Earlier this month, Michael Nesmith's 1970s-era albums for RCA Records appeared suddenly on various platforms, and more surprisingly, each album was chock-full of bonus tracks. As we all send our best wishes to Nez, take a look at Brian Marchese's brand new essay that examines the bonus content on these latest issues of Michael's RCA output.
The Best of the Previously Unreleased Michael Nesmith 1970-73 Tracks That Were Recently Released Without Any Announcement...
Thanks to Sherri Hansen for uploading this great rendition of a Nez classic!
EXCLUSIVE! 7a Records announces the release of "Michael Nesmith and The First National Band Redux Live at the Troubadour" deluxe CD and 2-LP gatefold vinyl
The Monkees Live Almanac is happy to share the official press releases from 7a Records announcing their latest project: a live recording documenting Michael Nesmith's historic return to the Troubadour in Los Angeles with the First National Band Redux! Thank you very much to 7a co-founders Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for passing along all of the details. Don't forget to follow 7a Records on Facebook and Twitter. And you can read more about 7a's past releases in the archives of the Live Almanac.
THE PRESS RELEASE
2-LP GATEFOLD VINYL DETAILS
COMPACT DISC DETAILS
OFFICIAL PREVIEW VIDEO
Nez demoed "Propinquity," a song he wrote for his first wife, Phyllis, in 1966:
He later recorded it during the famed Nashville sessions in 1968, but this version remained in the Monkees vaults until its appearance in 1996 on Missing Links Volume Three:
The song was given its first official release in 1971 on The First National Band's third album, Nevada Fighter:
A reworked version appeared on Live at the Palais in 1978:
Finally, this performance of "Propinquity" is taken from Live at the Britt Festival, a video and compact disc recorded on June 19, 1992 at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, Oregon:
The influential trilogy of First National Band albums are now available on colored vinyl from Sundazed Music. As always, I'd like to say thank you to Ben Belmares for his fantastic scans that can't be beat. Great job, Ben!
Michael Nesmith & The First National Band Redux have announced that they will return to the road in September 2018!
This past January during a 5-date jaunt throughout California, Nez brought new life to his initial post-Monkees outfit. Originally consisting of Nez, Red Rhodes, John London, and John Ware, the group released three albums between 1970 and 1971, but their live performance history was fairly limited. Ignored and almost shunned by audiences and peers during their heyday, the music of the First National Band has since been cited by critics and contemporaries as a pioneering influence in the country rock genre.
In one of the more unexpected moves of Michael's career, a reconstituted First National Band hit the road in early 2018 with Christian Nesmith (guitar), Jonathan Nesmith (piano/guitar/vocals), Circe Link (vocals), Christopher Allis (drums), Jason Chesney (bass), Amy Spear (vocals), and Pete Finney (pedal steel). Sadly, original members Rhodes and London have passed away, but Ware gave his blessing to the project and wished everyone well. The limited run of concerts by the First National Band Redux, as they were dubbed, were ultimately a critical and commercial triumph.
Here are the dates for the group's September tour. Half of the shows go on sale this Friday, June 8. Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for future on sale dates as they are made available.
September 7: The Heights Theater / Houston, Texas
September 8: Paramount Theatre / Austin, Texas
September 9: The Kessler Theater / Dallas, Texas
September 13: Old Town School of Folk Music / Chicago, Illinois
September 14: Royal Oak Music Theatre / Royal Oak, Michigan
September 15: The Kent Stage / Kent, Ohio
September 17: The Birchmere / Alexandria, Virginia
September 19: Somerville Theatre / Somerville, Massachusetts
September 20: The Concert Hall at New York Society for Ethical Culture / New York, New York
September 22: The Colonial Theatre / Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
September 23: The Ridgefield Playhouse / Ridgefield, Connecticut
UPDATE 7/13/18: Videoranch has confirmed that despite Michael's recent illness that postponed the final four dates of "The Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz Show" tour, the September concerts with the First National Band Redux are indeed happening:
Thank you very much to The Day Job Refugees on Twitter for submitting this card that was circulated at last night's opener of "The Mike & Micky Show" in Chandler, Arizona. These are the confirmed dates, cities, and venues for this September's Michael Nesmith & The First National Band Redux tour. On-sale information is expected mid-next week.
