NOTE: Due to the nature of their contract, the Monkees had almost unlimited resources within the recording studio to call on.  They were constantly being pitched songs by top songwriters, and the only limits to what they could do was their own imaginations and the time contraints that being in a weekly TV series brought to bear.  Needless to say, The Monkees were extremely prolific, recording nearly as many songs in the years 1966-1970 as the Beatles had in their entire career!  Many outtakes, alternates, remixes, and unreleased songs have been found, and Rhino records has been tireless in bringing these "lost" songs to us.  But others have persevered as well, leading to a rich treasure trove of songs for fans of the Monkees. 

Rarities, Outtakes, Demos and Lost Songs (1966-1970)

Missing Links (Oct. 25, 1988)  Rhino CD R2 70150

Missing Links
1. Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears (Boyce/Hart) - 2:16
2. If You Have the Time (Chadwick/Jones) - 2:09
3. I Don't Think You Know Me (Goffin/King) - 2:14
4. Party (Jones/Pitts) - 2:45

5. Carlisle Wheeling (Nesmith) - 3:19
6. Storybook of You (Boyce/Hart) - 2:52
7. Rosemarie (Dolenz) - 2:28
8. My Share of the Sidewalk (Nesmith) - 3:06
9. All of Your Toys (Martin) - 3:08
10. Nine Times Blue (Nesmith) - 2:09
11. So Goes Love (Goffin/King) - 3:07
12. Teeny Tiny Gnome (Castleman/Erwin) - 2:27
13. Of You (Chadwick) - 1:57
14. War Games (Jones/Pitts) - 2:33
15 Lady's Baby
(Tork) - 2:27
Time and Time Again (Chadwick/Jones) - 2:47

Volume One of this interesting series begins with "Apples, Peaches, Bananas, and Pears" by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, which is a fine number, sort of second-rate "Last Train To Clarksville."  Davy Jones' "If You Have the Time" is an old fashioned music-hall softshoe number, followed by a very good early take of the Goffin/King number "I Don't Think You Know Me" which was later parlayed by Mike into "You Just May Be The One."  Davy's "Party" has an odd '50's doo-wop vibe with a striking chromatic melody line in the chorus.  An alternate, early take of "Carlisle Wheeling" is next by Mike, and is gentle country pop.  By listening to "Storybook Of You," I would have bet money that Davy had written it, since it's the kind of gushy sentimentality he's known for, but Boyce & Hart's are listed as composers.  Fer shame!  Mickey Dolenz writes and sings the next number, "Rosemarie" which is adventurous blue-eyed soul, and the next song "My Share of the Sidewalk" surprised me for a couple of reasons: first, Davy's singing a Mike Nesmith song, and second, it sounds like jazz fusion!  A very odd addition to the Monkees music collection.  "All of Your Toys" is marvellous, with its rolling, chiming guitar and walking bass line, and should have been released as a single, but this is its first appearance on CD!  "Nine Times Blue" is classic Papa Nez country blues, with an "I-done-her-wrong" lyric that shows up in several other of his songs.  "So Goes Love" is a great song that was covered by the Turtles, but here in a smoky Vegas lounge arrangement, Davy sings the entire song at least a half-step flat!  Ouch.  "Teeny Tiny Gnome" sounds like a rip off of early 60's novelty songs (like "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-weeny Yellow Polka-dot Bikini"), "Of You" is forgettable country-pop by Nez, and "War Games" is an earnest commentary on violence, earnestly sung by Davy.  The sole Peter Tork number is "Lady Baby," which is a dreary, Peter, Paul & Mary-like song.  The album finishes with the light and dreamy soundscape of "Time and Time Again" by Davy, which I enjoy - it reminds of music by The Free Design.  So, overall a curious album - some hits, some misses, but worth hearing by fans of the Monkees.

Missing Links Volume Two (Oct. 26, 1989)  Rhino CD R2 70903

Missing Links, Vol. 2
1. All the King's Horses (Nesmith) - 2:18
2. Valleri
(Boyce/Hart) - 2:34
St. Matthew
(Nesmith) - 2:44
(Boyce/Hart) - 3:04
Some of Shelly's Blues
(Nesmith) - 2:33
I Wanna Be Free
(Boyce/Hart) - 2:48
7. If I Ever Get to Saginaw Again  (Keller/Russell) - 2:45
Come on In
(Mapes) - 3:11
I'll Be Back up on My Feet
(Linzer/Randell) - 2:39
Michigan Blackhawk
(Nesmith) - 2:16
11. Hold on Girl  (Carr/Keller/Raleigh) - 2:45
The Crippled Lion
(Nesmith) - 2:52
(Jones/Pitts) - 2:27
14. Mr. Webster  (Boyce/Hart) - 2:55
You Just May Be the One 
(Nesmith) - 2:00
Do Not Ask for Love
(Murphey) - 2:58
Circle Sky
(Nesmith) - 2:27
Seeger's Theme
(Seeger) - :45
Riu Chiu (Traditional) - 1:32

