ON THIS DATE (May 22) The Monkees: Headquarters is released.

ON THIS DATE (44 YEARS AGO)
May 22, 1967 – The Monkees: Headquarters is released.

RF Rating 4/5

# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
# Record Collector 4/5 stars
Headquarters was the third album issued by The Monkees and the first written and recorded primarily by the four members of the group, rather than by session musicians and professional songwriters. After a struggle for creative autonomy with their record label, the group had been allowed to record by themselves. Headquarters reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum in the U.S. with sales of more than two million copies. It is included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
BEARDS COVER
This album was later released as COM 103-RE & COS 103-RE.This version was known as the “Beards” cover because it removed a picture of the producers on the reverse of the cover.on the bottom, in the middle. The picture was replaced by a picture of the group including Micky. Mike & Peter with beards. This album is more difficult to find, very hard to find with a cover in nice condition.
SESSIONS
During the early months of 1967, the four Monkees sequestered themselves in the RCA Music Center of the World Studios, on Sunset Boulevard near Vine Street in Hollywood. Many of the songs were written by the four group members, or came together organically in jam sessions. A few of the songs were also written by songwriters Boyce and Hart. Michael Nesmith recruited fellow folk musician Chip Douglas, a member of The Modern Folk Quartet and The Turtles, to produce the album. Douglas, credited under his birth name, Douglas Farthing Hatlelid, also contributed bass guitar and a song.
Session information (songs)
“You Told Me”
    * Written by Michael Nesmith
    * Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
    * The opening parodies the Beatles’ “Taxman,” from their album Revolver
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 3 and 9, 1967
“I’ll Spend My Life With You”
    * Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
    * Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
    * A remake by the band; the earlier version featured studio musicians
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 4, 9 and 18, 1967
“Forget That Girl”
    * Written by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid (aka Chip Douglas)
    * Lead vocal by Davy Jones
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 7 and 8, 1967
“Band 6”
    * Written by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz
    * Spoken words by Chip Douglas
    * A studio exercise, based on the Looney Tunes theme
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 2, 1967
“You Just May Be the One”
    * Written by Michael Nesmith
    * Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
    * A remake by the band; the earlier version (on Missing Links Volume Two) featured studio musicians including Glen Campbell; this earlier version was used several times during Season One of the Monkees’ television series.
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 2, 1967
“Shades of Gray”
    * Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, although some compilations credit it to Gerry Goffin and Carole King
    * Lead vocals by Davy Jones and Peter Tork
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 16 and 22, 1967
“I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind”
    * Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
    * Lead vocal by Davy Jones
    * A remake of a June 1966 recording featuring studio musicians
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 17 and 19, 1967
“For Pete’s Sake”
    * Written by Peter Tork and Joseph Richards
    * Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
    * An edited version became the closing theme for the show’s second season
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 23, 1967
“Mr. Webster”
    * Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
    * Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
    * A remake by the band; the earlier, slower version with studio musicians is featured on Missing Links Volume Two
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, February 23, 1967
“Sunny Girlfriend”
    * Written by Michael Nesmith
    * Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 23, 1967
    * Mike and Micky recorded the song’s vocals on a separate track featuring Mike on guitar and Micky with shaker.
“Zilch”
    * Written by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz
    * Spoken words by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz
    * A fugue made up of disparate phrases; the Monkees would sometimes enter public places performing it
    * “Mr. Bob Dobolina” was a name heard over a paging system, “China Clipper…” came from the movie China Clipper, “Never mind the furthermore…” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, and “It is of my opinion…” from a political speech.
    * The line “Never mind the furthermore, the plea is self-defense” is also performed in the song “No Time”
    * “Zilch” was the ‘hidden meaning’ of it all; it added up to…nothing. It was simply entertaining nonsense, a fact betrayed by the laughter of Micky and Mike as they break up during the session.
    * The Headquarters Sessions compilation features the four spoken tracks separately to reveal everything that was said
    * “Zilch” was used in the TV series episode “The Picture Frame” during the police interrogation scene when Mike, Micky, and Davy are commanded by the Sergeant (Dort Clark) to “start talking!” and the boys initially respond with “Zilch”‘s lyrics.
    * In 1991, “Zilch” was remade as a rap song, Mistadobalina, by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and made the Top 40.
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, 1967
