Monkees (The) - Changes (Music CD)

Release Date: 07 May 2012
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Calling their final album Changes made sense for the Monkees. Mike Nesmith had just departed, leaving only Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones to hold down the fort. The other big change was that after years of struggling to have their voices as songwriters and musicians heard, the remaining duo basically gave up and let the producers take over. The musical reigns were given to legendary producer Jeff Barry (who had just come from a huge success with the Archies), and he and his cronies like Bobby Bloom wrote and performed the songs. Apart from one track written by Dolenz (the goofy country-rock novelty "Midnight Train"), the Monkees were on hand to provide vocals only. While this could be seen as some kind of defeat and the end of the Monkees as an actual rock band, Changes ended up being a very good bubblegum record. Barry’s production is light and frothy, the songs are hooky and fun, and both Dolenz and Jones perform admirably, given the likely, somewhat humiliating situation. There are songs that rock harder than you’d expect ("99 Pounds," "Oh My My"), very sweet ballads (the gospelly "Tell My Love" and "You’re So Good to Me"), silly novelty songs ("I Love You Better"), a fun, tropical-themed love song ("Acapulco Sun"), and even a vaudeville-y Boyce & Hart number tacked on the end of the album ("I Never Thought It Peculiar"). There are even a couple songs that might make a discerning fan’s homemade best-of comp, namely the achingly pretty Dolenz-sung ballad "Ticket on a Ferry Ride" and "Do You Feel It Too, " a heartfelt love song that shows Jones at his sincere best. It may not be an incredibly inspired album, but it is a lot of fun and if they had stuck together (and with Barry), they could have had a nice little run of albums. Sadly, though, the record tanked completely and the Monkees' name was retired soon after its release. [Both Rhino's 1994 and Friday's 2011 reissues of the album add three very good bonus tracks, two of which ("Do It in the Name of Love" and "Lady Jane") were taken from the duo’s final sessions with Barry (and were eventually released under Dolenz and Jones’ own names on Bell Records in 1971. The other track ("Time and Time Again") is a Jones co-write that was supposed to be on the record but was cut. Possibly because its hazy folk-jazz feel was too out of place. It is one of Jones' stronger efforts and shows that had he stayed serious about making music, he could have done some interesting things.] ~ Tim Sendra
Release Date: 07 May 2012

1. Oh My My
2. Ticket on a Ferry Ride
3. You're So Good to Me
4. It's Got to Be Love
5. Acapulco Sun
6. 99 Pounds
7. Tell Me Love
8. Do You Feel It Too?
9. I Love You Better
10. All Alone in the Dark
11. Midnight Train
12. I Never Thought It Peculiar
13. Time and Time Again
14. Do It in the Name of Love
15. Lady Jane

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Catalogue No: FRM119