Monday, April 17, 2017

The Monkees - Head (Alternate)



          Head, the Monkees' first theatrical film, was released in theaters on November 6th, 1968. A psychedelic, drug-inspired mind trip, the film was a critical and commercial failure, earning only $16,000 on a $750,000 budget. Today, the film is regarded in a much higher light by fans and critics, comparing the abstract film to the Beatles' own Magical Mystery Tour. Me personally, I'd definitely choose to watch it Head over Magical Mystery Tour. When watching MMT, I find myself watching and waiting for the music videos only, not really caring about everything else in-between (Though Miranda Forbes as Miss Wendy Winter is certainly easy on the eyes!). But Head somehow manages to grab my attention throughout the entire film. But we're not here to really talk about the film, we're here to talk about the soundtrack of the same name! Head, the album, was released about a month later on December 1st. The album failed to make it to the Top 40 in the US, a first for the group. Stalling in at #45, Head was the group's worst-performing album yet. I like to believe that this was because it wasn't even really a proper album, per se. It was more of a collection of tracks featured in the film, paired alongside a bunch of snippets from the film. Half of the tracks on the album are movie snippets, which most likely alienated fans from deciding to purchase the album. While it makes for an interesting listen in conjunction to the film, I really like the idea of basing Head solely as its own album. This was the group's most psychedelic, experimental phase in their career, and I want it to be properly established within this alternate album. So lets see how it looks, shall we?

          It should come as no surprise that the majority of movie snippets were removed from the original album. Some of these tracks were merely just a few seconds long. Of the original album, the tracks "Porpoise Song", "Ditty Diego - War Song", "Circle Sky", "Can You Dig It?", "As We Go Along", "Daddy's Song" and "Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" remain. The other tracks, as mentioned on my previous post, are primarily made up of tracks from the group's earlier album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.

          Side A of course begins with the fantastic psychedelic avant-grade-inspired "Porpoise Song", written by the legendary songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Anybody reading this should look online for Carole's original piano demo of the track, which is equally ingenious and powerful in its own right. I never like how the version of the original album ends immediately after the dramatic buildup, cutting off the transcendent coda section. Here, the full stereo mix from the Music Box compilation set is used in all its glory. Following is the comedic track entitled "Ditty Diego - War Chant", in which the four Monkees are shockingly open about their "prefabricated image", declaring themselves as a "manufactured image with no philosophies". I love the contrast between the upbeat, jolly backing track and the dark, almost depressing lyrics about the hardships of the entertainment business. As Davy sings, "so make your choice and we'll rejoice in never being free!". As the second half of the song, which features dramatic war sound effects, comes to an end, the track immediately transitions into the next one, being Mike's "Tapioca Tundra". Originally featured as the B-Side to the "Valleri" single, the track found its place on The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, but I like it here a lot more. What an awesome track, that, like "Circle Sky", perfect showcases Mike's songwriting and singing talents. Speaking of "Circle Sky", the next track is - "Circle Sky"! The mix on the original album, usually referred to as the "live" mix, is not that good IMO. Mike's vocals are horrendously buried by the rest of the instruments, making the lyrics incomprehensible to understand. Here, the more professional studio mix from later reissues of the album is used. Following is Peter's fantastic "Can You Dig It?". Much like George Harrison, Peter really began to establish himself as a serious songwriter with this album. Unfortunately, this wouldn't be explored any further, as Peter quit the group later that year. It's a shame really, to imagine what other tracks he could have put out with the group while they were still together. Side A closes with Mike's experimental "Writing Wrongs", a psychedelic, haunting dirge of a track. Featuring lyrics about poisoned water, the impending apocalypse, and a man falling to his death from a building, "Writing Wrongs" certainly is as far from "I'm a Believer" as it'll ever get! After the first chorus, the track evolves into an extended jam session, featuring reverberated pianos and discordant organ riffs. A fantastic addition not just to the album, but to the Monkees' song catalogue itself.

