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Monkee Music
 
 

Monkee Music [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Hickey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Here they come...
In Monkee Music, Andrew Hickey, author of The Beatles In Mono and The Beach Boys On CD, examines the music of Micky, Mike, Davy and Peter from their early bubblegum pop hits with Last Train To Clarksville and I'm A Believer, through their reinvention as a self-contained band with songs like Pleasant Valley Sunday and Daydream Believer, and their psychedelic masterpiece Head, and on into their reunion albums Pool It! and Justus.

This book contains analysis of every studio track the Monkees ever released, and is a must for any Monkee Maniacs.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 286 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005YPK1SM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #285,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I write. I write two very different types of books, though mostly they're non-fiction. The first type (like my books on the Beatles and the Beach Boys) are in-depth musical analyses of pop music.

The other books I write (like Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!, Four Stories About The Singularity and my upcoming examination of Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers) are about the playful exploration of ideas. They're often using criticism of comics, books or TV as a starting point, but the books are as much about the nature of consciousness, or cybernetics, or Liberal politics as they are about Batman or Doctor Who.

I recently published a very short chapbook, on Kindle only, for 99 cents, Four Stories About The Singularity. This is my first published work of fiction, and contains four short-short science fiction stories.

I'm also a member of the band The National Pep, whose two EPs can be bought from Amazon in MP3 form.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plastic Revolution in the Head 13 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm afraid this is not a well-written book.
It reads more like a collage thesis, or even Amazon review. A professional written musical biography should be considerable more articulate, imaginative, colourful & thought provoking. But Hinkey spends a lot of the book trying to be funny, it's as if he's trying to get the reader to like him, perhaps to cover-up his shortcomings as a writer.
The physical layout of the book is pretty cheap looking as well. Hinkey uses a large type font, double-spaced; he could have reduced the size to a pocket book, cutting the price (which was 10 pounds, way too much for a book of this quality).
There isn't even any pictures, which is strange considering how photogenic The Monkees were.
So all in all, a pretty amateurish effort.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monkees 5 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book therefore the rating I gave it. Quite liked the Monkees during the 60s, so I just thought I would get this book & another Monkees book at the same time
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 13 Jan 2012
By Erin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not your typical Monkees book, and I mean that in a good way. As someone who has 'read it all before', regarding the Monkees, this book appealed to me. It is not a gossip book nor does it contain any selacious stories, there are plenty of those out there, and I for one, have read them all. Monkee Music is for the DIE HARD Monkee fan and music fan. This book breaks down the Monkees catalog, song by song, and gives fresh insight into who played on the song and its origin.
This is the first book written about the Monkees, in years, where I actually learned some new facts.
I recommend this anyone who wants to know the background behind some of our favorite songs.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 16 Feb 2012
By Adam Prosser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I don't know much about the Monkees; to me, who wasn't even born before the band broke up, they were the bubblegum pop band, the Pre-Fab Four created to cash in on Beatlemania. However, I'm a fan of writer Andrew Hickey and his thoughts on the Beatles and comic books, so I knew that if he had something to say about the Monkees, they must be worth another look. Sure enough, through this material I discovered how interesting this band is and how unfairly they've been labelled a corporate creation. (Well, they were a corporate creation, but really no more than most other bands.) Their music turned out to be a lot more ambitious and interesting than I had known it to be, and dang if I'm not still listening to some of it months later.

Hickey provides a comprehensive overview of every album the Monkees released, with a healthy dose of opinion. I'm not very knowledgeable about the technical side of music, and as such some of the discussion went over my head (as with Hickey's Beatle book) but I found it informative and interesting nevertheless. In particular, Hickey's really good at placing each song into context, not just in terms of the Monkees' career and artistic aspirations, but in terms of the broader musical culture and genre history. Hickey feels strongly about certain things and doesn't pull his punches, but he clearly loves this band, and he transmitted that enthusiasm to me. Recommended for anyone who's interested in music at all, even if you don't think you care about the Monkees...you might after reading this book!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative... and fun. 16 Feb 2012
By William B. Cavanaugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having been a Monkees fan since the beginning, I was attracted to this book and specifically the subject matter of the music. Prior to this book, I thought I was somewhat of an expert when it came to the Monkees. The insight this book provides is phenomenal, and made my self- proclaimed expertise seem a novice. The detail of each song and the history of each song is fasinating. I would caution however, the casual Monkees fan, and say this book is not likley for you. (probably too much detail) I do have one complaint however. I struggled through the book with the author's blatant dislike for vocalist Jones. Obviously he is not a fan and after the fifth apology of where he stated (paraphrase) "I am not trying to be hard on Davey Jones", I just don't believe him. Yes Jones is a "Broadway" vocalist as the author repeatedly hammers home, but I disagree with him overall with his stinging, and condesending remarks. David Jones is a "Pop" music legend, and one of the defining vocalists from that era.
25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Too much personal opinion, not enough specific information for 1st generation fans 12 Feb 2012
By Midwest Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was excited to see that a track by track review of the Monkees studio recordings was published and eagerly ordered this book hoping it would have a lot of specific detail. I have nothing personally against the author of this book, and I've never heard of him before, but it's great that a 30-something author is a professing fan of the Monkees to the extent he wrote about all these songs and published a book. I did check out some customer reviews of his Beatles book on amazon before purchasing this Monkee book though, and noticed some quickly-posted 5 star reviews that suddenly appeared the day after and the day of negative 1 and 2 star reviews in August 2011 and January 2012 (and that neither of the 5 star reviewers of that book who posted these had purchased the book from amazon, while those who wrote the negative reviews had). That seemed an interesting coincidence when there had been no other reviews posted for months prior to the negative reviews. Will be interesting to see if that happens following this negative review as well.

