The Monkees

Music Box

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AllMusic Review by

It's hard not to wonder why the four-disc Music Box even exists. After all, Rhino has not only released definitive reissues of all of the Monkees' studio albums, complete with bonus tracks, but the label has a series devoted to rarities (Missing Links), a single-disc greatest hits album, a double-disc anthology, and another four-disc box, Listen to the Band, which is excellent. So where does that leave Music Box? Well, it is "reconfigured" into a booklike box, which must appeal to somebody, but more importantly, it tries to pull off a nifty trick -- providing an exhaustive overview for the casual listener, while filling in the holes for those serious fans who only have the proper reissued albums. On both counts, this works well. Let's get the basics out of the way: This sounds great, and Andrew Sandoval's liner notes are terrific, particularly the song-by-song breakdown that not only includes the Monkees' reflections, but also those of various producers and songwriters. Then, there's the song selection, which is impeccable for the first three discs, which devote a year each to 1966, 1967, and 1968, blending hits with rarities, album versions, and alternate takes, never once seeming like a sop to collectors. The fourth disc is a little more problematic, just because it spans from 1969 to 1996, containing reunion tracks that some fans may rather not hear, but it still has more than enough minor gems that will please the dedicated. And, when it gets right down to it, Music Box succeeds on two counts: Everyone who needs to plug in gaps will be satisfied with this (plus they'll like the fine flow of the songs) and, more importantly, this is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a good, thorough overview of the Monkees' best, delving far deeper than the hits. It doesn't really trump Listen to the Band, but it's nearly an equal.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:19 Spotify
2 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
3 02:30 Spotify
4 02:46 Spotify
5 02:33 Spotify
6 02:16 Spotify
7 02:43 Spotify
8 01:59 Spotify
9 02:24 Spotify
10 01:56 Spotify
11 02:41 Spotify
12 02:16 Spotify
13 02:46 Spotify
14 02:19
15 02:39 Spotify
16 02:17 Spotify
17 02:28 Spotify
18 01:58
19 02:48 Spotify
20 01:53
21 02:28 Spotify
22 01:48
23 03:00
24 02:32 Spotify
25 02:35 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:49
2 02:33 Spotify
3 02:35 Spotify
4 03:08 Spotify
5 02:28
6 02:26 Spotify
7 02:24 Spotify
8 02:25 Spotify
9 02:03 Spotify
10 03:22 Spotify
11 02:11 Spotify
12 02:33 Spotify
13 02:07 Spotify
14 02:33 Spotify
15 03:07 Spotify
16 02:51 Spotify
17 03:00 Spotify
18 04:23 Spotify
19
02:36
20 02:49 Spotify
21 02:31 Spotify
22 02:40 Spotify
23 03:08 Spotify
24 02:32 Spotify
25 04:24 Spotify

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:01 Spotify
2 03:04 Spotify
3 02:40 Spotify
4 02:40 Spotify
5 02:13 Spotify
6 02:59 Spotify
7 05:39 Spotify
8 02:44 Spotify
9 02:18 Spotify
10 02:29 Spotify
11 02:40 Spotify
12 02:30 Spotify
13 02:13 Spotify
14 02:18 Spotify
15 02:03 Spotify
16 02:23 Spotify
17 02:27 Spotify
18 02:07 Spotify
19 03:02 Spotify
20 02:28 Spotify
21 02:35 Spotify
22 02:07 Spotify
23 04:03 Spotify
24 03:56 Spotify
25 02:35 Spotify
26 03:12 Spotify
27 03:12 Spotify
28 02:55 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick