WORLD PREMIERE #2: "I WANNA BE FREE (OVERDUBBED DEMO – TAKE TWO)" FROM THE MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)
My copy of The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) arrived in the mail today. Here's a peek at the last paragraph of Andrew Sandoval's essay which is featured in the booklet that accompanies the set...an encouraging sign that the deluxe boxes will continue...
"Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Monkees new Rhino Handmade box set - for all those waiting, here's a sneak preview of 'All The King's Horses.' A bit of historical background: this is one of Michael Nesmith's earliest productions for The Monkees, but it was initially only featured on the soundtrack of the television show - never on record. In 1989, Bill Inglot mixed a version from the only surviving multitrack of the song (issued in January 1990 on Missing Links 2).... However, that tape was missing the final vocal overdubs and no other source existed in Rhino's vault. 25 years later, Sony (who own the Screen Gems shows for syndication) allowed me access to their original film mag and 1/4" elements to get a 'clean' version of the final production without sound effects and horse gallops (yes, we all lived with that bootleg for decades). And hear it is...
But one more thing: I also located an original acetate lacquer disc of The Monkees' earliest sessions which featured Michael double tracking the lead vocals without Micky. These vocals were later replaced with what you hear on Missing Links 2 and the new box set. The only existing acetate of this audio snapshot was given by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart to a neighborhood toddler near their Hollywood Hills songwriting hideaway. That youngster eventually sold it to me and I am sharing it officially with all Monkees fans via Rhino on this box set - it is included on disc two of the set with all of the other notable session material that could be culled from the scratchy wonder. Enjoy!"
It's so odd to hear this without the bits from the TV show! And does anyone else think that this song definitely should have made the track list of the debut album?
This long sought after TV version of "All The King's Horses" is, by the way, featured on the upcoming super deluxe edition of The Monkees, courtesy of Rhino Handmade.
While we are on the subject, here's a history of the various mixes of "All The King's Horses," courtesy of the great Monkees Mixography website.
Don't forget that Michael demoed this song in 1965 before The Monkees. Fast forward to 2:14 to hear the demo:
The following message was posted on The Monkees' official Facebook page today:
Here's a sight to behold! We've unboxed the upcoming MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION) 3CD box set, and we couldn't be more excited. Each CD in the set – the remastered debut album, the unreleased compilation "Sessions," and the third disc of Davy and Michael's solo projects – comes in it's own beautifully replicated album art slipcase. And, the full color booklet and essay gives you a behind-the-scenes story of the beginning of The Monkees! Individually numbered, limited quantities remain.
"Wow, we're down to ONLY 2,000 boxes left of THE MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)! You're gonna wanna get in on this 3 CD set, packed with 100 tracks and a massive 45 previously unreleased tracks! Out November 11, and strictly limited edition, these puppies are going fast!"
You can pre-order The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) now.
"Thrilled to share Rhino's announcement on Tommy Boyce's birthday of this fantastic set. I am really proud of how this came together: a bunch of heretofore unissued tracks, a new essaay and a good selection of unpublished photos.
It gets tougher and tougher to deal with everyone's 'what's left?' questions. The answer in this case is some truly significant finds that only surfaced recently. My personal favorites are the TV mixes which were expertly transferred from the original film elements by Sony. They have full fades and no dialogue or effects over the top. Was as excited to hear these as I was when I was a kid first watching the show.
At my heart, I am a fan and I love doing projects for the fans. My presentations of the Monkees in print, on record and the live tours all come from that place. I am proud of my association with them and Rhino.
No one has to buy this - but if you have the other sets, I am positive you will enjoy it. I really enjoyed crafting this one just for you - and you know who you are..."
Andrew also commented on the source tapes for the Jones and Nesmith solo tracks that are appearing on the new box set:
Rhino announces pre-orders for "The Monkees" (Super Deluxe Edition); set will include Jones & Nesmith solo recordings
This afternoon, pre-orders were made available for The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition). Announced via Monkees.com, the box set will be released on November 11, 2014.
BOX COVER IMAGE
Rhino Handmade takes you back to where The Monkees story all began with THE MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)! Packed with a jumbo-sized 100 tracks (45 previously unreleased!) over 3 CDs, the first disc features the spectacular original album remastered in both mono and stereo, including the debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville," show favorite "(Theme From) The Monkees," and the raw romper "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day," with 12 bonus tracks that feature unreleased versions, alternative tracks, and TV & radio spots.