          Side B starts off with my favorite track on the album, the beautiful "As We Go Along". The track is performed in 6/8 time, a time signature rarely heard in pop music at the time. Micky delivers a powerful, emotionally-beautiful lead vocal, one of his all-time best with the group! The Boyce/Hart track "P.O. Box 9847" comes up next. I LOVE the heavy, deep drum beat used for this track, certainly one of the most appealing aspects of the song. The rest of the backing track is pretty damn amazing, featuring a unique selection of exotic instruments. Quite an underrated track too, it's definitely one of those tracks by the groups that deserves more recognition than it receives! Davy's spotlight on the album, "Daddy's Song", follows. Written by Harry Nilsson (one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, IMO), the alternate version from Music Box is used here, which features a slow, piano-driven section removed from the final mix. Certainly a unique twist on the original track, I definitely prefer it to the original mix. My second-favorite track on the album, Mike's "Auntie's Municipal Court" comes up next. Featuring a great Micky vocal, this track features an incredible backing track (something like a cross between psychedelic pop and folk) and a pretty damn catchy melody. Mike really hit it out of the park with this one! Peter's second contribution to the album comes next, "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" Another solid track by Peter, "Long Title" is a folk-tinged rocker that brings the album to a close. Well, almost. The final track of the album is the acid-tinged mind-fuck entitled "California Here it Comes". This track is featured at the end of the group's second film, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, during which an atomic bomb is dropped, exploding and killing all of the Monkees during the ending credits sequence. The track starts out with the simple sound of a heartbeat, along with a deep voice repeating the phrase "the end" over and over again. The track then breaks out into a short, comedic performance of "California Here I Come" by Peter, ending with the sound of heavy breathing. Quite a way to cap off the album, don't you think?

          Overall, while the original version of Head is pretty good in its own right, I'd really have preferred it if the group created an actual album as opposed to a soundtrack. Something like this definitely would have sufficed! Whether or not it would have been a better-seller than the original version is questionable, but seeing as though the groups had already been losing popularity at the time, I doubt it would have made a difference. I hope you enjoy, and look out for more coming soon!


Side A:
1. Porpoise Song (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
2. Ditty Diego - War Chant (Jack Nicholson/Bob Rafelson)
3. Tapioca Tundra (Michael Nesmith)
4. Circle Sky (Michael Nesmith)
5. Can You Dig It? (Peter Tork)
6. Writing Wrongs (Michael Nesmith)

Side B:
1. As We Go Along (Carole King/Toni Stern)
2. P.O. Box 9847 (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
3. Daddy's Song (Harry Nilsson)
4. Auntie's Municipal Court (Michael Nesmith)
5. Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? (Peter Tork)
6. California Here it Comes (Buddy DeSylva/Al Jolson/Joseph Meyer)

Download Link:

mp3: https://mega.nz/#!a9F1FaAT!rZjY8pjlrr_V0zfj9p0JwYILzemvlzaSHQAKkhQ2G-Q


BTW, I have been getting lots of messages from different people concerning dead links on this site. Please understand that even if I don't comment back, I still make sure to read every single comment posted on this blog. I will FOR SURE re-upload every single dead link on this website. It may be awhile though, as I am currently focusing on school at the moment. I'm planning on moving all of my downloads over to mega.nz, as zippyshare isn't really the most "user-friendly" link-sharing website. Expect this to happen around mid-May after I get out of school. Thanks for your interest and understanding, and I'll see you all back here very soon!


Enjoy!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Monkees - The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees (Alternate)



          The year 1968 was the beginning of the end for the Monkees. Their album The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees would be their first album not to reach #1 in the US, placing at only #3. A few months later, their followup soundtrack album Head place at a dismal #45 in the US. The group's popular TV show was cancelled due to creative differences, their first theatrical movie was a flop, and in December that year, Peter Tork quit the group. That took quite a 180 turn, didn't it? However, despite the downfall of the group's popularity, that definitely didn't mean that the quality of their work followed in the same path! While the original version of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees is an extraordinary album, changes had to be made due to my reworking of past and upcoming alternate albums. So, how does it sound? Let's find out!

