Alternate/Fantasy MONKEES albums

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by VeeFan64, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Jon Busey-Hunt

    Jon Busey-Hunt Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
  2. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    This lady's baby: FINALLY finished the "Alternate Reality" BB&M


    After more than six months of working out details in my head, making rough design sketches in Photoshop, designing props, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. (!), I've finally finished with my "alternate reality" The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees!

    It will more than likely not rate much more than a "meh", as it probably looks rather simplistic compared to the actual sleeve design, but in terms of getting totally obsessed with small details, this really ended up being my "Lady's Baby".

    IMO, one thing that hurt the "group" feel of the Monkees, is that after Headquarters, they never bothered to use any proper group photo sessions for their sleeves.

    I've always felt that the collage approach to the real BB&M sleeve was kind of generic. So, for the alternate reality BB&M, I really wanted to get a group shot of the guys - wearing individual "mod" clothes.

    Unfortunately, apart from a few on-set shots taken during the second season (usually candid ones), posed shots with the group looking at the camera were very hard to find.

    And when I finally got a shot I felt was somewhat usable. Micky's eyes were half closed and he had a rather pained look on his face...

    ...I just hope the solution I worked out to explain Micky's expression was a good one!

    The tracks are an authentic early line-up for the album that was changed at the last minute.

    I think the original lineup gave the album a more group feel than what got released, with Peter being represented twice. (I also wonder if Mike had anything to do with the changes in the lineup as two of his compositions replaced the two tracks cut.)

    Side One
    1. Through The Looking Glass
    2. We Were Made For Each Other
    3. Writing Wrongs
    4. I'll Be Back Up On My Feet
    5. Valleri
    6. Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again

    Side Two
    1. Dream World
    2. P.O. Box 9847
    3. Tapioca Tundra
    4. The Poster
    5. Alvin - Daydream Believer
    6. Zor And Zam

    Bonus Tracks
    1. D.W. Washburn (stereo mix)
    2. It's Nice To Be With You (stereo mix)

    Hep Alien likes this.
  3. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Hey, I have one of those Tiki Bob's/San Francisco mugs!

    I like the way Micky's hand is reaching OUT of the frame. Very cool: psychedelic exotica!
    The use of horizontal and vertical background patterns is brilliant.
  4. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Wow! Good eye! I thought the Tiki Bob mug might have been a cool reference to Bob Rafelson (complete with colorful [but plastic] things coming out of his head).

    The birds are actually cocktail garnishes from Trader Vic's (as are the Japanese figures).

    Since the Polynesian/tiki craze pretty much peaked in the 60's, I figured vintage items might be appropriate.

    Besides, Tiki Bob just looks so cool!

    BTW, it's hard to make out in the picture, but the vertical lines are actually made from strips of bamboo.
  5. Wade

    Wade Well-Known Member

    Anywhere but here
    And that effect helps it look like Peter's hand is also coming out.

    It's a rather good design. Too bad about Micky's face--but the joke makes it work as good as it could...:eek: Plus, it's cooler to have a group picture.

    It's simpler, but frankly, it's more aesthetically pleasing than the original cover, IMO. I'd look at this cover any day over the original.
  6. BenB5150

    BenB5150 Forum Resident

    Austin,TX, USA
    Outstanding work as usual Michelle! The track listing is great and the artwork is top notch! Absolutely Love It!!

  7. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    So tell me, Michelle....are the COM/Mono numbers hidden under the back slick on the folded over bottom? ;)
  8. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Thanks, Ben! :)

    Yes, I also like this authentic original lineup for the album. Having Peter represented gives it more of a group feel, and the absence of the novelty "Magnolia Simms" makes it flow a bit smoother. (Two rather over-indulgent Nesmith tunes on the album are plenty anyway...! :hide: :wave:)

    As per Andrew Sandoval's book, there is no space between "I'll Be Back Up On My Feet" and "Valleri".

    Also, "The Poster" goes right into "Alvin", which goes right into "Daydream Believer" (with the "7A" nonsense at the beginning removed).

    For "Alvin", I used the faster-paced 1968 mono version, with the slight false start edited out.

    You're winking, but the "COM-109" notation *is* on the slick (folded to the back of the sleeve and now underneath the rear slick).

    When designing true-to-authentic RCA/Colgems slicks from the 60's (up to BB&M), they need to have that odd spacing of the catalog numbers, and the top and bottom of the image need to be extended quite a bit.

    Actually, the mono version of this sleeve looks slightly better as the title is right at the top, and the content is more centered.

    (IMO, all mono Colgems albums look better than their stereo counterparts. Not just this one.)
  9. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Here's how a mono version would look... :)

    Attached Files:

  10. Wade

    Wade Well-Known Member

    Anywhere but here
    The contrast between the background behind the Monkees and the rest of it is fun... sorta like The Birds, the Bees &..........drum roll...THE MONKEES!

    Getting back to this for a second... I can look at it a couple of different ways. The way I prefer it is if I see it as the Monkees coming out of the picture from where they're originating...and coming to the not-as-futuristic surroundings, which makes Micky's "introduction" funnier.
  11. "R" Ed

    "R" Ed Forum Resident

    Mercer County,NJ
    Michelle - Love the cover but was would love to see the Colgems logo have a little black shadow used similar to what you did for "The Birds, The Bees.." lettering to have it stand out.

    Also I see "Daydream Believer as listed between "Alvin" and "Zor And Zam" without a number on the disc label. So you'd have 15 instead of 14 tracks. :wave:
  12. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    Wow! You guys are very creative! Love the covers! :righton:
  13. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Yeah, the Colgems logo was tough to figure out.

