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Last Train To Clarksville: “The Monkees” Goes Super Deluxe In November

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Monkees SDEIn 1967, Monkeemania was sweeping the country. “I told people I would outsell The Beatles, and they laughed at me,” impresario Don Kirshner once recalled. “Then the first album sold four million.” That first album which led the television foursome to outsell The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and, well, everybody else in 1967 is the subject of a new 3-CD Super Deluxe set arriving from Rhino Handmade on November 11.

The Monkees – Super Deluxe Edition rewinds the series of box sets that has already encompassed the group’s sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth albums: The Birds, The Bees and the Monkees, Head, The Monkees Present and Instant Replay, respectively. (A previous box set collected the sessions for Headquarters, Album No. 3.) This new box features a whopping 100 tracks, 45 of which are previously unreleased, and includes the original album in both mono and stereo as well as Davy Jones’ 1965 solo debut David Jones in both mono and stereo versions.

The first disc of the set features the mono and stereo versions of The Monkees, featuring seven compositions by Tommy Boyce, six with Bobby Hart and one with Steve Venet, including “(Theme from) The Monkees,” “I Wanna Be Free” and the No. 1 hit “Last Train to Clarksville.” The album also has tunes from Mike Nesmith (“Papa Gene’s Blues”) David Gates (“Saturday’s Child”), Carole King and Gerry Goffin (“Take a Giant Step,” “Sweet Young Thing,” co-written with Nesmith) and Goffin and Russ Titelman (“I’ll Be True to You”). This disc is rounded out with 12 bonus cuts including unique television versions previously unreleased on CD.

The 31 tracks on the second disc are all previously unreleased, as well. This disc of session material boasts the master backing tracks for “Let’s Dance On,” “This Just Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day,” “(Theme From) The Monkees” and “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day” plus various alternate versions of songs from the debut album, including an alternate vocal take by Nesmith on “The Kind of Girl I Could Love,” rehearsal recordings and multiple takes of songs like “I Wanna Be Free,” Goffin and King’s “So Goes Love” and Nesmith’s “Mary, Mary.”

The third disc puts the spotlight on the early solo endeavors of Monkees Davy and Mike. Jones’ 1965 Colpix debut David Jones is presented in both mono and stereo along with two single sides, while six single sides from Michael Blessing a.k.a. Nesmith are also here, two of which have never been released before in any format. This disc concludes with four rare demo recordings of “I Wanna Be Free.”

After the jump: more on The Monkees including the complete track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 30, 2014 at 13:27

Singin’ to the Music: Davy Jones’ “Bell Recordings” Joins Monkees’ Deluxe “Pool It!” in April, Rhino Offers Limited Vinyl 45

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It’s no exaggeration to state that the entertainment world was shaken by the sudden passing of Davy Jones on February 29 of this year, responding not only with an outpouring of grief, but with genuinely fond memories of the actor, singer and Monkee. Friday Music is joining Rhino Entertainment in keeping Jones’ rich legacy of music alive, with two new releases slated for April 24. After having recently reissued Jones’ pre-Monkees debut, the label turns its attention to Jones’ 1971-1972 recordings for the Bell Records label, featuring the hit “Rainy Jane” as well as “Girl,” the song immortalized on The Brady Bunch. But that’s not all. On the same day as Davy’s The Bell Recordings 1971-1972, Friday will reissue The Monkees’ 1987 reunion album Pool It! in an expanded edition boasting two bonus tracks and a DVD.

The first twelve tracks on The Bell Recordings represent the complete 1971 Davy Jones album, on which Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield’s “Rainy Jane,” a No. 52 hit for the singer. (Sedaka’s own 1969 version achieved some measure of popularity in Australia in the period between his early RCA hits and Rocket Records comeback.) The Bell era is also notable for Jones’ appearance on the Brady Bunch episode “Getting Davy Jones,” but Jones also kept a high profile via television guest spots on Love American Style, Here Come the Brides and even The New Scooby-Doo Movies! Davy Jones was arranged and conducted by Al Capps, who also worked with Bobby Sherman, Andy Williams and Cher, and carried on the lighter sound of the Monkees’ repertoire rather than that band’s later sonic explorations. The twelve tracks from Davy Jones are augmented by six bonus tracks: the mono singles “Girl” b/w “Take My Love” and “I’ll Believe in You” b/w “Road to Love,” plus album tracks “How About Me” and “I Really Love You,” also both in mono.

