Thursday, July 16, 2020

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."Head" - The Monkees (1968)

"Head" - The Monkees (1968)

"Head" was The Monkees 6th album and the soundtrack from their movie of the same name.  An unexpected psychedelic soiree for their non-experienced Teen Beat fans.  The album opens with a collage of sounds and phrases not unlike The Beatles “Revolution #9”...but much, much shorter.  Less angry.  And segues into the floaty psych classic "The Porpoise Song."   By now, the album leaves little doubt that this train you're on ain't going nowhere near Clarksville.  Surprisingly, “Head” only has six songs, but all of them are quite enjoyable.  Peter Tork's light shines especially bright with "Can You Dig It" and "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" both pushing things forward.  (Peter left the band after this album.)  Only "Daddy's Song" is an eye-roll.  And it isn’t exactly was written by Harry Nilsson after all...but Davy delivers the goods in that campy vaudeville-style he's so fond of milking.  A well he drew from much too often.  And yet, surrounded by the amalgam of other things, the song doesn't really spoil the party.

The Monkees were on such a roll, I wish there was more music to be found here.  Instead, they chose to include weird noises and snippets from the movie in-between songs.  Thankfully, they are very short, and but for a couple interruptions, do not overstay their welcome.  It's mostly all good fun.  And it's a neat snapshot of the times that were happening.  A couple more songs, a little less silly, and “Head” would be an outstanding spin.  As it is, “Head” is simply a very good one.

"Head" (back)

I seldom see an original copy of “Head” anymore.  When I do, the reflective Mylar cover is usually smudgy and dull.  Or the vinyl has those qualities.  I've never been lucky enough to find the album in the “new arrivals” bin.  Bad timing, I suppose.  Anyway, I found my copy at one of those eclectic homes in Riverside.  The kind of house that has more angles than "The Blacklist."  I was biking around and stumbled upon a yard sale.  I only had $13 in my sad pocket and the hipster couple accepted my pittance.  Sure, The Monkees "Head" has a gimmix cover and all that, but the record is much better than one might expect.

Colgems Records label

"Can You Dig It?" - The Monkees / "Head" (1968)

A1  "Opening Ceremony" 1:20
A2  "Porpoise Song (Theme From "Head")" 2:56
A3  "Ditty Diego (War Chant)" 1:25
A4  "Circle Sky" 2:31
A5  "Supplicio" 0:48
A6  "Can You Dig It?" 3:23
A7  "Gravy" 0:06
B1  "Superstitious" 0:07
B2  "As We Go Along" 3:51
B3  "Dandruff?" 0:39
B4  "Daddy's Song" 2:30
B5  "Poll" 1:13
B6  "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?" 2:39
B7  "Swami (Plus Strings)" 5:21

Micky Dolenz - vocals - drums
Davy Jones - vocals - maracas, organ
Mike Nesmith - vocals, guitar, organ, maracas
Peter Tork - vocals, guitar, bass
Danny Kortchmar – guitar
Leon Russell – keyboard
Ry Cooder – guitar
Neil Young – guitar
Carole King – guitar
Harvey Newmark
Stephen Stills – guitar

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

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