The Monkees: More of The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition (Rhino) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Monkees

More of The Monkees: Super Deluxe Edition

Rhino

Jan 30, 2018 The Monkees Bookmark and Share


Rhino Records has made a point over the past several years of documenting The Monkees’ history in great depth and detail, with choice reisssues that document individual albums in three-disc form, replete with session extras, a replica vinyl 7” single, and enough minutiae to satisfy even the most rabid Monkees fan. The most recent of Rhino’s Monkees installments is the band’s 1967 sophomore album More of The Monkees. For those non-Monkee enthusiasts, this is the album that made hits of both “I’m a Believer” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.”

More of The Monkees was an album that was recorded and released to the public in a rush after the powers that be realized that Monkees fever had caught on more than expected with the blockbuster hit of the band’s first album. From the end of June through November of 1966, 30 new Monkees tracks were recorded, and all are present in this expanded set. More of The Monkees was originally issued not more than four months after the band’s debut, to sate rabid fans.

The album proper is present here in both mono and stereo versions, but the worthiness of the set lies with the extras and the document as a whole. The liner notes are extensive, providing context and analysis. The tracklisting provides detailed information on each track’s players (when the information is known). And the number of extra studio recordings, backing tracks, original mono mixes, first recorded versions, and the like is exhaustive.

While many of the backing tracks or mono mixes may not be of great interest to anybody but the most intense fanatic, there are worthy gems throughout. There’s an alternate vocal take on “I’m a Believer” and the bouncy ditty “Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears,” which has been released before but never made it on to an original Monkees album. “I Don’t Think You Know Me” is present in versions with Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork each on lead. There’s some hilarious studio banter from a “Mary Mary” overdubs session. Ultimately, what the package as a whole reveals is a sense of how these tracks were put together, developed, and perfected, thus securing utmost Monkees’ hit potential.

At the end of disc 3 are 10 live tracks recorded from Arizona in 1967. They are an interesting but difficult listen, with vocals nearly impossible to decipher in some cases. But when you hear the girls screaming when Davy Jones sings “I Wanna Be Free,” you get a sense of the pandemonium that was all things Monkees in the mid- to late-‘60s. More of The Monkees was in the middle of it all. (www.monkees.com) (www.rhino.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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