Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Number 504 - Monkees

Number 504

The Monkees

"I'm a Believer"

art by KDH
So, you're all going nuts over the Grand Theft Auto 4 and the upcoming film "Ironman". I wonder if the film Ironman would be getting this much pre buzz attention if Robert Downey Junior was not playing the lead character. You wouldn't think he would be the type of person to be embracing playing a superhero for his daily bread, but from what I have seen, he really seems to be enjoying it ... and good on him. Now, as for Grand Theft Auto IV? You guys really want that turned into a movie?? Yes, I know the game is now more interactive and God forbid .... a storyline (gasp) that will make users want to help their fellow man. Um, hello? Look at the titles name!
So now we have some thieving yobbo going to steal a car, while he opens the car door, he says to the poor hijacked owner *have a nice day* while the owner closes the door for him and waves politely as the car drives away. How quaint. I cannot wait to see Robert Downey Jr star in that film next year. I'll buy that for a dollar.
art by MonkeesArt
The Monkees second album More of the Monkees lived up to its title. It was more successful commercially, spending an amazing 70 weeks on the Billboard charts and ultimately becoming the 12th biggest selling album of all time. It had more producers and writers involved since big-shots like Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jeff Barry and Neil Sedaka, as well as up-and-comers like Neil Diamond all grabbed for a piece of the pie after Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the men who made the debut album such a smash, were elbowed out by music supervisor Don Kirshner. The album also has more fantastic songs than the debut. Tracks like "I'm a Believer," "She," "Mary, Mary," " (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone," "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)," "Your Auntie Grizelda," and "Sometime in the Morning" are on just about every Monkees hits collection and, apart from the novelty "Grizelda," they are among the best pop/rock heard in the '60s or any decade since.
art by MonkeesArt
The band themselves still had relatively little involvement in the recording process, apart from providing the vocals along with Mike Nesmith's writing and producing of two tracks (the hair-raising rocker "Mary, Mary" and the folk-rock gem "The Kind of Girl I Could Love"). In fact, they were on tour when the album was released and had to go to the record shop and buy copies for themselves. As with the first album though, it really doesn't matter who was involved when the finished product is this great. Listen to Micky Dolenz and the studio musicians rip through "Stepping Stone" or smolder through "She," listen to the powerful grooves of "Mary, Mary" or the heartfelt playing and singing on "Sometime in the Morning" and dare to say the Monkees weren't a real band. They were! The tracks on More of the Monkees (with the exception of the aforementioned "Your Auntie Grizelda " and the sickly sweet "The Day We Fell in Love," which regrettably introduces the smarmy side of Davy Jones) stand up to the work of any other pop band operating in 1967. Real or fabricated, the Monkees rate with any pop band of their era and More of the Monkees solidifies that position. ~ [Tim Sendra, All Music Guide]
I must say, the artwork by MonkeesArt is exceptional & professional, click here to see the rest so Sara's gallery (maybe ,she might even sell them to the market)
For more Monkees see Number 608
For Neil Diamond see Number 698, 792 & 846
For Carole King see Number 808
For Michael Nesmith see Number 549
The Monkees rebel!
art by (who else) MonkeesArt
Within weeks of the release of More of The Monkees, Nesmith lobbied successfully with the group's creators, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, for The Monkees to be allowed to play their instruments on all forthcoming records, effectively giving the quartet clear and complete artistic control. To make his point clear to Kirshner, who was balking at the idea, Nesmith proceeded to punch a hole in the wall of the Beverly Hills Hotel during a group meeting with Kirshner and Colgems lawyer Herb Moelis; this outburst came after Moelis snapped to Nesmith "You'd better read your contract," when Nesmith threatened to quit. Kirshner was later unceremoniously dumped from the project altogether. The source of the Monkees' ire over the album was less the musical content than the way it was created and released (without their input or knowledge), as Micky Dolenz would acknowledge in liner-note interviews for the album's later re-releases. The cover photo, montaged together from pictures of the band wearing JC Penney clothes, also did not sit well with them. ~ [Wikipedia]
What does (not again) Rolling Stone think about Monkees?
With any number of punkish bar bands semi-ironically recycling "Steppin' Stone" in the late '70s, and a partially reunited Monkees touring and recording in the '80s, there's been a revisionist twist upward in appraisals of this band's slight canon. Cynically manufactured by Don Kirshner and a crew of TV producers looking to dilute A Hard Day's Night for the boob tube, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, and Peter Tork were the fill-in fab four who lip synched their way through a few seasons of sitcoms and most of their albums (on later product, they did play on some songs). Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Neil Diamond, and Nesmith wrote the Monkees' 1966‚hits: "Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," "I'm a Believer," and "Pleasant Valley Sunday." ~ [RS The New Rolling Stone Album Guide]
Lip synched? Even if they did, surley no-one has ever done that in the modern times. t.i.c
Other songs with reference to The Monkees #541, #549, #599, #698, #709, #728, #884
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (as we said in #608) and the Album ranked at Number (NO!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 75.1 out of 108

Click here to listen to rest of the album
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