Meet The Monkees - Colgems 1966
Tracks: 1. (Theme From) The Monkees / 2. Saturday's Child / 3. I Wanna Be Free / 4. Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day / 5. Papa Gene's Blues / 6. Take A Giant Step / 7. Last Train To Clarksville / 8. This Just Doesn't Seem To Be My Day / 9. Let's Dance On / 10. I'll Be True To You / 11. Sweet Young Thing / 12. Gonna Buy Me A Dog / 13. I Can't Get Her Off My Mind (Early) / 14. I Don't Think You Know Me (Alt.) / 15. (Theme From) The Monkees (Early)
The Monkees were originally 4 young men picked out to be actors in a TV-series about a young rock-band. The music on their first album was played by various session-musicians; among them prominent names like drummer Jim Gordon, guitarists James Burton and Glen Campbell and many others. It soon turned out that at least two members of the Monkees ( Mike Nesmith and Pete Tork ) were very capable musicians, and they had ambitions be a real band and play on their own records. They were allowed to this eventually on their great third album "Headquarters", but on this debut-album they only appear as singers. Mike Nesmith who also was a fine songwriter were allowed, though, to produce his own two songs "Papa Gene's Blues" and "Sweet Young Thing"; and also the great Goffin/King bonus-track "I Don't Think You Know Me".
In spite of the circumstances with the use of various studio-misicians, the album is surprisingly consistent. The Monkees were all fine singers (especially Nesmith, Jones and Dolenz ) and the most of the material they recorded was penned by prolific songwriters like Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart or Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Songs that really stand out are "Take a Giant Step", the single "Last Train to Clarkesville", and all 3 bonus-tracks. Especially "I Don't Think You Know Me", sung by Mike Nesmith was a pleasant surprise. The early version of "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind" is also great. These two songs could have made the original album much stronger.
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