Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Psychobabble’s Perfect Monkees Box Set Recipe!

The Monkees were once a punch line to every joke about inauthentic, cheesy pop for toddlers. In a century in which pop is no longer a pejorative, few care about the manufactured manner in which Mike, Micky, Davy, and Peter were assembled, and many now know about their victorious struggle to wrest control of their music. Today, The Monkees are more respected than they ever were in the days when they outsold The Beatles and the Stones.

As all of you Psychobabblers know, Psychobabble loves The Monkees, but that doesn’t mean their back catalog is unimpeachable. The fact that an uncountable multitude of writers, producers, and musicians contributed to The Monkees’ output means that some really bad stuff was recorded (see “Teen Tiny Gnome”, the juvenile junk allegedly responsible for Boyce & Hart’s ousting as main Monkees producers) and released (see “The Day We Fall in Love”, the sappy pap regularly regarded as worst Monkees track of all time). Frankly, The Monkees never released a perfect album. Even the wonderful Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD. contains one “this does not belong” track, both because “Hard to Believe” was not as edgy as its LP mates (on which the cutesiest sounding track is about a “Hell’s Angels gang bang.” Gross.) and because it was not made with the democratic band input that went into the other tracks. I’ve tried to maintain the chronology of when the tracks were recorded as much as possible, though Instant Replay is still a bit of a chronological hodgepodge in keeping with the original album’s semi-compilation format.

Consequently, it has become mildly fashionable among Monkees fans to “re-imagine” each of the group’s albums. What follows is Psychobabble’s bid in this pre-fab fad and my personal attempt to best the two Monkees box sets already in existence. Within the confines of four CDs, you will have alternate and utterly perfect versions of each of The Monkees’ nine original-phase albums. Therefore we shall call this edition of Psychobabble’s Perfect Box Set Recipe Alternate Titles (see the UK single release of “Randy Scouse Git).

On Alternate Titles, you will find a reduction in the more bubblegum side of The Monkees (which means more Mike but less Davy—sorry, Marcia Brady). You’ll also notice that Peter finally gets his due on The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees and Mike now classes up Changes. Since there’s more good stuff than would fit onto a standard twelve-track album, some of the discs include a few bonus tracks as well. The selection is also not solely based on personal opinion. I never had a beef with “Laugh”, but since it is one of the least-loved tracks among my fellow Monkee Maniacs, I ditched it. On the flip side, I included “Daydream Believer” even though Im not a fan of it because most of my fellow Monkee Maniacs looooove it.  And as always, Psychobabble’s Perfect Box Set Recipe requires you to actually burn some discs—mere playlists will not suffice and may result in your expulsion from the Psychobabble Secret Society of Groovy Ghouls, Retro Rockers, & Kooky Cultists ©!

NOTE! Disc Three will require you to make two edits using Audacity or some other such audio file-editing tool. Since Head is pretty much a perfect album, and we want to include as much of it as possible, you will have to edit the whole “Swami” section out of its final track, leaving only Ken Thorne’s “Plus Strings”. Because “Porpoise Song” must have its mesmerizing drone coda not included on the soundtrack album, you’ll either have to clip that coda from the single version on Listen to the Band box set and include it as its own track or live with a very awkward transition from “Opening Ceremony” to the single version of “Porpoise Song”. I never said this would not involve a bit of elbow grease.

ALSO NOTE! All songs are their standard versions released in the sixties and seventies unless otherwise noted. Whether you use the stereo or mono mixes is entirely up to you, though I personally recommend mono for the first two albums (which is why I went with the Deluxe Edition as opposed to the stereo-only standard edition) and “Magnolia Simms” and stereo for all else.

Psychobabble’s Perfect Box Set Recipe: The Monkees: Alternate Titles

4 Blank CDRs
The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)
More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD.
The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)
Instant Replay
The Monkees Present
Missing Links
Missing Links Vol. 2
Missing Links Vol. 3
Listen to the Band (Box Set)


Disc One

Bonus Track
1. (Theme from) The Monkees (TV Version) [Missing Links Vol. 3]

The Monkees: Alternate Title

2. Last Train to Clarksville
3. I Won’t Be the Same Without Her [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
4. Saturday’s Child [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
5. I Wanna Be Free (Fast Version) [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
6. Papa Gene’s Blues The Monkees [(Deluxe Edition)]
7. Take a Giant Step [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
8. Last Train to Clarksville [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
9. This Just Doesn’t Seem to Be My Day [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
10. I Don’t Think You Know Me [Missing Links]
11. Let’s Dance On [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
12. So Goes Love [Missing Links]
13. Sweet Young Thing [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]

More of The Monkees: Alternate Title

14. She [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
15. Mary Mary [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
16. Hold on Girl [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
17. Your Auntie Grizelda [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
18. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
19. Looking for the Good Times [The Monkees Present]
20. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
21. The Kind of Girl I Could Love [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
22. (I Prithee) Do Not Ask for Love (Davy’s Vocal) [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
23. Sometime in the Morning [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
24. Of You [Missing Links]
25. I’m a Believer [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]

