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Review: More Of The Monkees Deluxe Box Set

By Fred Velez

Rhino Order Link: More Of The Monkees Deluxe Edition

Rhino Records continues their Monkees Deluxe series with the release of the highly anticipated ‘More Of The Monkees’ Deluxe Edition box set. As with the previous box sets, ‘MOTM’ is chockfull of outtakes, alternate mixes, live tracks and other gems that have made this series a treat for Monkees fans and collectors.

Among many highlights are the stereo and mono mixes of the original album, new 2017 mixes of songs like ‘Mary, Mary’, ‘Laugh’, early recorded versions of ‘Tear Drop City’ in the correct speed, ‘Valleri’, ‘Words’, the original backing track for ‘Whatever’s Right’, later redone for the 2016 ‘Good Times’ album. I found the backing track for ‘Whatever’s Right’ particularly interesting, the arrangement being a little slower and to my ears more country sounding, making me wonder if it was originally written with Nesmith in mind. Other rarities include TV only tracks of ‘I Really Love You’ from the ‘Monkees At The Movies’ episode and Nesmith’s hysterical version of ‘Different Drum’ and ‘Undecided’ from the ‘Too Many Girls’/Fern & Davy’ episode. A fun track on the box set are the background vocals sessions for ‘Mary, Mary’ with Michael Nesmith at the recording deck directing Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork and the chaos that ensues with the three Monkees in the studio and Nesmith trying to keep things under control. It verifies the decision made by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to have no more than one Monkee in the studio during recording sessions.

A big highlight of the set are the live tracks from the January 1967 concert recorded at the Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona are fun and, with the exception that some of the vocals were recorded low and as explained with the intention of being overdubbed, I feel the concert sounds much more exciting than the shows recorded for the Live 1967 and ‘67 Summer Tour set. My thinking on this is that this was still the early period of The Monkees as a live act and they were still feeling the excitement of the shows along with the fans before it all started to become a blur of shows with screaming fans for the group like it became for The Beatles towards the end of their touring career. Ten tracks from the concert are on Disc 3 of the set and includes the rare live version of ‘She’s So Far Out She’s In’ that the Monkees performed during their early concerts. The full concert can be heard on YouTube and it’s understandable why more tracks weren’t included with most of the vocals being inaudible.

The set was assembled by music historian, archivist and sometimes Monkees producer/manager Andrew Sandoval who also wrote the extensive liner notes in a booklet which includes a lots of great photos and fascinating information on the sessions and the intrigue going on behind the scenes between the Monkees and music supervisor Don Kirshner. The three disc set have reproductions of the original U.S. cover and foreign album cover variations. Also included is a vinyl single of a new 2017 mix of ‘I’m A Believer’ and a vocals only mix of ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’.

If you have the previous box sets, then it’s a no-brainer that the ‘More Of The Monkees’ Deluxe Edition is a must have for any Monkees collection.

Fred Velez, 2017

Fred Velez is the author of the book ‘A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You: The Monkees From A Fan’s Perspective’

Amazon Link: A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me Book