One of the first Monkees collections I heard, and it blew the top right off my head!  Honestly, I consider Missing Links Volume Two to be one of the best Monkees albums out there (certainly better than Instant Replay or Presents).  The first half of the album are all quality songs, from the rip-roaring opener "All The King's Horses" to Peter Tork's gentle entreaty to "Come On In."  Interspersed between them are highly melodic country-pop by Mike Nesmith ("St. Matthew," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and my personal favorite "If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again.)  Powerhouse Boyce & Hart songs (a ripping "Valleri" in its original take, the stunning slow-burn of "Words" and the popular "I Wanna Be Free), followed by the terrific, jumpy "I'll Be Back Upon My Feet."  The second half of the album is less accomplished, but you still have the wintry "Eleanor Rigby"-like "Mr. Webster," the Ennio Morricone/spaghetti-western-style music of "Seeger's Theme," and the stunning acappela studio version of "Riu Chiu" (with a guesting Chip Douglas helping on vocals.)  There is also confederate rock ("Michigan Blackhawk"), light renaissance ("Do Not Ask For Love") and straightfoward rock ("You Just May Be The One").  All in all a great album, and highly recommended.

Missing LInks Volume Three (May 26, 1996)  Rhino CD R2 72153

Missing Links, Vol. 3
1. (Theme From) The Monkees (Boyce/Hart)
2. Kellogg's Jingle
3. We'll Be Right Back in a Minute
Through the Looking Glass  (Baldwin/Boyce/Hart)

5. Propinquity (I've Just Begun to Care) (Nesmith)
6. Penny Music
7. Tear the Top Right off My Head (Tork)

8. Little Red Rider
9. You're So Good (Stone)

10. Look Down
11. Hollywood
Midnight Train [demo version]
She Hangs Out [Single Version]
Shake 'Em Up
Circle Sky [Alternate Mix]
Steam Engine 
Love to Love  (Diamond)
She'll Be There (Unknown)
19. How Insensitive (DeMoraes/Gimbel/Jobim)
20. Merry Go Round
Angel Band
Zor and Zam [TV Version]
We'll Be Right Back in a Minute, No. 2
Tema Dei Monkees (Boyce/Hart/Nistri)

By the time Rhino got around to releasing Missing Links Volume Three, many fans and critics were wondering if this barrel of Monkees was finally scraping bottom, but what a surprise to find that there were still several worthwhile cuts to be had.  Opening with the original television theme (which had never been released on CD), it's followed by two short jingles, one recorded for Kellogg's cereal, and the next written by Mickey Dolenz!  "We'll Be Right Back In A Minute" is classic Micky: fast, frenetic and wonderfully hummable.  "Through the Looking Glass" is an alternate take, the oddly-named "Propinquity" is a typical Nez country-pop weeper, "Penny Music" is a large-scale broadway belter for Davy, a wee bit too smug for my tastes, but the next number "Tear The Top Right Off My Head" by Peter Tork is interesting in its use of popular idioms.  "Little Red Rider" is more competent confederate rock by Mike, and what sounds like an unfinished song, "You're So Good" shows real promise with Mickey's blue-eyed soul wailing over distorted guitars, but for some reason it doesn't sound finished (needs some back-up vocals in my opinion.)  The driving pop of "Look Down" is sung with conviction by Davy, puctuated by classy horn accompianment.  Nesmith's "Hollywood" is undistinguished country-pop with a cynical edge, the demo of "Midnight Train" has Mickey duetting with his sister Coco is a low-key rendition, the single version of "She Hangs Out" is punchier than the album track and very welcome, and "Circle Sky" shows up in it's umpteenth variation.  The shotgun approach to chronicling the Monkees vaults continues with the frantic, but fun "Steam Engine," an early take on Neil Diamond's fine "Love To Love," a bizarre, countrified recasting of the latin lounge standard "How Insensitive" by Mike, and Peter Tork's stupifying anti-song "Merry Go Round" (which would have been better off left in the can.)  Mike's "Angel Band" is curious: sort of a Southern Christian tent revival song, followed by the subtly different television version of "Zor and Zam."  The album comes full circle with an alternate version of Micky's "Back In A Minute" and closes with an Italian version of the Monkee theme song.

