Those who became fans during The Monkees' resurgence in 1986 (like myself) will no doubt have fond memories of the Arista Records compilation Then & Now...The Best of The Monkees.
Released in June that year, the album contained the group's greatest hits, along with three new tracks recorded just in time for The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour: "That Was Then, This Is Now," "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," and "Kicks." Then & Now peaked at #21 and became a million seller, aided by the "That Was Then, This Is Now" single, which climbed to #20 while its accompanying music video received heavy airplay on MTV.
Arista, however, had originally planned to release a 2-LP set entitled The Best Of The Monkees to celebrate The Monkees' 20th Anniversary, but plans were changed when it was decided to record new tracks. With the double LP already pressed, it was instead made available via mail order and was distributed by Silver Eagle Records:
The Silver Eagle release featured 24 tracks but unlike the Then & Now issue, there was no gatefold cover and the liner notes were not included.
The Silver Eagle version of the album was also issued on cassette. A combination of both the Silver Eagle Best Of and Arista's Then & Now was released on compact disc in August 1986 and became the first Monkees CD to be made available in the United States.
This commercial aired in 1986 and 1987 advertising the 2-LP Silver Eagle set:
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