You asked, we answered! Since Michael Nesmith's Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings premiered on CD in April 2021 from Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records, we've been inundated with requests for a vinyl edition. In a little over two weeks, on August 5, the 22-track anthology will make its debut in the format as a deluxe gatefold 2-LP set pressed on "blue smoke" vinyl.
Let's fill you in with our official press release: Michael Nesmith long 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. Before his passing on December 10, 2021 at the age of 78 following a triumphant Monkees tour, Nesmith was on a creative streak. He had 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 his old friend Micky Dolenz as The Monkees.
Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings was curated with Nesmith's consent and participation. Its 22 outtakes, alternate takes, extended versions, and instrumentals 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 includes 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. Every song is new to vinyl in the U.S.!
The mind-altering music on Different Drum was mixed from the original multitracks by The Monkees' longtime associate Andrew Sandoval, author of the 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, designed the vinyl edition's full-color gatefold as well as its four-page insert. Papa Nez himself shared his memories for 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. The vinyl edition additionally contains an exclusive, new appreciation of the creative, generous soul that was Michael Nesmith.
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 the late artist observed 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.
For all of you CD fans out there who might have missed Different Drum last year, it's still available on CD, too, while our friends at 7a Records have reissued and expanded two of Nesmith's original albums, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin' and Tantamount to Treason Volume One. Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings is due on double vinyl from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music on Friday, August 5. Barnes and Noble will also be carrying an exclusive variant edition pressed on red vinyl. You'll find order links and the track listing below.
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 first released on CD on Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings, Real Gone Music/Second Disc Records RGM-1044, 2021