“No Time”
    * Written by The Monkees (Micky & Mike) / Hank Cicalo*
    * Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
    * “No Time” was actually composed by the four Monkees (according to Peter, composition was done primarily by Micky and Mike), but as a reward for his hard work, the band decided to credit the song to engineer Cicalo, guaranteeing him a large royalty check. The released version of the song was the second version recorded for the album; the first included session help from guitarists Keith Allison and Jerry Yester, but the released version has only Chip Douglas assisting the quartet.
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 17 and 22, 1967
    * Micky’s “Rock on George for Ringo one time” refers to The Beatles’ version of “Honey Don’t”.
“Early Morning Blues and Greens”
    * Written by Diane Hildebrand and Jack Keller
    * Lead vocal by Davy Jones
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 22, 1967
“Randy Scouse Git”
    * Written by Micky Dolenz
    * Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
    * Title is a British slang phrase gleaned by Dolenz from television, likely the UK sitcom Til Death Us Do Part; it roughly translates as “lustful fool from Liverpool” (Wiktionary: randy, Scouse, git) (though in fact, to call someone a “git” in Britain is the equivalent of “jerk” or “prat”). In the series the word was aimed by Alf Garnett at his son-in-law, played by Tony Booth, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s father-in-law.
    * To avoid offence in the UK the song was billed as “Alternate Title.”
    * “The four kings of EMI” is a reference to The Beatles, who were signed to EMI’s Parlophone label at the time
    * The opening drum riff of “Randy Scouse Git” can be heard in the Season One episode, “Monkees A La Mode,” played absentmindedly by Micky on a table.
    * Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 4 and 8, 1967
    * During rehearsal and set-up for recording of “Randy Scouse Git” a demo of Mike’s instrumental “Cantata & Fugue In C&W” was inserted in the mistaken belief that it was part of Micky’s guitar demo of his song.
    * Several instrumental jams (available on The Headquarters Sessions) were taped by Chip Douglas which The Monkees apparently intended for inclusion on the album. The group (with bassist John London) jammed an instrumental cover of the song “Memphis Tennessee” in which Peter’s guitar grooving (and some of London’s bass work and Davy’s tambourine) overshoots the ending; after Micky good-naturedly curses out Peter (“Aw, Peter! You had to screw it up!”) and bashes his drums for effect, he decides, “We’ll cut him off, just cut off the track (for the ending),” to which Mike replies, “No, don’t cut off the track, it was groovy until (the ending).” Following this jam the group broke into a ferocious three-minute improvisation (dubbed “Twelve-String Improvisation” on The Headquarters Sessions) led by Mike’s take-off of the guitar riff from The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and quickly joined by Peter’s riffing, Micky’s drums, London’s bass and Davy’s tambourine. Following the jam Micky is heard laughing and says, “Whoa! I gotta hear this!” and Peter asks Douglas, “Can we hear that back?” while a surprised Mike says, “Oh, they didn’t tape that, did they?”
    * Another instrumental track intended for the album was a Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil rock number, “Masking Tape,” which the group recorded with bassist Jerry Yester. One take was recorded: before the take Micky and Chip Douglas run through one of the song’s verses. At the end of the performance Micky exclaims, “Whoa! That was it!” but producer Douglas protests, “No, that wasn’t it, it slowed down in the middle, but it’s getting close.” For some reason the song was never finished.
    * Peter, Mike, Micky and his sister Coco recorded demos early in the sessions. Peter’s demo of “Seeger’s Theme” was instrumental, while Mike and the Dolenzes’ demos (“Nine Times Blue” and the Buffy Saint Marie composition “Until It’s Time for You to Go” by Mike (who had first released it as a single in 1965); “She’ll Be There” and “Midnight Train” by Micky and Coco) featured full vocals over acoustic guitar. Mike and the Dolenzes’ demos took place in one session, as before Mike’s demo of “Until It’s Time” Chip Douglas is heard teasing that Mike is demoing under his old pseudonym ‘Michael Blessing’ to the laughter of Micky and Coco.
Release
The album was released on May 22, 1967 and charted at the number one position in the United States. It stayed at that position for only one week, and was then replaced by The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It then began a run of 11 consecutive weeks at the #2 position as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band remained at #1.
The album was issued on the compact disc format for the first time by Arista Records in 1987, remixed from the multi-tracks, then later from the original stereo mastertape in 1995 with several bonus tracks on Rhino Entertainment. In 2003, Rhino Entertainment, through its Rhino Handmade division, issued The Headquarters Sessions, a 3-disc box set of outtakes from the session as well as the album’s original monophonic mix presented in an alternate running order that was rejected before release.
In 2007, Rhino issued a two-disc deluxe edition of the album. The CD set was housed in a digipak with a slipcase and featured original album artwork (including replicas of the original Colgems vinyl labels on each disc), as well as a booklet of essays and session information by Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval. The discs contained both the stereo and mono mixes of the album, remastered, as well as alternate mixes and outtakes.

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