Friday, 25 January 2019

Mike Nesmith - Papa Gene's Blues (1969)

Mike Nesmith was already a singer/songwriter before he was recruited to become one of The Monkees, having written 'Different Drum' in 1965, later to be recorded to great effect by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys, and become a Top 20 hit for them in 1967. His talent was obviously recognised by the producers of the show as he was allowed to sing his own 'Papa Gene's Blues' on The Monkees' first album, when the other songs were written by such stalwarts of the Brill Building as Boyce & Hart, David Gates and Goffin & King. From that point on he managed to get at least one of his songs on every Monkees album, often singing them himself, until by the time of 'The Monkees Present' in 1969 he was contributing a quarter of the material. Although he had the greatest solo success with the country-rock of his First National Band, not all his songs were in that style, and included pop, rock and ballads as well. I wondered what an album of just Nesmith songs would sound like, and so chose all the songs that he either wrote and sang, or had a hand in composing, from The Monkees' albums between 1966 and 1969, and it's actually pretty good. 'Listen To The Band' was the first time he was allowed to sing on the A-side of a single, although his 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere' was deemed good enough to appear as the b-side of 'A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You' in 1967, and by the time that the band made their film 'Head' he was coming up with songs of the calibre of 'Circle Sky'. Mike was always my favourite Monkee, mainly for his laid-back, don't-give-a-shit attitude, but as the TV series and the albums wore on I realised that he was also the most musically talented, which was a big plus for me. While collecting these tracks I found that he actually wrote a number of other songs which were recorded by The Monkees but which were shelved by the record company, and which only recently surfaced on the three CD 'Missing Links' set, and so they will be the basis for a second volume later. 

Track listing

01 Papa Gene's Blues
02 Sweet Young Thing
03 The Kind Of Girl I Could Love
04 Mary, Mary
05 You Told Me
06 The Girl I Knew Somewhere
07 Sunny Girlfriend
08 You Just May Be The One
09 Don't Call On Me
10 Daily Nightly
11 Auntie's Municipal Court
12 Writing Wrongs
13 Magnolia Sims
14 Tapioca Tundra
15 Circle Sky
16 Listen To The Band



  1. Nice idea. Mickey had the rock voice. Davey was the dreamy crooner. Still not sure what Pete was though he was a fine musician and a bit goofy. all had talent but Mike was the serious songsmith. Looking forward to listening to this. Thanks

  2. Thanks for the Mike Nesmith

    Always liked his songs and presentation


  3. You might also be interested in another fan-made disc, called "Mike Nesmith's Neon Rodeo" - mainly comprising the Instant Replay-era Nashville material.

    1. I checked that out and it's eerily similar to the other album that I'll be posting. Not really surprising as there's only a limited amount of material available.

  4. Needs "All the King's Horses," which actually featured on at least two episodes of the Monkees TV show that I can think of offhand.

    1. On it's way in the next post. This one was just his songs from their albums and the next will be the out-takes and TV songs.

  5. None of the 5 or 6 tracks from Instant Replay or The Monkees Present? That would have been a better collection of his official Monkees output from the original albums. Instead of mixing them in with outtakes and unreleased extras on a later "volume." Nice idea, but not well thought out.

    1. It's simply a matter of space. I'd rather have two 40 minute albums than one of an hour and one of 25 minutes. Also by doing it this way, this volume features all four Monkees and the next one is a mixture of quartet and trio versions of the band.

  6. Could you please re-share both Nesmith albums? They're both down.