    White, black, and every color in between was tried.

    I eventually settled on the same color as the title, but decided against shading it as no other Colgems LP I have used that effect.

    But maybe an "RE" version of the front slick might need to happen sometime.... ;)

    Alvin and DB were actually combined into one track (via a music editor) ala "Peter Percival Patterson..." and "Pleasant Valley Sunday".

    IIRC, the label for PAC&J lists them in a similar fashion, so that's what I went with.
  14. mr_mjb1960

    mr_mjb1960 I'm a Tarrytowner 'Til I die!

    This Line up is way better than the Official version-Removing "I'll Be Back Up on My Feet","We Were Made For Each Other" and "Magnolia Simms" makes a better,more Free-Flowing album! THANX,MICHELLE!:righton:
  15. MarkTheShark

    MarkTheShark Forum Resident

    I am with you on that, the majority of the time -- possibly because mono was still the dominant format, at least for a year or two. But I always thought the first album was an exception to this, since the mono cover seemed to cut off so much of Davy's head. It just looked weird to me...

    Great stuff as usual, Michelle!
  16. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Well, I just finished what I think will be the front cover to the final LP of the "alternate reality" series..! (Still need to do the back cover to Micky's "solo" LP, but since I don't have audio for that anyway, there is no rush.)

    "Instant Replay" was the last title I needed to do and I was putting it off for three reasons:

    1. The original cover is often regarded as the best/favorite sleeve by many Monkee fans. There is no way I could trump it with anything as colorful, so I needed to think of another angle.

    2. Unlike the other albums that I was able to give a clear "alternate reality" theme (like "Changes" with Mike, or using the authentic early lineups for HQ, PAC&J, and BB&M), "Instant Replay" didn't lend itself to a really viable concept.

    3. Three of the songs from the real LP needed to be used on other projects. ("Through The Looking Glass" was originally supposed to kick off BB&M, which it now does, and two of Mike's songs ended up on his "solo" LP.) So, "Instant Replay" basically just became a spot to stick songs that didn't get proper homes on other alternate reality albums.

    Anyway, this is how I've compiled the new record with what I had left:

    Side One:
    1. Tear Drop City (leads off the album as it was the single, and I need its usual place on side two for something else)
    2. Don't Listen To Linda
    3. I Won't Be the Same Without Her
    4. Just a Game
    5. Me Without You
    6. Circle Sky ("Don't Wait For Me" is on Mike's solo LP. Also, I used a homegrown "vocals up" mix by boosting the center channel of the Head soundtrack studio version.)

    Side 2:
    1. You and I
    2. Magnolia Simms ("While I Cry" is on Mike's solo LP "Magnolia Simms was not on the original lineup for BB&M. Used the stereo version w/o skip.
    3. Auntie's Municipal Court (Not on the original lineup for BB&M. Thought it would be better here than as an album opener.)
    4. The Girl I Left Behind Me
    5. A Man Without a Dream
    6. Shorty Blackwell

    As for the sleeve art...

    Well, I just thought "Instant Replay" sounded like it could be part of a line of Monkee cereals - right next to "Regular Replay", and "Old-Fashioned Replay" (If you've ever bought Quaker Oats, you should get the reference.)

    The whole commercial aspect of the Monkees also got into the mix, and when I thought about how the "New & Improved!" banner could serve two purposes, I just went with this design concept.

    Hope you guys like it! (Or at least get where I was going...)

    Attached Files:

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  17. BenB5150

    BenB5150 Forum Resident

    Austin,TX, USA
    I like it! I think it fits great with your fantasy album line up!

  18. rswitzer

    rswitzer Forum Resident

    Golden, CO USA
    Great Stuff Michelle! For the back side are you going to list the songs as the cereal's "ingredients"?
  19. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    I plan to.

    Even will try to have shocked-looking Monkees, wrapped in cellophane, acting as prizes...

    Work on the back starts tonight (hopefully).
  20. lovingcup

    lovingcup New Member

    Ohhhhh Michelle they both look amazing!
  21. Wade

    Wade Well-Known Member

    Anywhere but here
    Love it! The commercialized aspect is great.
  22. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident

    Finished the back cover to the alternate "Instant Replay" today.

    I've always thought the picture sleeve for "Tear Drop City" - with Peter just being covered over - was kind of interesting.

    Since the IR LP was released around the same time as the TDC 45, the entire sleeve was designed so it could have "originally" included Peter, but when he bailed after the special, the artwork was hastily modified to remove him.

    For the front cover, this was achieved by covering Pete with the "new & improved" banner.

    For the back, the original photograph was zoomed in on, and a very easy cut and paste job was done to remove the "prize" (just how it could have been done before computers). (But, if you look closely through Mike's cellophane prison, you can still just about make out Peter's body.)

    The track listing for the alternate IR is listed above, but in the end, I decided to use the 60's mono mix of "Magnolia Simms", with the audio centered, but with the "skip" removed. (I think I prefer the 60's mono mix to the modern stereo mix. Mike's coughing jag at the end of the stereo mix is just as annoying as the skip...).

    Hope you guys like it!

    Attached Files:

    Hep Alien likes this.
  23. Wade

    Wade Well-Known Member

    Anywhere but here
    Those "cellophane prisons" are hilarious!! Fantastic!

    "peace, love and hope" reminds me of Friday's "peace, love & the Monkees" quote.

    The adjustment to the front cover reminds me of what they did with Changes.
  24. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member

    Those are great, Michelle! You're putting the actual released artwork to shame! :) Very creative. Love it.
  25. izgoblin

    izgoblin Forum Resident

    That's pretty darn brilliant.

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