UPDATE 6/5/2018: Half of the shows that have been announced will go on sale this Friday, June 8.
With no official announcement or fanfare, Michael Nesmith's six early 1970s albums for RCA Records appeared on various platforms today, and even more surprisingly, each album was chock-full of bonus tracks.
Magnetic South (1970), Loose Salute (1970), Nevada Fighter (1971), Tantamount To Treason (1972), And the Hits Just Keep On Comin' (1972), and Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973) have seen various reissues over the years on both compact disc and vinyl. Most recently, Sundazed Music issued the trilogy of First National Band albums on colored vinyl. And since the CD re-releases featured scant bonus tracks, this is the first time that the vaults have truly been opened to reveal a plethora of previously unheard recordings by Nesmith and the First and Second National Band line-ups (including new versions of Monkees songs like "Circle Sky," and instrumental renditions of both "Magnolia Simms" and "Tapioca Tundra").
In hindsight, fans were given something of an advance notice when Nez appeared live on Facebook in late April. During that event, Michael's assistant at Videoranch answered a question about whether or not the First National Band's albums would ever be remastered. She responded, saying "I think that Sony is doing that as we speak." And now as of today, those First National Band albums and the rest of Michael's RCA solo work are available on iTunes in the "Mastered for iTunes" format.
You can purchase or stream all six expanded RCA albums on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, and HDtracks, but no physical compact discs are available at this time. Below you'll find each LP with a list of their respective bonus tracks, along with a few samples courtesy of YouTube.
Thank you to Justin Rakowski for tipping off the Live Almanac about these new releases!
A big thanks to Live Almanac reader Dave Marcone for sending in this picture of an advertisement for a September 23, 2018 concert by Michael Nesmith & The First National Band at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut. This is the first confirmation that Nez will indeed be expanding his January mini-tour that showcased the First National Band era of his career with a string of shows in California.
No dates have been officially announced and this show is not yet advertised on the Ridgefield Playhouse website, but it certainly looks like we can expect more FNB concerts in the fall! Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for future updates.
Earlier this evening, Michael Nesmith was live on Facebook with his son, Christian, as Nez signed copies of the recently released paperback version of his 2017 book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff.
During the airing, Christian confirmed that Nez and Micky Dolenz have rehearsed Michael's "St. Matthew" for this upcoming June's concerts, and Christian said there was a good chance it could make the set list for the show. "St. Matthew" was recorded during Michael's famous 1968 Nashville sessions but remained in the Monkees vault until 1990, when it appeared on Missing Links Volume 2.
A little later on, Michael's assistant at Videoranch answered a question from a fan about whether or not the First National Band's albums will ever be remastered. She responded by saying "I think that Sony is doing that as we speak."
For years, fans have been clamoring for the First National Band trilogy to be remastered and repackaged, and it's possible (though unconfirmed) that this project is closer to becoming a reality. Sundazed Music is currently taking pre-orders for the FNB albums on colored vinyl, but orders are on hold due to manufacturing delays.
Keep in mind that Michael's assistant could in fact be referring to the Sundazed vinyl releases as they are advertised as being remastered by Bob Irwin. Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for any new information!
In 2000, after issuing Michael Nesmith & The First National Band's first two RCA albums on compact disc, BMG/Camden continued to highlight Michael's solo career when they released both Nevada Fighter and Tantamount To Treason as a two-in-one CD package:
The BMG/Camden reissues of Michael's RCA albums are readily available on Amazon:
Magnetic South / Loose Salute
Nevada Fighter / Tantamount to Treason
And the Hits Just Keep on Comin' / Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash
In the latest Live Almanac poll, fans have selected Magnetic South as their favorite album by the First National Band.
