Instant Replay, The Monkees' seventh album and the first to be released in the post-Peter Tork era, was issued by Colgems Records on February 15, 1969:
Micky Dolenz discusses the two most recent Monkees albums, "Head," Adam Schlesinger, and "Instant Replay"
Before the start of their extensive tour across North America, Micky, Davy, and Michael were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced "Tear Drop City" (their brand new single at the time) after a series of comedy sketches. The clip of "Tear Drop City" appears below. Check out Micky, Mike, and Davy's gear, too!
Thanks a lot to Yan Helgos Folkerts for sharing this review of The Monkees' seventh LP, Instant Replay, that was originally published in the February 15, 1969 issue of Cash Box.
The year 1969 was a tough one for The Monkees. Their TV show was long canceled, their special 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee was kind of a disaster (running up against the Academy Awards), and Peter Tork left the band. Despite all this, Instant Replay, the album they released in February of 1969, is actually quite good. Made up of a couple older songs they dug out of the vaults and newly recorded tracks done separately by each member, there are moments of pop brilliance sprinkled throughout and each of the remaining Monkees truly shines (some more brightly or oddly than the others). The old songs are perfectly Monkees-sounding; “Tear Drop City” was written by old friends Boyce & Hart and rocks like the "Last Train to Clarksville" knockoff it is, and "I Won’t Be the Same Without Her" is the kind of melancholy Goffin & King ballad Nesmith was always able to knock out of the park. Of the songs done by individual Monkees, they break down along more or less predictable lines. Nesmith’s two songs are strong country-rock ballads; “Don’t Wait for Me” gently rollicks along and “While I Cry” has one of Mike’s tenderest vocals. Micky’s two are weird and musically scattered, but impressive all the same; “Just a Game” is a tightly wound song that sounds like one of Davy’s showstoppers with its guts ripped out, while "Shorty Blackwell" is harder to describe and hearing it makes you wish Micky had really dedicated himself to music after the Monkees split. If he could have cranked out a whole album as "Broadway on acid" as this, it would have been amazing. Davy’s songs played to his strengths but showed some artistic growth too. Yeah, he was reliably sappy (“Don’t Listen to Linda”) and happily bouncy (“Me Without You"), but he also showed an impressively adult side on Goffin & King’s sophisticated ballad “Man Without a Dream” and, with the help of Neil Young (!) on guitar, rocked very hard on a very tough-sounding “You and I.” When you add up the catchy pop tunes, the weirdness, the heartfelt emotion, and the overall sound of the record, it stands with the group’s best work. Too bad it was ignored at the time and the band quickly splintered afterwards. [The bonus tracks added to Rhino's 1995 reissue make the album even more impressive. The non-album single "Someday Man" is one of Davy's best songs; he gives the Paul Williams-penned track a healthy dose of bravado and style. The rest are outtakes and alternate versions, including a spare take of Nesmith's classic psych-country "Carlisle Wheeling."]
On July 18th, 1966 at RCA Hollywood, Michael Nesmith acted as producer during a recording session that resulted in several of my favorite Monkees songs. Beginning at 8pm that evening and working until midnight, Nez was assisted by engineer Hank Cicalo while leading members of the Wrecking Crew (including Glen Campbell) along with his fellow Monkee, Peter Tork, through multiple takes of "I Won't Be The Same Without Her," "Sweet Young Thing," and the first version of "You Just May Be The One."
Andrew Sandoval documented the session in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, and for this blog post, we'll place the spotlight on Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "I Won't Be The Same Without Her":
The great team over at Written In Our Hearts recently posted this picture of Davy Jones with an unidentified person while holding a copy of The Monkees' 1969 album, Instant Replay. I've never seen this photo previously, and the WIOH crew had no further information. I'm thinking the gentleman with Davy is Jeff Neal, but I'm not completely certain. Anyone have any clues about when and where this picture was taken?
In celebration of The Monkees' 40th Anniversary in 2006, Rhino Records (in conjunction with Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval) issued the group's first four albums (The Monkees, More of The Monkees, Headquarters, and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.) as 2-CD deluxe editions, featuring the original stereo and mono versions of each album, along with a bevy of bonus tracks, including remixes, previously unreleased material, alternate mixes, and more. By 2010, however, the formula had changed.
Rhino's specialty Handmade division stepped in, and beginning with The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees in 2010, the releases became lavish 3-CD limited edition box sets. Featuring a 3-D lenticular cover and a booklet with detailed liner notes written by Sandoval, the first 1,000 orders for the Birds box were accompanied by a bonus 45 single, and the entire set was sold out by early 2011.
A 3-CD box for Head arrived later in 2010 (now sold out), and Instant Replay (2011) and The Monkees Present (2013) followed. Due to the success of the releases, Rhino Handmade went back to the beginning of The Monkees' catalog, issuing a Super Deluxe Edition of The Monkees in 2014 (which now appears to be sold out, too).
Both Instant Replay and The Monkees Present are still in stock at The Monkees' online store, and, if you haven't picked these up, you won't be disappointed. Both sets are brimming with material recorded throughout 1968 and 1969, an era in The Monkees' recorded history that too often gets overlooked. Check out each set below by clicking on its image, and don't forget to start saving up for the next Handmade release, More of The Monkees, which is coming soon!
UPDATE 3/10/2018: "The Monkees Present" deluxe box set appears to be sold out
Ann Moses was the editor of Tiger Beat from 1966–1972, writing countless stories about The Monkees during their heyday. Ann also acted as Hollywood correspondent to Britain's New Musical Express from 1968-1971. She has visited with The Monkees backstage during their most recent tours, and had the opportunity to interview Monkees archivist and tour producer Andrew Sandoval before Micky and Michael performed in Phoenix, Arizona last summer.
The European tour referenced above never took place, as this article from the May 1969 issue of Monkees Monthly explains.
Davy's song "Smile" was recorded in Hollywood in May 1968. The backing track featured Neil Young on guitar along with members of the Wrecking Crew. It remained unreleased until first appearing on Rhino's 1995 compact disc reissue of Instant Replay.
These are the actual album covers in its unused, pristine state, before it was pasted onto the cardboard LP jacket
In this video, Davey Lane puts his spin on the opening number from The Monkees' 1969 LP Instant Replay. For more Monkees covers by Australian artists, check out the link below:
The Monkees Effect: Aussie Artists Pay Tribute to the Culture-Defining Band Ahead of Their Australian Tour
Here's the fuzz guitar mono mix of the song from the Instant Replay deluxe edition:
"A Man Without a Dream" is one of my favorite Davy Jones-led Monkees songs, and "Tear Drop City," I feel, has been unfairly maligned over the years:
Check out this great article (from the March 8, 1969 issue of the UK newspaper Record Mirror) that Andrew Sandoval posted on Facebook a while back. Davy talks about Peter's departure from The Monkees and its impact on the group, the debut of the TV show in syndication is referenced, and Michael promotes The Monkees' upcoming live appearances on their 1969 tour.
"While I Cry," written by Michael Nesmith and recorded in January 1968, is one of my favorite Monkees songs. It was featured on The Monkees' 1969 album Instant Replay.
"It has kind of a rolling guitar intro," Michael told Andrew Sandoval. "It's slow. It's a ballad. It's me playing guitar, a guitar lick that I was just foolin' around with and wrote a song around the lick. Not an uncommon move."
Thanks to John for alerting the Live Almanac to this animated GIF of the Instant Replay cover. It's another unique creation by Michelle66, whose series of alternate reality Monkees albums appeared on the Live Almanac blog last summer.
Originally recorded in October 1966, "Tear Drop City" (written and produced by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart) didn't see official release until it was selected as the first post-Peter Tork Monkees single in February 1969. The flip side, "A Man Without a Dream," was written by Gerry Goffin & Carole King and produced by Bones Howe. Both songs appeared on the 1969 album Instant Replay.
Micky, Davy, and Michael were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced their brand new single "Tear Drop City." The trio's entire appearance from The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour will soon be made available on the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray box set!
Here's the mono promotional single mix of "A Man Without a Dream."
Pam from the United Kingdom wrote to Monkees Monthly about her love of the Instant Replay album (and Davy).