In 1994, Rhino Records began issuing the original Monkees albums on compact disc, digitally remastered with bonus tracks. Overseen by Andrew Sandoval and Bill Inglot, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees was part of the first wave of the campaign, released on September 20, 1994, along with The Monkees and Changes. The package featured informative liner notes written by Monkees archivist Sandoval, along with detailed session credits for each song.
In 2010, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees was once again reissued, this time by Rhino Handmade as a phenomenal 3-CD super deluxe edition box set in another project overseen by Andrew Sandoval. You can read much more about the album and its various editions in the archives of the Live Almanac, including the LP's original track listing.
I still have a soft spot for the very first Monkees box set ever issued by Rhino Records on September 24, 1991. Listen to the Band was a 4-CD collection that included a memorabilia poster and a detailed booklet written and compiled by Andrew Sandoval, and it featured many songs that had not been previously released on compact disc. The September 1991 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine, which celebrated The Monkees' 25th Anniversary, previewed the box with comments by Sandoval and more. Note the discussion about live tapes from the 1969 tour. You can read a more current take of those tapes on the '69 tour page here on the site.
The super deluxe edition of The Monkees' sophomore album, More Of The Monkees, is now available! 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.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval, who produced the box for Rhino Records, was enthused about its release when speaking to Monkees.com last month. "This is the most exciting archival dig through The Monkees' vault since 2009's The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees deluxe edition. Every track is newly mastered for this set; the live material is the most historically significant of their career."
A special 7" vinyl single with accompanying picture sleeve, "I'm A Believer" (remix) / "(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” (vocals only), is also a part of the package and is shrink-wrapped inside the box.
Below you can see the front and back cover of the expansive booklet, featuring a newly written essay by Andrew Sandoval. You can order the More Of The Monkees super deluxe edition from Monkees.com.
As you can see, I received box #788:
In an email this evening, Rhino Customer Service alerted fans about the new release date for the More Of The Monkees super deluxe edition. The set was originally scheduled for December 15 but was later moved back a week, and it will now ship on December 29.
UPDATE 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.
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!
Monkee Flips was a 1984 compilation album issued by Rhino Records. Labeled as the "Best of The Monkees, Volume Four," it followed the two Arista compilations (released in 1976 and 1982, respectively) and Rhino's 1982 Monkee Business picture disc. Monkee Flips was available in both LP and cassette formats, and was one of the first Monkees albums I owned. It was reisused in 1986 during The Monkees' 20th Anniversary.
Thank you very much to Ben Belmares who provided the scans seen below.
This afternoon I'm featuring two albums that I purchased as a brand new Monkees fan after watching the Pleasant Valley Sunday MTV marathon in February 1986. Monkee Business and Monkee Flips were the earliest Monkees-related releases on Rhino Records. I've profiled both albums previously on the blog, but thanks to Ben Belmares, I can post upgraded scans of each LP. Let's take a look at Monkee Business first.
Monkee Business was a singles and rarities compilation issued by Rhino Records in 1982 as a picture disc, and the first Monkees collection on the Rhino label. A cassette version was also made available.
The album was reissued in 1986 during The Monkees' blockbuster 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour. The second pressing contained a mono mix of "Someday Man" with studio chatter at the beginning, which wasn't heard on the 1982 edition. (This chatter can now be heard on CD via the Instant Replay deluxe edition). Copies from 1986 can be identified by "RE-1" in the runoff groove. The first and second pressings also featured other variations.
Thanks again to Ben Belmares for the great scans!
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.
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 always, Ben Belmares delivers with scans of the vinyl edition for the newly issued Summer of Love collection. Thanks, Ben!
Originally advertised as being pressed on "red & white splatter vinyl," note that the sticker of the official release denotes the color scheme as "pink & green splatter."
Summer of Love, a brand new Monkees collection from Rhino Records, is (at least initially) a brick & mortar retail exclusive, but some outlets like Bull Moose and Barnes & Noble are making it available as an online purchase. Bull Moose, however, is only offering the vinyl for sale while the CD is in-store only, and Barnes & Noble is taking orders for each version. FYE is another option, with both editions available online. At this time, Amazon has no stock of Summer of Love.
Be sure to check your local record store!
The expansive Monkees Blu-ray set, along with the deluxe editions for Instant Replay and The Monkees Present, and more are 20% off through July 4th at 11:59pm PST. Discounts will be applied at checkout. Click the image below to browse!
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
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."