The Monkees: Headquarters

ON THIS DATE (45 YEARS AGO)
May 22, 1967 – The Monkees: Headquarters is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4.5/5
# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars
Headquarters is the third album by The Monkees, released on this date in May 1967. It reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum in the U.S. with sales of more than two million copies within the first two months of release. As of 2008 it has sold seven million copies in the United States and achieved global sales of 11.6 million. It is included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
After a struggle for creative autonomy with their record label, the group had been allowed to record by themselves, and the first with substantial songwriting and instrumental performances by members of the group itself, rather than by session musicians and professional songwriters. Interestingly enough, “Headquarters” remains arguably their best album, even further justifying the bands request.
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.

COVER
The original album cover features, amongst the collage of photos on the back cover, a photo of The Monkees with producer Chip Douglas and engineer Dick Bogert. However the photo was mislabeled: it identifies Hank Cicalo as sitting next to Chip Douglas. This is known as the ‘Producers Cover’. Later in 1968 when Colgems/RCA went back to correct this mistake rather than simply updating the caption they changed the entire photo. Most of the Monkees had some fuzzy growth on their faces and this has come to be known as the ‘Beard Cover’. We know that this is the later/corrected version because it was standard practice for RCA to add an “RE” to the catalog number when any one side of a record sleeve had a revision. The ‘Beard Cover’ has a catalog number of COS/COM-103 RE.

REVIEW
by Tim Sendra, allmusic
After the release of More of the Monkees, on which the band had little involvement beyond providing vocals and a couple Mike Nesmith-composed songs, the pre-fab four decided to take control of their recording destiny. After a well-timed fist through the wall of a hotel suite and many fevered negotiations, music supervisor Don Kirschner was out and the band hit the studio by themselves. With the help of producer Chip Douglas, the band spent some time learning how to be a band (as documented on the Headquarters Sessions box set) and set about recording what turned out to be a dynamic, exciting, and impressive album. Headquarters doesn’t contain any of the group’s biggest hits, but it does have some of their best songs, like Nesmith’s stirring folk-rocker “You Just May Be the One,” the pummeling rocker “No Time,” the MOR soul ballad “Forget That Girl,” which features one of Davy Jones’ best vocals, Peter Tork’s shining moment as a songwriter, “For Pete’s Sake,” and the thoroughly amazing (and surprisingly political) “Randy Scouse Git,” which showed just how truly out-there and almost avant-garde Micky Dolenz could be when he tried. Even the weaker songs like the sweet-as-sugar “I’ll Spend My Life with You,” the slightly sappy “Shades of Gray,” or the stereotypically showtune-y Davy Jones vehicle “I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind” work, as they benefit from the stripped-down and inventive arrangements (which feature simple but effective keyboards from Tork and rudimentary pedal steel fills from Nesmith) and passionate performances. Headquarters doesn’t show the band to be musical geniuses, but it did prove they were legitimate musicians with enough brains, heart, and soul as anyone else claiming to be a real band in 1967.
TRACKS:
Side 1
“You Told Me” (2:22) (Michael Nesmith)
“I’ll Spend My Life With You” (2:23) (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
“Forget That Girl” (2:21) (Douglas Farthing-Hatlelid)
“Band 6” (0:38) (Dolenz/Jones/Nesmith/Tork)
“You Just May Be the One” (2:00) (Michael Nesmith)
“Shades of Gray” (3:20) (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)
“I Can’t Get Her Off Of My Mind” (2:23) (Boyce/Hart)
Side 2
“For Pete’s Sake” (2:10) (Peter Tork/Joey Richards)
“Mr. Webster” (2:02) (Boyce/Hart)
“Sunny Girlfriend” (2:31) (Michael Nesmith)
“Zilch” (1:05) (Dolenz/Jones/Nesmith/Tork)
“No Time” (2:09) (Hank Cicalo)
“Early Morning Blues and Greens” (2:35) (D. Hildebrand/Jack Keller)
“Randy Scouse Git” (aka “Alternate Title”) (2:35) (Micky Dolenz)
2007 Rhino Deluxe Edition CD bonus tracks
Disc One
Tracks 1-14: Original Album in Stereo
Tracks 15-25: Bonus Tracks
“All of Your Toys” (Stereo Remix)
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” (First Recorded Version, Stereo Remix)
“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (Stereo Remix)
“She Hangs Out” (Stereo Remix) (Jeff Barry)
“Love to Love” (Stereo Remix) (Neil Diamond)
“You Can’t Tie a Mustang Down” (Stereo Remix) (Jeff Barry)
“If I Learned to Play the Violin” (Stereo Remix) (Joey Levine/Artie Resnick)
“99 Pounds” (Stereo Remix) (Jeff Barry)
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” (Single Version, Stereo Remix)
“Randy Scouse Git” (Alternate Version)
“Tema Dei Monkees” (Stereo Remix) (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
Disc Two
Tracks 1-14: Original Album in Mono
Tracks 15-25: Bonus Tracks
“All of Your Toys” (Mono Mix)
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” (First Recorded Version, Alternate Mono Mix)
“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (Mono Single Remix)
“She Hangs Out” (Mono Mix)
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” (Mono Single Mix)
“Nine Times Blue” (Demo Version) (Michael Nesmith)
“She’ll Be There” (Micky Dolenz)
“Midnight Train” (Demo Version) (Micky Dolenz)
“Peter Gunn’s Gun”
“Jericho”
“Pillow Time” (Demo Version)

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Filed under davy jones, Headquarters, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, The monkees

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