Mojo (Publisher) - p.1304 stars out of 5
-- "[They were] responsible for some of the most fully-realised, sensationally successful pop rock of the '60s."
The Monkees: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith (vocals); Peter Tork (guitar).
Additional personnel includes: Tommy Boyce (vocals, guitar); Bobby Hart (vocals, autoharp, organ, glockenspiel); Wayne Erwin, Gerry McGee, Louie Shelton, Al Casey, James Helms, Don Peake, Michael Deasy (guitar); Jimmy Bryant (fiddle); Bonnie Douglas, Paul Shure (violin); Myra Kestenbaum (viola); Fred Seykora, Joseph Ditullio (cello); Bob Cooper (oboe); Keith Allison (harmonica); Jack Keller (piano); Larry Knechtel (organ); Michael Rubini (harpsichord); Larry Taylor, William Pitman, Bob West (bass); Billy Lewis, Frank DeVito, Jim Gordon (drums).
Producers: Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Jack Keller, Michael Nesmith.
Reissue producers: Andrew Sandoval, Bill Inglot.
Recorded at RCA Victor Studios and Western Recorders, Hollywood, California between June 25 and July 25, 1966. Originally released on Colgems (101). Includes liner notes by Andrew Sandoval.
Created to perform roles in a television series, the Monkees were greeted with scepticism by certain sections of the rock fraternity. The quartet may not have played the instruments on their debut album, but this does not diminish the appeal of its content. Excellent songs by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart formed its core, while contributions by Carole King, David Gates and group member Mike Nesmith ensure that the quality remains consistently high. Mickey Dolenz possesses the ideal pop voice and the enthusiasm generated on each performance is completely captivating. The Monkees' grasp of teen angst and melodrama is sure and, now divorced from contemporary travails, this album stands as one of the era's most entertaining debuts.