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I Wanna Be Free (The Monkees song)

“I Wanna Be Free” is a song written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart that was first performed by The Monkees and appeared on their debut album The Monkees in 1966. It was released as a single in some countries, reaching the Top 20 in Australia. It was also covered by The Lettermen.

Boyce and Hart wrote “I Wanna Be Free” for the Monkees before the group was even put together.[1] Along with “(Theme from) The Monkees” and “Let’s Dance On,” it was one of the first songs written for the group.[1][2] It was also the only song written for the Monkees’ first album which was not written under deadline pressure.[3] According to Allmusic critic Matthew Greenwald, the song was an attempt by Boyce and Hart to write a song like The Beatles’ “Yesterday.”[4] Like “Yesterday,” the instrumentation for “I Wanna Be Free” incorporates a string quartet.[5][6] The instrumentation also incorporates acoustic guitar and harpsichord.[6] Davy Jones sang the vocals.[4][6]

A faster version of the song was recorded with Micky Dolenz sharing the vocals with Jones.[6] This version appeared in the TV series and as a bonus track on some releases of The Monkees.[6]

The song appeared in a number of episodes of The Monkees TV series, including the pilot episode and “Success Story.”[7] It was also included on the Monkees’ debut album, in part to insure that the album included a gentle ballad.[1] Since then, it has appeared on many Monkees’ compilation albums, including Colgems’ The Monkees Greatest Hits, Barrel Full of Monkees, Arista Records’ The Monkees Greatest Hits, Rhino Records’ Greatest Hits, The Monkees Anthology and The Best of The Monkees.[4] It also appeared on the live albums Live 1967 and Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordings.[4]

Allmusic’s Matthew Greenwald calls the song a “positively beautiful and wistful statement of teenage coming of age” and also praises its melody.[4] Greenwald also considers the song important in helping the Monkees gain a pre-teen audience, noting that Jones’ “angst-filled” live performances of the song were especially effective at eliciting emotional responses from the girls in the audience.[4] Fellow Allmusic critic Tim Sendra finds the song “achingly sweet, even a little soulful in a very British way.”[8] CMJ New Music Monthly author Nicole Keiper referred to the song as “heavenly.”[9] However, Digital audio and compact disc review magazine referred to the song as an “inconsequential teeny ballad.”[10]

According to Boyce, “I Wanna Be Free” was Jimmy Webb’s favorite song and even inspired the song “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” which Webb wrote for Glen Campbell and which became a top 10 hit on the country music charts in 1967.[11]

I’ll Be Back Up on My Feet

“I’ll Be Back Up on My Feet” is a song by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, which was recorded by The Monkees during the 1960s.

The first Monkees version of the song was recorded on October 26, 1966, during the period when the band did not perform their own instruments as much on their recordings. This version was produced by Jeff Barry, and was used in a first-season episode of their series (“Dance, Monkees, Dance” and “In the Ring”; the show’s credits mistakenly list the title as “I’ll Be Back On My Feet Again”). The record was slated to be included on More of the Monkees, but was pulled from the album’s lineup, and never originally released.

During 1967 and 1968, the Monkees remade several of their earlier songs, including “Valleri” and selections that appeared on their Headquarters album, after the band had graduated to playing more of their own instruments on record. During sessions for their Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. album, the Monkees tried a remake of “I’ll Be Back Up on My Feet”, but did not complete it.

The next version of the song was recorded on March 9 and March 14, 1968, after the Monkees had become their own producers. It was markedly different from their first version, including the use of a brass section and an extra chord change (from D Major to D minor, where the first version had stayed on D Major). This version appeared on their 1968 album The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees.

The original recording was finally released in 1990, as part of the compilation album Missing Links, Volume II, which featured many of the “television versions” of the Monkees’s songs.

Yes I Will

“Yes I Will”, also known as “I’ll Be True to You”, is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Russ Titelman. The song was first recorded in 1964 by British Beat group The Hollies who released it as a single in January 1965 where it peaked at number 9 in the United Kingdom.[2] Two versions of this song were released by the Hollies. An alternate take with prominent acoustic guitars and a different intro was included on the band’s 1968 Greatest Hits album in the UK since the original single version was only available as a mono mix, and EMI wanted all tracks in stereo, for which only the alternate take existed. This is often described as an “erroneous” version because it does not reflect what was heard on the single. Other examples of this practice include Stay from 1963 in which the famous guitar solo in the middle-eight was recorded live as the mono mix was being made, meaning the stereo version has a different solo, the one that was previously recorded on the multi-(4) track studio tape. A version of the song titled “I’ll Be True to You” was recorded by The Monkees and included on their 1966 self-titled debut album. Australia’s Twilights also recorded a version on their eponymous 1966 album.

(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” is a rock song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. It was first recorded by Paul Revere & the Raiders and appeared on their album Midnight Ride, released in May 1966.
The song is simple musically, with a repeating verse chord progression of E major, G major, A major and C major, and a repeating bridge in cut time of E major, G major, A major, and G major.

It is best known as a hit for The Monkees (US #20), released in November 1966, (making it the first Monkees B-side to chart).[1] Musicians featured on the Monkees recording are: Micky Dolenz (lead vocal); Tommy Boyce (backing vocal); Wayne Erwin, Gerry McGee, and Louie Shelton (guitar); Bobby Hart (organ); Larry Taylor (bass); Billy Lewis (drums); and Henry Levy (percussion).
The Monkees’ version differs between the single version, stereo album version and mono album version. In the stereo version, the track’s title is sung just before the second verse, whereas on the single and mono album versions, this segment is left instrumental. Additionally, the stereo version has an edit in the fadeout. The mono album version does not have this edit and therefore has a longer coda. The single also does not have the edit, but it fades the song earlier than the mono album. All Monkees hits compilations through the mid-1980s used the stereo version, and afterwards used a stereo mix of the single version.

Listen to the Band (song)

“Listen to the Band” is a song by The Monkees that was released on Colgems single #5004 on April 26, 1969. Written by Michael Nesmith, it is the first time Nesmith sang lead vocals on a Monkees A-side single. Running 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the song is about a man finding solace in music after a romantic break-up. “Listen to the Band” was first heard on The Monkees TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee as a live performance with Peter Tork making his last appearance before leaving the Monkees. The one-hour special aired on NBC on April 14, 1969.

“Someday Man”, the original A-side was heavily promoted in trade ads and was designated as the ‘plug side’ on the promotional single. However, DJs began to recognize the superiority of the B-side, “Listen To The Band” and this justified Colgems making an updated picture sleeve.

The studio/single version of the song was recorded on June 1, 1968, and went to #63 on the Billboard chart. “Someday Man”, a non-LP song written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, was sung by Davy Jones and charted on the Billboard chart at #81). “Listen to the Band” is from The Monkees record album The Monkees Present, released on Colgems 117 on October 1, 1969. The album version runs 2 minutes and 45 seconds, 15 seconds longer than the single version. The Monkees were by now a trio (Dolenz, Nesmith, and Davy Jones), Peter Tork having left in December 1968.

The song includes a long held cadenza on the electric guitar that rises from G to the key of C with the accompaniment of the organ, before Nesmith repeats the spoken title of the song to “Listen to the Band”. The song features a brass section that plays during the instrumental section, as if the Brass were the band. The song ends with the recorded sound of an audience cheering for the band, sourced from the album 144 Genuine Sound Effects on the Mercury Hill label.

After The Monkees disbanded in the early 1970s, Nesmith re-recorded the song with The First National Band and appeared on their album Loose Salute. The updated recording faded in through the first verse and reached full-volume on the words “Listen to the Band”.

A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You

“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” is a song by Neil Diamond that was released by The Monkees in 1967 (see 1967 in music). Davy Jones sang the lead vocal (this was Jones’ first lead vocal on a Monkees single). It went to #1 in the US Cashbox charts and #2 on the Billboard charts. The record’s B-side was Michael Nesmith’s “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”, which also charted on Billboard, peaking at #39.

Neil Diamond never made a studio recording of the song (as he had done with “I’m a Believer”), but he did perform the song in his live shows of 1967. At least one recording of such a performance exists and circulates, done at New York’s Bitter End club and currently available Video on YouTube.

