The other day I was musing that I would really like to do for the Monkees what the girls over at nogoodforme are doing for the Beatles, but honestly? I just don’t think I have that kind of dedication.
That said, there’s certainly a special place in my heart for the Pre-Fab Four and there has been since my childhood. I have many exceptionally fond memories of listening to my mother’s Monkees records and watching old video cassettes with various episodes of their TV show taped off of MTV. (A long-time favorite was that one where the Monkees had to tutor that girl whose dad owned some sort of country club.) I was also a proud owner of the Monkees novel Who’s Got the Button? whose plot eerily mimics that of David Benioff’s City of Thieves, except it is not set in Leningrad during WWII and it stars the Monkees.
I found the Planting Seeds Records comp Through the Looking Glass: Indie Pop Plays the Monkees in the used bin at an Amoeba Records in Los Angeles. And it was worth every penny.
The standout tracks for me are Coloring Book’s cover of “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (instrumental) and Bikeride’s “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow).” Fact: Both of these songs were written by Neil Diamond. Fact: Neil Diamond wrote all of the best Monkees songs (take that Boyce and Hart!) Goffin & King come close to dethroning Diamond based solely on “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” which is performed by MaryKate O’Neil on this album.