          For this alternate album, the tracks "Auntie's Municipal Court", "Tapioca Tundra", "Daydream Believer", "Writing Wrongs", and "P.O. Box 9847" have been removed. As "Daydream Believer" has already been placed on the previous album, it'd make no sense to keep it here. And as for the other songs, you'll just have to wait and see where they've ended up!

          Side A begins with Davy's sugary "Dream World", same as the original album. Following it is Michael's "My Share of the Sidewalk". I decided to use Mike's original version as opposed to the finished mix, as this album is already dominated by Davy leads. Plus, I felt as though the added horn overdubs to the final mix were a little too corny for my taste. "We Were Made for Each Other" by Davy comes next, in its original position and form as the original. Following is another Davy track entitled "Ceiling in My Room". I actually really like this one to be honest, it's a very melancholic and beautiful song. I feel as though Davy has always shined when performing the more downbeat, melancholic tracks, best heard here and the earlier "So Goes Love". Following in its footsteps is Mike's hauntingly beautiful "While I Cry". Recorded during the sessions for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, the track was shelved until later appearing on the Instant Replay album in 1969. But now it's here! This is definitely my favorite track on this alternate album, nothing else to really say about that! Side A closes with "D.W. Washburn", originally released as a single in June of 1968. Micky Dolenz delivers an extraordinarily powerful vocal performance here, it's amazing how high his voice could reach!

          Side B opens with the b-side to the "D.W. Washburn" single,  "It's Nice to Be with You". Another lush track by Davy, this track definitely deserves more attention! The upbeat "I'll Be Back Up on My Feet" comes next, featuring Micky on lead vocals. This track was originally recorded during the sessions for More of the Monkees, but was later re-recorded for this album. Up next is the psychedelic rocker "The Poster" with Davy on lead. Another highlight of this alternate album. Davy's hard-rock tracks are also worth listening to, most of them are pretty underrated IMO. Another one of my favorite tracks on this album, Mike's "Magnolia Simms", follows. The version on the original album was only ever available in mono and mixed over to the left channel with a scratchy record noise overdubbed over, to give the effect that the song is playing through an old gramophone. Thankfully, a stereo mix without the record effects was made available with the release of the deluxe CD. I also took the liberty of removing the beginning of the track where Mike flubs the intro a couple of times. Entertaining to listen to the first time, but with repeated listens, you just want to get to the song already. Following is the group's last big hit, "Valleri", released on February 17th, 1968. Backed by "Tapioca Tundra", the single peaked at #3 in the US. The version of the track used here is slightly extended; as opposed to fading out, the song appropriately ends with a dramatic horn crescendo. Closing out the album is Micky's dramatic "Zor and Zam", likely inspired by the music of Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane.

          Overall, this album would have most likely made no difference in the Monkees' career. The album would have reached #3 like usual, the singles would place lower than expected, and the downfall would still occur. It's still a damn fine album however. What comes next is miles ahead of this one though, and had it been released back in 1968, it would most likely be considered the group's greatest album. So look out for that coming sooner rather than later. Enjoy, and look out for more coming soon!

