One of the most recognizable names in the annals of pop music history, The Monkees were an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. The original lineup was Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. The group was conceived in 1965 by TV producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider specifically for the sitcom series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968.
The music was originally supervised by record producer Don Kirschner, backed by the songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. The four actor/musicians were initially allowed only limited roles in the recording studio for the first few months of their five-year career as "The Monkees." This was due in part to the amount of time required to film the TV series. Mike Nesmith composed and produced songs from the beginning, Tork contributed guitar work on the Nesmith-produced sessions, while all four contributed vocals on various tracks. They eventually fought for the right to collectively supervise all music output under the band's name, acting as actors, musicians, singers, songwriters and producers.
Inspired by the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, "The Monkees" TV show was picked up as a series by Screen Gems TV in 1965, and the musical side of the project accelerated. Columbia-Screen Gems and RCA Victor entered into a joint venture called Colgems Records primarily to distribute Monkees records. The Monkees self-titled debut and second albums were meant to be a soundtrack to the first season of the TV show, to cash in on the audience. Within a few months of their debut album, music supervisor Don Kirshner was dismissed and The Monkees took control as a real band over deceptive musician credits and how the band was incorrectly marketed to the public.
Their first single, "Last Train To Clarksville" b/w "Take A Giant Step," was released in August 1966, just weeks prior to the TV broadcast debut. In conjunction with the first broadcast of the TV show on September 12, 1966, NBC and Columbia had a major hit. The first long-playing album, The Monkees, was released a month later; it spent 13 weeks at #1 and stayed on the Billboard charts for 78 weeks. Twenty years later, during their reunion, it spent another 24 weeks on the Billboard charts.
Their second studio album, More Of The Monkees, was recorded in late 1966 and released on Colgems label #102 on January 9, 1967. It displaced the band's debut album from the top of the Billboard 200 chart and remained at No.1 for 18 weeks - the longest of any Monkees album. Monkeemania had reached full swing by the time the album was released. The Monkees' second single, "I'm a Believer" - included on this album - held the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 and they were about to embark on a highly successful concert tour. More of the Monkees also went to No.1 in the UK. In the U.S. it has been certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA with sales of more than five million copies. More of the Monkees is also notable for being the first pop/rock album to be the bestselling album of the year in the U.S.
Following the TV show's cancellation in 1968, the Monkees continued to record music until 1971, after which the group broke up. A revival of interest in the TV show came in 1986, which led to a series of reunion tours and new records. The group has reunited and toured several times since then with different lineups (but always containing Micky Dolenz and another original member). Jones died in February 2012, Tork in February 2019, and Nesmith in December 2021.
The success of the show led to the actor-musicians becoming one of the most successful bands of the 1960s. The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide making them one of the biggest-selling groups of all time with international hits, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "I'm A Believer." Newspapers and magazines have reported that the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in 1967, but Nesmith admitted in his autobiography, Infinite Tuesday, that it was a lie that he told a reporter! ROG is reissuing their iconic sophomore album as a deluxe 2LP set with bonus tracks (several of which are unreleased mixes) and have lacquers cut from the analog stereo tapes for the first time since 1966; creating THE DEFINITIVE version of this album since original release!
- Numbered, Limited Edition
- Deluxe Edition
- 180g Vinyl
- Double LP
- Bonus LP - All Bonus Tracks Making Their Vinyl Debut in These Mixes
- Lacquers Cut from the Original Analog Stereo Tapes for Maximum Fidelity
- Deluxe Tip-On Style Gatefold Jacket
- New Photos & Liner Notes
- Made in the Netherlands
Original Stereo Mix
- When Loves Comes Knockin' (At Your Door)
- Mary, Mary
- Hold On Girl
- Your Auntie Grizelda
- (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
- Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
- The Kind Of Girl I Could Love
- The Day We Fall In Love
- Sometime In The Morning
- I'm A Believer
- Apples, Peaches, Bananas And Pears (1969 Stereo Mix)
- Don't Listen To Linda (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)
- I'll Be Back Up On My Feet (1966 Mono Mix)
- Of You (1966 Mono Mix)
- I Don't Think You Know Me (1966 Mono Mix)
- Valleri (First Recorded Version - Mono TV Mix)
- Words (First Recorded Version - Mono TV Mix)
- Through The Looking Glass (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)
- I Never Thought It Peculiar (2017 Stereo Remix)
- Tear Drop City (1966 Mono Mix)
- Hold On Girl (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)
- I'll Spend My Life With You (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)
- Mr. Webster (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)
- (I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love (First Recorded Version - 2017 Stereo Remix)