UPDATE 5/16/12: Rhino Records announced today that a limited edition green vinyl single of Davy’s “Girl” and “Rainy Jane” will be released as a double A-side 7-inch single!  Only 1,000 copies of this limited edition release have been pressed!  “Girl/Rainy Jane” is available exclusively at and can be pre-ordered here!  It’s set to arrive on May 29 at

Hit the jump to join Davy, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as we dive into The Monkees’ Pool It! on Friday Music!

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Written by Joe Marchese

May 16, 2012 at 13:46

Release Round-Up: Week of April 24

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Carole King, The Legendary Demos (Rockingale/Hear Music)

Who wouldn’t want to hear early recordings of some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded? I know I would.

Davy Jones, The Bell Recordings 1971-1972The Monkees, Pool It! Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

The late Monkee’s first post-band project released on CD and expanded with bonus tracks, as well as a CD/DVD of the band’s penultimate 1987 album with two bonus tracks and the group’s videography.

T. Rex, Electric Warrior: Deluxe Edition (Polydor)

The glam classic is greatly expanded overseas, with a bonus disc of unreleased demos and a DVD of rare performances. This is likely going to stay import-only, so get it while it’s hot.

Louis Armstrong, Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours (Smithsonian Folkways)

One of Satchmo’s last recordings ever, a short set with surprise bliss from his trumpet.

Cilla Black, Completely Cilla 1963-1973 (EMI)

The U.K. pop singer gets a swinging box set: five CDs of George Martin-produced tunes and a DVD of rare BBC television appearances.

ABBA, The Visitors: Deluxe Edition (Universal Music Catalogue)

The Swedish pop icons’ final album, reissued as a CD/DVD set, features plenty of extras, including an unreleased track heard in its entirety for the first time anywhere.

Written by Mike Duquette

April 24, 2012 at 07:59

In Memoriam: Hey, Hey, It’s Davy Jones!

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UPDATE 2/29/12: Today at The Second Disc, we join music fans all over the world in mourning the loss of Davy Jones, who died this morning at the age of 66.  The worlds of music, stage and screen all lost an icon with the passing of the actor, singer, comedian and beloved Monkee.  Davy brought a little of the British Invasion to the California band, as well as lot of talent, sweetness, heart and chutzpah. 

New York DJ Cousin Brucie Morrow took the airwaves on Sirius/XM satellite radio early this evening to celebrate Jones’ life even as an outpouring of affection arrived on Twitter and Facebook.  Peter Noone, a.k.a. Herman of Herman’s Hermits, told Morrow that his friend Davy was “the Danny Kaye of rock and roll” and an all-around entertainer: “A great English working class guy” despite his great success.  Lou Christie concurred, describing Jones as a “great entertainer,” while Tommy James praised his longtime friend’s “great mind,” remembering just how much “fun [it was] to be with [him].”

We’re remembering Davy today by re-posting this August 1, 2011 announcement of Jones’ recently-reissued solo debut.  Friday Music has promised that Jones’ 1971 Bell Records LP (containing the hit “Rainy Jane”) will soon be on the way, joining a spate of Monkees releases from the Rhino label including box sets dedicated to The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees, Head, and Instant Replay.  Please join us in recognizing the legacy of Davy Jones by leaving your own memories below in our comments area.  Rest in peace, Mr. Jones.

It’s the return of the artist formerly known as David Jones!  No, not Mr. Bowie, but rather Davy Jones of The Monkees, who recently hit the road with his old bandmates for a successful tour.  Way back in March, we passed on hints from Friday Music that a reissue of Jones’ 1965 Colpix Records solo album was in the cards.  Now, the label has confirmed to that David Jones: The Deluxe Edition will hit stores on September 27, containing the original LP plus two rare single bonus tracks.

While David Jones is an artifact of the singer’s pre-Monkees career, Jones had already been a ten-plus year veteran of the business we call show when he recorded the album!  He began his career in his native England on programs such as the famed soap opera Coronation Street, which still runs today.  Shortly after that stint, Jones was cast in the West End production of Lionel Bart’s much-honored musical Oliver!.  It wasn’t long before Jones was being dispatched to America.  Oliver! was making its American premiere under the auspices of legendary producer David Merrick on a pre-Broadway tour of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit and Toronto.  Michael Goodman was originally cast in the role of the Artful Dodger, and when Merrick made the decision to record the show’s Broadway Cast Album in Los Angeles, Goodman preserved his performance.  (The score had proven so popular from the London incarnation that the producer didn’t wish to lose any more sales to the London Cast Album.)  However, Goodman wasn’t working out, and Merrick replaced him with the then-David Jones.  So while Jones didn’t get the chance to immortalize his “Consider Yourself,” “I’d Do Anything” and more, he did receive a Tony Award nomination for his work in the musical which opened on January 6, 1963. 

Little did Jones know what would happen next!  Hit the jump to find out!  And you’ll also find a track listing with discographical information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 29, 2012 at 19:02

TGI Friday Music : Monkees, Zevon, Midler, Rundgren, Beck, Yes, Jefferson Starship On Tap

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The temperatures might be dropping, but as sure as fall turns to winter, the slate of catalogue reissues heats up each year for the lucrative holiday market.  Friday Music, the CD and vinyl reissue label, sure hasn’t wasted any time in preparing an eclectic slate of killer releases slated for the months ahead.  The label’s Joe Reagoso, a.k.a. Joe Friday, has taken to Twitter and Facebook announcing a number of exciting projects.  And here, without further ado, are just the facts

The first-ever CD release of Davy Jones’ Colpix debut arrives in stores today from Friday, following the label’s recent reissues of The Monkees’ Changes and The Monkees Present.  Well, the band’s recent tour may have come to an early wrap-up, but the reissue parade marches on.  Not only do the liner notes in Davy Jones hint at a future reissue of Jones’ 1971 Bell LP (featuring Jones’ hit rendition of Neil Sedaka’s “Rainy Jane”) but Friday has announced plans for a deluxe reissue of 1987’s Rhino Records “comeback” album for The Monkees, Pool It!.  As with the band’s recent tour, Michael Nesmith sat out of Pool It! which reached No. 72 on the Billlboard album charts.  Its lead single, “Heart and Soul,” cracked the Hot 100 at No. 87.  A companion VHS, Heart and Soul, was billed as “The Official Monkee Videography,” promising “a behind-the-scenes look featuring music videos from their current album ‘Pool It!,’ interviews and a barrelful of special surprises.”  In what’s certainly a surprise, Pool It! will be paired with Heart and Soul for a CD/DVD edition.

Much as Friday has taken the reins from Rhino to create deluxe Monkees reissues, the label has done the same for progressive rock giants Yes.  1980’s 2-LP Yesshows was the British unit’s second live album, drawing on performances recorded between 1976 and 1978.  The original LP split the track “Ritual” between Sides Three and Four of the vinyl; Friday’s edition restores it to its unedited, full length, and adds two bonus tracks of “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Roundabout.”  These tracks were also added to an expanded Yesshows by Warner Music Japan in 2009.  Yes’ third live album, 1985’s 9012LIVE: The Solos, will receive a similar treatment from Friday Music; it, too, was reissued by Warner Japan in 2009.

