In the summer of 1987, Rhino Records delighted Monkees fans when it delivered Missing Links, the first album to officially assemble unreleased Monkees songs long stored away in the vaults at RCA. Except for "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears" and "If You Have the Time," both of which had been aired on the Saturday morning repeats in the early 1970s, and "Nine Times Blue," performed live by Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969, the remainder of the tracks were largely unheard (though some had floated around previously on bootlegs). Missing Links also featured what at the time was widely considered The Monkees' most famous lost song, "All of Your Toys," recorded during the Headquarters era and later shelved because of a publishing dispute. Initially available on LP and cassette, the collection was expanded in compact disc form in December 1988 with bonus tracks.
Two more Missing Links volumes followed: Volume Two arrived in 1990 and Volume Three in 1996. Volume Two, issued on cassette and compact disc only, included more previously unreleased tracks as well as versions of songs originally heard only on The Monkees TV show that were ultimately re-recorded by The Monkees under their creative control (the first recorded takes of "You Just May Be The One," "Valleri," and "Words," to name a few). Volume Three, available on CD only, continued this same approach of unreleased material and alternate versions. Bill Inglot and Andrew Sandoval's deep dive of the vaults that resulted in these finely crafted collections remain fan favorites.
All these years later, the original Missing Links trilogy is now slated to make a comeback for an exclusive, limited edition release on July 17 as part of a pandemic-adjusted Record Store Day 2021. Friday Music, which has previously tackled various Monkees reissues, announced today that all three Missing Links albums will be available on 180 gram audiophile vinyl in multiple color variations, limited to 2,000 copies for each volume. Of note, Volume 1 will contain the CD bonus tracks that were not part of the original vinyl and Volume 2 will feature the CD bonus tracks not found on the original cassette. This release also marks the premiere appearance of the second and third Missing Links installments on vinyl. Notably, the original cover of Volume 2 has been altered.
Record Store Day was founded in 2007 and has become an annual tradition. With a stated purpose of celebrating the culture of the independently owned record store, bands and labels will press unique items that are distributed exclusively to shops participating in the event. Thanks to Rhino Records, The Monkees have had several Record Store Day releases, all of which are collected in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac. Be sure to search a list of this year's participating stores where you can pick up your selections, but be aware that the color of the vinyl inside your Missing Links copy will be a surprise.
Missing Links Volume Two
Missing Links Volume Three
This May, Friday Music will release two different vinyl editions of Greatest Hits, the very first compilation of Monkees music originally issued by Colgems Records in June 1969.
Here are the details, courtesy of Friday Music, and thanks to Scott Nelson for the heads-up!
In 1969, Colgems Records honored their hugely successful recording act The Monkees with their first smash hits album simply titled "The Monkees Greatest Hits." The 14 track masterpiece is loaded with hit singles like "Daydream Believer," "Last Train To Clarksville," "I'm A Believer," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," & "Valleri."
The amazing LP was only in print for a very short time, making it an instant collector's item five decades ago.
Now, Friday Music is pleased to announce 50th Anniversary super limited edition 180 gram orange audiophile vinyl release of "The Monkees Greatest Hits." Impeccably mastered by Joe Reagoso (The Monkees) from the Colgems Records tapes, the masterwork is also packaged in the original artwork design that was seen in record shops back in 1969.
More hit tracks like "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "Valleri," "She," and "Shades Of Gray" are included as well as a super rare stereo mix of "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" to further enhance your Monkees listening experience.
The Monkees - Greatest Hits (180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Gold Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition)
Now available from Friday Music is Headquarters: Stack-O-Tracks on 180 gram clear vinyl. The LP features the instrumental backing tracks for each song from The Monkees' third album.
Thank you very much to Ben Belmares for providing scans of his copy that arrived today.
Friday Music is set to issue Headquarters: Stack-O-Tracks on 180 gram clear vinyl. It appears the LP will feature the instrumental backing tracks of the original lineup of songs.
On March 3, Friday Music issued a limited edition (gold) vinyl version of the soundtrack to The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head, entitled Head Alternate. This release features alternate versions of songs that appeared on the original soundtrack, such as "Can You Dig It" with a lead vocal by Peter Tork, a remixed "Daddy’s Song" with the slow verse sung by Davy Jones as seen in the movie, alternate stereo mixes of "Porpoise Song," "As We Go Along," and "Circle Sky," and a rough mix acetate of "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again." All of these alternate versions have been previously available on various CD releases by Rhino Records.
Once again, Ben Belmares delivers for The Monkees Live Almanac with his scans of this new release. Thanks, Ben!!
More information: HEAD-ALTERNATE (180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Gold Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition/ Gold Foil Cover)
Thanks to Scott Nelson for the heads-up!
PRE-ORDER: HEAD-ALTERNATE (180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Gold Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition/ Gold Foil Cover)
Thanks to BeatleStair at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums for these first-look photos of the recently released Monkees Mono Box Set from Friday Music. (Click photos to enlarge.)
Davy's 1971 LP for Bell Records finally made its compact disc debut in 2012. Released by Friday Music, the CD included the original album along with a variety of bonus tracks (including "I'll Believe In You," a stand-alone single issued in 1972) from Davy's short-lived era with Bell. You can purchase it on CD and it's also downloadable on iTunes.
(Photo courtesy Steve Hoffman Music Forum)
Friday Music has re-released the 2007 Rhino deluxe version of Headquarters. Packaged in a jewel case, the original stereo and mono albums are included, along with an abundance of bonus tracks, all spread out over two discs. It is available on Amazon, and the Steve Hoffman Music Forum is discussing the sound of the reissue and more here.
Friday Music's website is now displaying a promotional piece for their Justus CD/DVD deluxe edition.
"Friday Music is once again very honored to announce the continuation of The Monkees Friday Music Deluxe Edition Series with the first time CD & DVD release of their 1996 masterwork Justus. Mastered by Joe Reagoso (The Monkees/Elvis Presley/Brian Wilson) from the original analog Rhino Records tapes at Friday Music Studios, this legendary release is also for a very short time being offered with a limited edition first time ever DVD of the super rare Rhino Home Video."
There is no firm date listed for its release, but the site allows you to add it to your shopping cart and purchase it. Nothing alerts you that it isn't ready for shipping right now, so either it is available or one can assume it will be shipping shortly. (I did not complete the order so I'm not sure of any steps beyond the process of adding it to your cart. Please contact me if you purchased it and have more details.) For what it's worth, Amazon.com shows no listing for the deluxe edition as of this blog post.
According to their website, the Justus package will include "a colorful CD folder, Monkees memorabilia, interesting liner notes and new interview commentary from Micky Dolenz."
I'll post more details, including a firm release date, once they are available.
UPDATE 4/3/13: Friday Music's Facebook page lists a May 28, 2013 release date for their Justus deluxe CD/DVD package.
If you missed the Rhino limited edition "Girl"/"Rainy Jane" green vinyl single from earlier this year, Friday Music is taking pre-orders on a variation of it, this time with red vinyl.
More information can be found here.