In August 1966, the world met the Monkees (and vice versa) as their debut single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” was released and bought them a ticket to ride straight to the top of the charts! With the debut of their television show just weeks later on September 12th, the group suddenly found themselves with a huge fanbase, clamoring for more music. They answered that call on October 10th with the release of their debut album, The Monkees, which topped the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks. Featuring songs written by Boyce & Hart, David Gates, Goffin & King and Mike Nesmith, among others, it was a stunning entry into the ridiculously rich contemporary music scene. Working at RCA Victor Studios and Western Recorders in Hollywood, all four group members took turns singing lead vocals, with the lion’s share being handled by Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones. The instruments on the tracks were played by the top session players of the day, with Peter Tork contributing guitar to a few tracks as well. It was state-of-the-art pop/rock, with complex arrangements and stinging instrumental solos- look no further than Larry Shelton’s ringing guitar intro on “Last Train to Clarksville” for proof! While the band was later chided for not playing on their songs, the truth was that most of their fellow groups used the very same musicians for their records. Legendary players like Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Jim Gordon and Al Casey ensured that the quality of the Monkees’ debut LP was second to none.This Sundazed reissue is sourced from the original analog session tapes and includes two tantalizing bonus tracks: “I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind (previously unissued early version)” and “I Don’t Think You Know Me (previously unissued alternate version).” It is primately pressed on deep groove, high definition vinyl and enclosed in a cover replicating the original LP artwork. Of which, we still don’t know why Mike was the only one not smiling on the front cover. In any case, place the LP on your turntable, listen for that downbeat chased by a tremolo-soaked guitar and get ready, ‘cause “here we come…”

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