More titles are on the way from the Warner/Rhino catalogue.  Friday has confirmed a reissue of Warren Zevon’s 1980 Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School.  Anyone who’s listened to any of Zevon’s albums knows that the man had so much more to offer than just the hit “Werewolves of London.” Zevon’s fourth LP, Bad Luck Streak offered more of his unique version of Laurel Canyon rock.  Zevon was joined on his mordantly witty compositions by “usual suspects” including his onetime producer Jackson Browne, David Lindley, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Waddy Wachtel, Leland Sklar, Ben Keith and four Eagles: Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Don Felder and Joe Walsh.  Whew!  Most notable, however, might be “Jeannie Needs a Shooter,” co-written by Zevon’s admirer and friend Bruce Springsteen.  T-Bone Burnett co-wrote “Bed of Coals” and Jorge Calderon, another longtime associate of the artist, co-wrote “Jungle Work.”  A cover of Allen Toussaint’s “A Certain Girl” rounds out this exciting LP which has been far too long out-of-print.

Two more confirmed classics are en route, this time from the RCA library.  Jefferson Starship’s Freedom at Point Zero and Winds of Change will be brought together in a two-CD digipak, following Friday’s 2009 Modern Times/Nuclear Furniture pairing, and No Protection/Love Among the Cannibals for the band’s 1980s iteration as simply Starship.  1979’s Freedom at Point Zero was the first Jefferson Starship album to feature the vocals of Mickey Thomas, later to lead Starship.  Its single “Jane” made a solid Top 15 showing on the Billboard chart.  1982’s Winds of Change marked the return of Grace Slick to the fold (she is absent on Freedom) and she, of course, would later join Thomas in Starship.  Aynsley Dunbar, perhaps best known for his work with Frank Zappa, contributed drums to the album which spawned a couple of minor charting singles in “Be My Lady” and the title song “Winds of Change.”  One bonus track has been added to this package, the mono single 45 RPM edit of “Jane.”

There’s much more after the jump, friends! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 28, 2011 at 10:06

Release Round-Up: Week of September 27

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‘Tis the season! The big guns for the fourth quarter are starting to be drawn.

Elvis Presley, The Young Man with the Big Beat / Elvis Presley: Legacy Edition (RCA/Legacy)

The newest Elvis box set is all about 1956: five CDs of complete studio masters, outtakes, vintage audio interviews and live material. For the casual fan, the Elvis Presley Legacy Edition includes the Elvis Presley and Elvis LPs with the hit non-LP singles of that era. (Official site)

Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon: Experience and Immersion Editions / Discovery Remasters (EMI)

So you have all the basic remasters of every album, and the deluxe and mega-hyper-deluxe editions of Dark Side. Merry early Christmas! (Official site)

Nirvana, Nevermind: 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (DGC/UMe)

A lot of ways to celebrate the definitive grunge album for its 20th anniversary. Which one are you getting? (Official site)

The Smiths, Complete (Rhino U.K.)

The most mega of mega-boxes for The Smiths is out now in the U.K., and will be out in October in the States. (Rhino U.K.)

Sting, 25 Years (Cherrytree/A&M/UMe)

A 3-CD/1-DVD overview of Sting’s solo career. If you have all his albums, you’re probably going to want to wait until the price dips below its current Amazon price tag of $110. Like, way below. (Official site)

Wes Montgomery, Movin’: The Complete Verve Recordings (Hip-o Select/Verve)

Did Wes record it for Verve? If yes, it’s here, five discs’ strong. (Hip-o Select)

Davy Jones, David Jones: Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

No Monkee-ing around here! Jones’ Colgems solo LP, exapnded and remastered. (Sorry about the pun back there.) (Amazon)

Barenaked Ladies, Hits from Yesterday & The Day Before (Reprise/Rhino)

A simple best-of for the Canadian rockers. (Official site)

The Jesus & Mary Chain, Automatic / Honey’s Dead: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

The next links in the chain of 2-CD/1-DVD reissues! (Another pun! See what I did there?) (Official site)

Buck Owens, Bound for Bakersfield 1953-1956: The Complete Pre-Capitol Recordings (RockBeat)

Another fun one from RockBeat! (Amazon)