The Monkees by The Monkees

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The Monkees by The Monkees
The Monkees by The Monkees

Album Released: 1966

The Monkees ::: Artwork

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1.(Theme From) The Monkees2:20
2.Saturday's Child2:44
3.I Wanna Be Free2:24
4.Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day2:33
5.Papa Gene's Blues1:55
6.Take A Giant Step2:32
7.Last Train To Clarksville2:40
8.This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day2:08
9.Let's Dance On2:30
10.I'll Be True To You2:48
11.Sweet Young Thing1:54
12.Gonna Buy Me A Dog2:38


It was ironic that The Monkees were highly critisised for being a manufactured group, since they never proposed to be anything else!

They were originally intended to be nothing more than the cast for a television programme for the crazy 1960's, where the music was secondary, but the latter soon overtook the former, and - for a couple of years - The Monkees were massively popular, even though they rarely performed on their own albums (aside from the vocals). So, many of their contemporaries who'd slaved for years without success hated the group's collective guts, and one can empathise with them.

My sister and I used to watch the television show as children, and grew to love some of the songs featured - we'd record them onto tape, so pieces like "Daydream Believer", "Star Collector" and "Words" became very familiar to us.

This debut album is mainly made up of songs composed by the talented Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, although Mike Nesmith - with his significant country leanings - pens two of the best tracks, “Papa Gene’s Blues” and “Sweet Young Thing”.

Whether one regards the group as fake or not, there’s no denying the tunefulness The Monkees often exuded, as the smash it “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Saturday’s Child”, and “Take A Giant Step” demonstrate, even if there is a certain similarity to them all. The closing “Gonna Buy Me A Dog” is stupidly funny, adding a touch of the TV programme’s flavour.

It’s interesting to note that - apart from his appearance on guitar in “Papa Gene’s Blues” - Peter Tork makes absolutely no contribution to this release, and even Nesmith, the most talented of the quartet, does not participate instrumentally at all.

This album was a No.1 hit and worth seeking out, as it represents the start of a very under-rated career.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor

This isn't really a Monkees album. That doesn't mean it's bad, but without the boys putting their distinctive stamp on proceedings, The Monkees amounts to a faceless though above-average 1960's pop record.

In a really tacky move, writers/producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart sang backing vocals on all the songs here, resulting in The Monkees having even less work to do, on an album where they only contributed vocals in the first place.

That said, there's a surprising number of great songs here. Boyce and Hart contributed the omnipresent "(Theme from) The Monkees", which is about as fun as fun gets, along with the frenetic and memorable smash hit "Last Train To Clarksville".

David Gates' exciting "Saturday's Child" is the next best song, and Nesmith contributes the simple and gorgeous "Papa Gene's Blues". Then the memorable but overwrought "Sweet Young Thing" - penned with Gerry Goffin and Carole King - sounds like every other song Nesmith ever wrote.

"This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day" has a dazzling middle, but the rest of the album is ordinary - every song is just there - the lame dance cash-in "Let's Dance On"; unconvincing proto-psychedelia on Goffin/King's breezy countrified "Take A Giant Step"; and some overcooked (if soothing) Davy Jones ballads geared towards the 14-year old female demographic.

Only the goofy head trip "Gonna Buy Me A Dog" betrays any sense of personality, and that's only because Dolenz and Jones didn't bother to study the 'funny' script beforehand.

So whilst The Monkees is cool enough, without Micky, Davy, Peter, and Mike working their magic it could've been made by any old tribute band, and that's disappointing.

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by Reviewer: Cosmic Ben (blogging at Cosmic Ben [Defunct])