Side A:
1. Dream World (David Jones/Steve Pitts)
2. My Share of the Sidewalk (Michael Nesmith/Keith Allison)
3. We Were Made for Each Other (Carole Bayer/George Fischoff)
4. Ceiling in My Room (David Jones/Dominick DeMieri/Bobby Dick)
5. While I Cry (Michael Nesmith)
6. D.W. Washburn (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller)

Side B:
1. It's Nice to Be with You (Jerry Goldstein)
2. I'll Be Back Up on My Feet (Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell)
3. The Poster (David Jones/Steve Pitt)
4. Magnolia Simms (Michael Nesmith)
5. Valleri (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
6. Zor and Zam (Bill Chadwick/John Chadwick)

Download Link:

mp3: https://mega.nz/#!eoFSwCLB!cH9iSW8YIerz5L68ApfwdC93rgSFM5Ix38RTmkEDpwI


Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Monkees - Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jonest Ltd. (Alternate)



          For anybody more familiar with the discography of the Monkees, you may be asking yourself "where is Headquarters?" And to be honest, there's just wasn't anything I had to change about that album. My version only differs from the original because the tracks "Big Band 6" and "Zilch" are removed from the track listing. Other than that, everything else is the same. And besides, since I'm not posting as often as I used to, I'd rather make a more noteworthy post instead of one with no real value. So anyways, let's move on!

          After Headquarter's smash success in March of 1967, the group, now working more as a real band that plays their own music, continued work on their next album. The result, a psychedelic-tinged collection of tracks entitled Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., was released on November 6th, 1967. Not surprisingly, the album made its way to the #1 spot, the last Monkees album to do so.

          For my alternate version of this album, the spoken word track "Special Announcement" starts us off. The original version of this track ends with the sound of a dog barking in pain, but here, I removed that so that the track immediately segues into the first song of the album, "Salesman". From there, the album goes off the same way that the original version does, with "She Hangs Out", "The Door Into Summer", "Love is Only Sleeping", "Cuddly Toy", and "Words" following. Side A closes out with the fast-paced rocker "Goin' Down", of which was originally intended to appear on the album in the same spot.

          Side B kicks off with "Daydream Believer", one of the most popular songs by the group. As this track was originally intended to serve as the B-Side to the aborted "Love is Only Sleeping" single, I decided to include it here as the opening track of the second side. The rest of the album remains pretty similar to the original track listing, with the only other change being the swapping of the order of the last two tracks. Here, the album closes out with the beautiful Mike Nesmith track "Don't Call on Me", definitely my favorite track off of this album. I just thought that it'd be a very lovely and melancholic end to the album.

          Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is certainly one of the strongest Monkees albums to come out of the '60s. This would be the last #1-selling album by the Monkees, as next year's The Birds, the Bees & The Monkees would only reach #3, signaling the end of "Monkeemania" in the US. But I'll get to that later. Enjoy, and look out for more coming soon!

Side A:
1. Special Announcement (Spoken word by Peter Tork)
2. Salesman (Craig Vincent Smith)
3. She Hangs Out (Jeff Barry)
4. The Door into Summer (Chip Douglas/Bill Martin)
5. Love is Only Sleeping (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)
6. Cuddly Toy (Harry Nilsson)
7. Words (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
8. Goin' Down (The Monkees/Diane Hildebrand)

Side B:
1. Daydream Believer (John Stewart)
2. Hard to Believe (Davy Jones/Kim Capli/Eddie Brick/Charlie Rockett)
3. What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? (Michael Martin Murphey/Owen Castleman)
4. Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky (Peter Tork)
5. Pleasant Valley Sunday (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
6. Daily Nightly (Michael Nesmith)
7. Star Collector (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
8. Don't Call on Me (Michael Nesmith/John London)

Download Link:

mp3: https://mega.nz/#!79s0iDDT!Vm1bDOD434AvcVgch1yjBeqAVY4k4iBRBBl7jtrc6yg


Enjoy!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Monkees - Another One from the Monkees (Alternate)

         

          Hey, long time no see! I hope everybody didn't get tired of waiting and stop looking here! But yeah, I've just been really preoccupied with other projects. Ones that I'm sure none of you really care about, unless you're into Call of Duty and Nazi Zombie mods! But now I'm hoping to be able to better split the time I spent working on that and the tme I spend on this blog, because I still have a LOT of stuff to post here. Alternate Beach Boys albums of mine that people haven't been able to listen to since August at least! I'm thinking of doing a megapost with links to all of those albums after my Monkees series, so just hold out a little bit longer! I'm also planning on eventually moving all of my download links over to mega.co, since it has a much better system for keeping links up. So let's get right on with it then, shall we?

