With the multitracks and session tapes still missing for the last original Monkees album, Changes, the 1990s Rhino Records compact disc version may be the final word on this effort by Micky and Davy, who were the two remaining group members at the time of its release. Initially landing in record stores in June 1970, Changes failed to chart until 1986 when it made its Billboard debut during the Monkees revival of that year, peaking at #152. (Changes had been reissued on vinyl by Rhino in June 1986.)
After purchasing the rights to the Monkees catalog in the early 1990s, Rhino Records undertook a huge Monkees campaign starting in 1994, releasing a limited edition VHS box set of the television series plus the original Monkees albums on compact disc, digitally remastered with bonus tracks. Below are scans of the 1994 Changes CD (including Andrew Sandoval's liner notes), which was part of the first wave of CD releases along with the debut album, The Monkees, as well as The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.
Goldmine magazine reviewed the Changes compact disc release in its March 17, 1995 issue:
From 1970, Changes features just Dolenz and Jones and was the last original album released under
The Monkees’ name until 1987′s Pool It!
Changes has long been considered the low point of The Monkees’ recording career, but it has its moments. The opener, “Oh My My,” is a splendidly soulful single that should have been a hit. And “I Love You Better” is a good example of radio-ready bubblegum, vaguely reminiscent of Neil Diamond’s early singles.
Meanwhile, Jones rocks out half-convincingly on the dumb-but-endearing “99 Pounds,” while “I Never Thought It Peculiar” fulfills the dreaded Guilty Pleasure spot: it’s a gawky, guileless Boyce-Hart pop tune, devoid of definable merit yet utterly, utterly charming. Dolenz’s bubblesoul vocals almost save “Tell Me Love” (why didn’t this guy have AM radio hits in the ’70s?!), and Jones’s essential cuddliness redeems “Do You Feel It Too?”
But too much of this stuff is lame and faceless, more suited to the bland pop stylings of Andy Kim and Bobby Bloom (both of whom were involved in making Changes) than to The Monkees. It’s no real surprise that this album was effectively The Monkees’ swan song.
Changes’ bonus tracks are all previously-released; attempts to come up with unreleased tracks from the vault – specifically, “Which Way Do You Want It” and “Ride Baby Ride,” which were recorded during the Changes sessions – came up empty. Instead, we have the appealingly atmospheric “Time
And Time Again” (previously issued on Missing Links) and both sides of a 1971 Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones single, “Do It In The Name Of Love” and “Lady Jane,” the latter of which has never been reissued before.
FNB Redux Tour
Micky Dolenz Live
Now Available from 7a Records