It's been a long time coming but Rhino is finally ready to release a deluxe edition of The Monkees' fifth LP - 'The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees' - to go along with the first four they gave us a few years back. Perhaps to make up for the wait - or, perhaps, so they could justify the expense - it's coming out on the Rhino Handmade imprint, which means it is really, really nice. Excessively nice, you could say.
The sessions for the album famously went on for ages and provided the group with the beginnings of many songs that would be used to fill up albums throughout the rest of their career. I'm no great Monkee historian but looking at the 88-strong track listing spread over the three discs of this thing, it appears they've covered pretty much everything worthwhile from the sessions. More importantly, we are also finally getting the long-elusive mono mix of the album - we've been told for years that it is noticeably different from the stereo mix and now we get to hear for ourselves. [Judging by the 30-second sample on the Rhino Handmade website, "Auntie's Municipal Court" - supposedly the song with the biggest differences in the mix - features more prominent percussion throughout.] You can check out the full track list there - there's a ton of good stuff. Acoustic versions of "Magnolia Simms" and "Tapioca Tundra"? A Mike vocal version of "Auntie's Municipal Court"? The 1968 versions of "Through The Looking Glass" and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" so we can re-create the initial proposed running order?
I can't wait to dig into this one.