Bonus Tracks
26. You Just May Be the One (TV Version) [The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
27. Words (TV Version) [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
28. Valleri (TV Version) [More of The Monkees (Deluxe Edition)]
29. Tear Drop City [Instant Replay]
30. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You [Listen to the Band]
31. Love to Love [Missing Links Vol. 3]
32. 99 Pounds [Changes]

Disc Two

Bonus Track
1. All of Your Toys [Missing Links]

Headquarters: Alternate Title

2. You Told Me [Headquarters]
3. I’ll Spend My Life with You [Headquarters]
4. Forget That Girl [Headquarters]
5. Band 6 [Headquarters]
6. You Just May Be the One [Headquarters]
7. The Girl I Knew Somewhere [Listen to the Band]
8. Shades of Gray [Headquarters]
9. For Pete’s Sake [Headquarters]
10. Mr. Webster [Headquarters]
11. Sunny Girlfriend [Headquarters]
12. Zilch [Headquarters]
13. No Time [Headquarters]
14. Early Morning Blues & Greens [Headquarters]
15. Randy Scouse Git [Headquarters]

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD: Alternate Title

16. Salesman [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
17. She Hangs Out [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
18. Love Is Only Sleeping [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
19. Cuddly Toy [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
20. Words [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
21. Goin’ Down [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
22. The Door Into Summer [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
23. What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
24. Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
25.  Pleasant Valley Sunday [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
26. Daily Nightly [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
27. Don’t Call on Me [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]
28. Star Collector [Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, LTD]

Bonus Tracks
29. Riu Chiu [Missing Links Vol. 2]
30. Daydream Believer [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
31. Nine Times Blues [Missing Links]
32. Alvin [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]

Disc Three

The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees: Alternate Title

1. Dream World [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
2. Auntie’s Municipal Court [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
3. Tear the Top Right Off My Head [Missing Links Vol. 3]
4. The Party [Missing Links]
5. Tapioca Tunda [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
6. Writing Wrongs [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
7. Seeger’s Theme [Missing Links Vol. 2]
8. I’ll Be Back Up On My Feet [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
9. P.O. 9847 [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
10. Magolia Simms [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
11. Valleri [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]
12. Merry-Go-Round [Missing Links Vol. 3]
13. Zor and Zam [The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (Rhino Handmade Deluxe Edition)]

Head: Alternate Title

14. Opening Ceremony [Head]
15. Porpoise Song [Head]
16. Porpoise Song Coda [Listen to the Band] (SEE NOTE ABOVE)
17. Ditty Diego: War Chant [Head]
18. Circle Sky (original studio version) [Head]
19. Supplicio [Head]
20. Can You Dig It? [Head]
21. Gravy [Head]
22. Superstitious [Head]
23. As We Go Along [Head]
24. Dandruff [Head]
25. Daddy’s Song [Head]
26. Poll [Head]
27. Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again? [Head]
28. Plus Strings (SEE NOTE ABOVE)

Instant Replay: Alternate Title: Side A

29. Through the Looking Glass [Instant Replay]
30. St. Matthew [Missing Links Vol. 2]
31. The Girl I Left Behind Me [Instant Replay]
32. Just a Game [Instant Replay]
33. My Share of the Sidewalk [Missing Links]
34. Carlisle Wheeling [Missing Links]

Disc Four

Instant Replay: Alternate Title: Side B

1. You and I [Instant Replay]
2. While I Cry [Instant Replay]
3. D.W. Washburn [Listen to the Band]
4. Don’t Wait for Me [Instant Replay]
5. A Man without a Dream [Instant Replay]
6. Shorty Blackwell [Instant Replay]

The Monkees Present: Alternate Title

7. Little Girl [The Monkees Present]
8. Good Clean Fun [The Monkees Present]
9. If I Knew [The Monkees Present]
10. Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye [The Monkees Present]
11. Never Tell a Woman Yes [The Monkees Present]
12. Someday Man [Listen to the Band]
13. Steam Engine [Listen to the Band]
14. Listen to the Band [The Monkees Present]
15. French Song [The Monkees Present]
16. Mommy and Daddy [The Monkees Present]
17. Oklahoma Backroom Dancer [The Monkees Present]
18. Pillow Time [The Monkees Present]

Changes: Alternate Title

19. Oh My My [Changes]
20. Some of Shelley’s Blues [Missing Links Vol. 2]
21. Ticket on a Ferry Ride [The Monkees Present]
22. Michigan Blackhawk [Missing Links Vol. 2]
23. You’re So Good to Me [Changes]
24. Midnight Train [Changes]
25. Tell Me Love [Changes]
26. I Love You Better [Changes]
27. How Insensitive [Missing Links Vol. 3]
28. Angel Band [Missing Links Vol. 3]
29. Time and Time Again [Changes]

The Monkees debuted on this date in 1966.

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