Monkees

teletail

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Ah, The Monkees were fun and a lot of the music has held up well—even with critics. I was in the 6th and 7th grades when the tv series first aired and remember enjoying it every week. But I watched a few episodes a couple of years ago and I taken aback by how completely terrible and unfunny I found the show some 50 years on. At least I still got a smile from the opening montage and theme song!
+1

I was a fan in the day, but the last couple of times I tried to watch them I only got about 5 minutes in before I turned them off. Still like some of the music though!
 

Brad Pittiful

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I like that argument but the Surpremes didn't imply that they played instruments. We were led to believe or assume that the Monkey's always played the instruments in their recordings.

For me, it really doesn't matter. I like some Monkey's songs and it doesn't matter to me how the music was made. However, it was interesting to read here about the discrepancies between facts and rumors.

didnt matter to me either...the beach boys didnt record all their music which i think is a bigger deal than the monkees
 

boris bubbanov

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We didn't have a TV after 1962, but it was my drummer Jim who had the Tijuana Brass record collection, not me.

I was definitely in the target age to be a Monkees fan, but I'd been listening to The Kinks and The Who and The Animals (among others) and saw the Monkees as ridiculous and fake. They tell me Paul Revere and the Raiders were on TV often but I just bought the records, never saw the silly show antics. But I wasn't gonna make that mistake twice, I told myself.

But I was wrong about the Monkees, or at least about Mickey and Peter. Peter was good enough to be in one of the other, genuine bands I think and Dolenz has a genuine pop/rock voice that had what it took to make hits AND was on par with many of the other drummers of the time.

So, a bad product, made with at least some quality ingredients. I apologize for all the appalling things I used to say about the Monkees when my classmates were all star crossed by them.
 

boris bubbanov

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didnt matter to me either...the beach boys didnt record all their music which i think is a bigger deal than the monkees

Brad, your posts are always excellent --- but not this one.

Carl, Al and Dennis were perfectly capable of recording on any of the hits before Pet Sounds. Their touring schedule just didn't permit it AND a lot of money could be saved by substituting The Wrecking Crew. And this is wholly different IMO from many of these Monkees hits. Last Train to Clarksville? Nobody in the band could play the guitar part and Valerie, the same thing and so many more. Meanwhile, the Wilson brothers and Al Jardine went out and played all the parts, time after time after time and did so while singing close harmony and also leads. For this reason, your comparison of the two is way off the target.
 

Brad Pittiful

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Brad, your posts are always excellent --- but not this one.

Carl, Al and Dennis were perfectly capable of recording on any of the hits before Pet Sounds. Their touring schedule just didn't permit it AND a lot of money could be saved by substituting The Wrecking Crew. And this is wholly different IMO from many of these Monkees hits. Last Train to Clarksville? Nobody in the band could play the guitar part and Valerie, the same thing and so many more. Meanwhile, the Wilson brothers and Al Jardine went out and played all the parts, time after time after time and did so while singing close harmony and also leads. For this reason, your comparison of the two is way off the target.

hey thanks :)

i didnt mean to imply that the wrecking crew did all of the beach boys recordings...just meant they had it done too which would surprise people
 

Frodebro

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didnt matter to me either...the beach boys didnt record all their music which i think is a bigger deal than the monkees

By the time the Wrecking Crew got involved Brian had decided that he would rather stay in the studio and work on new material while the others toured. A side benefit to this arrangement was that the Wrecking Crew had the chops to bring his ideas to life in ways that The Beach Boys themselves could not, outside of the vocals.
 

Masmus

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I like that argument but the Surpremes didn't imply that they played instruments. We were led to believe or assume that the Monkey's always played the instruments in their recordings.

For me, it really doesn't matter. I like some Monkey's songs and it doesn't matter to me how the music was made. However, it was interesting to read here about the discrepancies between facts and rumors.

didnt matter to me either...the beach boys didnt record all their music which i think is a bigger deal than the monkees

I'm not going to be a hater on anyone, I like good music however it's done.

The big difference with the Beach Boys is that they were a band before they got famous and wrote their own songs. However, isn't the video of them playing along to Good Vibrations the same thing the Monkees were accused of
 

ZackyDog

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They look great on Blu-ray:

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vlcsnap-2022-05-20-19h29m18s494.png
 

Geo

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I always liked the Monkees tunes regardless of who played when where or what. This video is gives insight to
Last Train. The players were not necessarily wrecking crew but mainly were Boyce and Hart's studio guys they
used a lot. "Boyce and Hart's band, Candy Store Prophets, performed the instrumental session work on the recording."
The Candy Store Prophets, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart's band, and included Boyce on acoustic guitar, Gerry McGee on electric guitar, Larry Taylor on bass and Billy Lewis on drums. Additional musicians on this track were Wayne Erwin and Louie Shelton on guitar, and Gene Estes on percussion.
After some albums in members of the Monkees played instruments more on the recordings.

 

JP22

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Some absolutely fantastic, timeless pop music. Who cares about the pre fab nature of their origins?

Also, the particularly talented Mike Naismith’s work with the Monkees and beyond is always worth a listen.
 
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brookdalebill

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Oh I forgot, into my gooney collection as I moved into high school came Neil Diamond (I still think he's one of the best singers ever, and no slouch as a songwriter), who wrote "I'm A Believer"; I didn't know that until a long time after the Monkees' release of it.

While I'm adding in small details, just a few years ago we went to see Mike Nesmith in Grants Pass. 50 years gone, I'd never pick him out of a lineup for the Monkee that he once was, but it was just him with an acoustic and a friend of his on steel guitar, playing mostly songs he wrote, I think, with maybe a Monkee tune or two, and I enjoyed the show very much. As the Wikipedia article in the OP says, he's a pretty serious music producer as well.

Haven't looked at Nesmith lately?

About a dozen years ago Mike Nesmith came into my day job at South Austin Music.
It was about the time he performed Carolyn Wonderland’s wedding ceremony.
I was at my workbench, working, and a young employee, about 23 years old waited on him.
After he left, he told me who he had just waited on.
I kinda wanted to strange the kid for not giving me a heads up.
He coulda let me know in a discreet way.
My point being, he was a mature gentleman, and looked nothing like the beanie boy of my childhood.
Doh!
 

Larry F

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Even before the show aired, I remember reading somewhere that the band wasn't going to play on their own records. So, when I first heard Last Train for Clarksville, I quickly zoomed in to the backing tracks. The tracks were very clean and well balanced, but I did not feel that they had a particular point of view. The players were supremely good and played their parts to perfection. But to my ears, I couldn't imagine a band sounding like that.

So, from the word go, I knew what was going on with the backing tracks. I had a vague understanding of the reasoning behind their sound, and just accepted it.

I hardly ever bought records, but borrowed them from my sisters and friends. I dove deep into the LPs and found a few songs that I liked (as songs, not as recordings). It was one of the first times I felt that songs stand on their own, and everything else I dismissed as showbiz.
 




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