Harry Nilsson's The Point: Original Cast Recording (1980) MCA Records/Victor Musical Industries, Inc. VIM 6262 [LP]

1. Overture - Orchestra
2. Everything's Got 'Em - Company
3. Me and My Arrow - Davy Jones
4. Poli High - Company
5. Remember - Veronica Clifford
6. To Be A King - Noel Howlett & Company
7. He's Leaving Here This Morning (Bath) Micky Dolenz/Colin Bennett/Clovissa Newcombe
8. Think About Your Troubles - Davy Jones & Company
9. Blanket For A Sail - Davy Jones
10. Life Line - Davy Jones
11. Thursday (Here's Why I Did Not Go To Work Today) - Felix Rice
12. It's A Jungle Out There - Micky Dolenz
13. P.O.V. Waltz - Davy Jones & Company
14. Are You Sleeping? - Davy Jones & Company
15. Gotta Get Up - Davy Jones & Micky Dolenz
16. Reprise Overture - Orchestra

As a listening experience, The Point is about as fun as a hangover; Harry Nilsson's druggy, existential theater work, adapted from the
TV film and album of the same name, confounds on record, and despite Nilsson's seeming suitability for writing a theater score, this show was obviously a mess, both musically and conceptually.  The album begins with a gulping bass guitar signalling the "Overture," a light psychedelia of electirc guitars, strings and prominent flute.  It segues directly into the first number, "Everything's Got 'Em" which has the chorus intoning "This is the town, and we are the people" over and over again; it's like listening to a half-baked Godspell on a bender.  Davy Jones then takes the double-entendre "Me And My Arrow" and gets to pretend it's really about his dog (played by David Claridge), with an accompanying dialogue of barking.  The company then sings "Poli High", an anthem for their polytechnic high school, which drones on and on in the worst light-rock tradition.  Nilsson's arguably best song, "Remember" is given to Veronica Clifford, but it loses it's poignancy here, becoming just a luke-warm cover of a pop song.  "To Be A King" has the aged Noel Howlett intoning how grateful he is to be a monarch, and the chorus adding their agreement.  The album finally wakes up, thanks to Micky Dolenz in the bluesy rock of "He's Leaving Here This Morning (Bath)", which has the former Monkee tearing up the number with vocal whoops and jumps.  It's miles above Davy's later solo version on his Just For The Record series.  Side one closes with Davy singing the mild ballad "Think About Your Troubles" which leans heavily on existential thought; Side Two of the album opens with the unremarkable "Blanket For A Sail" which manages to incorporate "Row Row Row Your Boat" into the otherwise forgettable melody.  "Life Line" is similar in sentiment to "Remember" - a dreamy, hazy ballad; "Thursday" is a wreck of a song, sounding so dull and sleepy that it surely bored the audience to tears.  Micky then picks things up again with the energized "It's A Jungle Out There" with Micky going primal in a good way - but "P.O.V. Waltz" is an off-kilter stumble which sounds like Nilsson explaining the experience of being drunk.  "Sleeping" is an interesting swing number with the chorus taking over from Davy after a brief opening, and the final number, and the first on which Davy and Micky reunite, is easily the best: "Gotta Get Up" is a soulful bouncer which the two friends share a great duet.  Overall the album feels lethargic and useless, with not enough melodies or emotion to connect to the listener, a couple of high points, but otherwise a post-Hair failure.

The Monkees Christmas Album Black Night Music [CD]
1. Riu Chiu - 1967 Studio Version (1:30),
2. Deck the Halls - 1967 TV version (0:28),
3. Greensleeves - 1967 TV Version (0:30),
4. Riu Chiu - 1967 TV Version (1:32),
5. Christmas Is My Time Of Year - Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones & Peter Tork 1976 (3:09),
6. White Christmas - Davy Jones w/ Micky Dolenz & Peter Tork 1976 (2:08),
7. Christmas Medley: We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Jingle Bell Rock, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Micky, Davy & Peter 1986 MTV Christmas Medley (4:13),
8. O Little Town Of Bethlehem - Micky Dolenz 1993 (3:07),
9. My Favorite Things Micky Dolenz 1994 (3:10),
10. I Remember Christmas (Live) Peter Tork 1995 (3:37),
11. Winter Wonderland - Davy Jones 1997 (2:51),
12. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer - Davy Jones 1997 (2:23),
13. Silver Bells - Davy Jones 1997 (3:29),
14. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Davy Jones 1997 (2:06),
15. Hark The Herald Angels Sing - Davy Jones 1997 (2:12),
16. White Christmas - Davy Jones 1997 (3:15),
17. Mele Kalikimaka - Davy Jones 1997 (2:27),
18. This Day In Bethlehem - Davy Jones 1997 (2:31),
19. Silent Night - Davy Jones 1997 (3:40),
20. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Davy Jones 1997 (3:17),
21. When I Look Back At Christmas - Davy Jones 1997 (3:12)
A fairly shameless bootleg that takes Christmas tracks from the Monkees from any source it can get its hands on, it manages to be a comprehensive collection of holiday tracks, including several rarities. It begins with "Riu Chiu" (the same version found on Missing Links Vol. 2) before taking all three sung segments off the the 1967 Monkees Christmas show, retaining the tape hiss but in otherwise good fidelity. The first real rarity comes on track five, with the rare 1976 Christmas single from Micky, Davy and Peter - "Christmas Is My Time Of Year" is a fun track, redolent with sleigh bells and in excellent sound; Micky and Davy trade off on the verses, and Peter, if he's present, is unheard. The b-side, "White Christmas" is a Davy Jones solo, accompianied by guitar and violins, and is a murkier mix than the previous track. Next comes a stitched together medley featuring all three Monkees in a raucous sing-along of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", "Winter Wonderland" and "Jingle Bell Rock" - then Davy chimes in with the pixie-ish "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and Micky taking lead on John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" before reprising "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" to close it out. The sound here is noticably shakey, with tape flutter and sudden volume shifts. Next comes a rare Micky Dolenz Christmas single: "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" in excellent fidelity, with Micky showing his latter-day penchant for sliding into each note, and the song unfortunately churning into a drum-laden power ballad. (?), the next track, "My Favorite Things" is stolen straight off of his 1994 album Broadway Micky. The one Peter Tork track to be found is a muffled live song: "I Remember Christmas", which Peter plays on solo guitar, and it's a lovely ballad, somewhat undercut by its heavy-handed message for world peace. The final eleven tracks comprise Davy's 1997 solo album in its entirety in CD-quality sound, and if you haven't heard it, it's a fairly straighforward collection of Christmas songs, cut with a simple band with saxophone, drums, sythesizer keyboards, electric guitar and bass, and a trio of female backup singers who unfortunately sound icy and uninterested in whatever they sing. Best tracks: the string quartet arrangment on the insistant "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman" which propels the song along; "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" which is a neat banjo-fueled bluegrass barn-burner, a joyful and surprisingly fun take; "This Day In Bethlehem" which with accoustic guitar has a dinstinct Old English folk song feel; and the stomping 50s vibe found on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", a high-energy track. The rest is sung well and enthusiastically by Davy, but is pretty forgettable. A good collection, with varying sound, but overall very enjoyable.

