davy’s final contractual obligation for Colgems that resulted in his self-titled album released on Bell Records in 1971. With that being said, I present you with…
CHANGES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)
23. Oh My My (Mono Promo Film Mix)
24. 99 Pounds (Stereo Remix)
25. Midnight Train (Demo)
26. I Never Thought It Peculiar (No Strings and Backing Vocals)
27. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Mono Mix without Overdubs)
28. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Mono Mix with Overdubs)
29. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Stereo Remix)
30. Time And Time Again (Take 1)
31. Time And Time Again (Mono Mix)
32. Time And Time Again (Stereo Mix)
33. Post Cereals "Monkees Cereal Box Records" Commercial
34. Kool-Aid "Nerf Ball" Commercial
35. Kool-Aid "Buzzer" & "Snake In A Can" Commercial
36. Together (Davy Jones With Sam & The Goodtimers - Live on Music Scene - December 22, 1969)
37. Interview With Davy Jones on Music Scene (December 22, 1969)
38. Oh My My (Live At The Palace Theater - Cleveland, Ohio - July 27, 1997)
39. Midnight Train (Live At The Mayo Performing Arts Center - Morristown, New Jersey - Aug. 27, 2015)
BONUS VINYL 45
"Acapulco Sun" EP by The Monkees
Oh My My
Do You Feel It Too?
Thank you very much to Justin Rakowski for submitting his essay to The Monkees Live Almanac! I would also like to acknowledge John McCutcheon's wonderful website Monkee45s for some of the scans seen above.
While prepping this piece for the Live Almanac's blog, I contacted longtime Monkees fan, collector, and author Ed Reilly to see if he could share some unique Changes-era pieces from his collection to complement Justin's work. The items below come from Ed's collection - thanks, Ed!
Bell Records released the original Monkees albums in Japan throughout 1973 and 1974:
This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' appearance at Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah while filming the "Circle Sky" sequence for the movie Head, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
On May 17, 1968, The Monkees finished their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene in front of four thousand fans at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. They performed "Circle Sky" several times for the cameras and also did a handful of other special requests.
Patio Gardens, a venue housed inside the Farmington, Utah amusement resort Lagoon, was the original location for the filming of "Circle Sky." The venue was changed at the last minute to the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City for logistical reasons, despite fans already waiting in line at Patio Gardens. To make amends, The Monkees delivered a 30-minute set later that evening in front of a crowd of five thousand at Patio Gardens. This particular show was not filmed or recorded, and a setlist has yet to surface. The two Utah-based concerts in May 1968 would constitute the last live performances by all four Monkees in the United States until 1986.
This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The final part of the slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' performance at Lagoon's Patio Gardens, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
A special thanks goes to the Live Almanac's friends at Written In Our Hearts for inspiring this post based on screenshots they had previously shared from the Diltz slideshow!
Kool-Aid acted as a commercial sponsor when The Monkees television series debuted in syndication on CBS in the fall of 1969.
The Monkees visited the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee when they were guests on the July 19, 1969 edition of The Johnny Cash Show. The trio sang Michael Nesmith's "Nine Times Blue" in an appearance that was filmed earlier that May. Micky, Davy, and Mike were later joined by Johnny for a comedic take of "Everybody Loves a Nut," originally featured on Cash's 1966 novelty album.
Here The Monkees pose at Mike's home in the Hollywood Hills in December 1968. They are in a tree house built for Mike's son, Christian.
Rolling Stone makes it official: The Monkees to release first holiday album, "Christmas Party," on October 12 (UPDATED X2)
Two years after the triumph of Good Times!, The Monkees are set to release Christmas Party, their first-ever collection of holiday music. The album, produced by Adam Schlesinger (who also oversaw Good Times!), will feature newly recorded versions of classic Christmas songs including "Silver Bells," "The Christmas Song," and "Wonderful Christmastime" along with brand new songs written for the group by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo ("What Would Santa Do"), Andy Partridge of XTC ("Unwrap You At Christmas"), R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 ("Christmas Party"), and Schlesinger with novelist Michael Chabon ("House of Broken Gingerbread"). Covers of Wizzard's yuletide classic "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Big Star's "Jesus Christ" will also be heard on the album.
