The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Monkees


4-3-08 The Monkees

Never a big fan of The Monkees, apart from their film “Head”. But I do have a small Monkees collection:

GREATEST HITS RHINO US R2 72190 CD

HEAD (O.S.T.) RHINO US R2 71795 CD

HEAD (O.S.T.) promo ARISTA JPN 25RS-125 LP

I'M A BELIEVER / (I'M NOT YOUR) STEPPING STONE RCA UK RCA 1560 7"

MONKEES, THE ARISTA DE DARTY 12 LPx2

These days, a “Greatest Hits” CD by The Monkees suffices my needs – usually when assembling a 60’s compilation. The hits are pretty good, but album-wize, I am really only good with the cut-up technique used on the “Head” OST. Yes, even have a DVD of this film!

I once read Mickey Dolenz’s autobiography – let’s just say he was not a happy guy. The book seemed very bitter about his lack of success after the end of their TV series. I guess he’s rich enough – but money can’t buy you love or happiness, I guess.

Rhino Records pretty much built their foundation on re-issues of Monkees LP’s & CD’s – long before they were a Grammy-winning company, under the wing of WEA. Folks in the L.A. area will be familiar with the two Rhino Records stores that were once here – with only the distant cousin (Rhino Claremont) still in business. Yes, Rhino Records the store and the label were – at one time – the same people.

Trainspotter’s corner: The very first blog I ever wrote and posted was about The Monkees – I had yet to decide if I was going to be snotty about everything or occasionally admit my ignorance. So, I was fairly dismissive of The Monkees, in July ‘02.

They’re OK – but I do not feel the need to have real original LP’s or even CD’s of the individual albums. The hits are good, and the Rhino ‘Best of’ CD with 20 or so tracks does the job.

Remember Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart? They toured Japan…made a Japanese-only (Toshiba) LP etc. Where’s that Peter Tork solo album? Several of my friends take Michael Nesmith very seriously. I have never had the time to get to any of his highly-regarded solo works. They’re all still alive, as of this writing, aren’t they? (I forget if it was Boyce or Hart who died, but one of them has passed on – they used to write for The Monkees).

There’s a book all about ‘fake bands’ – bands created fior TV shows etc. – I bet Chapter 1 is on The Monkees. Were they the template for The Partridge Family? No, wait – that was The Cowsills!

Can You Dig It?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Re: Rhino:

Yeah, I remember when they just had a catalog of Monkees, Turtles, Firesign Theatre and a handful of novelty records. I never would have guessed back then that they would become so darn, well, legit for lack of a better word.

I'm fine with a Monkees best of too. I like 'em well enough as long as Davy Jones isn't near the mic. I finally got to see Head at a rep theatre in the mid-80s and loved it! "The Porpoise Song" is the greatest! I also love Bongwater's reverent cover version.

As for Peter Tork's solo album - do you mean The New Monks?

10:14 AM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

Re: Michael Nesmith -

I'm a big fan of his first three solo LPs "Magnetic South", "Loose Salute" and "Nevada Fighter". He had a real band on those LPs and the songs are very good. I'm a sucker for slick pedal steel guitar and he had one of the best in the business - Red Rhodes. I should note that I'm not really a country music fan at all, but Michael's country flavored songs (even on the Monkees LPs) were always my favorites. His next three LPs were uneven but had some great tracks as well. After that his music became more MOR being written for his pioneering video work and was not as interesting to me.

I also have a great 20 track Monkees collection but I also borrowed a friend's box set and made myself a CD-R of some other favorites (mostly Mike stuff).

9:16 PM  

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