Alternate/Fantasy MONKEES albums

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

  1. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    I always felt Micky left some great stuff off of Justus, It's The Season has a nice atmosphere to it like Porpoise Song-lite, Lonely Weekends reminds me of Graceland-era Paul Simon, and Not That Bad is a sad and excellent ballad. As far as Nez and Justus, Circle Sky and Admiral Mike sucked! Manchester Boy is a lost classic and Peter's Little Girl was written for Davy as a "sequel" to I Wanna Be Free (not sure if Jonesy ever heard it). New Justus:

    It's The Season
    Never Enough
    Oh What A Night
    You and I
    Lonely Weekends
    Good Nez Song (ie: Rising In Love or Juliana from Tropical Campfires)
    Manchester Boy
    Little Girl
    Dyin' Of A Broken Heart
    Regional Girl
    Not That Bad
    It's Not Too Late

    Bonus Tracks:
    Circle Sky
    Run Away From Life
    I Believe You
    Unlucky Stars
    It's My Life
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  2. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Here's another one I've wanted to take a crack at for a while: the original Monkees Greatest Hits album from 1969.

    To refresh your memory, since there have been so many greatest hits albums over the years, here's the original track listing:

    Side 1
    "Daydream Believer" (Stewart)
    "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (Goffin & King)
    "Cuddly Toy" (Nilsson)
    "Shades of Gray" (Mann & Weil)
    "Zor and Zam" (Chadwick & Chadwick)
    "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (Diamond)
    "She" (Boyce & Hart)

    Side 2
    "Randy Scouse Git" (Dolenz)
    "I Wanna Be Free" (Boyce & Hart)
    "I'm a Believer" (Diamond)
    "Valleri" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Mary Mary" (Nesmith)
    "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Last Train to Clarksville" (Boyce & Hart)

    Where do I begin with all the things that are wrong with this set listing?

    First, you can't do a Monkees greatest hits album--at least not the first one ever--and not include the MONKEES THEME on it. Seriously, why does that even need to be explained?

    Also, the album starts with the most recent recordings and works its way backwards so that the album sounds less accomplished and polished as it continues. Even just flipping the tracks upside down is a vast impovement.

    Even though Mike is still with the band, he doesn't get a single vocal on this album! He at least gets one of his compositions on here, but that's it. Meanwhile, Peter (who's gone at this point) at least gets "Shades of Gray."

    Furthermore, the obscure "Zor and Zam" shows up--a song I like, but not a song that I would want on the first ever Monkees greatest hits album. "Take a Giant Step," "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Words," and "Goin' Down" are conspicuously absent. One could make a case for excluding some of the songs above, but not when "Zor and Zam" is included.

    I wonder if the person who assembled this album had even heard of the Monkees, or if that person just threw darts at a board that had the name of Monkees songs on them.

    It's possible that some of the songs may have been held back for a potential Vol. 2, but this volume is so awful that it's no surprise that it tanked.

    So, time to reorganize. Work from the oldest to the newest material (more or less); include at least one Mike vocal per side; and throw in "Someday Man" as a bonus, since it never wound up on a long-player itself. It's kind of like including the new tracks on "Then and Now" so that there's more value in the purchase for longtime listeners.

    Side 1:
    Theme from the Monkees
    Last Train to Clarksville
    I Wanna Be Free
    Papa Gene's Blues
    I'm a Believer
    A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
    I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone

    Side 2:
    For Pete's Sake
    Valleri
    What Am I Doin' Hangin' Round?
    Someday Man
    Pleasant Valley Sunday
    Daydream Believer
    Goin' Down

    As you can see, even I can't make it perfect with just 14 tracks. 3 of the missing B-sides from above are still unfortunately missing. However, there's more of a logical flow to this album now than there was before. One gets a better sense of the Monkees' history. And there's no "Zor and Zam"-type track where the B-side should have been.

    With two non-single Mike songs that are two of his signature tunes, and a non-single Davy song on Side 1 that's still iconically associated with him, I feel much better about this grouping. And those B-sides would make good additions to a Volume 2.

    So, again, not perfect, just improved over the previous version.

    Now, both themes from the TV show are included (also allowing Peter one writing credit). Boyce & Hart dominate the proceedings with five tracks, but that's probably as it should be.

    It seems logical to have "Daydream Believer" as the closing track, but "Goin' Down" is such a long and heavily-produced song (that I love) that one is kind of exhausted after listening to it. So it seems like it needs to "anchor" the end of a side.