Hey Hey We're The Monkees CD-ROM (1996)  nu.millennia inc./Rhino Records CD-ROM

10-chapter Monkees Story as related by Micky, Davy, Mike and Peter in original 1996 interviews, with extensive video footage

View rare and historic photos

Tour the Monkees' gameboard, spotlighting 10 music videos from the TV series - including Last Train to Clarksville and Daydream Beleiver - and featuring over 50 trivia questions

Explore the navigable Virtual Apartment replicated exactly from the Monkee Pad in the show

Includes the rare, unreleased If I Leaned To Play The Violin, sung by Davy Jones recorded in early 1967 and You And I from Justus

This one-of-a-kind project put out by nu.millennia inc. and Rhino Records, was part of the huge marketing campaign surrounding the Monkees' 30th anniversary and subsequent release of Justus.  Now, of course, it's a problem using this CD-ROM since it requires your computer to use an old version of Quicktime and also is limited to 256 colors, but at the time, it was a fun way to explore the Monkees phenomenon in what was then a revolutionary way.  The main menu screen is set up as a game board, and you could point and click at the different colored "squares" on the path and get interview clips (the same ones you can find on the similarly-titled VHS/DVD and companion book), several clips of the TV show, and ten of the shows "romps" which featured hit music from the Monkees.  This way, you could watch the ten-segment "Story Of The Monkees", plus have background music played while pointing and clicking at one of the four Monkees.  Also included on this CD-ROM was a complete episode guide listing guest stars and music featured for each show, a complete discography, and in one of the best features, a clickable map of the Monkees apartment, with hidden video segments scattered about the room!  Pretty fun stuff.  Also included were several dozen trivia questions (similar to the ones found on Rhino's trading cards) and as a bonus, two high-quality stereo tracks which you could play on your CD-player, including one not available elsewhere - the sugary-sweet "If I Learned To Play The Violin" recorded in early 1967 and sung by the true Peter Pan of Pop, Davy Jones.  Rhino also plugs their own Monkees merchandise with a web link (now defunct) which would take you to their site for Monkee swag.  A curiosity now, and sadly out of date for most modern computers.

The Monkee Archives Volume 1: The Birds, The Bees & The "33 1/3 Revolutions Per" Monkees (1995)  Splendor of Bohemia Presentations CD MON-01

1. Wind Up Man (1:41)
2. I Go Ape (2:14)
3. I'm A Believer (2:25)
4. Prithee (2:24)
5. Naked Persimmon (2:28)
6. Goldilocks Sometime (2:19)
7. At The Hop (1:01)
8. Shake A Tail Feather (1:04)
9. Little Darlin' (1:27)
10. String For My Kite (1:11)
11. Solfiegietto by C.P.E. Bach (1:11)
12. Listen to the Band (7:33)
13. California Here I Come (1:14)
14. Daily Nightly-MONO (2:31)
15. Star Collector-MONO (4:27)
16. Dream World (Jones/Pitts) - 3:16
17. Auntie's Municipal Court (Allison/Nesmith) - 3:55
18. We Were Made for Each Other (Fischoff/Sager) - 2:24
19. Tapioca Tundra (Nesmith) - 3:03
20. Daydream Believer (Stewart) - 2:58
21. Writing Wrongs (Nesmith) - 5:06
22. I'll Be Back up on My Feet (Linzer/Randell) - 2:16
23. The Poster (Jones/Pitts) - 2:21
24. P.O. Box 9847 (Boyce/Hart) - 3:16
25. Magnolia Simms (Nesmith) - 3:48
26. Valleri (Boyce/Hart) - 2:15
27. Zor and Zam (Chadwick/Chadwick) - 2:10
28. Birds and Bees Radio Ad

