Joe S. (mailman1) from GREENVILLE, OH Reviewed on 9/3/2009...
Excellent cd if you were a Monkees fan in the late 60's. One of their albums where they played most of their own instruments and were more than just session singers for others. Some songs on here you won't find on Monkee compilation cds so there's a lot of surprises to be found.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Damn Right They Can Play!!
Brent Evans | Rockhampton, Australia | 09/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After escaping from the oily clutches of Donnie Krishner,the Monkees went into Goldstar studios in Hollywood determined to prove to the world that they were a bonafide group,and could play their own instruments.What resulted was HEADQUARTERS,a unique blend of rawness and beauty;all four Monkees thrashing it out in the studio with very few guest musicians.All group members shine on this release:Mike Nesmith provides some selfpenned classics (SUNNY GIRLFRIEND,YOU JUST MAY BE THE ONE);Davy Jones contributes his best vocals(SHADES OF GREY,EARLY MORNING BLUES AND GREENS, FORGET THAT GIRL);Mickey Dolenz pens two Monkee milestones(NO TIME,RANDY SCOUSE GIT);not only does Peter Tork give us the future closing theme(FOR PETE'S SAKE),he also shares a beautiful song with Davy(SHADES OF GREY).The playing on this album is honest and pure and it sounds as if the boys are having a great time(BAND 6,ZILCH,JERICHO,PILLOW TIME[written by Mickey's mother],PETER GUNN'S GUN).Just when you think you've heard it all,Mike chimes in with a demo(and supreme)version of his country ballad NINE TIMES BLUE.Chip Douglas does an excellent job at producing HEADQUARTERS(and even writes FORGET THAT GIRL).For 11 weeks thisalbum was in the number two position on th Billboard charts(behind SGT.PEPPER);as it fully deserved to be.If any of your friends claim that the Monkees were were just hype,play them HEADQUARTERS and then tell them to shut up!"
Rocker84 | Buffalo, NY | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are looking for the best Monkees album, in my opinion, this is definitely it. This is the first album after Don Kirshner was fired, which meant the Monkees were finally allowed to have more creative control and play their own instruments. Just from listening to this album, you could tell the amount of excitement and enjoyment that was put forth into making it. The sad thing is that Headquarters often gets overlooked because it hit number 1 for one week, then Sgt. Pepper's came out by the Beatles and immediately took over that position. Also, there were no singles released in the US off this album. However, every song is high quality, and I think the Monkees best work. Here is my review of the songs:
1. "You Told Me" - A Perfect way to start off the album. This is a classic Mike song that features some great banjo playing from Peter. One of my favorite Monkees songs. 10/10
2. "I'll Spend My Life With You" - This is a Boyce/Hart song that was originally recorded for an earlier Monkees album. It's a slow song that features some great vocals from Micky. In my opinion this song can be overlooked, because it's sandwiched between two amazing songs. 8/10
3. "Forget That Girl" - This song was written by Chip Douglas, and has some good vocals from Davy. Very catchy song. 9/10
4. "Band 6" - Not really a song, but just a short session of the Monkees practicing in the studio.
5. "You Just May Be The One" - Another excellent Mike song, which had been recorded earlier and featured in some Monkees episodes. This version, with them playing their instruments, is much better, and really has a classic Monkees sound. 10/10
6. "Shades Of Gray" - This is sort of a "grown up" song for the Monkees, with great lyrics that were much different from their bubblegum image. Also features a small amount of Peter vocals. 10/10
7. "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind" - Probably my least favorite song on the album (not that it's bad, but there had to be one). I think it's a little more bubble gum sounding, and kind of takes away from the rest of the album. 7/10
8. "For Pete's Sake" - Classic Monkees song, written by Peter, and perhaps the most well known on the album. It was used for the end credits in season 2 of the TV show. 10/10
9. "Mr. Webster" - Not a bad song, but not one of the standouts on the album. It's a slow song that tells a story. It features a whole lot of tambourine from Davy. 7/10
10. "Sunny Girlfriend" - Mike really puts out some great songs on this album. This has his classic country rock sound. Great song. 9/10
11. "Zilch" - Not really a song, but just a bunch of spoken words by the Monkees. Kind of entertaining.
12. "No Time" - They pick it up with a very rockin' tune here. Perhaps one of the fastest and most catchy songs on the album. I've always enjoyed it. 10/10
13. "Early Morning Blues and Greenes" - A slow, kind of toasty, Davy song, which may be another one that gets overlooked, being sandwiched between two great songs. 8/10
14. "Randy Scouse Git" - This was released as a single, and became a hit in the UK under the name "Alternate Title". This was written by Micky at a party the Beatles threw for them, and may be one of the most cult Monkee favorites. They definitely show that they are trying to shed their bubble gum image with the lyrics in this song. 10/10
This cd also features some fairly solid bonus tracks. There is a version of Mike singing "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", and a different version of "Nine Times Blue". Also, the band playing the theme from "Peter Gunn's Gun", which sounds pretty good, and some studio hyjinks in the track "Jericho". The best bonus track is "All Of Your Toys", which was at one point going to be a single for them. It's a very good song.
