The Second Disc

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Another Barrel Full of Monkees from Friday Music?

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So you want to be a rock ‘n’ roll star?  Then listen now to what I say…Just get an electric guitar, then take some time and learn how to play…

Those acerbic lyrics from The Byrds’ 1967 “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” were admittedly aimed at The Monkees, according to the song’s co-writer, Chris Hillman. Yet from the vantage point of over forty years later, the pop and television stars have more than proved their true musical credentials. They’re taking their act on the road this summer for an eagerly-anticipated 45th anniversary tour, with only Michael Nesmith skipping the trek. Each announcement of new catalogue product inevitably brings excitement to a dedicated group of fans and collectors. Manufactured or not, The Monkees came into their own and left behind an enormous body of quality music. Yet when the group disbanded (for the first time) in 1971, its members were left to find their own musical identities. Davy Jones had quick success out of the gate with a Top 40 single of Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka’s “Rainy Jane.” Mike Nesmith continued his own quirky, trailblazing recording projects. Micky Dolenz recorded a series of singles for MGM and its related labels, while Peter Tork didn’t successfully launch a solo career till years later.

When it comes to the group’s landmark anniversary, the good folks at Friday Music haven’t been sitting idly. The label plans on celebrating in style. Reissues of The Monkees Present (1969) and Changes (1970) have been confirmed for May 24 release, and the label offered a tease that Davy Jones’ pre-Monkees album recorded in 1965 for the Colpix label may soon join those two releases on CD. Over this past weekend, the label sweetened the pot, dropping the two following not-so-subtle hints on its Facebook page:

THE MONKEES’ Micky Dolenz made some very cool albums several years ago…BROADWAY MICKY……it would be nice if some label would release that again…..don’t ya think?

MORE MONKEEMANIA: The great Micky Dolenz recorded a brilliant acoustic masterpiece called Puts You To Sleep…..His rendition of “Blackbird” by The Beatles is brilliant, as is his revisit to “Porpoise Song,” plus Harry Nilsson’s “Remember”…….it would be a cool thing if some hip label would release this again………hmmmm…… just never know…..hmmmmmm.

Well, needless to say, we here at Second Disc HQ think it would, indeed, be nice if some label would reissue these two albums! Hit the jump for a look at both albums plus track listings!

When he recorded 1991’s Puts You to Sleep for the Kid Rhino label, Dolenz clued listeners via the title that he hadn’t lost his sense of humor. The album’s subtitle was more direct: “Classic Rock Mellow-Dees for Children of the ‘60s to the ‘90s.” So the collection of acoustic songs includes not only “Blackbird,” “Remember” and “Porpoise Song” from Head, but more offbeat, eclectic choices. Among them: Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain,” another Nilsson cover in the form of “The Moonbeam Song,” John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy,” The Hollies’ “Lullaby to Tim” and Paul Simon’s “St. Judy’s Comet.” This unique lullaby album more than delivered on its promise of mellow music for adults and children alike.

The 1994 follow-up for Kid Rhino, Broadway Micky, wasn’t a retread of the formula from the first disc. It was, however, misleadingly titled, as it wasn’t solely a collection of Broadway show tunes. In fact, only five of the album’s 12 songs originated on the stage (a pair by Charles Strouse from Annie and Bye Bye Birdie, another two from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music and The King and I, and one from Charlie Smalls’ The Wiz). Most of the other seven songs came from children’s films including three from the Disney canon. But if “Broadway” represents pure entertainment, Dolenz was indeed “Broadway Micky” for this album. He sounded energized recording these classics with varied arrangements and musical settings. He also revisited his good pal Harry Nilsson’s “Me and My Arrow” from The Point! on Broadway Micky. Dolenz and Davy Jones had performed in the London production of The Point! In 1977; now wouldn’t a reissue of that super-rare MCA cast recording be something, friends? Just sayin’! “Broadway Micky” is still an apt description for the Monkee, as he’s played roles in the New York productions of both Hairspray and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida in recent years!

The news (?) of Friday’s reissues of these two albums will undoubtedly make many people happy, but it’s safe to say that Amazon Marketplace sellers won’t be among them!  Broadway Micky sells for $24.99 and up used, and $39.99 and up new; Puts You to Sleep starts at a staggering $45.00 used and $99.95 new. Needless to say, any future reissues on Friday will be a bargain!

Keep an eye on this space for any and all future Monkees news, including the hopeful confirmation of Davy Jones (1965), Micky Dolenz Puts You to Sleep and Broadway Micky!

Micky Dolenz, Micky Dolenz Puts You to Sleep (Kid Rhino R2 70413, 1991)

  1. Pillow Time
  2. Dream a Little Dream of Me
  3. Beautiful Boy
  4. Blackbird
  5. Lullaby to Tim
  6. The Fool on the Hill
  7. St. Judy’s Comet
  8. The Moonbeam Song
  9. Remember
  10. Sugar Mountain
  11. The Porpoise Song

Mickey Dolenz, Broadway Micky (Kid Rhino R2 71676, 1994)

  1. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  2. Talk to the Animals
  3. Somewhere Out There
  4. Put on a Happy Face
  5. You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
  6. Never Ending Story
  7. My Favorite Things
  8. Ease on Down the Road
  9. I Whistle a Happy Tune
  10. Chim Chim Cher-ee
  11. Me and My Arrow
  12. When You Wish Upon a Star

Written by Joe Marchese

April 11, 2011 at 10:29

Posted in News, Reissues, The Monkees

One Response

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  1. I generally prefer original pressings, but those used prices are too high for my tastes.


    April 11, 2011 at 21:40

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