    If this album had been released in 1969, it might have gone gold instead of fading into obscurity. And then a Volume 2 might have been justified, with the remaining B-sides and a few vocals from Peter. I might post that playlist next--if you all ask really nice. ;)
     
    Hep Alien likes this.
  3. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Even back in 1969 (when I was just a pup ;)) I couldn't understand how Mike didn't have AT LEAST 2 songs on this album. It made no sense to me whatsoever. I think the only change I'd make to your revised comp would be to remove For Pete's Sake and add Listen To The Band, assuming that it released at the time of the original GH album? If it wasn't, then I'd add You Just May be The One as the lead track on side 2. Ron

    PS While I personally prefer Someday Man over D W Washburn, wasn't the later a bigger chart hit?
     
  4. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Interesting choices, Ron! Nothing wrong with those.

    I didn't go with "Listen to the Band" myself because it would end up on Present just a few months later. I also went with "Someday Man" instead of "D.W. Washburn" because "Someday Man" was actually the current single at the time that GH was released, and (as mentioned) it never wound up on an album otherwise. (Neither did "D.W. Washburn," but that song was already a year old and not a very big hit.)

    Of course, that's just my thinking. There's no one "right" or "perfect" way to do it. :)
     
  5. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I think the reruns were happening at this time and You Just May Be The One was featured prominently. One of the few romps where the performance was mostly shown intact. No question, a 14-track album is tough to compile. The 1976 Arista GH is even worse. Just 11 tracks and while it does include Listen To The Band, that's it for Mike. Yet it includes the non-hits, but popular tracks, She, Shades of Gray and I Wanna Be Be Free. Heck, Tapioca Tundra or You Told Me are as worthy as those tracks! Ron
     
  6. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    All of this raises an interesting question, what songs tell the Monkees story the best? There have been countless greatest hits collections over the years but I don't think one has been truly comprehensive as far as the single discs go. For the bargain 12 track compilation, I would choose the following:

    1. Monkees Theme (TV Version)
    2. Last Train To Clarksville
    3. Steppin' Stone
    4. I'm A Believer
    5. A Little Bit Me
    6. Randy Scouse Git or Girl I Knew Somewhere
    7. Pleasant Valley Sunday
    8. Words
    9. Daydream Believer
    10. Hangin' Round
    11. Valleri
    12. For Pete's Sake

    For the constraints of a CD:
    1. Monkees Theme (TV Version)
    2. Clarksville
    3. Steppin' Stone
    4. She
    5. Look Out
    6. I'm A Believer
    7. A Little Bit Me
    8. Girl I Knew Somewhere
    9. You Just May Be The One
    10. Shades Of Gray
    11. For Pete's Sake
    12. Randy Scouse Git
    13. Pleasant Valley Sunday
    14. Words
    15. Daydream Believer
    16. Goin' Down
    17. Door Into Summer
    18. Cuddly Toy
    19. Hangin' Round
    20. Valleri
    21. DW Washburn
    22. Porpoise Song
    23. Listen To The Band
    24. Someday Man
    25. Girl (I would include this simply for it's pop-culture factor)
    26. That Was Then
    27. Heart & Soul
    28. You & I
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  7. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    GH was issued in June of '69, and the reruns wouldn't start until September of that year. But you're right that the song was featured prominently on the show (and not overdubbed) so it deserved a place on the album more than some of the other tracks.

    I haven't looked at the '76 listing all that well. I need to do that next.

    OK, even though nobody asked, here's the mythical Vol. 2 of GH from Colgems in 1971. :) I want to finish up the B-sides, as well as add songs that were used 3 or more times on the show, or songs iconically associated with the singers who performed them.

    Side 1

    1. Mary, Mary
    2. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
    3. You Just May Be the One
    4. Your Auntie Grizelda
    5. Sometime in the Morning
    6. Cuddly Toy
    7. Randy Scouse Git

    Side 2

    8. The Girl I Knew Somewhere
    9. Shades of Gray
    10. Take a Giant Step
    11. Love is Only Sleeping
    12. Forget That Girl
    13. Words
    14. Star Collector

    In some ways, I like this collection better than the first one. Having gotten the major songs out of the way, there's more room for this album to "breathe." I still wish I could have gotten more Mike vocals on there, but I'm thinking about the marketability of the album, and Davy would sell more records, so he gets more tracks. Nonetheless, I made sure to at least start each side with a Nez-penned tune sung by Micky, two of the Monkees' best songs ever.

