Saturday, November 29, 2014

No More Monkees Business, or Perhaps a Bit Less Than a Full Barrel:

By late 1967 the Monkees craze had died down a bit. At least for me. I was, after all, ten years old!

But the rest of the world was also getting a bit tired of it all. It could have had something to do with that other group putting out Sgt. What’s His Name or the Summer of Love, but who’s to say?

Having experienced an album-challenged childhood, back then I heard of Sgt. Pepper more than I heard it. And the Summer of Love? What the hell did they mean by that? So why did I lose interest in the Monkees? After all, I loved Headquarters, which came out earlier that same year. And wasn’t “Pleasant Valley Sunday” fantastic?

Peer pressure, I guess. And a lack of funds. So while my friends were getting Jimi Hendrix albums, I couldn’t be caught spending paying what little money I had on a Monkees album.

But now, via the anonymity (and crazy inflated user ratings) of I can, and then brag about it via the anonymity of this blog.


On Headquarters they played all the instruments themselves, with great results, but no hits. So I guess they had to compromise a bit on this one. Relying mostly on others to do the playing and almost exclusively on others for songs, they were back (almost) to square one musically.

Not a terrible thing, really. As much as Mike Nesmith may have hated it, and as much as anyone else may hated the idea of it, More of the Monkees was actually pretty great. It was the epitome of manufactured pop music, so I should (at least now) hate it on principal. And I do - on principal. But I love it in reality.

Speaking of Michael Nesmith, he really shines here, singing better than ever on most of the best songs. Mickey is his usual self contributing great vocals. But Peter is almost absent. And Davey hides behind a good Harry Nilsson song, and is at his smarmy worst (Sorry Davey! RIP!) on another.

So Headquarters is far more consistent, but this one does have the aforementioned “Pleasant Valley Sunday” - one of the greatest pop records ever - and “Words” (no slouch, either), which give it the higher peaks.
But I’m a consistency guy and much prefer Headquarters. But it is nice to know that they were still trying long after I stopped listening.

I was moving ever further onward in my musical explorations.

I was nearly eleven, you see.

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