The Monkees' music appeals to several generations, and the author is young enough to be my son. But to satisfy a first-generation fan, the book has to contain a LOT of new information that hasn't already been presented in other books, or at least a substantial collection of specific, detailed information that is readily accessible in one place. The author's review of each song is his own opinion, of course, but he makes many eye-opening and unexplained comments here. It doesn't have the detail of Andrew Sandoval's book, or the interesting story of Eric Lecowitz's book. In short, except for someone interested in reading the author's personal opinions about the Monkees songs, there is not enough collected, specific information and new information here to satisfy a first-generation Monkees fan. Which I am, having watched the premier episode of the TV show in September 1966, buying the first 45 and debut album shortly afterward, and sticking with the Monkees through their triumphs from 1966-1968, and the failures and reunions since. When you live through it from the start, it's different than looking backwards at history and music and culture in the United States from before you were born.

Here are some comments:

Number One, it is clearly stated this is a book about this author's personal likes and dislikes about the individual songs. Bear this in mind, as sometimes his opinions are strong enough that it makes you wonder exactly what it is he really likes about the Monkees.

Number Two, although he reviews the individual studio tracks, he has NOT included recording dates or information on specific personnel performing on the recordings. Rather, the "Lead Vocalist" is listed, and "Other Monkees Present." That's not enough. Yes, dates of the recordings and personnel on the tracks have been listed elsewhere, on CD reissues, in other books and on websites. Sometimes he does make references to other players in his analysis. But why not do a little extra work and include the full information here on who is playing what instruments when doing a track by track analysis? Why should readers have to look elsewhere to get that information?

Third, there are some disdainful comments about hippies made by the author (e.g., "For Pete's Sake" is referred to as "a simple, naive song of hippy hope" and although he praises the performance as strong and effective, he ultimately dismisses the message as "ultimately rather empty of content." Well, it certainly wasn't empty of content for MY generation, and the MESSAGE the author dismisses was powerful, and chosen as the closing theme song for the TV show during 1967-1968.) These type of comments rankle me as he obviously has a distant and stereotyped impression of hippies.

Fourth, author references Monkees music as bubblegum. That's become a popular description, and the author probably didn't know this, but that term wasn't used to describe the Monkees at the time, in fact the term developed in the late 1960s after chart hits by 1910 Fruitgum Company, the Archies and others such as "Sugar, Sugar" and "Yummy Yummy Yummy, I've Got Love in My Tummy" appeared; and (I was part of this), maturing teens moving on to harder rock dismissed groups that used comedy or appealed to pre-teens, as part of their musical growth. Sure, I suppose the Monkees could be added into that category later on, when the TV show was rebroadcast Saturday mornings alongside cartoons after Tork's departure, but you can't realistically listen to Headquarters, Pisces, Head, or Live 1967 and call this bubblegum music; and as far as Saturday morning cartoon shows go, the Beatles cartoon series was broadcast in 1965 and there were Beatles bubblegum cards too. Not "bubblegum" either. It's a derogatory term, a put-down devaluing the music as disposable. The fact this music has lasted proves it was not bubblegum.

Fifth, regarding "Shades of Gray" - how can any Monkees fan make a comment about this song, "I dislike it intensely." The author does (page 51). In the summer of 1967, "Headquarters" was my favorite album and this is one of the best songs on it. I've never known anyone who hates the song. All my friends listened to it. For years. Musically the song is excellent, lyrically the song is excellent, and both the music and lyrics still stand strong today, 45 years later. If anything it's more appreciated now than when it was released in 1967. He also dislikes "I Wanna Be Free", another great 1960s song reflecting the yearning for freedom from entering into a long-term commitment, and indicates the message is "almost psychopathic". Wow.

Sixth, "Jones is generally the weakest of the four Monkees as a vocalist" (page 55). Oh, boy. Every Monkees fan probably has a favorite Monkee as a vocalist, but the author ranks Jones last? That should be enough to give you a solid idea of the credibility of the personal analyses this book contains.

But two more quick comments:
"Through the Looking Glass" is described as a "plinky, McCartneyesque song", which he keeps waiting to be done. I'm also a first generation Beatles fan. Nothing about TTLG reminds me of Paul McCartney's music. I'm not sure what he's hearing in the song I never have after 40+ years of listening to it. Paul McCartney is probably the greatest composer of my generation, by the way.
And, at least he pegged "Laugh" right.

I have bought and greatly enjoyed several other Monkees books released in the past decade, especially Andrew Sandoval's Day By Day book, and Eric Lefcowitz's 2010 revised Monkee Business. Those are great, great books for 1st Generation Monkee Fans. This book by Andrew Hickey is not.

But, if you're a fan of the author, or became a fan of the Monkees in one of the decades after the 1960's in one of their subsequent revivals, the content of the book as a quick look at their classic albums probably is going to satisfy you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Book Of Opinions On Monkee Music 9 April 2012
By Richard J. Silverberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author shares his thoughts and opinions on every released Monkee studio recording. Despite some grammatical and factual errors, I would say his viewpoints on the songs and albums are valid. He did not, except for "MGB-GT", offer any opinions on unique live songs such as the ones found on "Live 1967" or "Live in Las Vegas 2001". The book is overall a fun, quick, easy read.
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