Altogether, I think this is definitely the Monkees best album, and I'm sure most people will agree."
The "REAL" Monkees album!
Henry R. Kujawa | "The Forbidden Zone" (Camden, NJ) | 12/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I get so tired of people yelling "They don't play their own instruments!" that lately I reply with "Neither did The Temptations!" (In other words, WHO cares?) Well, they did HERE! This was when the "singing group" became a "band". And WHAT an album-- one great tune after another, with a mix of pop, rock, folk, country & psychedelia that favorably compares with RUBBER SOUL. And only ONE producer! What a concept...!My faves here: "You Told Me" (dig that banjo!), "Shades Of Gray" , "For Pete's Sake" (never mind his voice, Peter Tork can really WRITE! ), "Sunny Girlfriend", "No Time" (ROCK & ROLL!), "Early Morning Blues And Grays" and "Randy Scouse Git" (Micky goes WILD! ). Cool CD bonus tracks include the original version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" with Mike singing (allowing me to finally understand some of the lyrics I couldn't get before) and the first of several versions of "Nine Times Blue"-- the song that, when played BACKWARDS, became "Listen To The Band". (No, REALLY!)My only disappointments with HEADQUARTERS over the years were that, due to their insistence that they "do it all" on this one, a TON of great earlier material was left unissued at the time, including the original version of "You Just May be The One", which was far superior to the remake here. (But thanks to Rhino's MISSING LINKS VOL.2, now we can hear BOTH!)"
More than just bubblegum
Candace Scott | Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA | 09/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alright, I admit to being egregiously biased in favor of the Monkees. I grew up on the bubblegum quartet, slept with pictures of Davy Jones under my pillow and took a tambourine with me to Kindergarten... but this album has stood the test of time! Finally Don Kirschner was given the boot and Mike Nesmith's demands that the boys could finally play their own instruments was granted. The result? An uneven album which still contains several outstanding songs. Miraculaously, it still sounds great after thirty years.Nesmith's two contributions are stellar: You Told Me is better than many of the filler Beatles songs and You May Just be the One holds up brilliantly. Forget That Girl ranks up there with some of the better songs from the Mama's and the Papa's and Shades of Gray sounds eerily like a George Martin produced disc (complete with French horn solo!) Of course there are the obligatory throw-away songs, but on the whole, this is a quality album and one that was number two on the Billboard charts to Sergeant Pepper for a lofty six months. Considering the Monkees were still a neophtye band assembled solely for TV purposes, this is a quality disc from an underrated band. It's more than bubblegum, folks, there is some genuinely fine music on this album. Honest."
One of 1967's essential albums
Mike Halloran | San Jose, CA United States | 07/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1967 was an incredible year for pop music. Among the highlights: "Sgt. Pepper", "Pet Sounds", "The Velvet Underground and Nico", "Surrealistic Pillow", "Absolutely Free", "Album 1700", "The Doors", "Headquarters"... "Headquarters"? Yep, that's right, the Monkee's all - singing, (almost) all - playing release makes my short list of essential albums to take on a desert island. For a brief moment in their carreers, the Monkees had the power to make any album that they wanted to; they did not squander the opportunity. Hiring The Turtles' Chip Douglass to produce, the Monkees went in to make an album to please themselves only. The results still hold up 33+ years later. I can't believe that any bubblegum (a term not coined till 1968, BTW) A&R man would have let songs like 'Randy Scouse Git', 'Early Morning Blues and Greens' or 'Mr. Webster' on any album designed for teenaged consumption. My favorite track is probably 'Shades of Grey' although the banjo-driven 'You Told Me' is one of the best opening tracks any album ever had (ranks up there with 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and 'Back in the USSR'). 'Band 6' is fun for the helluvit and 'Zilch' is an inspired bit of lunacy. There is not a weak track on the album - unless you are talking about the CD's bonus tracks. 'Jerico' showcases more of Mickey Dolenz's zaniness and works for me. 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere' is good but, I think that most of the bonus tracks belonged on another CD (titled, "Why Are We Releasing This Junk", maybe?). Program your CD player for the original 14 tracks and you can enjoy it the way we who loved it on vinyl heard "Headquarters" - but on better stereo systems and without the scratches and pops etc. Enjoy!"