THE MONKEES Head (1968)

Head (1968)
Supernatural, Perhaps. Bologna? …Perhaps Not.

They had the fame, they made the money and they built themselves successful careers… but The Monkees never got the respect they deserved. Many longtime fans, like myself, had their first taste of fan adulation via The Monkees, and were always there to defend them against accusations of being “manufactured” (totally true) or that they didn’t play their instruments (only partly true… besides, who lobs that bias at Pet Sounds?). But, for most folks, you either get The Monkees or you don’t. Rhino’s re-issue of the soundtrack to the 1968 movie, Head, is fantastic. Listen to the clear separation as the instruments are introduced in Mike Nesmith’s “Circle Sky.” Nesmith shines throughout, by the way, while Peter Tork rocks convincingly in “Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again,” sounding exactly like a Sunset Strip house band (with an instrumental touch of L.A. 60s denizens, Spirit). “Porpoise Song” is only one of the psychedelic era’s most satisfying creations, written by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, no less. Likewise, “As We Go Along” is one of the band’s more credible and underrated recordings, another composition with Carole King’s involvement – which you can actually hear, as Micky seems to sing the song exactly as she might (or, maybe, exactly as her demo did). One thing Head is thankfully missing is a syrupy Davy Jones ballad. In fact, the album has only six songs and Davy’s sole lead contribution is a cover of Nilsson’s “Daddy’s Song,” which was used despite Mike Nesmith’s arguably superior vocal version (included here as a bonus track) – sounding more like a scratchy 40s radio reception compared to Jones’ showbizzy, vaudevillian fare. As for the band’s relentless self-deprecation, I think it wears well – though, “the money’s in, we’re made of tin” sounded defensively insecure even at the time. These days… Head‘s random sound bites bring back the TV show’s humorous atmosphere without being quite as mindlessly dumb. Head is the original band’s last album and, depending on what it is you like about The Monkees in the first place, still one of their best. It’s over at Amazon, HERE.


Opening Ceremony (1:20)
Porpoise Song (Theme From Head) (2:57)
Ditty Diego – War Chant (1:25)
Circle Sky (2:31)
Supplicio (0:48)
Can You Dig It? (3:24)
Gravy (0:07)
Superstitious (0:08)
As We Go Along (3:52)
Dandruff (0:40)
Daddy’s Song (2:30)
Poll (1:14)
Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again (2:39)
Swami – Plus Strings (5:22)
Ditty Diego – War Chant (4:31) (Bonus Track)
Circle Sky (2:20) (Bonus Track)
Happy Birthday To You (1:02) (Bonus Track)
Can You Dig It? (3:25) (Bonus Track)
Daddy’s Song (2:07) (Bonus Track)
Head Radio Spot (2:04) (Bonus Track)

 

18 Comments

  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    November 1, 2010 - 19:43 | Permalink

    Search HERE.

  • 2
    February 29, 2012 - 12:53 | Permalink

    Thanks buddy! This is a great LP…

  • 3
    Anonymous
    July 10, 2012 - 12:10 | Permalink

    I first saw “Head” upon its theatrical release and have watched it many times, most recently a couple of days ago. While I’ve always liked it, I think it gets better with age and repeated viewings.
    It’s a cinematic Mobius strip.

    JB

  • 4
    ChasCPeterson
    July 10, 2012 - 13:09 | Permalink

    heh, nice.
    After I saw saw the movie I went to the record store and special-ordered the LP just for The Porpoise Song. Love it. All three actually, the song, LP, and flick.

  • 5
    July 10, 2012 - 15:14 | Permalink

    An excellent slice of sixties hoop-dee-doo (I think musicians had more fun in the studio back then, eh?)

  • 6
    Kwai Chang
    July 10, 2012 - 17:14 | Permalink

    I think Head was really a set of bastard twins.(the movie, the album). And each was too clever for the other’s own good. For instance, did all of that expensive mylar (album cover) ever reflect a single fan’s ‘head’ that was hip enough to get it. Dandruff or a tall glass of cold gravy with a hair in it…only for the hippest of the hip…
    (pssssst! Peter…hey, Peter…I’m always the dummy!!!)
    These are precedent setters…and victim’s of their own genius and destined to live forever. And leaving most of their fans behind. If the Monkees were the crew of Apollo 11, which one stayed on board the command module?
    Open the pod bay door shneider…

  • 7
    Time
    July 10, 2012 - 22:14 | Permalink

    Never, ever, get tired of Head, movie or soundtrack. But I haven’t managed to track down a copy of the extended version of the movie – I’ve only ever seen the theatrical release. Anybody know anything about it?

  • 8
    Kwai Chang
    July 11, 2012 - 00:46 | Permalink

    @Time…
    I’ve never heard of an extended version. The movie was so concept heavy, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out there are multiple edits…maybe even one per each Monkee paw. The non-stop cut to, cut to, cut to is designed to tear-up the artistic license and allows for real mischief on the production testing ground/threshing floor.
    A jack nicholson cut might be awesome but it could just as easily been a pressure relief valve for the Kode-righting Kubrick…and the timing is right for such grandeur…it is that heavy of a movie. Did the Monkees even grasp just how far behind they were leaving everyone?

  • 9
    Time
    July 11, 2012 - 07:46 | Permalink

    I got this from a torrent site:

    “Original Theatrical Release:November 6, 1968
    Running Time:85mts.
    (this torrent is NOT the 118mt. extended cut)”

    - which is (I think) the only time I saw the extended cut mentioned. There’s no mention on Wiki.

    From IMDB:

    “When it was finally edited together into a cohesive whole, it ran 10 minutes short of an unprecedented 2 hours! ”

    I have the Criterion edition, which is MUCH better than the Rhino.

    • 10
      Anonymous
      July 14, 2012 - 12:17 | Permalink

      Is the Criterion edition available as a stand-alone DVD or only as part of the Rafelson box set?
      JB

  • 11
    doughboy
    July 16, 2012 - 03:18 | Permalink

    I’m keen to hear the mono version of Head. Just wondering from anyone who’s heard it. Does it sound good?

  • 12
    July 16, 2012 - 12:49 | Permalink

    Ahhhh-haha, Chimps Cabesa I like it too much!

  • 13
    Anonymous
    July 21, 2012 - 18:21 | Permalink

    Hilarious! Thanks.

  • 14
    ilovedoves
    October 4, 2012 - 04:38 | Permalink

    Thanks Captain!

  • 15
    Guy Smiley
    December 1, 2013 - 16:56 | Permalink

    Would anyone be willing to upload the deluxe (Handmade) Head? I can’t seem to find a d/l of this anywhere!

    Incidentally, the Handmade box for The Monkees Present was recently uploaded at a certain bay of pirates.

  • 16
    Anonymous
    February 23, 2014 - 18:44 | Permalink

    I always find it curious that the Monkees are banished from all serious discussion because they were “manufactured”.

    How would you characterize the Supremes? No original material. Never played an instrument. Controlled by a factory approach. What pray tell is the difference. Yet the Supremes are (rightfully) in the Hall of Fame. The Monkees are not even in the discussion.

    Discuss.

    • 17
      Willard
      February 23, 2014 - 18:53 | Permalink

      We’re all discussing them quite seriously here, thank you. It’s the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame that doesn’t merit any serious discussion.

  • 18
    Anonymous
    February 23, 2014 - 20:30 | Permalink

    And for that I’m grateful. This site is treasure, especially your commentary.

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