          After the release of More of the Monkees in January of 1967, music producer Don Kirshner was dismissed after he released the single "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (backed with an early version of "She Hangs Out") without the Monkees consent. After his dismissal, the Monkees continued work on their lauded Headquarters album, which featured the group actually playing their own instruments on the backing tracks. Fans often wonder what a third Kirshner album, one between More of the Monkees and Headquarters, would've exactly sounded like. Although I'm not sure if he had intentions of a third album, it's still fun to try to put one together. I mean, there's DEFINITELY enough outtakes to put one together! So, how does it all comes together in my eyes?

          Side A of course kicks off with the hit single "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You". This stereo remix features the handclaps previously only found on the mono mix of the track. After that comes the Micky-led "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears", written of course by the team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart during the sessions for More of the Monkees. "99 Pounds" comes next. Originally recorded in January of 1967, this track was first released on the group's final studio album Changes in 1970. However, I've since moved that track from there to here, since my upcoming alternate version of Changes features tracks only from 68-70. Mike's lovely country-rock piece entitled "Of You" follows, with this stereo mix having been ripped from the Missing Links album. The next track, entitled "If I Learned to Play the Violin", is your typical Davy Jones-led ballad track, originally recorded during the Headquarters sessions. Side A closes with the beautiful Headquarters outtake "She'll Be There", sung in harmony by Micky and his sister Coco. Although it's just a demo featuring nothing more than sung voices and an acoustic guitar, I'd have it no other way IMO!

          Side B begins with the fantastic "All of Your Toys", of which the Monkees intended to be their leading single for the Headquarters album. However, Don Kirshner had no intentions of releasing the track as a single, looking only to release tracks that were sure to be hits. Part of this is another reason why Kirshner was canned. The quirky "Ladies Aid Society" follows, having been recorded in late 1966, but later released in 1969 on The Monkees Presents album. This track is often considered to be one of the Monkees' worst songs, but I find it pretty catchy. Coming next is Davy's hard-rocking "You Can't Tie a Mustang Down", originally recorded during the Headquarters sessions in early 1967. The psychedelic-tinged "Kicking Stones" follows, featuring a pretty amazing guitar solo, meant to imitate a magical flute. Another hard rocking track by Davy, "Looking for the Good Times", comes next. Similar to "Ladies Aid Society", this track was later released on The Monkees Present in 1969. The album closes out with another of the groups' big hits, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", written by Mike and sung by Micky. A very nice end to this album!

          Although this imaginary "third Kirshner album" between More of the Monkees and Headquarters was never considered back then, it's still pretty cool to put together. All of these outtakes with no proper home, you gotta put them somewhere, you know? Anyways, I hope you enjoy, and look out for lots more coming soon!

Side A:
1. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (Neil Diamond)
2. Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
3. 99 Pounds (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
4. Of You (Bill Chadwick/John Chadwick)
5. If I Learned to Play the Violin (Joey Levine/Artie Resnick)
6. She'll Be There (Unknown)

Side B:
1. All of Your Toys (Bill Martin)
2. Ladies Aid Society (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
3. You Can't Tie a Mustang Down (Jeff Barry/Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller)
4. Kicking Stones (Wayne Erwin/Linda Castle)
5. Looking for the Good Times (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
6. The Girl I Knew Somewhere (Michael Nesmith)