    This song is slightly less chronological because of the need to space out the songs so that we don't have 3 or 4 Micky songs in a row, and so we don't duplicate part of another album completely. At one point, I had Love is Only Sleeping, Cuddly Toy and Words all in order--and then I realized that's just how it is on Pisces, too! So I shuffled a little bit more. Also, Take a Giant Step would have made for too many Micky songs on Side 1, so it got moved over.

    This time, Peter gets a little more representation, with his most famous song that has only his vocals, and both of his duets with other members of the band. As for writers, Boyce and Hart only end up with one song this time; Mike gets 4 of his penned tunes on the disc; and Goffin/King get 3 songs. I like those statistics. :)

    Randy Scouse Git & Star Collector are both heavy (and excellent) productions, so they anchor down the end of their respective sides. It's also nice to get the UK single of RSJ and Forget that Girl on this collection.

    Thoughts, folks?
     
    Hep Alien likes this.
  8. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Excellent lists, Pacandj! I considered doing something similar to your vinyl list, but I was afraid of having too many Micky songs in a row. Still, when looking at what you've posted now, it's a pretty impressive lineup.

    Your CD listing is even better. It's a shame that even 28 songs can't quite cover everything, but I can see why you made the choices you did. Good work!
     
  9. BadJack

    BadJack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    And it's missing "Valleri", not one of my favorites but a big hit.

    That compilation and "More Greatest Hits" were my first two Monkees purchases, and I've always preferred the latter.
     
  10. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    Oops, I forgot Mary, Mary on my CD Greatest Hits!
     
  11. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    After this discussion about it, I had to check out the listing for the '76 album myself.

    "(Theme from) The Monkees" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Last Train to Clarksville" (Boyce & Hart)
    "She" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Daydream Believer" (Stewart)
    "Listen to the Band" (Nesmith)
    "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" (Diamond)
    "I'm a Believer" (Diamond)
    "I Wanna Be Free" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (King & Goffin)
    "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Boyce & Hart)
    "Shades of Gray" (Mann & Weil)

    Good grief, this is possibly worse than the other one. Only 11 tracks? No "Valleri" (as has been noted)? Ending the album with "Shades of Gray" (which is a terrific song, but what a downer to end the album on)? While the other album had the tracks "upside down," this one seems to have no order at all. And why on Earth is "She" on the first two greatest-hits compilations when it wasn't even a single?

    I'm not going to bother to fix this one, though, because I think my other two lists cover it pretty well.
     
  12. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Heh. No worries. Which songs would you put it in between? Or which one would you leave off to make room for it?
     
  13. Hep Alien

    Hep Alien Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Thank you, HolsteMan for your comments and for bringing this thread back a few weeks ago!
    Your contributions to this thread (along with pacandj, scotlivingston, Michelle66, readr, Wade, rswitzer, MusicFan76, Pawnmower, and, last but certainly not least, Jason Penick and everyone else) and a big thanks to VeeFan64 to starting this thread in the first place almost 4 years ago!

    If anyone else knows the answers in, please chime in!

    Seriously, if we all lived in the same area of the country, I think we would all be hanging out and rambling like the Monkees nuts we are :D

     
    HolsteMan likes this.
  14. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    I usually place it before The Girl I Knew Somewhere & You Just May Be The One to get a nice snapshot of Nesmith songwriting. I guess I would have to axe my bonus track Girl or perhaps the weakest single Washburn, which is usually not on my best of playlists (only my expanded Birds, Bees mix).
     
    HolsteMan likes this.
  15. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    I've posted this a couple of times but I'll put it up once more for the newer members. Using the Birds, Bees box set I made a fantastic double album playlist which turns one of my least favorite Monkees albums into their version of the White Album. It's amazing how strong the set sounds when you add the missing puzzle pieces. New Birds, Bees:

    Side 1
    Dream World
    P.O. Box 9847
    Tear The Top Right Off My Head
    We Were Made For Each Other
    Tapioca Tundra
    Goin' Down
    Side 2
    Party
    Nine Times Blue
    Auntie's Municipal Court
    Come On In
    Carlisle Wheeling
    Daydream Believer
    Side 3
    Valleri
    DW Washburn
    It's Nice To Be With You
    Lady's Baby (without baby sounds of course)/Seeger's Theme
    Writing Wrongs
    I'm Gonna Try
    Side 4
    Through The Looking Glass
    Merry Go Round
    The Poster
    Magnolia Simms
    War Games
    Zor & Zam

    FYI, there is a method to my madness, Side 1 is a tad psychedelic, Side 2 a tad folksy, Side 3 singles and oddities, Side 4 songs that remind you of a turn of the century circus poster, haha. Keep in mind the styles are so diverse the formula doesn't work perfectly. For those of you with a perverse sense of humor you can add the ridiculous Tork nursery rhyme Alvin after Zor & Zam for a much less impressive "Your Majesty" effect ;)
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  16. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Wow, that is impressive, P!

