The Monkees: The Monkees 50

27 Sep

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Celebrating their 50th anniversary with a new album and a world tour, The Monkees have brought out a comprehensive compilation of their hits (and a bunch of their eighties and nineties reunion stuff).

While they were criticised for being a manufactured band, the so-called ‘pre-Fab Four’ worked with some amazing songwriters before they took the reins and became a ‘real’ band. At the height of their popularity, the Monkees showcased songs by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (‘Last Train to Clarksville’), Neil Diamond (‘I’m a Believer’) and Carole King (‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’).

Arranged in vaguely chronological order, the track list offers few surprises but does not disappoint — you want the hits, you got ‘em. The need to fulfil the promise of the title does mean the track list loses steam about halfway through, but the strong selection from their heyday makes up the difference.

Thankfully, the set rounds out strong with two cuts from their latest release Good Times! The effervescent ‘You Bring The Summer’ and joyous ‘She Makes Me Laugh’ are the perfect finish to a strong set.

If you are fan, it is probably not essential (check out Good Times! instead), but for the new listeners, this is a good starting place.

 

By Tim George

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