Some enterprising individual has put together a four-disc set of true rarities from Monkees history, with decidedly mixed results.  The set, known as "The Monkees Archive" was put out in 1995, went out of print in 1997, and outside of the Rhino CD's, is the most comprehensive gathering of unreleased tidbits out there.  Volume One is essentially split into two parts, the first 13 tracks documenting the music contained in the Monkees last television special until 1996, the critically lambasted "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee."  Colgems never released a soundtrack for the special, and Rhino claims the tapes are not in the Monkees archives, so here's a chance to hear the songs stripped of the visuals.  Listening to just the musical offerings from the program reveals just how sloppy the Monkees had become by this time.  With poor musical selections and careless performances of most of the songs, it's one of their least appealing showcases, but there are some good moments.  The lead-off song is the annoying and repetitive "Wind-Up Man" with the Monkees still using music to make a point, rather than entertain, with predictable results.  The next song is just as bad - "I Go Ape" is high-novelty with ridiculous ape-grunting serving as background vocals.  One of the Monkees most popular songs, "I'm a Believer" is recast as a gospel rave-up, which is interesting, but will probably leave listeners with a craving to hear the original version.  "Prithee" is the second version of this song to be recorded (The first featuring Micky), and unfortunately, Peter doesn't really invest much into his reading; his voice is shakey on the pitch and the harmonies are off-key.  Mike's schizophrenic "Naked Persimmon" is next, which is an interesting song, a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll, but neither half is memorable.  The best track is the next, with Davy Jones presenting the chirpy fairytale mish-mash "Goldilocks Sometimes" sung with professialism and polish, which makes a huge difference, especially compared to the other numbers.  An embarrasing medley of 50's rock standards are next: Dolenz destroys "At The Hop" with a twitchy performance full of vocal tics; "Shake A Tailfeather" is better due to the sassy background singers, but then Davy slurs his way through "Little Darlin'" - which is a prime example of how sloppy the Monkees had become at this point.  Davy also embarasses himself on his next number, the inane "String For My Kite" and Peter performs an erratic take on J.S. Bach's Tocatta In D (?)  Finally the show closes with a depressing, low-fi retread of "Listen To the Band" which devolves into an incoherent mess, and a shoddy cover of "California, Here I Come" which sounds like it would've fit perfectly in HEAD.  The second half of the CD are a couple of mono mixes of "Daily Nightly" and "Star Collector" and the entire rare mono pressing of the album The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees."

The Monkee Archives Volume 2: Television Rarities (1995)  Splendor of Bohemia Presentations CD MON-02
1. Intro/Theme (1:14)
2. Gonna Buy Me A Dog-rare Davy song from Farmer's Daughter tv show (1:24)
3. Original Theme-Boyce & Hart demo for tv pilot (0:57)
4. I Wanna Be Free-fast version-Boyce & Hart demo for tv pilot (2:33)
5. I Wanna Be Free-slow version-Boyce & Hart demo for tv pilot (0:54)
6. Let's Dance On-Boyce & Hart demo's for tv pilot (1:51)
7. Sweet 16/Patrick Henry (0:28)
8. Bumper Music (0:08)
9. Saturdays Child-alternate version (2:26)
10. All The King's Horses (2:01)
11. Take A Giant Step-alternate version (2:27)
12. Yardley Commercial (0:40)
13. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone-rehearsal (0:11)
14. Different Drum (0:39)
15. Laugh-alternate version (2:33)

16. Strolling Troubadours (0:27)
17. Rice Krispies Commercial (1:00)
18. I Wanna Be Free-live Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (2:54)
19. Cripple Creek-live Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (2:11)
20. I Got A Woman-live Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (6:18)
21. Group Interview (0:37)
22. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone-live Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (1:40)
23. Love Is Only Sleeping-alternate version (2:25)
24. She Hangs Out-alternate version (2:47)
25. Star Collector-alternate version (2:51)
26. Tear the Top Off My Head (0:22)
27. Goin' Down-instrumental (0:40)
28. Goin' Down-alternate version (3:56)
29. Alpha Bits Commercial (0:29)
30. Texas Prairie Chicken (0:27)
31. Deck The Halls (0:29)
32. Riu Chiu (1:32)
33. Here I Come (0:19)
34. Iranian Tango (0:24)
35. Greensleeves (0:32)
36. So How's By You? (0:22)
37. Her Name Is Love (1:22)
38. Gonna Buy Me A Dog-instrumental (1:08)
39. Chant-Frodis Episode (0:37)
40. Closing Interview (0:24)
41. For Pete's Sake (0:49)

