1967, the year I was born, the “Summer of Love”, and yet another groundbreaking year in popular music. Amazing debuts, historic steps forward, and the continued expansion of live music as a phenomenon at locations like the Monterey Pop Festival. Which of these world-changing albums was the #1 selling album of 1967? You guessed it… “More of the Monkees”, by the made-for-TV band created to build on the pop-culture humor and phenomenon initiated by the Beatles.
The Monkees worked hard over the years to eventually gain greater creative control and demonstrate that to varying degrees, they were musicians as well as actors and could perform with some credibility. However, for better or for worse, this album was mostly the creation of rock producer Don Kirshner and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. This album was released without the band even knowing it was going to happen, and while it did produce a stellar run on the charts with 20 weeks as the #1 selling album in the U.S., besides “I’m A Believer” and a lesser-known song, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”, the rest of the album ranges from mediocre to much worse.
I appreciate the Monkees for what they were, simple entertainment. I do find it amazing that beyond people watching their TV show, that their music actually outsold many of the greatest artists at their peak. They remain a notable part of the pop culture of the 1960s, and ultimately had a successful career with positive returns for all of the members of the group.
“Hey, Hey, we’re the Monkees, and people say we monkey around…”