Tomorrow - Friday, April 30 - is the date for the first Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music release of 2021 - and it's one that's been years in the making!
Michael Nesmith has always travelled to the beat of a "Different Drum" - whether as the writer of that classic hit for Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys, the wool hat-clad member of The Monkees, or one of the earliest progenitors of the country-rock genre. In recent years, Nesmith has penned the critically acclaimed autobiography Infinite Tuesday, reformed the First National Band to sold-out audiences, and both recorded and performed live to fans young and old with The Monkees. Tomorrow, Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music will present a major deep dive into the Nez archives.
Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings features 22 tracks on CD drawn from the RCA Victor vaults, every one of which is previously unreleased in any physical format. These songs were originally released to digital platforms in 2018 as bonus tracks to Nesmith's RCA six albums - solo and with The First and Second National Bands. Over the course of those LPs released between 1970 and 1973, Nesmith blossomed as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and producer under the aegis of RCA Nashville legends Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis. With bandmates including legendary pedal steel guitarist O.J. "Red" Rhodes, John Ware, and John London, Nesmith pioneered country-rock with a spiritual and searching style all his own.
Different Drum premieres on CD some of his most remarkable musical explorations from this vivid period including cosmic reimaginings of Monkees-era favorites such as "Tapioca Tundra," "Magnolia Simms," "Circle Sky," and "Listen to the Band;" unheard outtakes like "American Airman" and "Six Days on the Road;" vastly different alternate takes of "Different Drum," "Dedicated Friend," and "Tengo Amore;" and even an early version of "Marie's Theme" from his cult classic multimedia project The Prison.
The mind-altering music on Different Drum has been mixed from the original multitracks by The Monkees' longtime associate Andrew Sandoval, author of the upcoming revised edition of The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story, and mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony's Battery Studios. Another longtime collaborator of both The Monkees and Nesmith, John Sellards, has designed the deluxe, full-color 24-page booklet. Papa Nez himself has shared insightful new commentary to the extensive liner notes by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese, while rare photos by renowned photographer Henry Diltz and previously unseen images from the Sony Music Archives round out this landmark package.
Different Drum is a freewheeling, widescreen journey through the world of one of rock's greatest iconoclasts. Don't take our word for it. As Michael Nesmith observes in the liner notes, "[There's] something else which pins it all down...the songs themselves, and the way they begin to tell the story of their own times and their own poetries. They became real easy to sing except for those times I break into tears. Because I wrote them from my own heart. It's hard to just do it, but if I can, it's paydirt. We all come to a place that we know very well." Now you can get to know these fascinating recordings very well, too.
Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings is due from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music tomorrow. You'll find order links and the track listing below. Interested in having this CD signed by Nez? We've got you covered! Head over to Videoranch now to reserve your autographed copy!
Michael Nesmith, Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings (Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music RGM-1044, 2021) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Real Gone Music)
Outtakes and Alternates
- Different Drum (Alternate Version)
- American Airman
- Bye, Bye, Bye (Alternate Version)
- Dedicated Friend (Alternate Version)
- Tengo Amore (Alternate Instrumental)
- Texas Morning (Alternate Take)
- Rene (Uncut Version)
- Six Days on the Road
- Circle Sky
- Listen to the Band (Alternate Version)
- Some of Shelly's Blues (Alternate Version)
- Keep On (Alternate Version)
- Roll with the Flow (Alternate Version)
- Marie's Theme (Alternate Version)
- Magnolia Simms (Instrumental)
- Born to Love You (Instrumental)
- Hollywood (Alternate Backing Track)
- Tapioca Tundra (Instrumental)
- Roses Are Blooming - Come Back to Me Darling? (Instrumental)
- Tan My Hide (Instrumental)
- You Are My One (Instrumental)
- Loose Salute - Radio Spots
All tracks previously unreleased on CD
Pete Simpson says
15 dollars in the US, 19 quid in the U.K.! I do want this sometime though but I’ll wait a while.
I suggest buying it sooner than later. I've postponed purchasing CD reissues in the past only to regret it when they've gone out of print. Many times they are only available for a short time. I tend to forget and then when I remembered "oh yeah, I need to get that" it's too late and the prices have soared on the secondary CD market. Just a word to the wise. As for this Nesmith CD. I will be out to get it this weekend at my local record store. If they don't have it, I will order it direct from Real Gone Music.
Pete Simpson says
That is a good point actually. I remember having trouble finding their Mamas and Papas singles collection (but I did eventually find it on holiday in Seattle at Sonic Boom records - a great store if you’re in that area). No US trips planned at the moment obviously though, so I’ll probably give in. £19 just seems a lot for a single disc but I guess they’re a niche label.
Oh, you were on Holiday in my home town. Sonic Boom is one of the stores I frequent. Them and Silver Platters. Good luck to you and stay well.
Pete Simpson says
Yes, been there many times, the Pacific North West is a favourite location. I like Easy Street too, a shame their Queen Anne location closed (as did Silver Platters’s.
Guy Smiley says
$15 U.S. is a more than fair price. Once upon a time, $12-15 was a pretty standard price for a CD.
For a small, boutique label like Real Gone, that’s totally fair. They’re paying for the licensing of the songs.
Compared to how overpriced their Grateful Dead “Dick’s Picks” and “Road Trips” are (And they are outrageously priced) this Nesmith CD is a deal.
Now I just wish they’d reissue Nez’s entire RCA catalogue using the same remasters as this outtakes/rarities. AND issue more Nez rarities from era that still remain unreleased (Long version of “Silver Moon” and “Listen to the Band” without that long fade in, specifically).
Pete Simpson says
I completely agree. I was just pointing out the difference to the U.K. price. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if Real Gone ship to the U.K. at the moment, I couldn’t find U.K. or England in their drop down address list. They make quality products with good packaging. I’ve actually ordered it from Amazon now although they say the release date is May 7th
Rich D says
Ordered this directly from Real Gone and had the CD for about 10 days -- very cool CD !!! If you're a Monkees fan or a Nesmith fan, pick this up !!
Pete Simpson says
I checked with Real Gone and they don’t ship to to UK at present. Here’s their reply “No. Brexit caused new VAT collection rules which make it impossible. Really sucks.”
Oh well, at least I have a shiny new blue passport (thanks to Brexit) that I can’t use right now. So all is not lost. 🙁
Wayne Klein says
Great reissue capturing the songs from the remastered digital downloads of Nez’s discography. Love Vic’s mastering work (well except for Agents of Fortune).