The Monkees Selections From The Headquarters Sessions on Colored LP
Mastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios and Pressed at Rainbo!
By 1967, The Monkees were growing frustrated with the the total control Don Kirshner, the bands television series musical coordinator, exerted over the selection of songs to be recorded as well as the choice of which studio musicians would play on their sessions. The four Monkees, their recording roles limited to vocal contributions, struggled to gain more authority over the process as they were increasingly stung by criticism of them as a mere TV creation, “the Pre-Fab Four.”
While they were initially brought together by the series, all four members had musical backgrounds and yearned to gain command over their recordings. Kirshner, with his stable of top-tier songwriters and session players, refused to yield, convinced that any alteration of the winning formula would produce disastrous, or at the very least, diminished returns. Something had to give.
Soon Kirshner was dismissed and the group won their battle to be the sole creators of their recorded output. Kirshner had built a multi-platinum machine, using outstanding songs from writers like Neil Diamond, Boyce & Hart and Goffin and King. He had carefully staffed the sessions with the cream of studio musicians, the same people who played on countless other artists’ hit sessions.
Nesmith and Peter Tork were adequate players but their guitar prowess wasn’t keeping Glen Campbell and Tommy Tedesco up at night. Mickey Dolenz, while possessing a distinctive rock voice, was a neophyte drummer still learning his way around the kit. And Davy Jones, who was an impeccably trained vocalist, had little to offer in the way of instrumental skills. How was this fledgling band going to make an album? By all rights, the resulting album should have been awful.
However, Headquarters was anything but awful. In fact, it was great! Under the direction of producer (and former Turtles member) Chip Douglas, the group rose to the challenge, quickly crafting an excellent group of songs. Though they still used material from outside writers, many of the album’s selections were self-penned, including Nesmith’s soaring “You Just May Be the One,” Tork’s “For Pete’s Sake,” which became the series’ closing theme in its second season and Dolenz’ “Alternate Title (Randy Scouse Git),” inspired by the group’s recent trip to England where they met The Beatles.
The first song by Dolenz to be released commercially, the single became a top 5 hit in the UK, appropriately. The album itself, released May 22, 1967, debuted at #1. One week later, it was dethroned by cultural juggernaut Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. However, it remained at the #2 position for eleven consecutive weeks. It was quite a vindication for a group of unproven actor-musicians vying for respect from their fans and peers.
Selections From The Headquarters Sessions is just that, a unique 8-song collection of some of the best unreleased alternate versions and outtakes from the sessions that marked a historic turning point in The Monkees storied career, sessions that saw the band obtain total musical control for the very first time! Colored vinyl LP mastered by Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios and pressed at Rainbo!
The Monkees Selections From The Headquarters Sessions Track Listing:
1. All Of Your Toys (mono)
2. The Girl I Knew Somewhere (mono)
3. Cripple Creek
4. Randy Scouse Skit (alternate mix with unused tag)
5. Nine Times Blue (demo)
6. Until It's Time For You To Go (demo)
7. Midnight Train (demo)
8. No Time (second version w/backing vocals)