In the mid Eighties there was a television series that captured a new generation due to the advent of the Nickelodeon Network, a show that featured four young guys from Los Angeles who loved a singing and having adventures. This series was The Monkees and, although they started as a manufactured band, they soon became a sound of their own, one that could almost rival some of the best the Fab Four had to offer.
Why This Album?
I vividly remember watching these four guys on the aforementioned television series. (Heck I even bought the series recently on DVD) They were a fun romping group who had a joy about them that could not be replicated. The series itself was like an extended version of The Beatles Hard Day’s Night and Help films that never ended. So, like anyone my age, I was hooked and wanted everything I could get my hands on. Little did I know that their first few albums really weren’t them as a band but they were only playing roles assigned to them by a studio to capitalize on the latter Beatles popularity.
Today’s album is one of the first albums that the boys decided to do most of their own music. Having been legitimate musicians in their own right, they wanted to do more than act like a band, they wanted to be one. This album really shows the real face of The Monkees and it is grand.
When I first laid my hands on this album I really didn’t know what to expect. Having experienced songs like Last Train To Clarksville and Daydream Believer, I was ready for some more sixties pop, boy was I surprised. Not only did I get the fun loving style I was used to, I was also treated to introspective ballads about the social climate (Shades of Gray) to strange songs about Zilch. Every track was more amazing and more enjoyable than the last and I listened to this album a ridiculous amount of times. To this day I can sing nearly every track by heart and love every note. It takes me back to a simpler time in my life and one that, while not easy, had some great moments of discovery for a kid in the 80’s.
The first one has to be Shades of Gray. This is a deep and personal tune sung by both Davy Jones and Peter Tork. It also marks the first song that the entire band played their own instruments.
The Next one that stands out is You Just May Be The One. It is a ballad about love and understanding as Michael Nesmith sings about looking for The One.
Early Morning Blues and Greens. Wow. I cant even describe it. Just give it a listen.
Ok, Where do I get it?
Late to the Game 9/4/18
Thanks for reading, If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Wednesday and also check out some retro tv goodness with the ongoing series Retro TV Reviews here. You can also find a few of my other Music Reviews Here.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these movies as well. If you just happened by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow us if you like the blog!