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!
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