Archives Volume Two is devoted to rare TV versions of songs that appeared in other versions on the albums, plus snippets of dialogue from the series, brief commercial bits, interviews, and the opening and closing theme songs.  There are also some ultra-rare bits such as Davy Jones' first recording of Boyce & Hart's "Gonna Buy Me A Dog" - six months before he was hired for the Monkees!  Also included are early versions of Monkees hits as first demoed by the aforementioned B&H ["Monkees Theme", "I Wanna Be Free", and "Let's Dance On"]  All in all it sounds like an intriguing package for collectors, but there's one big hangup: the sound is (as author Glen A. Baker would say) "diabolical."  For the most part, it sounds like thirtieth-generation cassette tape masters have been used, some of which have been left in a hot car a little too long.  Oh, well - such is the nature of the beast when it comes to bootlegs.  This is stuff that has been passed around in the grand tape-trading traditions of fans who meet at fan clubs, concerts, record shows and flea markets, and to have it at all is a mark of a true fan.  Non-essential listening.

The Monkee Archives Volume 3: Alternates & Out-takes (1995)  Splendor of Bohemia Presentations CD MON-03
1. Monkees Theme (Instumental)
2. Last Train To Clarksville (Alt Mix)
3. This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day 
4. I'm A Believer (Instrumental)
5. Hold On Girl (Unreleased Backing Track)
6. Auntie Grizelda (Partial Backing Track)
7. Forget That Girl (Alt Mix)
8. Early Morning Blues & Greens (Unreleased Backing Track)
9. Pleasant Valley Sunday (Stereo Backing Track)
10. Star Collector (Alt Mix)
11. Merry Go Round (Accoustic)
12. Merry Go Round (Keyboard)
13. Circle Sky (Alt Mix)
14. While I Cried (Alt Mix)
15. Seegers Theme (Handclaps Version)
16. Seegers Theme (Banjo/Drums Version)
17. Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (Accoustic)
18. Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (Alt Version)
19. Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (Alt Version)
20. Tear The Top Right Off My Head (Peter & Mickey Vocal Version)
21. Come On In (Alternate Mix)
22. Can You Dig It (Alternate Mix)
23. I Go Ape (Backing Track)
24. Prithee (Alternate Mix)
25. Naked Permission (Alternate Version)
26. 33 1/3 Promo
27. If I Knew (Unreleased Accoustic Version)
28. If I Knew (Alternate Version)
29. How Can I Tell You (Unreleased Accoustic Demo)
30. Opening Night (Unreleased Accoustic Demo)
31. Steam Engine (Fan Club Single)

On the third installment of the Archives series, alternate takes, demos, and instrumental backing tracks take focus, with each track of differing sound quality and interest.  Most of the alternate takes are not all that different from what was originally released, and sometimes it's hard to tell if the version really is a different mix, or if it's just the sound quality that's affecting your listening experience.  But overall this is a much better quality release than volume two, and the backing tracks, although not revelatory in any significant way, are a fun way to do Monkees karioke (if you're into that sort of thing.)  Some tracks are revealing: the slower, doo-wop backing track of "Hold On Girl" reveals a different path that song could have taken, and some studio chatter livens up some familiar songs like "Forget That Girl."  Other nice moments: the stereo backing track to "Pleasant Valley Sunday" which jumps out of the speakers, the sirens-like wail that is on an alternate take of "Star Collector," the softer, sweeter accoustic version of Peter Tork's "Merry Go-Round" which is light years above the numbing released version.  Also interesting is the chunky chords found on the accoustic version of "Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" (backing track), and Micky's vocal found on "Tear The Top Right Off My Head."  Davy is granted only four tracks, but they're all good, from the two versions of "If I Knew" to the guitar-driven demo of "How Can I Tell You," and Davy and solo piano on "Opening Night."  The album closes with the super-rare fan-club only single version of "Steam Engine" which differs from the album version significantly with prominent guitars and a different vocal from Micky.

The Monkee Archives Volume 4: "Live" 1967 - 1969 (1995)  Splendor of Bohemia Presentations CD MON-04
  1. You Just May Be The One-Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (2:14) Live Japan 10/3/68:
2. Last Train To Clarksville (3:15)
3. I Wanna Be Free (2:40)
4. D.W. Washburn (2:46)
5. Daydream Believer (2:17)
6. Cuddly Toy (2:34)
7. Salesman (3:30)
8. It's Nice To Be With You (2:51)
9. Mary, Mary (2:24)
10. Cindy, Cindy (1:54)
11. Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky (0:45)
12. Johnny B. Goode (2:13)
13. Gonna Build A Mountain (3:41)
14. I Got A Woman (6:25)
15. I'm A Believer (2:09)
16. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (4:57) Live on the Glen Campbell Show: 2/5/69:
17. Last Train to Clarksville, I'm A Believer & Salesman (1:56) Live on the Johnny Cash Show: 7/19/69:
18. Last Train to Clarksville, Nine Times Blue & Everybody Loves A Nut (7:48) Live on the Joey Bishop Show: 6/6/69:
19. I'm A Believer, Someday Man & Listen to the Band (9:07)
20. She's So Far Out She's In-ULTRA RARE live Phoenix, AZ 1/21/67 (2:44).

