Album no. 85/1001
Hey hey we’re the Monkees! But you won’t find that song on this album because we’re trying to grow as artists.
This is the third Monkees album, and the first where the record company relaxed a bit and let them write some of the songs and actually play the instruments. This album went right to number one when it came out, and then Sgt Peppers went past it, and it spent 11 weeks at number two.
The Monkees were hugely popular because of their hit tv show, which seems a weird way to start a band but there you go. Before getting cast in the Monkees the singer (Davy Jones) had been playing the Artful Dodger in a broadway production of Oliver!. As you do.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I can name 3 Monkees songs (4 if you count their theme song), and none of them are on this album. I never watched their tv show either.
CL: I can name none.
NK: ‘You Told Me’, but I’m not crazy about it, the banjo especially. It sounds like a Beatles B-side. ‘You Just May Be The One’ is the only other one I could remember after having listened to it. The worst song is ‘Zilch’, if you can call it a song. It’s not that the album is terrible, it’s more that we’ve heard everything here done better by other people. Folk-pop with a weird blues track that isn’t much chop (‘No Time’). I found this boring more than anything else.
CL: I suppose ‘Randy Scouse Git’ was alright. But you have hit the metaphorical nail on the metaphorical head. It’s second-rate rubbish.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: When you can’t afford the Beatles.
CL: It’s like if you wanted to buy coke for your kid’s birthday party, but because the little twerp’s invited his whole class of 32 children, you can’t afford brand name coke. So you buy “cola” instead. This is like that.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: I’m not really sure! I know the Monkees are not the only band to have this issue, but this sounds really dated after having heard Sgt Peppers. The Beatles really ruined it for everyone didn’t they? I can see this being an important step for the Monkees, but it doesn’t strike me as particularly earth-shattering for anybody else. Sorry Monkees.
CL: Is it an important step? Who cares! This isn’t the 1001 important musical steps of sub-par american pop groups is it?! NO. I don’t know why this album is on the list. Maybe to demonstrate how mediocre you could be and still be successful, even in 1967.
Will you be listening again?
CL: NO. I’m no cheapskate.
Listen to Headquarters on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.