on 20 August 2001
Fantasic album, this was the first proper album of the Monkees i bought and it knocked the greatest hits album out of the water. From the opening giggles of 1,2,3, a parody on the Beatles "Revolver" album, Headquarters holds no barrs and launches straight into Mike Nesmith's first fantastic offering the upbeat country tune "You Told Me".
From then on it produces one great track after another, with stand out songs "I'll Spend My Life With You" beautifully sung by Micky, "Early Morning Blues and Greens", my favourite Davy Jones track of all time and of course the fabulous "Randy Scouse Git (Alternate Title)".
Now of course you can get Headquarters with bonus tracks added and these are a real treat, the Bill Martin song "All Of Your Toys" should have been released on the original album, it is so good and the haunting echoes of "Pillow Time" finish off the album to perfection.
The thing i like most about this album is the fact that you get in-between dialogue and out-takes which somehow make you feel that you were right along with them when they made this album. For a group who were originally picked to sing and act, but not play their instruments, this album proves to the critics that dubbed them second rate Beatles that they are far from that and the songwriting and music ability excedes what many had expected from them.
All i can say that if you are curious as to how the Monkees sound, buy this album and you will soon find out that the musical Marx Brothers are so much more than that.
on 13 September 2000
If there are any new Monkee fans out there who want to buy one of their albums, then this is the one you need. Forget the greatest hits albums, they'll only have one track from this album on it, Randy Scouse Git (or Alternate Title, as it was called when it was released in the UK). This album PROVES that The Monkees WERE a real band. Not just four manufactured young men trying to make a fast buck because they could sing and look pretty, this album shows they are excellent musicians. Even little Davy Jones, who only plays tambourine and maracas. This album allowed him to achieve the title of best tambourine player in the world.
The highlights of this album are all the Mike Nesmith songs. He shows by songs like You Just May be the One and Sunny Girlfriend, plus the bonus tracks on the album such as Nine Times Blue and the original version of The Girl I Knew Somewhere, in which he sings the lead vocals, that he is quite possibly the best songwriter the 60s ever produced. And I include Lennon and McCartney and Pete Townshend of The Who in that statement.
This is the album that The Monkees themselves love more than the others. And you can hear for yourself why. They ARE truly talented musicians. Headquarters is the only album which used session musicians only when completely necessary, and even then it was only Chip Douglas (ex of The Turtles, poached by Nesmith to produce the album) who played the occasional bass part, and one french horn player, who appeared in Shades of Gray.
It is a sad miscarriage of justice that Headquarters didn't get as much credit as it deserved back in 1967 when it was released. I don't think I'm going overboard when I say it was one of the best albums of the 60s.
Ah, The Monkees' first 'real' LP and the second best they ever released.
Once again Rhino have combined both mono and stereo versions of the original LP with some extras. Not just one or two as seems to be the case with many reissues, but a whopping 22 bonus tracks have found their way here, unfortunately only half that number will be of interest to those of us whom buy everything that's released. Included on this set is the worst thing they ever recorded, 'If I Learned To Play The Violin'. In defence of the group only Davy Jones was around and even he must have cringed when he sung the couplet: "I would even go and cut my hair, though my friends would point and say I'm square". Very few people have heard this track until now and you'll know why.
The rest of the unreleased bonus songs are stereo mixes of tracks already familiar to most, but welcome additions all the same. If you want to find out what the original, and best, 'boy band' was like, there's no better place than here to start.
So just when you gain musical control of a project and release an album which goes straight to number one, the Beatles come along a week later with Sergeant Pepper. This was nevertheless a landmark album as the band recorded by themselves and went in the direction they desired. Fourteen tracks in just 30 minutes give a good idea of what is happening - good and very short pop songs.
The band step out from the shadows in songwriting terms as well and that makes this a much more grown-up album. There are a few highlights on the album. The Mann/Weil song "Shades of Gray" is a lovely song with a fine classical background and Abba-esque vocals. Mike Nesmith comes to the songwriting fore with three solo songs and a hand in two others and this helps to illustrate a band evolving. His songs almost have a Crosby/Stills feel about them and arguably Headquarters has more of a West Coast sensibility than the previous albums. This is particularly the case with "You Just May Be The One." There is also an interesting weirdness to the project with strange offerings such as "Band 6" and the spoken round "Zilch." Highlight of course is Dolenz' "Randy Scouse Git" which later morphed into "Alternate Title."