Download Links (No FLAC downloads just yet!):

mp3: http://www37.zippyshare.com/v/xKV8xcZb/file.html


Enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Little Update

Nope, I'm not dead!
I'm sure lots of people here have been wondering when I'd post again next. I've been preoccupied with other work for the past two weeks, so that hasreally cut into the time I used to spend on this blog. I don't start school again until the 23rd, so hopefully after I get back into my regular schedule, updates will start coming in regularly once again.
So yeah, I'm sorry to those who have been anxiously waiting so long for some more Beach Boys and Monkees stuff. Just know that it will definitely come soon, I promise that! It's been brought to my attention that some old download links have been dying, so I'll also be sure to update those as well. My next post will be my own "third Kirshner" Monkees album, so that should be pretty cool. I hope you all enjoy it, and check back here real soon!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Monkees - More of the Monkees (Alternate)



          Rush-released in early January of 1967, the Monkees' second album, entitled More of the Monkees, spent a grand total of 18 weeks at the top of the US billboard charts. By the end of the year, it was awarded the title of the best-selling album in the US, the first rock LP to do so. Despite its success, the Monkees themselves were displeased with the album, especially Michael Nesmith, who despised the album cover and weak track selection. Eventually, producer Don Kirshner was fired from working with the Monkees, who were in turn allowed more creative control over their music. 
          For my alternate version of the album here, the first thing you'll notice is the new album cover. Despite keeping the general layout of the original cover, this new version features a different, much nicer picture of the group, as well as a more pleasant-looking light-blue backdrop. I believe I got this cover off of the Steve Hoffman board, so whoever did put this album cover together, I give you my thanks! As for the track selection itself, not a whole lot changed actually. Overall, the only change made was the replacement of two poor tracks with two better ones. Listening to the original album, it's painfully clear that the two worst tracks by far are definitely "The Day We Fall in Love" and "Laugh". Although I dig the former's complex backing track, Davy's "lead vocal" just kills it. And so, I decided to replace these two with the tracks "Teardrop City" and "Don't Listen to Linda". "Teardrop City" was recorded during the More of the Monkees sessions, but was left unreleased until 1969, when it was released as the lead single off of the Instant Replay album. "Don't Listen to Linda" was also similarly recorded during these sessions, and was also later released on the Instant Replay album, albeit in a re-recorded form. Although I wish I could have made other changes to the album, I really had no other options. Looking at the list of outtakes, we have the songs "I'll Spend My Life with You (First Version)", "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears", "Through the Looking Glass (First Version)",  "Kicking Stones", "Mr. Webster (First Version)", "Valleri (First Version)", "Words (First Version)", "I'll Be Back Up on My Feet (First Version)", "Of You" and "I Prithee (Do Not Ask for Love) (First Version)" to work with. Out of these, the tracks "I'll Spend My Life with You" and "Mr. Webster" would later appear on the Headquarters album in vastly superior forms, so those are disqualified. Same goes for the tracks "Words", "Valleri", and "I'll Be Back Up on My Feet", appearing in superior re-recordings on Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. and The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees respectively. The Instant Replay re-recording of "Though the Looking Glass" also appears my alternate version of The Monkees Present, so look out for that soon. As for all the others, I decided that there was enough material there to put together another album in-between More of the Monkees and Headquarters, often known as the fabled "third Kirshner album". As for any other additional changes made, I decided to use the alternate version of "I'm a Believer", featuring a different lead vocal by Micky, but a much better stereo mix than the official version. The extended TV Show mix of "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" was also chosen over the official release.
          Overall, despite Mike's claims of the album being "the worst album in the history of the world", I think the majority of it is actually pretty solid. I especially love the psychedelic baroque inspired "Your Auntie Grizelda". Anyways, I hope you enjoy, and look out for more coming soon. This'll probably be my last post until after Christmas, so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Happy Kwanzaa, an entertaining Boxing Day, etc, etc, and I'll see you all very soon!

