Hey, hey, they’re still The Monkees, gray hair and all.
We all know the band’s hits, from “Last Train to Clarksville” to “I’m a Believer.” Let’s reconsider the following five songs, all perfect pop gems which don’t get the attention they deserve.
- “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” – This great track made the cut during the group’s two-season television run, but for some reason it didn’t join the pantheon of Monkees hits. What a shame. Micky Dolenz simply crushes this one, an early track written by Nesmith. That break near the end, the one snapped by that snarling guitar riff? Perfection.
- “All of Your Toys” – A cheery organ kicks off this hard-to-find Monkees track, a snarky ode to a woman who treats lovers like “Playthings.” The simple melodies build toward a rousing finale, anchored by Dolenz and Nesmith’s fading but fierce chorus.
- “Sometime in the Morning” – The Monkees enjoyed the handiwork of some of the ’60s best songwriters, and with “Morning” the Gerry Goffin/Carole King tandem came up huge. “Morning” is just plain gorgeous, with Dolenz evoking the fleeting emotions of love and remorse as well as any crooner from his era.
- “Circle Sky” – Yes, the Monkees can rock. Infectious bass lines blend with Nesmith’s understated vocals for a track that rushes by in a blur.
- “Goin’ Down” – Dolenz channels his jazzier side with this barn burner, a blistering track recently featured in both “Breaking Bad” and the “Straw Dogs” remake.
(Honorable Mention: “Saturday’s Child,” “The Door Into Summer,” “Star Collector,” “Shades of Gray” and “She.”)