    I was wondering what the order was intended to be. I thought you'd do one side Davy, one side Micky, etc. But your way makes sense, too.

    Gosh, now I wanna do another listing for Birds & Bees. :)
     
  17. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    Since we are on a roll I will repost my re-imaginings of Present and Changes. In my opinion the original Present was a dud, an akward cross between progressive new tracks by the 3 Monkees and clunkers from the vaults, more importantly some of the very best later-period Monkees songs were left off of the album. Also, forgive me for saying it but I wish Mommy & Daddy had ended up a missing link. So here is my new Monkees Present which I imagine as breezy, sophisticated and not aimed at the Saturday morning cartoon crowd per say, that comes later with my new Changes ;)

    Someday Man
    If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again
    Steam Engine
    If I Knew
    Some of Shelley's Blues
    Bye Bye Baby, Bye Bye
    Listen To The Band
    Smile
    Rosemarie (Missing Links 1 version, the best in my opinion)
    St. Matthew (Missing Links 2 version, without distorted vocals)
    French Song
    Pillow Time

    Now before you guys start cursing me and asking where Nez's other songs are, relax they're coming. On to Changes, an album I actually enjoy, pop/soul bubblegum but well executed. My new Changes includes Nez, as if he had continued past the Kool Aid commercials, but this album IS aimed at the Saturday morning crowd to support the re-runs. Less sophistication, more rollicking fun and whimsy with a light touch of country and blues. Here goes:

    Oh My, My
    You're So Good To Me
    Little Red Rider (Missing Links 3 version)
    If You Have The Time
    Down The Highway
    Tell Me Love
    Good Clean Fun
    I Love You Better
    Do You Feel It Too?
    Midnight Train
    Oklahoma Backroom Dancer
    Storybook Of You

    Now I suppose there is enough left for a 1971 last gasp Scooby Doo-style bubblegum album with just Micky and Davy. I've never tried this before but how about calling it Do It In The Name Of Love:

    Do It In The Name Of Love
    Acapulco Sun
    Penny Music
    It's Got To Be Love
    You Can't Tie A Mustang Down
    Shake Em' Up
    Looking For The Good Times
    Lady Jane
    I Never Thought It Peculiar
    Kicking Stones
    So Goes Love
    Ticket On Ferry Ride

    Where is Tme & Time Again (one of my favorite tracks) you may ask, well stylistically it belongs on my version of Present but I believe it was recorded after and it's too sophisticated for Changes so, it stays a missing link unfortunately.
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  18. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Terrific! I've seen versions of Changes with Nez before, but Changes with Nez and then a tenth album . . . that's very imaginative! Good job on all 3, Pac.
     
  19. Captain Groovy

    Captain Groovy Senior Member

    Location:
    Freedonia, USA
    I would like a "Love" by The Beatles type release.

    Remix elements of the catalogue and give us a fresh experience.

    Since it would be influenced by The Beatles once again, it could be called "Like".

    Jeff
     
    HolsteMan likes this.
  20. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    How does everyone feel about doing a challenge, just to keep things fresh? That is, one person throws out an idea, and all of us take turns on just that one idea? Then when it seems to have run its course, we can have someone else do a challenge.

    For instance, my challenge would be: Do a different version of Birds & Bees than any list for that album that you've already done on this thread, assuming that all other albums remain the same.

    And my take on it would be this: Since I already did a 12-track version of B&B that had "Valleri" and "I'll Be Back Upon My Feet" released on More of the Monkees instead, this time I'll do a double album that includes these songs.

    Here's how it would look:

    DAVY'S SIDE
    Valleri
    Dream World
    We Were Made for Each Other
    The Poster
    It's Nice to Be With You
    Daydream Believer

    MICKY'S SIDE
    I'll Be Back Upon My Feet
    All the King's Horses
    P.O. Box 9847
    Auntie's Municipal Court
    Zor and Zam
    Goin' Down

    MIKE'S SIDE
    I Don't Think You Know Me
    Of You
    St. Matthew
    Tapioca Tundra
    Magnolia Simms
    Writing Wrongs

    PETER'S SIDE
    Tear the Top Right Off My Head
    Seeger's Theme/Alvin
    Lady's Baby
    Cripple Creek
    Merry Go Round
    Come On In

    Whereas my previous attempt at this album was intended to fix B&B's flaws, the goal of this one is simply to make a double album by including all of the original album's tracks and then filling in the cracks. Thus, I don't much care for Davy's side, but this is probably what it would sound like. I do specifically start and close the side with an accessible hit.

