Michael Nesmith

Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs - The Music

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Blessed or cursed (depending on your point of view) with his reputation as the "Smart Monkee," Michael Nesmith was the member of the group who made the strongest impression as a musician and songwriter, and deservedly so. While Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz had greater teen appeal, Nesmith was the first of the Monkees to write and produce material for the group when Don Kirshner was still calling the shots. Nesmith had far and away the most satisfying solo career of the Monkees, cutting some outstanding country-rock sides when the genre was still establishing itself. And Nesmith had the most eclectic body of work; if he seemed little concerned with the commercial appeal of his music, ultimately his cult following and D.I.Y. approach allowed him to produce a larger and better respected catalog than his former colleagues. In 2017, Nesmith published a memoir, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff, and Rhino Records compiled the album Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs - The Music as a companion piece. Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs is one of the few Nesmith collections that includes material from his years with the Monkees (three tracks) as well as his solo work, and it even tacks on "The New Recruit," a rare 1965 folk-rock single he cut under the name Michael Blessing. The collection is divided roughly in half between the country-accented material he cut with the Monkees, in his solo work, and his albums with the First National Band, and the slicker pop-oriented albums he released from 1975 onward via his own Pacific Arts label. As a thumbnail sketch of the arc of Nesmith's musical career, Infinite Tuesday is reasonably accurate, and the collection includes the minor hits of his solo era, including "Joanne," "Silver Moon, "Rio," and "Cruisin'." However, at only 14 tracks, this is an awfully skimpy career retrospective for a man who has been making music for more than half a century. As a soundtrack to Nesmith's book, Infinite Tuesday: Autobiographical Riffs - The Music serves its purpose well enough, but it does raise the question: When is Michael Nesmith going to get the career-spanning box set he clearly deserves?

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