Comprised entirely of previously unreleased tracks on the second disc, 'Sessions' features rare and unheard recordings - 31 in total. Some highlights include the master backing tracks for "Let's Dance On," "This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day," and "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day." The disc also features several alternate versions of songs from the debut album, including an alternate vocal take by Michael Nesmith on "The Kind of Girl I Could Love," several versions of "I Wanna Be Free," rehearsal tracks, and much more!
The final disc takes us back to the beginning of Davy Jones' career, with his solo debut album recorded a year before the Monkees, DAVID JONES. Davy's classic pop album is presented in both mono and stereo, featuring "What Are We Going To Do?," "Baby It's Me," "It Ain't Me Babe," and more. The box set also features bonus single tracks by both Davy Jones and Michael Blessing (AKA Michael Nesmith). The disc is wrapped up with four demo tracks of The Monkees' "I Wanna Be Free."
Strictly limited to 4,000 individually numbered boxes, THE MONKEES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION) is another unique entry in the Monkees reissue series. Shipping in November 2014, this set is now available for pre-order exclusively at Monkees.com. This box is not available at any other retailer or online store and is certain to sell out, so reserve your copy today!
The Original Mono Album
1. (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES
2. SATURDAY’S CHILD
3. I WANNA BE FREE
4. TOMORROW’S GONNA BE ANOTHER DAY
5. PAPA GENE’S BLUES
6. TAKE A GIANT STEP
7. LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE
8. THIS JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MY DAY
9. LET’S DANCE ON
10. I’LL BE TRUE TO YOU
11. SWEET YOUNG THING
12. GONNA BUY ME A DOG
The Original Stereo Album
13. (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES
14. SATURDAY’S CHILD
15. I WANNA BE FREE
16. TOMORROW’S GONNA BE ANOTHER DAY
17. PAPA GENE’S BLUES
18. TAKE A GIANT STEP
19. LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE
20. THIS JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MY DAY
21. LET’S DANCE ON
22. I’LL BE TRUE TO YOU
23. SWEET YOUNG THING
24. GONNA BUY ME A DOG
25. (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES (SECOND VERSION)
26. YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (MONO TV VERSION) †
27. THIS JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MY DAY (MONO TV VERSION) †
28. TAKE A GIANT STEP (MONO TV VERSION) †
29. ALL THE KING’S HORSES (MONO TV VERSION) †
30. I WANNA BE FREE (FAST VERSION – MONO TV MIX) †
31. THE KIND OF GIRL I COULD LOVE (ALTERNATE MONO MIX) †
32. MONKEES NBC PROMO SPOT †
33. SATURDAY’S CHILD (MONO TV VERSION) †
34. KELLOGG’S JINGLE
35. MONKEES RADIO SPOT
36. (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES (TV VERSION)
The Monkees - Sessions
1. I WANNA BE FREE (OVERDUBBED DEMO – TAKE 2) †
2. ALL THE KING’S HORSES (ALTERNATE VOCAL TAKE) †
3. THE KIND OF GIRL I COULD LOVE (ALTERNATE VOCAL TAKE) †
4. I DON’T THINK YOU KNOW ME (STEREO REMIX – MICKY’S VOCAL) †
5. (THEME FROM) THE MONKEES (VERSION ONE - MASTER BACKING TRACK) †
6. LET’S DANCE ON (MASTER BACKING TRACK) †
7. THIS JUST DOESN’T SEEM TO BE MY DAY (MASTER BACKING TRACK) †
8. GONNA BUY ME A DOG (VERSION ONE - BACKING TRACK TAKE FIVE) †
9. SO GOES LOVE (TAKE ONE) †
10. SO GOES LOVE (ALTERNATE VOCAL TAKE) †
11. PAPA GENE’S BLUES (BACKING TRACK - TAKE ONE) †
12. PAPA GENE’S BLUES (ALTERNATE VOCAL TAKE) †
13. I’LL BE TRUE TO YOU (STEREO REMIX) †
14. I WON’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER (BACKING TRACK - TAKE SIX) †
15. I WON’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER (STEREO REMIX) †
16. SWEET YOUNG THING (BACKING TRACK - TAKE ONE) †
17. SWEET YOUNG THING (STEREO REMIX) †
18. YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (REHEARSAL & BACKING TRACK – TAKE NINETEEN) †
19. YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE (STEREO REMIX) †
20. I WANNA BE FREE (VERSION TWO - BACKING TRACK TAKE SIX) †
21. I WANNA BE FREE (VERSION THREE - BACKING TRACK TAKE THREE) †
22. I WANNA BE FREE (VERSION THREE – STEREO REMIX) †
23. JOKES (BACKING TRACK) †
24. TOMORROW’S GONNA BE ANOTHER DAY (MASTER BACKING TRACK) †
25. GONNA BUY ME A DOG (VERSION TWO – BACKING TRACK TAKE TWO) †
26. I CAN’T GET HER OFF OF MY MIND (VERSION ONE – STEREO REMIX) †
27. MARY, MARY (BACKING TRACK – TAKE ONE) †
28. OF YOU (BACKING TRACK – TAKE ONE) †
29. OF YOU (STEREO REMIX) †
30. (I PRITHEE) DO NOT ASK FOR LOVE (REHEARSAL) †
31. (I PRITHEE) DO NOT ASK FOR LOVE (STEREO REMIX OF DAVY’S VOCAL) †
David Jones - The Original Mono Album
1. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
2. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE I’M A LONDONER
3. PUT ME AMONGST THE GIRLS
4. ANY OLD IRON
5. THEME FOR A NEW LOVE
6. IT AIN’T ME BABE
7. FACE UP TO IT
8. DREAM WORLD
9. BABY IT’S ME
10. MY DAD
11. THIS BOUQUET
David Jones - The Singles
12. TAKE ME TO PARADISE
13. THE GIRL FROM CHELSEA
David Jones - The Original Stereo Album
14. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?
15. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE I’M A LONDONER
16. PUT ME AMONGST THE GIRLS
17. ANY OLD IRON
18. THEME FOR A NEW LOVE
19. IT AIN’T ME BABE
20. FACE UP TO IT
21. BABY IT’S ME
22. MY DAD
23. THIS BOUQUET
Michael Blessing - The Singles
24. THE NEW RECRUIT
25. A JOURNEY WITH MICHAEL BLESSING
26. UNTIL IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO GO
27. WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE TROUBLE OFFICER
28. WHO DO YOU LOVE †
29. GET OUT OF MY LIFE WOMAN †
The Monkees – Demos
30. I WANNA BE FREE (REHEARSAL) †
31. I WANNA BE FREE (DEMO – TAKE TWELVE) †
32. I WANNA BE FREE (DEMO REMAKE – TAKE ONE) †
33. I WANNA BE FREE (DEMO REMAKE – TAKE FIVE) †
† Previously unissued recording
At the 2014 Monkees convention in New Jersey this past winter, Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval announced the release of a 3-CD super deluxe edition of The Monkees (the group's debut album) with a scheduled street date of November 2014. No further information has surfaced since that time.
This weekend, however, Davey Meredith submitted an email to the Live Almanac that came from Artist Arena, the agency that handled ticket pre-sales for the 2014 Monkees spring tour. Part of the pre-sale package was a copy of the upcoming Rhino Handmade box set. A friend of Davey's contacted Artist Arena to check the status of the order, and this is the reply that was received:
To date, no general pre-orders have been made available by Rhino Handmade for the super deluxe edition. Keep checking back with the Live Almanac for any new information!
In March, Rhino Records announced that The Monkees' eponymous debut album would receive the super deluxe treatment in the form of a 3-CD box set. No details have been announced, but that hasn't stopped fans from speculating as to what will be included on this latest Monkees collection. There are demos in existence, including Davy singing "I Wanna Be Free." Several songs from the first Monkees album appeared in different (and heretofore unreleased) mixes on the TV show, including "Saturday's Child" and "Take a Giant Step." Don't forget about the alternate TV take of "All the King's Horses," too. Andrew Sandoval has played multiple unique mixes of songs from the early era of The Monkees on his Come to the Sunshine internet radio program, including "This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day," "Papa Gene's Blues," "I Wanna Be Free," and "Sweet Young Thing." How about the Boyce & Hart demos for the pilot episode (and others)? Then there are acetates for songs like "All the King's Horses," which was heard during the pre-concert show on the 2012 tour and featured a double tracked lead vocal by Mike and no vocals from Micky.
A dream find for the upcoming super deluxe edition would certainly be the session that The Monkees undertook in June 1966 with Snuff Garrett, the first person to officially produce The Monkees in the studio. In the months after the pilot was sold in early 1966, Don Kirshner hired Garrett (temporarily sidestepping Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart), who then signed a contract stating he alone would produce every Monkees recording. Garrett was best known for his work with Gary Lewis & The Playboys, and he brought along arranger Leon Russell to the Monkees sessions. "Snuffy was my guy because I thought he was a fabulous producer," Kirshner later told Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval. "Snuffy had a great feel, a great personality. Terrific producer; a fun guy. I figured with his personality and sense of humor that he could do amazing things with The Monkees." Garrett didn't share in Kirshner's enthusiasm. "Donnie started calling me at home, saying, ‘We got this group. They're gonna be on television,'" Garrett recalled of his introduction to The Monkees. "He said, 'I want you to make an exclusive deal to produce them.' Then I said, ‘Donnie, I really don’t want to. I’m busy as hell right now.' I had a group called Gary Lewis & The Playboys, and I was doing a few other things, but that's really what I was concentrating on. So I just told him. 'Don, I appreciate it.' [He said], 'No, you gotta do it. This is perfect for you.'" Little did the parties involved realize that the relationship between Garrett and The Monkees would not be an enduring one.
