Friday, 21 December 2007

Mark Mikel on The Monkees part one

Mark Mikel loves

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Davey Jones and Mike Nesmith
Mark Mikel is a huge Monkees fan and here are some of his thoughts on the band's albums....
If you're a fan of 1960's pop music then you'll love almost anything by The Monkees. Not only is Micky Dolenz one of rock's all time best singers but the amount of talent poured into those tracks amaze me to this day.The Monkees only made 3 GREAT albums (to me) out of 11- "Headquarters," "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones LTD," and "Head." The rest is a treasure hunt with many riches and undesirables. Lots of their best stuff was never released until the Missing Links Comps on Rhino (late 80s-early 90s).Here's my quick synopsis on their output:

The Monkees - 1966 pop music at it's finest. A hodge podge of producers: Boyce & Hart, Mike Nesmith, Jack Keller. Not ground-breaking but essential for anyone who wants to learn how to write and arrange a good song. Nesmith employs The Wrecking Crew who play on more 60s records than you even want to know (most notably Phil Spector's Wall of Sound and The Beach Boys singles/albums). Album highlights: Saturday's Child, Papa Gene's Blues, Take a Giant Step, Last Train to Clarksville, Sweet Young Thing, Gonna Buy Me a Dog.

More of the Monkees - more of the same as the title implies but adds-in producer Jeff Barry who scores big with "I'm a Believer." Also Neil Sedaka and Carol Bayer produce a decent sleeper on there "When Love Comes Knockin (At Your Door)". This is their biggest selling album but also the one that pissed off Nesmith to high extremes. Rhino recently released the deluxe editions of the first two albums and they give you all the Nez productions that were left off the original releases. It becomes obvious that music supervisor Don Kirshner really dogged him because MN's schtuff was by far the best. Album highlights: She, Mary,Mary, Your Auntie Grizelda, (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone, Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow), Sometime in the Morning, I'm a Believer.
She from More of the Monkees was the first Monkees song I ever heard. I had to beg my dad for it when he was buying a stack of platters for his new Zenith console. He was stocking up on Herb Alpert, Al Hirt, Simon & Garfunkel, The Sound of Music Sountrack...I loved those too. I embarrassed him at the check out counter by pleading like I was pleading for my life. I guess I really was because he relented and my life as I know it began that night. I received the debut Monkees album in September 67 for my birthday from my uncle who was always impressed at my note for note "Your Auntie Grizelda" recital. He was also responsible for getting me PAC&J LTD. The Monkees music changed my life and I've never changed back.

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