The Monkees

More of the Monkees

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The Monkees second album More of the Monkees lived up to its title. It was more successful commercially, spending an amazing 70 weeks on the Billboard charts and ultimately becoming the 12th biggest selling album of all time. It had more producers and writers involved since big-shots like Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Jeff Barry and Neil Sedaka, as well as up-and-comers like Neil Diamond all grabbed for a piece of the pie after Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the men who made the debut album such a smash, were elbowed out by music supervisor Don Kirshner. The album also has more fantastic songs than the debut. Tracks like "I'm a Believer," "She," "Mary, Mary," " (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone," "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)," "Your Auntie Grizelda," and "Sometime in the Morning" are on just about every Monkees hits collection and, apart from the novelty "Grizelda," they are among the best pop/rock heard in the '60s or any decade since. The band themselves still had relatively little involvement in the recording process, apart from providing the vocals along with Mike Nesmith's writing and producing of two tracks (the hair-raising rocker "Mary, Mary" and the folk-rock gem "The Kind of Girl I Could Love"). In fact, they were on tour when the album was released and had to go to the record shop and buy copies for themselves. As with the first album though, it really doesn't matter who was involved when the finished product is this great. Listen to Micky Dolenz and the studio musicians rip through "Stepping Stone" or smolder through "She," listen to the powerful grooves of "Mary, Mary" or the heartfelt playing and singing on "Sometime in the Morning" and dare to say the Monkees weren't a real band. They were! The tracks on More of the Monkees (with the exception of the aforementioned "Your Auntie Grizelda " and the sickly sweet "The Day We Fell in Love," which regrettably introduces the smarmy side of Davy Jones) stand up to the work of any other pop band operating in 1967. Real or fabricated, the Monkees rate with any pop band of their era and More of the Monkees solidifies that position.

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