On June 10, 1966 at RCA Hollywood, ace session musicians were on hand for the first (and ultimately last) Monkees recording session with Snuff Garrett. Sonny Curtis (guitar), Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Knechtel (piano and organ), Ray Pohlman (eight-string bass), and Glen Campbell and James Burton (both 12-string electric guitar) cut two songs, Boyce & Hart's "Let's Dance On" and Goffin & King's "Take a Giant Step." Sandoval spoke with Garrett about his one day of work with The Monkees for the liner notes of the 2006 deluxe edition release of The Monkees, and noted how the group's zany antics didn't go over well with their new producer. "I do remember that night very well," Garrett said. "I had 'em each on mic, and it was kinda like that show you got now, American Idol, you know, lettin' each of 'em sing. I was not happy at all...Then I announced the little guy there, Davy, was going to be the lead singer. They went #?!*ing berserko."
The session came to a halt, and The Monkees quickly expressed their dissatisfaction with Garrett. The feeling was, apparently, mutual. "I told [Music Supervisor] Lester [Sill], 'Tell Donnie it's not working out worth a damn," Garrett recalled to Sandoval. "They were tellin' me how the guys didn't like me, and they would never go for Davy being [lead singer]. [I said], 'Hey, I don't particularly give a #?!* what they go for...I got a contract with you. I'm runnin' it.' In his book, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, Sandoval says the Snuff Garrett session tapes are lost, but reported that those who had heard the results "described them as sounding rather like Gary Lewis outtakes." In a 2006 interview that I conducted with Andrew, he was asked about the status of the Garrett sessions and if they had been found since the publication of his book in 2005. "We have not found many things since my book was published," he replied. (I'm not aware of any recent comments by Andrew on whether or not the Garrett tapes have been located or even if there have been fresh attempts to find them. UPDATE 1/10/2015: In a podcast interview, Sandoval confirms that the Garrett tapes still have not been located. You can hear his remarks at the 26:30 point of the interview.)
Although Snuff Garrett ultimately didn't produce The Monkees, a group that quickly became an international success, he didn't make out too bad from the deal. When relations broke down between Garrett and The Monkees, Garrett was almost immediately asked to leave the project. "I didn’t want it in the first place...So they named a number, and I don't even remember now – it was 50, 75 thousand, 100 – it was a considerable amount of money," he told Andrew Sandoval. "Whatever the hell it was, I accepted and walked out and I used to laugh about how I did real good out of that one terrible session."
In the aftermath of the Garrett/Monkees debacle, Michael Nesmith produced a tracking session on June 25, 1966 that yielded very admirable results. Recorded that day were backing tracks for "The Kind of Girl I Could Love," "All the King's Horses," and "I Don't Think You Know Me." Kirshner, however, would leave these songs off the group's debut LP. Recording sessions resumed on July 5, 1966 with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart at the helm. The Monkees' debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville," would soon be cut, and subsequent sessions produced the songs that ultimately made up The Monkees, released in October 1966.
Rhino Records has announced a November 2014 street date for the super deluxe edition of The Monkees. Keep checking back with the Live Almanac for an official track listing.
During the mid-2000s Rhino Records decided to release 2-CD deluxe editions of the first four Monkees albums to mark the 40th Anniversary of the group. By the time The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees came around for treatment, the series was turned over to Rhino Handmade. The Handmade division produced the well received over-sized (and now 3-disc) box sets for the Birds album, along with Head, Instant Replay, and The Monkees Present. Combined, all of these releases have opened up the Monkees tape vault more than fans could have ever imagined, and arguably more so than other groups and artists.
And now, the group's 1966 debut album will get another treatment, this time in the form of a Super Deluxe Edition. Monkees.com has promised details for The Monkees super box will be made available next week. Pre-orders for this November 2014 release will also be accepted. (UPDATE September 21, 2014: Rhino has yet to release a confirmed track listing for this set, but it's apparently still slated for a November release.)
A dream find would be the recording sessions that The Monkees undertook with Snuff Garrett, the first producer chosen for the Monkees project. Stay tuned to the blog for further updates.