Arriving in June 1987, Missing Links was the first-ever collection 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, Micky, and Davy 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 was initially released on LP and cassette, and later in December 1988 on compact disc with bonus tracks.
The album was noteworthy for its inclusion of "All of Your Toys," the first song to feature all four Monkees playing on a single track. It was intended as the group's next single release in early 1967 until the tensions with Don Kirshner boiled over. Two of Michael's tracks, "Nine Times Blue" and "Carlisle Wheeling," were later re-recorded during the First National Band era (with the latter being renamed "Conversations").
The CD edition of Missing Links featured four additional tracks: Micky's "Rosemarie," Michael's "My Share of the Sidewalk," Peter's "Lady's Baby," and "Time and Time Again," co-written by Davy with Bill Chadwick.
Two more Missing Links volumes followed: Volume 2 arrived in 1990 and Volume 3 in 1996. Volume 2, available on cassette and compact disc only, included more previously unheard tracks as well as TV show versions of songs that were never officially released but ultimately re-recorded by The Monkees under their creative control (the original takes of "You Just May Be The One," "Valleri," and "Words," to name a few). Volume 3, available on CD only, continued this same approach of unreleased material and alternate versions.
By the mid-1990s, Rhino Records was undertaking a massive Monkees reissue program, with each original album being remastered for CD release and featuring bonus tracks consisting of previously unreleased material, alternate mixes, and more. Perhaps because of this new approach, the Missing Links series had become redundant. However, a Volume 4 could possibly be sustained with material that still hasn't seen official release, as previously examined.
Live in 2021