Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Monkees: "The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees" Disc 2 Mono

The Monkees' fifth album gets the deluxe treatment from Rhino Records - three discs, 88 tracks. The second disc is the entire mono album and bonus tracks.

For The Monkees' fifth album, Rhino Records went all out, releasing a box set with three discs (for a total of 88 tracks), a book and even a promotional button.

The second disc contains the album in its original mono version, plus eighteen bonus tracks. It's more than 79 minutes worth of music.

Davy Jones on "Dream World"

The album opens with "Dream World," a song written by David Jones and Steve Pitts. Davy sings, "Why do you lie when you know that /You always get caught/Why don't you come out of your dream world/It's not real." Earl Palmer plays drums on this track.

"Auntie's Municipal Court"

"Auntie's Municipal Court" is one of the best Monkees songs. It was written by Michael Nesmith and Keith Allison. The lyrics start off, "Fine man, crazy man, he can't see/Sound of the sunset, sound of the sea/Why do the people always look at me?/Nobody here can see that we are you, we are you." Keith Allison plays guitar and does backing vocals on this one.

"We Were Made For Each Other"
"We Were Made For Each Other" is one of those love-at-first-sight Davy Jones songs. One can almost see the stars sparkling in his eyes, as was shown often in the television program. This song was written by Carole Bayer and George Fischoff.

"Tapioca Tundra" is an excellent song written by Michael Nesmith, complete with Latin rhythms. This strange and wonderful song actually made it to the Top 40.

"Daydream Believer"
"Daydream Believer" was already a #1 hit before this album was released. The single came out in October, 1967. It's also most likely the only song on this album on which all four Monkees appear. Davy does lead vocals. Micky does backing vocals. Michael plays guitar. Peter is on piano.

For most of this record, the Monkees would work individually in the studio on their own songs.

"Writing Wrongs"

Michael Nesmith is really belting out the vocals on "Writing Wrongs." But it's the instrumental section of this song that is the most interesting, with its manic rhythms and Nesmith's wild keyboard part.

"I'll Be Back Up On My Feet"

"Ill Be Back Up On My Feet" is an upbeat pop song that is perhaps more like the band's earlier work than any other song on this album.

"P.O. Box 9847" was originally intended to be the follow-up single to "Daydream Believer." It's a very cool song about a man trying to get to the truth of who he is and what he wants through a series of drafts for a classified ad, which he ultimately abandons.


"Valleri" was the next single released after "Daydream Believer." It was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and features an excellent guitar part and a great horn section. An earlier version of this song was used in the television series.

Anti-War Song
The album concludes with "Zor And Zam," a great anti-war song about two little kings playing a game, throwing a pageant called War that no one attends. Also included as a bonus track is the TV version of this song.

Bonus Material
The version of "D.W. Washburn" included here is the version that was released as the single in June, 1968. It's a fun song that reached #19 on the chart. Also included on this CD is the version of "It's Nice To Be With You" that was the flip side of the "D.W. Washburn" single - it reached #51 on the chart.

Stephen Stills Plays Guitar

"Come On In" was written by Jo Mapes. Peter Tork sings lead and plays bass. Stephen Stills plays guitar on this one.

"Carlisle Wheeling" is a wonderful song written by Michael Nesmith. He does lead vocals, and plays guitar, organ and percussion on it. This song also features Peter Tork on banjo.

"Rosemarie" is such a fun song with cool horns. Micky Dolenz, in addition to doing vocals, actually plays guitar on this one. "The Girl I Left Behind Me" is a heartfelt and catchy song sung by Davy Jones. Written by Neil Sedaka and Carole Bayer, it features a nice piano part by Charlie Smalls. "Seeger's Theme" is a weird and brief instrumental written by Pete Seeger. Peter Tork plays banjo and guitar on this one. He also whistles.

"Tear The Top Right Off My Head"

Peter Tork wrote the excellent "Tear The Top Right Off My Head." This version features Micky Dolenz on lead vocals. In the middle of the lyrics, Micky says, "Pick it, Lance." Lance Wakely plays guitar and harmonica on this one. Peter Tork also plays guitar. This is one of the best songs on the CD.

"Don't Listen To Linda"

This is a slower version of "Don't Listen To Linda" than was previously released. The different pace, as well as the horns and strings, make this essentially a completely different song. It was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Davy Jones sings lead.

The CD ends with a radio spot for the original release.

Track list for Disc 2: The Original Mono Album & More

  1. Dream World
  2. Auntie's Municipal Court
  3. We Were Made For Each Other
  4. Tapioca Tundra
  5. Daydream Believer
  6. Writing Wrongs
  7. I'll Be Back Up On My Feet
  8. The Poster
  9. P.O. Box 9847
  10. Magnolia Simms
  11. Valleri
  12. Zor And Zam
  13. Alvin (1968 Mono Mix)
  14. While I Cry (1968 Mono Mix)
  15. D.W. Washburn (Mono Single Mix)
  16. It's Nice To Be With You
  17. Come On In (1968 Mono Mix)
  18. Carlisle Wheeling (1968 Mono Mix)
  19. Rosemarie (1968 Mono Mix)
  20. The Girl I Left Behind Me (1967 Mono Mix)
  21. Seeger's Theme (Alternate Version)
  22. Tear The Top Right Off My Head (Micky's Vocal)
  23. My Share Of The Sidewalk (168 Mono Mix)
  24. Lady's Baby (1968 Mono Mix)
  25. Ceiling In My Room (1967 Mono Mix)
  26. Merry Go Round (1968 Mono Mix)
  27. Don't Listen To Linda (1968 Mono Mix)
  28. Me Without You (1968 Mono Mix)
  29. Zor And Zam (TV Version)
  30. The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees Teen Radio Spot

This is the second disc of a three-disc box set. Disc 1: The Original Stereo Album & More contains a lot of bonus material, mostly unreleased stereo mixes. Disc 3: The Birds, The Bees & The Raritees is all bonus material, most of which had never been released before. This Monkees box set was released on February 8, 2010.

(Note: I originally posted this on May 7, 2010.)

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