    All of the sides are kind of weird amalgams of the old and the new, just like the actual B&B. Thus, we get "I'll Be Back" as in the first album, but I was OK with also dusting off "All the King's Horses." Played next to each other, they would sound more natural. Then I include a few of his other tracks from this album, and round it off with the popular "Goin' Down."

    On that same note of old-and-new, I was comfortable with adding a couple of Mike's older tunes, but only at the beginning of the side. Mixed in with the others, it would be all too obvious which ones were produced first. I would like to include some later gems like "Nine Times Blue," but I don't think a complete version of that, or many others, was (were?) available at the time of this album's release. "St. Matthew" was available, though, so it becomes the transition track between the old sound and the new sound. I sandwich "Magnolia Simms" in between "Tapioca" and "Writing" so that audiences don't have to listen to even more of an overdose of psychadelia.

    B&B was Peter's most prolific period, so this is the best time to include a full side from him. However, even at that, not all of the choices are worthy. "Prithee" is deliberately excluded because Peter unfortunately never recorded a good version of it. I opted instead for "Merry Go Round," which isn't a very pleasant listening experience, but at least it's part of the point. It's a faded, broken-down merry-go-round, and that's exactly what the song sounds like itself. A more "straight" version of the song would miss the point. And while I prefer Micky's vocal on "Tear the Top," Peter should get his own vocal on his side. Furthermore, I believe that there's a studio demo of "Cripple Creek" that could be used here, but I never picked up Headquarters Sessions so I could be wrong. I briefly considered using "Long Title," but then I remembered that, according to the rules of my own challenge, all the other albums stay the same, so Head would still have the same song. Thus, I went with all different tracks here.

    Whew! These explanations always go on longer than I expect. :) Anyone else up to the challenge? (While you're certainly welcome to explain your choices, you don't have to hold back just because you don't want to blather on as long as me. ;) Feel free to just list the tracks if you like.)
     
    Hep Alien likes this.
  21. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    Thanks! After I thought of that tenth album, I kept tinkering and made some changes (no pun intended). Keep in mind this would be the most bubblegum album the Monkees ever released and meant to compete with the Partridge Family, I tried to keep all of the songs about "gurls" as Davy would say:

    Do It In The Name Of Love
    Ticket On A Ferry Ride
    You Can't Tie A Mustang Down
    It's Got To Be Love
    99 Pounds
    Shake Em Up

    Looking For The Good Times
    Lady Jane
    Acapulco Sun
    I Never Thought It Peculiar
    All Alone In The Dark
    Storybook Of You
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  22. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Cool! That's a nice alternate version.
     
  23. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    It sounds suprisingly good! I think the reason certain Monkees songs sound conspicuously weak on their original albums is because they are surrounded by such superior cuts. If you group the weakest songs together they suddenly sound great!
     
  24. pacandj

    pacandj Forum Resident

    Location:
    springfield, nj
    I will take a shot at a single album revamp of Birds, Bees. I've tried dividing it into four sides by each member but can't come up with anything I like. So 12 concise songs, here goes:

    Dream World
    PO Box 9847
    Tapioca Tundra
    Valleri
    Tear The Top Right Off My Head
    Goin' Down
    Daydream Believer
    Auntie's Municipal Court
    Come On In
    The Poster
    Magnolia Simms
    Zor & Zam
     
    Hep Alien and HolsteMan like this.
  25. HolsteMan

    HolsteMan Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    That's a fascinating theory! On a similar note, I know some people who don't like "Sometime in the Morning," and I think that it's just too much sweetness after the (IMO) sickening "The Day We Fall in Love." That's why my Side 2 on More of the Monkees would go something like this:

    Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
    I'll Be Back Upon My Feet
    Kind of Girl I Could Love
    Sometime in the Morning

    . . . etc. With some harder rock songs in front of it, "Sometime" now becomes a pleasant break in the album.

    Nice version of B&B! Any particular reasons for that order? Also, is your "Tear the Top" Micky's vocal or Peter's?
     

Share This Page