Side A:
1. She (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
2. When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door) (Carole Bayer Sager/Neil Sedaka)
3. Mary Mary (Michael Nesmith)
4. Hold On Girl (Billy Carr/Jack Keller/Ben Raleigh)
5. Your Auntie Grizelda (Diane Hildebrand/Jack Keller)
6. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)

Side B:
1. Tear Drop City (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
2. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) (Neil Diamond)
3. The Kind of Girl I Could Love (Michael Nesmith/Roger Atkins)
4. Don't Listen to Linda (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
5. Sometime in the Morning (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
6. I'm a Believer (Neil Diamond)

Download Links:





Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Monkees - The Monkees (Alternate)



          The Monkees debuted on national television on September 12th, 1966, with their first studio album following shortly on October 10th. The album itself definitely tied in to the show quite well, featuring various tracks showcasing the group's humor and light-spirited nature. The clearest example of this is the closing track, "Gonna Buy Me a Dog", during which Micky Dolenz falls completely off track with his lead vocal, eventually ad-libbing nonsensical remarks over the backing track. While these tracks are pretty fun to listen to the first time around, I feel like they lose their novelty pretty quickly, and aren't the best songs to help try to solidify the Monkees as a serious rock group. That's where this alternate album comes in. Here, the weakest tracks from the album are instead replaced with stronger, much more worthy outtakes in their place. Of course, I made an exception with the opening track, "(Theme from) The Monkees", as its impact on the entertainment industry and the "new generation" is too important to ignore.
          Side A of course kicks off with the aforementioned "(Theme from) The Monkees", before moving on with "Saturday's Child", "I Wanna Be Free", "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day", "Papa Gene's Blues", and "Take a Giant Step", exactly as it were on the original album. Side B mixes things up a little bit though. As usual, the smash hit "Last Train to Clarksville" opens up the second side, followed by the 1966 outtake "I Don't Think You Know Me". Here, I decided to use the version with Mike's vocal up front. Personally, I feel as though Micky's vocal works a whole lot better as the harmony instead of the lead vocal. Following are the tracks "This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day" and "Sweet Young Thing" in their unaltered forms. Then comes another outtake entitled "I Won't Be the Same Without Her". Originally recorded during the sessions for The Monkees in late 1966, this song was released in its unaltered form much later in 1969 on the Instant Replay album. This would definitely have to be my favorite song off of this alternate album, what an insanely mournful and lovely song composed by the legendary songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The final song on the album is another track written by Goffin and King, the longing R&B-esque "So Goes Love", Here, Davy performs an extraordinary lead vocal against a lovely backing track, featuring the talented Billy Preston on the electric keyboard. Back then, it was a common theme for rock albums to end with an upbeat track, as evidenced by "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" on the original album. So I thought it'd be pretty cool to pull a left-fielder and end it with "So Goes Love". It's nice to change things up every once in awhile!
          Overall, while The Monkees definitely isn't album that would help convince Jan "Thickskulled" Wenner to induct the Monkees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, there's definitely some good stuff hidden on it. Especially the fantastic outtakes featured on this alternate version. One final change here is the album cover itself. I've always disliked it when album covers list all of the song titles on the front (Pet Sounds gets a pass from this of course). Thankfully, I was able to find this alternate album featuring no song titles on the front. Looks a whole lot cleaner now, doesn't it? Anyways, I hope you enjoy, and look out for the next album very soon!

Side A:
1. (Theme from) The Monkees (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
2. Saturday's Child (David Gates)
3. I Wanna Be Free (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
4. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day (Tommy Boyce/Steve Venet)
5. Papa Gene's Blues (Michael Nesmith)
6. Take a Giant Step (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

Side B:
1. Last Train to Clarksville (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
2. I Don't Think You Know Me (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
3. This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
4. Sweet Young Thing (Gerry Goffin/Carole King/Michael Nesmith)
5. I Won't Be the Same Without Her (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)
6. So Goes Love (Gerry Goffin/Carole King)

Download Links:

mp3: http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/78uuHBRl/file.html

FLAC - Side A: http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/M9fItoI0/file.html

FLAC - Side B: http://www6.zippyshare.com/v/LA36ESXS/file.html


Enjoy!