Mary, Mary (song)

“Mary, Mary” is a song written by Michael Nesmith. It was first recorded by The Butterfield Blues Band for their 1966 album, East-West. The Monkees, featuring Nesmith, would later record the song themselves. The rap group, Run–D.M.C., revived the song in the late 1980s with a cover version that hit the R&B and pop charts in the United States.

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band was the first group to record and release the song commercially, featured as a track on their 1966 album East-West. In addition to Butterfield, musicians to play on the track include Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Curiously, no songwriter credit is listed for “Mary, Mary” on East-West.[1]

On July 25, 1966, Nesmith produced and recorded the song for The Monkees at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California. Micky Dolenz sang lead, and Mike used the crack group of session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew to beef up their sound, including; James Burton, Glen Campbell, Al Casey, Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon, Michael Deasy and Larry Knechtel. Their version was released on the album More of the Monkees in 1967 and became a number five hit in Australia in 1968.

Randy Scouse Git

“Randy Scouse Git” is a song written by Micky Dolenz in 1967 and recorded by The Monkees. It was the first song written by Dolenz to be commercially released, and became a #2 hit in the UK where it was retitled “Alternate Title” after the record company (RCA) complained that the original title was actually somewhat “taboo to the British audience”. Dolenz took the song’s title from a phrase he had heard spoken on an episode of the British television series Till Death Us Do Part, which he had watched while in England. The song also appeared on The Monkees TV series, on their album Headquarters, and on several “Greatest Hits” albums. Peter Tork has said that it is one of his favorite Monkees tracks.

Take a Giant Step (song)

“Take a Giant Step” is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and released by the American band The Monkees in 1966. It was also covered in 1969 by singer Taj Mahal.

The song was released as the B-side to the band’s single “Last Train to Clarksville” and also as the closing track on side 1 of their debut album The Monkees.[1] Micky Dolenz sang the lead vocal.[1]

The song is presented as a plea to a heartbroken girl to move on from her past romantic disappointments, and to “learn to live again at last”, by “taking a giant step outside your mind”. Critic Eric Lefcowitz describes the song as “proto-psychedelic.”[2]

The song was later covered by singer Taj Mahal, in a significantly rearranged version, and included as the title track to his 1969 double album release Giant Step/De Ole Folks at Home.[3] It was also covered by Taj Mahal’s band Rising Sons on their 1992 self-titled album.

Tear Drop City

Tear Drop City is a single by The Monkees released on February 8, 1969 on Colgems #5000 recorded on October 26, 1966. The song reached No. 56 on the Billboard chart. The lyrics are about a man who feels low because his girlfriend has left him. Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, it was the first single The Monkees released as a trio (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Davy Jones; Peter Tork departed December 1968). Micky Dolenz performed the lead vocal. Boyce and Hart produced and arranged the song.

The flip-side was “A Man Without a Dream”, with Davy Jones doing the lead vocal. Notably, it was the first Monkees b-side since “Take a Giant Step” (off their debut single) not to chart, a sign of the group’s waning popularity.

Both single sides were from the album “Instant Replay”.

That Was Then, This Is Now (song)

“That Was Then, This Is Now” is a song written by Vance Brescia for his band The Mosquitos and recorded as the title track of their 1985 EP.[3]

The Monkees (at that point consisting of Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork) covered the song for Arista Records, who released their recording as a single and on the compilation album Then & Now… The Best of The Monkees in June 1986.[4] The song was a surprise hit, capitalizing on Monkees nostalgia at the time, reaching number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 24 on the adult contemporary chart. It has since been featured on several compilation albums by The Monkees.

Zor and Zam

“Zor and Zam” is a song written by Bill and John Chadwick and recorded by The Monkees for their 1968 album The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees. It was also featured in the final episode of season 2 of the band’s popular television series, entitled “The Frodis Caper”. The song involves the preparations for a war between two monarchs of rival kingdoms; however, when it comes time to fight, no one shows up and the war never happens.[1]

The song appeared in a markedly different mix on the television show than it did on The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.

Your Auntie Grizelda

“Your Auntie Grezelda” is a song whose words were written by Diane Hildebrand and whose music was composed by Jack Keller, and which was made famous by The Monkees. The song appeared on both the TV series as well as the 1967 album More of The Monkees.

