Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Listen to the Band: Box Set
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
A very satisfying collection of mid-60s pop nostalgia
John A. Kuczma | Marietta, GA USA | 04/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a group, the Monkees defied either description or classification. Their music was too sterile and too obviously manufactured to be considered rock, but too well done to simply be brushed off as many in the music industry of the time tried to do.This superb boxed set shows the many facets of the television inspired quartet. The music progresses from the bubble gum sound of the early days to the more mature and somewhat more polished productions of the middle years. It also includes the chaotic final year, when the group didn't seem to be quite able to figure out where or what they wanted to be musically.There are many hidden gems in this collection. Most people are familiar with the major hits (I'm a Believer, Last Train to Clarksville, Not Your Steppin' Stone, et al), but the greatest enjoyment here will be in discovering the varied talents revealed in the secondary hits.Mike Nesmith's country-flavored vocals are featured in cuts like You Just May Be the One, You Told Me and What Am I Doing Hanging Round?, while his insightful and questioning lyrics highlight offerings such as Love is Only Sleeping and Door Into Summer. Mickey Dolenz is the true rocker of the quartet, or as close as any of them got, and his evolution from syruppy (but very good) harmonies like Sometime in the Morning to the psychedelic near-miss of Daily-Nightly clearly depicts the honest but sometimes clumsy efforts the group made to be taken seriously as rock musicians and lyricists.Peter Tork is best known as the clown of the group, but listen carefully to his skilled banjo work in the aforementioned You Told Me and his soul-searching vocal in Shades of Grey.Davy Jones was the teeny-bopper heartthrob of the Monkees, and that's about all he brought to the group. Although he has solid vocal skills, many of the songs he was saddled with were just plain silly, and his leads are the most disappointing in this collection.It's hard to classify this as a 5-star production for two reasons: First, as pointed out in other reviews, a number of these tracks are alternate versions or studio remixes that don't sound quite like the tunes most of us remember. Secondly, as good as they were, the Monkees simply weren't a 5-star group.Nonetheless, if these minor short-comings don't bother you, this is a very worthwhile investment. There is a great deal of very good music here, and fans of late 60s pop/rock will find the variety absolutely delightful."
Henry R. Kujawa | "The Forbidden Zone" (Camden, NJ) | 11/20/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Monkees are my #1 all-time favorite band. And this package may be the best overview of their material to be found in one place. Certainly, it's more than worth it for the large book with all those great photographs alone! But for the absolute purists, I should warn you-- many of the tunes here are somewhat remixed, and that can be jarring if you're used to what they "should" sound like. My recommendation is, if you're REALLY a Monkees fan-- skip this box, GO the whole route and get ALL the Rhino Monkees CDs! They were done after this, when Rhino had aquired all the master tapes, and are better in sound quality. Plus, how can you NOT want ALL their songs? I sure did!"
A Great Audio Guilty Pleasure
Peter A. Greene | Franklin, PA United States | 05/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I guess it's okay finally to come out of the closet and admit to enjoying the Monkees. This collection is everything I could want from a box set. There's every major hit, every cool tune that wasn't a hit, several very interesting alternate versions, and some neat rarities to boot. On top of that, there's a beautiful book of notes-- great background tales, new material, and best of all (for me, anyway) meticulous notes about who played what, when. Regardless of how you feel about the concept of casting a band or 60's pop almost-bubble gum, how can anyone look at the listing of writers and players in this group's library and not be at least intrigued? For the Monkees fan who's too poor to buy every single cd separately, this is a great adition to the library."