Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Colgems Upload - "Changes"

Several days late but better late than never, here is the Monkees’ final original recording on Colgems Records, “Changes.”

You can access this LP at

Where do I start? Can I even be in any way kind to this recording?

Michael Nesmith bought out his Monkees contract sometime in 1969, but as part of the buyout, he had several obligations he had to fulfill, including appearing in several commercials with bandmates Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, including for the then new Nerf ball. His likeness was also used on various Monkees-related products, such as cardboard cutout records that were turning up on cereal boxes across the country.

But recording-wise, he was done as a Monkee.

Reruns of the show had shifted over to CBS Saturday mornings, and a new generation of Monkeemaniacs were watching the show in significant numbers. I believe there was one more album on their contract anyway, so this was the perfect time to try and rekindle the hit-making flame that was once part of the Monkees success.

But with just two members, what do you do?

Jeff Barry and Andy Kim were put onto the project, and each was pretty hot at the time, Barry as a producer and songwriter and Kim as a songwriter and singer and oftentimes as Barry’s musical muse.

They put together an album of new songs and previously unreleased songs, and thus, “Changes” was born.

It is hard to review this album with any sense of clarity, because it is so bad that it truly speaks for itself through the grooves.

“Oh My My” is the leadoff track and the single culled from the album, and it is probably the only highlight on this LP. The song is sort of a pop-rock/soul mix, and Micky voice works perfectly. Even though it was backed by a newly shot video that was shown on the Monkees show, it barely grazed the top 100.

The other songs? Well, Davy said it best when he stated, “We recorded an Andy Kim album!” And that is just how it sounds; bland, boring and bogus. Micky and Davy, and in particular, Davy, seem to be going through the motions here. “99 Pounds,” a holdover from the early days, is the only song where Davy comes to life, and it is such a poor song that it is, well, lifeless anyway.

Micky’s “Midnight Train” is OK, but surrounded by everything else, it falls pretty flat too.

The cover artwork was actually culled from a photo of Micky, Davy and Mike from The Joey Bishop Show. Mike’s portion was edited out.

This album didn’t chart at all, and only found its way onto the Top 200 album chart years later during the Monkees revival.

It is a weak outing, top to bottom, and it closes out the Monkees saga on record—until years later, when their revival shook up the records charts via MTV.

As a curiosity, “Changes” is just that—what were the powers that be thinking when they came up with this?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Changes" Coming

No, I have not forgotten about this month's Colgems upload, which will be the Monkees' "Changes" album.

I have been so busy with other things that I haven't had much of a chance to digitize the tracks.

But give me some time, and it will finally be here!