Although it was never actually released as a single, “Your Auntie Grezelda” has appeared on several of the band’s subsequent “Greatest Hits” albums, and the Monkees regularly performed it in their live shows. This was the first released Monkees song to feature Peter Tork on lead vocals.

Lyrically, “Your Auntie Grizelda” is a complaint about how disagreeable a certain Grizelda (aunt of the individual whom the narrator is addressing) is, how strongly that individual takes after her aunt, and how much the aunt hates him(the narrator). “Mother-In-Law,” which Ernie K-Doe popularized, is in a lyrically similar vein.

(Theme From) The Monkees

“(Theme from) The Monkees” is a 1966 popular song, written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as the theme song for the TV series The Monkees.[2] Two versions were recorded – one for their first album The Monkees[2] and a second shorter version designed to open the television show. Both versions feature vocals by Micky Dolenz The full length version was released as a single in several countries including Australia, where it became a hit, reaching #8.[3] It also made Billboard Magazine’s “Hits of the World” chart in both Mexico and Japan, reaching the Top 20 in Japan and the Top 10 in Mexico.[4] It is still played on many oldies radio stations. An Italian version of the song was featured on a Monkees compilation album.[2] Ray Stevens did a version of the Monkees Theme song on his 1985 album He Thinks He’s Ray Stevens featuring a male German group of singers, Wolfgang and Fritzy, that are arguing during the refrain of the song. (“Hey Hey Bist Du Monkees”.)

It is based loosely on the Dave Clark Five song (including finger snap intro) “Catch Us If You Can”.

A slower version of the theme song – sung by Boyce and Hart – was recorded for an early production of the pilot episode (16mm black and white). This can be found on the Special Features section of the Monkees Season 1 Box DVD set.[5]

Star Collector

“Star Collector” is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in 1967 and recorded by The Monkees (with lead vocals by Davy Jones). The song is included on their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. It was also featured in five second-season episodes of their television series: “The Wild Monkees”, “Hitting the High Seas”, “Monkees Watch Their Feet”, “Monkees in Paris” and “Monkees Mind Their Manor”. “The Wild Monkees” uses an early mix of the song (without Moog synthesizer) while the other episodes use the released mix.

The song is about the phenomenon of groupies, and takes a dismissive attitude toward them (“Think I’ll let her keep on going, wherever it is she’s going to / Give her an autograph and tell her ‘It’s been nice knowing you'”… “It won’t take much time / Before I get her off my mind”).

The Monkees’s version of the song was one of the first pop records to include a Moog synthesizer, played and programmed by synthesist Paul Beaver. Peter Tork didn’t think much of Beaver’s performance, and told Rhino Records later “He played it like it was a flute or something,” preferring Micky Dolenz’s more random use of the Moog on “Daily Nightly” (which also appeared on Pisces) to produce spacey sounds.

Shades of Gray (song)

“Shades of Gray” is a song that was written in 1965 by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and was recorded by The Monkees for their 1967 album Headquarters, the first of which that saw group play all its own instruments (except a French horn and cello, both of which were featured in this song). Lead vocals were shared by Davy Jones and Peter Tork.[1]

Sons of Champlin recorded the song at about the same time, but the Headquarters version was released first. The album Fat City,[2] released in 1999 by Big Beat UK, finally featured the Sons of Champlin version of the song, named “Shades of Grey” (whereas the original Monkees release was titled “Shades of Gray”).

Another version was recorded in 1970 by P.K. Limited (Screen Gems/Columbia Music songwriters Dan Peyton and Marty Kaniger); it was featured in the film Getting Straight.

A cover of “Shades of Gray” by Mind Venertion,[3] appears on the album, Through the Looking Glass – Indie Pop Plays The Monkees,.[4]”

Saturday’s Child

“Saturday’s Child” is a popular song, written by David Gates and performed by The Monkees. The song is an electric guitar–based rock song. The song is now widely regarded as one of their best album tracks, with AMG critic Matthew Greenwald saying that it has a “proto-heavy metal guitar riff” and it is “one of the more interesting curios of the early Monkees catalog”. The song still gets regular play on Oldies radio stations and has also been covered by several artists. The song is also featured on several “greatest hits” albums by The Monkees. The song was originally the second track on their self-titled debut album The Monkees with Micky Dolenz on lead vocals. The promotional video, which aired during the 26 September 1966 “Monkee vs. Machine” television show, features The Monkees playing around on the beach and having fun with five children (at any one time), in a dune buggy, on a swing set, on slides, on a jungle gym, on a horse, on unicycles, and on Honda Super Cub motorcycles, and hamming it up driving the Monkeemobile around Southern California.

Herman’s Hermits recorded a more acoustic version of the song and released it on their 1967 album There’s a Kind of Hush All Over the World.

Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)

“Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)” is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and performed by pop/rock quartet The Monkees on their album Head. The song was commissioned by Bob Rafelson, the director and producer of the film Head.[1] The song was released as a single in 1968, and reached No. 62 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single version runs over a minute longer than the album version.

The song’s lyrics and melody echoes the psychedelic vibe of mid-1960s rock music. Micky Dolenz provides the vocals, which are distorted by echoing effect, and a mix of organ riffs, cello, string-bass, woodwinds and horns float in and out of the tune. The lyrics call into question the order of the world and one’s place therein, and there are also veiled in-joke references to Dolenz’s childhood work as the star of the television series Circus Boy.[2][3][4]

The song was produced by its co-writer Gerry Goffin on 26, 28 and 29 February 1968. The track includes chimes, tubular bells and aquatic sound effects. “Without a doubt, this is the most elaborate production ever for a Monkees recording.”[5]

Pleasant Valley Sunday

“Pleasant Valley Sunday” is a song by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, most famous for the version recorded by The Monkees in 1967. Goffin’s and King’s inspiration for the name was a street named Pleasant Valley Way, in West Orange, New Jersey where they were living at the time.[1] The road follows a valley through several communities among the Watchung Mountains. The lyrics were a social commentary on status symbols, creature comforts, life in suburbia and “keeping up with the Joneses”. The song has been regarded by many[by whom?] as an understated comment on consumerism while maintaining a relentlessly driving pop beat. It became one of the Monkees’ most successful singles.

Oh My My (The Monkees song)

“Oh My My” is a song by The Monkees, released on April 1, 1970 on Colgems single #5011. It was the final single released during their original 1966-70 run. The song was written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim and recorded February 5, 1970. It made it to #98 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, their last entry until 1986. The B-side was “I Love You Better”, also written by Barry and Kim. By now, The Monkees were a duo consisting of Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, and both sides of the single were sung by Dolenz. Both songs are from Changes, The Monkees’ final studio album until 1987’s Pool It!.

Good Clean Fun (The Monkees song)

“Good Clean Fun” is a song by The Monkees from their 1969 album The Monkees Present. Recorded on June 1, 1968, it was released on Colgems single #5005 on September 6, 1969.[citation needed] The Monkees were now a trio (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Davy Jones — Peter Tork had left the group in December 1968).

Written and sung by Nesmith, the song’s title is never heard. It is about a man waiting for the arrival of a plane with his girlfriend on it.[citation needed]

According to “Monkee Tales” #31 (1981), page 7, in the article entitled “Review of Present”, author John Conners states that the song has a surprise ending. The last line, “I told you I’d come back, here I am” is sung by Nesmith in a menacing tone. This gives the tune a sadistic touch; the man is waiting to harm his girlfriend. Nesmith confirms this in the article.[1]

“Good Clean Fun” reached No. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100[2] and No. 29 on the Easy Listening chart. The flip-side, “Mommy and Daddy”, is sung by Micky Dolenz, who wrote it.

Goin’ Down (The Monkees song)

“Goin’ Down” is a song by the American pop rock band the Monkees, written by all four members of the group along with Diana Hildebrand, and was first released as the B-side to the “Daydream Believer” single on Colgems Records on 25 October 1967 in support of the band’s fifth album, The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees (see 1967 in music). It is the only composition recorded by the Monkees that is credited to all its members, and managed to bubble under the Billboard Hot 100 upon its distribution.[1]

Lyrically, “Goin’ Down” describes a man who’s relationship had ended, and attempts to “end it all” by leaping into the river to be dragged away in the current. He almost immediately regrets the decision and comes to a self-realization, before coming to shore in New Orleans to partake in its “swingin’ scenes”. It features energetic, rapid lead vocals by Micky Dolenz, and big band influences that are melded into the pop song, with the arrangements organized by jazz musician Shorty Rogers.[2]