Sessions for the album began on February 10, 1970 at RCA Hollywood. Felton Jarvis (Elvis Presley, etc.) was credited as producer, but in reality he rarely attended the sessions, which lasted through late March. Jarvis, however, did sign Michael to RCA Records, and Magnetic South became a showcase for Michael's unique blending of country and rock. Magnetic South was the first in a trilogy of albums by the First National Band. Loose Salute (1970) and Nevada Fighter (1971) would follow.
Thanks for voting!
This past January during a 5-concert jaunt throughout California, Michael Nesmith brought new life to his initial post-Monkees outfit, The First National Band. Originally consisting of Nez, Red Rhodes, John London, and John Ware, the group released three albums between 1970 and 1971, but their live performance history was fairly limited. Ignored and almost shunned by audiences and peers during their heyday, the music of the First National Band has since been cited by critics and contemporaries as a pioneering influence in the country rock genre.
In one of the more unexpected moves of Michael Nesmith's career, a reconstituted First National Band hit the road in early 2018 with Christian Nesmith (guitar), Jonathan Nesmith (piano/guitar/vocals), Circe Link (vocals), Christopher Allis (drums), Jason Chesney (bass), Amy Spear (vocals), and Pete Finney (pedal steel). Sadly, original members Rhodes and London have passed away, but Ware gave his blessing to the project and wished everyone well.
The concerts by the First National Band Redux, as they were dubbed, were ultimately a critical and commercial triumph. And now, The Monkees Live Almanac is proud to be the first to share the details about a forthcoming live album from 7a Records that will document this unique event in Nesmith/First National Band history.
Since 2015, 7a Records and its proprietors Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee have been producing Monkees-related releases, including a collection of Micky Dolenz's 1970s MGM singles, Bobby Hart's first solo album, various limited edition vinyl 45s (Dolenz/Davy Jones/Dolenz with Circe Link & Christian Nesmith), and more recently, vintage and new live recordings by both Nesmith and Dolenz. And now 7a has made an agreement with Michael Nesmith and the members of the First National Band to release a live album documenting their January 2018 performances.
"We are extremely proud and excited to be able to work with Michael Nesmith and the First National Band on this album," Glenn told the Live Almanac. "What I have heard so far literally gave me goose bumps. It's that good. By all accounts this will be a superb album and one of 7a Records' biggest releases to date."
Iain was just as enthused. "If you’d have told 15-year-old me I’d be releasing a brand new First National Band live album on my own record label I’d have laughed in your face. This is a dream come true and is the culmination of years of hard work and dreaming from both myself and my business partner Glenn. We make it our business to only release records that we would buy and man, I’d buy a dozen copies of this. It’s a thrill and an honor to be working with Michael and the band on this. And you wait until you hear what Christian [Nesmith] has done with the production. Stunning."
As Iain said, Christian Nesmith is currently in the process of mixing and mastering the recordings, but at this moment, it has not yet been decided whether the album will consist of one full show or a compilation of the best performances from the various stops on the tour. Nez will have the final vote once everything has been mixed.
The following songs are very likely to be included on the album:
Be sure to check back with The Monkees Live Almanac as Glenn and Iain have promised more details about the upcoming First National Band live album release as they become available.
I would also like to take a moment to thank both Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for sharing this news with the Live Almanac and its readers, and for their constant support of the site.
UPDATE 4/22/2018: Iain Lee is reporting on Facebook that 7a hopes to release the First National Band live album in July 2018. It will be available on compact disc and as a 2-LP set.
UPDATE 6/18/2018: 7a Records announces the release of "Michael Nesmith and The First National Band Redux Live at the Troubadour" deluxe CD and 2-LP gatefold vinyl