The final installment in the Monkee Archives series takes live performances captured on various broadcasts: the fan favorite 1968 tour to Japan which is captured in a radio broadcast; live stints on the Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, and Joey Bishop television shows, and a couple of live shows captured during seperate concerts in Arizona.  How much you enjoy this disc is pretty much dependent on how much you enjoy the Monkees playing live in their early years, since much of this is pulled from the 1967-68 years, with just a few tracks from later on. The sound is generally very fine, especially for the 1968 Japan show, marred only by occasional Japanese commentary. The performances are even more professional and loose than the Rhino 1967 shows, with with less intrusive audience noise (although the teenage girls are still screaming their hearts out.) In fact, Peter thought that these shows are when the Monkees really jelled as a band, and listening to the tapes confirm that: the Monkees really cook here, with loose, playful guitar playing by Mike and Peter, powerful drumming by Micky, and clean tight vocals by everyone. So this disc receives higher marks from me than the original because it really is that much more electric as a live experience. Plus you get to hear otherwise unreleased live songs like "D.W. Washburn," "Cuddly Toy," and "Cindy, Cindy." Highly recommended and very enjoyable.

The Monkees Archives Volume 5: Demos, Alternates, Interviews & More Splendor Of Bohemia Presentations CD MON-05

1. "Guard Scene" 1968 Interview (Ed Baer) 2:06 INTERVIEW
2. Seeger's Theme (Seeger) 1:26 TWO VERSIONS: ALTERNATE MIX AND TAKE
3. Steam Engine (Douglas) 2:26 ALTERNATE MIX
4. The Girl I Left Behind Me (Sedaka/Bayer) 6:44 STUDIO OUTTAKE
5. Ceiling In My Room (Jones/DeMieri/Dick) 3:14 UNPUBLISHED TRACK
6. If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again (Keller/Russell) 3:02 UNPUBLISHED TRACK

7. Some of Shelley's Blues (Nesmith) 2:52 LIVE ON "LATER WITH GREG KINNEAR"
8. If You Have The Time (Jones/Chadwick) 2:26 ALTERNATE VERSION
9. You Can't Tie A Mustang Down (Barry) 3:02 UNPUBLISHED TRACK
10. Davy's 1968 Message to Japan 3:39 PROMOTIONAL FLEXI
11. Girl (Fox/Gimbel) 2:28 SINGLE VERSION
12. Girl (Fox/Gimbel) 3:21 MOVIE VERSION
13. Alvin (Thorkelson) 0:26 STUDIO OUTTAKE, 1968
14. Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? (Tork) 2:28 ALTERNATE VOCAL
15. I Truly Understand (Traditional, arranged by Tork) 1:51 FROM 1982 PROMO LP
16. Higher & Higher (Jacobson/Miner/Smith) 3:50 DEMONSTRATION TAPE: 1981
17. Shades of Gray (Mann/Weil) 3:53 UNPUBLISHED STUDIO TRACK
18. Pleasant Valley Sunday [electric] (Goffin/King) 3:01 DEMONSTRATION TAPE: 1981
19. Pleasant Valley Sunday [orchestra] (Goffin/King) 2:41 UNPUBLISHED STUDIO TRACK
20. Hi Hi Babe (Tork) 2:35 DEMONSTRATION TAPE
21. Since You Went Away (Levine) 2:52 STUDIO OUTTAKE
22. Since You Went Away (Levine) 4:04 LIVE: SATURDAY MORNING SIXTIES
23. Porpoise Song (Goffin/King) 3:07 PUBLISHER'S DEMO: CAROLE KING
24. She (Boyce/Hart) 2:41 THE ROVIN' KIND: 1966 COVER
25. I Won't Be The Same Without Her (Goffin/King) 2:37 PUBLISHER'S DEMO: GERRY GOFFIN
26. Storybook of You (Boyce/Hart) 2:39 PUBLISHER'S DEMO: TOMMY BOYCE
The fifth and final volume of The Monkees Archive series is typical of most of the other releases in the series, with some interesting rarities mixed in with less vital ephemera, all with less than stellar sound.  The first track is an interview from National Guard radio with Davy discussing the problems of going out in public and Peter commenting how he'd like the next Monkee movie to be about the Monkees starting a pirate radio station and taking over the world!  Following are two versions of "Seeger's Theme", from an extrememly hissy source and sounding more than ever like one of Ennio Morricone's lost compositions.  "Steam Engine" shows up in an echoey alternate mix which was used in the February 6, 1971 rebroadcast of "The Monkees Get Out More Dirt".  The next track is a second attempt at recording "The Girl I Left Behind Me" - but don't get excited over the nearly 7-minute plus playing time - the song is the normal length, and then for some reason a four bar phrase is repeated ad nauseum for four minutes before fading out.  It's stupifying.  Following is Davy's own composition (written with members of the Sundowners) "Ceiling In My Room" - but again the fidelity is terrible.  Next is one of the more interesting finds: a version of Mike's "If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again" with Davy on lead, and a completely different arrangement!  No one seems to be quite sure when it was recorded.  Next follows a December 1, 1994 television appearance by Mike Nesmith on Later with Greg Kinnear singing a nice laid-back version of "Some Of Shelly's Blues".  Next follows five Davy Jones performances: "If You have The Time" and "You Can't Tie A Mustang Down" are from the Monkees years, with the first a typically chirpy vehicle for Davy, and the latter an R&B number, which was eventually given to Micky.  Next comes a spacy promotional "Message To Japan" flexi-disc with the record intoning "This is David Jones here of the Monkees" over a light lounge track, and then Davy spooning out the dirt: "The Japanese people are so warm..." and talking about HEAD.  Next are two versions of "Girl" - the first being the rare single mix, and the second the rarer arrangement from the 1971 Neil Simon film Star-Spangled Girl.  Next comes 10 tracks devoted to Peter Tork outtakes, from the 30-second "Alvin" (written by Peter's brother Nicholas), to alternate takes/mixes of "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again", to later demos from the early 80s: ("I Truly Understand", "Higher & Higher" "Shades Of Gray", "Pleasant Valley Sunday" in two versions, "Hi Hi Babe" (demo), and two versions of "Since You Went Away".  Finishing out the disc are several related rarities - original demos of "Porpoise Song" by Carole King (which includes the never-before-heard latin chant opening), "She" by Boyce & Hart, "I Won't Be The Same Without Her" by Gerry Goffin, and finally a rare Tommy Boyce demo of "Storybook Of You".  So basically a hodgepodge of tracks which would only be of interest to hard-core collectors, with dodgy sound and OK notes in the two-page booklet.