With “Daydream Believer”, as the song’s A-side, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, “Goin’ Down” managed to chart at number 104 nationally.[1] Since its release, the composition has become a staple of the Monkees’ touring setlists, with a live version of the song appearing on the album 2001: Live in Las Vegas.[3][4] An extended rendition of “Goin’ Down” also appears on the deluxe version of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., Greatest Hits, The Best of the Monkees, and Extended Versions.[5][6]

In 2012, the composition was met with controversy for its unexpected use in the television show, Breaking Bad. Dolenz, who was unaware “Goin’ Down” was to be featured on the show, commented, “‘Goin’ Down’ has nothing to do with drugs, obviously. And I certainly don’t condone meth — that is nasty stuff that kills a lot of people and ruins a lot of lives. … On the other hand, I like the TV show, it’s very well-made. … And no, I didn’t make a penny”.[7]

The Girl I Knew Somewhere

“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” is a song by the American pop rock band the Monkees, written by Michael Nesmith, and first released as the B-side to the “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You” single on Colgems Records on 8 March 1967 (see 1967 in music). It was distributed in support of the group’s third album Headquarters, and later appeared on the reissued version of the LP. The song was recorded as the Monkees finally achieved the independence that enabled them to freely produce their own material, with the actual band members being featured on both vocals and instrumental arrangements.

The Monkees had enjoyed enormous commercial success with their first two albums, The Monkees and More of the Monkees, both reaching number one on the Billboard 200. However, under the direction of their music supervisor Don Kirshner, the group was almost completely barred from studio work, aside from recording as vocalists and penning some original material.[1] Longing to achieve creative freedom, the Monkees, led by Michael Nesmith, who felt especially insulted by Kirshner’s condescension, entered months of bitter negotiations that eventually concluded with Kirshner’s firing.[2] With his departure, the band was finally given the ability to play the instrumentals themselves, making the Headquarters sessions the first of which to feature the actual members on the arrangements.[3] Nesmith compared the Monkees’ process to build upon their differing styles: “[It was like] a really good tennis player, and a really good football player, and a really good basketball player, and a really good golfer got together and played baseball. … We could give it a try. Maybe make a little garage-band music”.[4]

Although it was unbeknownst to the record-buying public upon its release, “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” was the first song recorded by the Monkees to contain vocals and instrumentals performed by the band members. It was first recorded on 19 January 1967 with Nesmith on lead vocals; however, a second version was taken on 23 February 1967, with Micky Dolenz replacing him to create a more commercialized sound. The song became very accessible with its breezy melodic shifts, catchy rhythm, and relatable lyrics.[5][6]

Upon release, “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” charted at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, while its A-side “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You” propelled to number two. Since its original distribution, the composition has been featured on nearly all the Monkees’ compilation albums, with it first appearing on 40 Timeless Hits in 1980. An early demo of “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” is compiled on The Headquarters Sessions, along with a rendition with additional backing vocals, and a stereo version was first released on More Greatest Hits of the Monkees.[6]

Daydream Believer

“Daydream Believer” is a song composed by John Stewart shortly before he left the Kingston Trio. The song was originally recorded by The Monkees, with Davy Jones singing lead vocals. The single hit the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1967, remaining there for four weeks, and peaked at number five in the UK Singles Chart. It was the Monkees’ last number one hit in the U.S. In 1979, “Daydream Believer” was recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray, whose version reached number three on the U.S. country singles chart and number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been recorded by others including a 1971 version by John Stewart.

Daily Nightly

“Daily Nightly” is a song by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, which appeared on their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., in 1967, and was featured in two second-season episodes of their television series, “A Fairy Tale” and “Monkees Blow Their Minds”.

The lyrics are a veiled commentary on the Sunset Strip curfew riots,[1] which occurred in Hollywood, California in late 1966. The record was arguably the very first rock recording to feature the Moog synthesizer, programmed by musician Paul Beaver and played by Micky Dolenz, who was the third owner of a Moog; the fills he played were described as “spacey UFO noises”, and were characteristic of psychedelic music, which was then in vogue. The Moog sections were significantly different between the stereo and mono mixes of the track. Dolenz also provided the vocals. A music video in black and white was made for the series, with Dolenz miming his performance.