Christmas Party includes new vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, plus the late Davy Jones’ voice - taken from vintage recordings - also appears on two songs. It will be available for purchase on compact disc and as a digital download on October 12. A vinyl edition is in the works but will not be issued until early 2019. The first single, set for an October release, will be Andy Partridge's "Unwrap You At Christmas," and a lyric video will be produced to promote the track.
Along with producer Schlesinger, Cuomo and Partridge are returning to the Monkees fold as they were the songwriters responsible for the two lead singles from Good Times!, "She Makes Me Laugh" and "You Bring the Summer." Two of Michael Nesmith's sons also acted as co-producers (Christian on "The Christmas Song" and Jonathan on "Snowfall").
Davy's tracks on Christmas Party were originally recorded in 1991 with former Monkees producer Chip Douglas. Schlesinger worked with the master tapes as given to him by Douglas, creating new instrumentation around Davy's vocals.
Target will carry an exclusive bonus tracks edition of Christmas Party on October 19 (a week after the release of the standard edition), featuring two additional songs:
1) "Ríu Chíu" (group version as heard on the 1967 "Christmas Show" episode with improved audio from its previous CD appearance on the 2007 deluxe edition of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.)
2) "Christmas Is My Time Of Year" (the one-off 1976 Christmas single recorded by Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork and produced by Chip Douglas - this will mark its first official appearance on a Monkees album)
Here is the official track listing of Christmas Party, and you can listen to the LP's executive producer John Hughes (of Rhino Records) and Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval breakdown each song on the latest episode of Zilch.
"Unwrap You At Christmas" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"What Would Santa Do" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Mele Kalikimaka" (Lead vocal: Davy)
"House Of Broken Gingerbread" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"The Christmas Song" (Lead vocal: Michael)
"Christmas Party" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Jesus Christ" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Silver Bells" (Lead vocal: Davy)
"Wonderful Christmastime" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Snowfall" (Lead vocal: Michael)
"Angels We Have Heard On High" (Lead vocal: Peter)
"Merry Christmas, Baby" (Lead vocal: Micky)
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for all the latest news and information surrounding Christmas Party and more!
Thanks to Written In Our Hearts on Facebook for sharing this photo of Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones taken circa 1976 or 1977:
In October 1971, Bell Records released Davy Jones' second solo album. The eponymous effort arrived during a challenging period in Davy's career. The Monkees last LP, Changes, had failed to chart a year before, and the group's television series (despite being a hit in syndication in the early 1970s), had been canceled in 1968. With a considerably lower profile, Davy struggled to find an audience in the immediate post-Monkees years.
Produced by Jackie Mills and arranged by Al Capps, the album yielded a couple of singles (and two more additional non-LP singles would follow on Bell). "Rainy Jane" was issued in May 1971 and backed with "Welcome to My Love." The lead single ended up achieving moderate success, peaking at #52 on Billboard, #32 on Cash Box, and #31 on Record World.
The second single taken from the album, "I Really Love You"/"Sitting In The Apple Tree," was less successful, peaking at #107 on Billboard, #96 on Cash Box, and #106 on Record World. The B-side was written by Doug Trevor of The Cherokees, the group that opened for The Monkees in Australia in 1968.
Outside of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield's "Rainy Jane," the album featured songs written by largely unknown songwriters, an exception being the brooding "Look at Me," composed by David Gates of the 1970s band Bread. (Gates also wrote "Saturday's Child" for The Monkees in 1966.)
The opening track, "Road to Love," easily qualifies as a highlight from the album. It was later selected as the B-side of the non-LP single "I'll Believe In You," released by Bell in early 1972. The single failed to chart.
It's well known that Davy did not enjoy his association with Bell Records. He often vocalized his disdain for the Bell experience, claiming his talents were misused and that he was never given the opportunity to grow as an artist while under their auspices. He ultimately left Bell and later recorded for MGM Records throughout 1972.
In Davy's 1987 autobiography, They Made a Monkee Out of Me, he says next to nothing about the Davy Jones album, leaving co-author Alan Green to discuss this era of Davy's career. After assessing Changes (another effort Davy always publicly disowned), Green summarized the 1971 Bell album this way:
"Davy still had one more disaster to go before he finally broke with Screen Gems in 1971. They got him a deal to do one album on Bell, with Screen Gems publishing. He was teamed up with Jackie Mills, Bobby Sherman's producer, who still saw Davy as a bubblegum singer. He wouldn't allow him to break out of that mold into something a little more challenging, in the way that he was attempting to do with his live shows. The result was one more unoriginal piece of vinyl, from which four singles were released. Only the first, 'Rainy Jane,' made any impression on the charts.
