Saturday, October 13, 2007

Number 549 - Michael Nesmith


Number 549

Michael Nesmith

"Cruisin'"


(1979)

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Genre:Pop
art by dancingperfect
There is something John Lennonesque about Michael Nesmith. After all I guess he is the thinking mans man of the Monkees as Lennon was to The Beatles. Arguably he is the most talented of any Monkee, even most Beatles (gasp), he writes, produces, creates, sings, TV shows, MTV video's, Grammy award winner ... the list is long as my felony record!
Crusin' was a minor major hit (all the way you look at it) here in New Zealand and to be honest now in 2007 to research the song and learn that it never made the Billboard 100 in '79 is a real shock. Ah well, stranger things have happened, guess that explains Miss Spears and that damned Frog! Now where is Sunset Sam, Lucy & Ramona? Oh, and hey America, can you please vote for Ron Paul, he seems like a real nice honest person for a change, but if you don't .. can you send him here? Because we need a politician like that. (Trust me, try living here... sure the mountains look pretty)
Monkee Magic
As the '70s drew to a close, Michael Nesmith's music had still retained all of the intellect, intrinsic charm, and dry wit that had defined his tenure as a Monkee, as well as his country-rock-flavored solo material from earlier in the decade. The cryptically titled Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma was "Papa Nez"'s ninth post-Monkees solo studio effort in as many years. The Southwestern motif that practically defined Nesmith's First and Second National Band(s) remained throughout his late-'70s releases, although now the distinct pedal-steel guitars had been morphed into the more traditional rock & roll electric ones. The ten tracks cover a lot of ground, from the '50s sock-hop ballad "Magic" to a more modern approach to love songs on "Carioca" -- featuring one of Nesmith's finest unions of lyric to melody. These contrast well with the full-fledged heavy-rockers "Factions" and "Horserace," or the slightly Caribbean feel of the up-tempo "Flying."
Not only does this variety of styles aptly demonstrate Nesmith's maturity as a composer, it is also a more accurate reflection of the versatility in his work. Concurrent to this album, Nesmith was also investing his time and money into a new venture that took the best part of the Monkees project -- the marriage of music to a visual image -- a step further with the creation of his own Pacific Arts Video company. It was here that Nesmith planted the seeds of what would become MTV -- as well as producing the first Grammy-winning musical home video -- Elephant Parts. The feature-length title contains videos for several tunes on this album -- including "Crusin'," "Magic," and "Flying." ~ [Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide]
Beanie Trivia
Nesmith was good friends with late author Douglas Adams, whose body of work includes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The
Gretsch guitar company built a one-off natural finish 12-string electric guitar for Nesmith when he was performing with The Monkees (Gretsch had a promotional deal with the group). The instrument was frequently cited at that time as being worth $5,000. While one-off custom instruments are very expensive, $5,000 in 1966 was the equivalent of $31,000 in 2007 money, and the "$5,000" price tag was undoubtedly inflated for publicity purposes. He earlier played a customized Gretsch twelve-string, which had originally been a six-string model.
Nesmith is an avid archivist of early music videos, the bulk of which comprised the rotation of
Video Concert Hall and early MTV.
The Tragically Hip took their name from a skit in Nesmith's long-form video Elephant Parts.
Nesmith is also known as "Papa Nez". (Or, simply, "Nez/Nes".)
The back sleeve of Tantamount to Treason contains the "papa nes home-brew recipe" (for beer). It also contains a warning and a line with the text "
autoclaving turns this line brown."
Nesmith is exactly three years older than fellow Monkee
Davy Jones and twelve years younger than fellow First National Band member Orville "Red" Rhodes, who both share his birthday: December 30. Nesmith had a cameo appearance as a taxi driver in the Whoopi Goldberg film Burglar.~ [Source:Wikipedia]
For John Lennon see Number 639
For The Monkees see Number 608
For the Beatles see Number 947, 894 & 587
Rolling Stone sadly have forgotten Mr Nesmith. (yea right)
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (Wasn't he in "The Orangutangs?) and the Album ranked at Number (Seen it all buddy)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 73.6 out of 108 pts

Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
By The Year 1955 to 2005:
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