The song is simple musically, using the chords A Major, C Major, D Major, and E Major.

The song appears on the third CD of the 2009 Rhino compilation Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965–1968.

D. W. Washburn

“D.W. Washburn” is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Two famous recordings of the song are by The Coasters and The Monkees. It was also included in the musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

The lyrics tell a story of a derelict (Washburn), chosen by a well-meaning charity for a wash-up and a meal. Washburn rejects the offer, though, preferring his jobless, drunken but easygoing lifestyle to a life of responsibility. He mentions, “I do believe I got it made”.

Circle Sky

“Circle Sky” is a song written by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, which appeared on their sixth album, the Head soundtrack, and also in the film Head as a live concert performance.

The song is written and performed in a Bo Diddley style, staying mostly on a single chord (A Major), while strumming barre chords (from B Major to E Major) down a guitar neck for the intro, outro, and breaks, and from B minor to D minor for the bridge. The lyrics are impressions of sights and sounds on a Monkees tour, while “Hamilton’s smiling down” refers to a Hamilton music stand, used for rehearsals and recording.

While the movie included the song performed live by the Monkees in Salt Lake City, Utah (on May 17, 1968, during a free show at the Valley Auditorium), the original soundtrack album instead substituted a studio recording, made by Nesmith and session musicians (an unexplained decision that became a major source of tension in the group). The movie version intercut Vietnam War footage, and several mirrored shots of the band onstage.

A lo-fi transcription of the concert version was included on an Australian Monkees compilation in the early 1980s, Monkeemania: 40 Timeless Hits From The Monkees,[1] while an alternate studio take appeared on a Rhino Records album, Monkee Flips, in 1984.

A stereo recording of the concert version finally appeared on Missing Links, Volume II, in 1990. This version on the Apple iTunes Store is incorrect, but Amazon’s MP3 matches.

A reworked version of the song opened the Monkees’s 1996 reunion album, Justus, featuring a rare Davy Jones guitar performance. This version is harder rocking than the original but is otherwise identical musically. The lyrics, however, have been changed in several spots.

Personnel (studio version):

  1. Michael Nesmith – lead vocal, guitar, organ, percussion
  2. Keith Allison – guitar
  3. Bill Chadwick – guitar
  4. Eddie Hoh – drums, percussion

Personnel (concert version of 5/17/68):

  1. Michael Nesmith – lead vocal, guitar
  2. Davy Jones – percussion, organ
  3. Peter Tork – bass
  4. Micky Dolenz – drums, percussion

Personnel (Justus version):

  1. Michael Nesmith – lead vocal, guitar
  2. Davy Jones – guitar
  3. Peter Tork – bass
  4. Micky Dolenz – drums

All of Your Toys

“All of Your Toys” is a song by Bill Martin, a friend of Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, who recorded the song in 1967.

The Monkees hoped to make “All of Your Toys” their third single, and the first to feature them actually playing the accompaniment, which they had not for their first two singles (and subsequent albums). Chip Douglas, brought in by Nesmith to work with the Monkees, produced a session in January 1967, with Nesmith’s friend John London on bass guitar, Nesmith on lead guitar, Peter Tork on harpsichord, Micky Dolenz on lead vocals and drums and Davy Jones on percussion. They also re-recorded Nesmith’s “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”, which he had produced earlier.

Two problems arose with “All of Your Toys” appearing (even as a B-side) on the next Monkees single. One was Monkees music supervisor Don Kirshner, who was more interested in making sure-fire hits than anyone’s innovations. The other was a standing rule that any songs issued by the Monkees had to be published by Screen Gems Music. This had been overlooked, and Martin’s publisher Tickson Music refused to sell the copyright to Screen Gems. (Martin promptly re-signed with Screen Gems for publishing.)

While Kirshner ultimately left the Monkees project (in a power struggle involving their third single and album), the publishing rule was not overcome until 1969, when Davy Jones recorded “Someday Man” by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols. “All of Your Toys” stayed unreleased until 1987, when Rhino Records included it on Missing Links, a collection of previously-unreleased Monkees recordings.

In 2011, three of the Monkees reunited for a tour and included “All of Your Toys” in their set list.

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