Micky Dolenz & Davy Jones Solo (1995) Splendar Of Bohemia Productions Solo 70 [CD]

1. Daybreak
2. Hangin' By A Thread
3. Beverly Hills
4. It's Now
5. Lovelight
6. Can She Do It (Like She Dances)
7. Don't Go
8. To Be Or Not To Be
9. Girl
10. Love War
11. Rainy Jane
12. Free
13. Alicia
14. Dance Gypsy
15. Look At Me
16. He's Leaving Here This Morning
17. Blanket For A Sail
18. Gotta Get Up
19. Are You Sleeping
20. Me And My Arrow
21. It's A Jungle Out There
22. Sometime In The Morning (Live)
23. Goin' Down (Live)

This useful  CD compiles several rare singles and other projects which Davy and Micky released after their Monkees fame dried up in the early 70s.  Showing that these two never found a musical style to equal that of the Monkees, Micky often reverts to odd novelty numbers far from the folk-rock Boyce & Hart hits which made him famous, and Davy scrambling all over the musical map, but never landing on a sound that suited him.  Ping-ponging between the two stars, the disc opens with Micky singing the Carribean-flavored "Daybreak" which has a steel-drum party vibe, followed by Davy's "Hangin' By A Thread" - a desperate power ballad from the 80s.  Micky comes back with the Nilsson-like "Beverly Hills", a honky-tonk song not unlike "Pleasant Valley Sunday" in its subject matter, only this time attacking the rich, instead of the middle class. "It's Now" is Davy on the heavily-synthesized 80s track, which has a catchy hook and bouncy chorus; Micky's "Lovelight" is a rhythmic, harmonica spiked southern rocker, while "Can She Do It" has 'Disco Davy' clubbing it up with a trio of munchkin-like singers chiming in in the background.  Davy returns again with "Don't Go" - a great unreleased single - which has showed up a few times on his Just For The Record releases.  Micky's "To Be Or Not To Be" is a strange hybrid of 50's doo-wop tied with Shakespearean-referenced lyrics; "Girl" is the version taken off the Brady Bunch Movie soundtrack with heavy metal guitars; "Love War" has Micky singing along to this banjo-driven novelty, which again sounds like a Harry Nilsson cast-off, and is a stunning mismatch of message and music.  "Rainy Jane" is the single version from his 1971 LP, but "Free" is Davy again, this time from the early 90s, in a self-aggrandizing, autobiographical song about his life and career, accompanied by keyboards and synthesized strings.  "Alicia" has Micky painting a musical portrait of a immigrant maid, and has appropriate Spanish flavors in the arrangement; "Dance Gypsy" is the return of Disco Davy, in theis absurd floor-filler - a castinet-heavy mismatch of Davy's Anthony Newley style and the dance-club genre.  "Look At Me" is the b-side of Lady Jane, again from Davy's 1971 LP.  The next six songs are all taken directly from The Point cast recording, and the final two songs are live versions of Monkees' hits, with Micky doing a light lounge version of "Sometime In The Morning" and Micky again tearing it up with a bluesy, twang version of "Goin' Down."  The sound here is generally very good, and this CD is recommended for its curious look at these rare attempts of Micky and Davy to break back into the spotlight.

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