"Davy was very upset with the way the whole thing was handled. He didn't have a manager at the time and was therefore at the mercy of the record company executives. He asked for just his picture and name to be on the cover, but he obviously didn't ask loudly enough. They put out a cheap-looking thing that had the song titles and company logo on the front cover. Davy complained, but to no avail."
The Davy Jones Bell album was eclipsed in time by Davy's iconic appearance later in 1971 on The Brady Bunch, where he sang the song "Girl." Despite being promoted by Davy's guest spot and in the movie The Star-Spangled Girl, as a single it failed to chart. But the song's legend has grown to iconic status through the years thanks to countless reruns of the "Getting Davy Jones" episode and its inclusion in Monkees concert set lists in the 1990s and early 2000s. Davy also appeared in the 1995 cinematic version of The Brady Bunch where he sang "Girl," albeit in a new, grunge-like version.
In 2012, Friday Music released The Bell Recordings on compact disc, which collected the original 1971 Bell album and the singles recorded during that era. It is currently available to download on iTunes and can be streamed on Apple Music.
Thank you very much to Ben Belmares for the scans of Davy's Bell album!
This past June, Davy's daughters Talia Jones Roston, Sarah Jones McFadden, Jessica Cramer Jones, and Annabel Jones formed Along Came Jones Media to assist in the preservation of their father's legacy. The organization's initial Facebook post designated a book as their debut project, and fans will be happy to know that When the World & I Were Young: Snapshots from the Collection of Davy Jones will be available this September! The cover appears below, and a description of the book follows.
UPDATE 9/5/2018: When the World & I Were Young: Snapshots from the Collection of Davy Jones is now available from Amazon.
From the back cover:
In the summer of 1967, The Monkees hit the road for their first major concert tour. With the success of their hit TV show energizing fans, they were greeted with screams, hysteria, love, and applause everywhere they went.
It was a lot for four young guys to take in. Fortunately, they all had cameras—Kodak Instamatic 104s, to be exact!
From June through August, The Monkees were on the go-go. Beginning at the Hollywood Bowl, the tour took them from LA to London and everywhere in between. Along the way, they introduced the US to one of their most ground-breaking opening acts: The Jimi Hendrix Experience!
Whether you were there, or just wish you had been, this rare collection of candids brings the summer of 1967 back to life. Featuring many never-before-seen images of The Monkees, their friends, and even some of their fans, When the World & I Were Young - Snapshots from the Collection of Davy Jones is a treasure that captures the excitement and spirit of the Summer of Love as only The Monkees could have experienced it.
Enjoy this groovy trip down memory lane with one of the hottest groups of the era, The Monkees!
The latest single release from the illustrious 7a Records features two long lost tracks by Davy Jones. "Rainbows" was written and produced by Chip Douglas (who was also at the helm for The Monkees' Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. LPs along with singles like "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "Goin' Down") and recorded by Davy in 1981. The song has long circulated in tape trading circles of Monkees/Davy fans, but this single marks its first official release.
"You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song" was written by Davy and Tommy Boyce (who co-wrote some of The Monkees' biggest hits with Bobby Hart) and appeared as the B-side to "(Hey Ra Ra Ra) Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse," the official theme song for the 50th birthday celebration of Mickey Mouse. That single was released by Warner Brothers in 1978 in England only, and neither side has ever been officially issued on compact disc or been made available digitally.
The limited edition 7" red vinyl single featuring "Rainbows" b/w "You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy" was released by 7a Records last month, and 7a co-founder Glenn Gretlund has confirmed with the Live Almanac that it's now officially sold out. "Only 500 were pressed and we don't have any left," Glenn told me earlier today. "Some retailers might have a very limited amount of stock left, but once it's gone, that's it."
The Live Almanac has received multiple emails inquiring whether or not the single would be made available on digital or streaming platforms, and fans will be happy to know that "Rainbows" is now ready for download on iTunes and to stream on Spotify and Apple Music! "Only the 'A' side is available," Glenn told the Live Almanac. "We don't have digital rights to 'You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song,' but we hope to be able to add the track to a future CD release."
"Mike & Micky Show" in 2019
"And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'" Tour