55 years ago, The Monkees took part in what TV Guide deemed to be "the Great Revolt of '67." Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork demanded creative control from impresario Don Kirshner - and won it. The group might have been brought together as actors portraying a band, but they were ready to build upon their phenomenal success and become that band in reality, too. The Headquarters album, The Monkees' third, was the startling result. It became their third consecutive No. 1 album in less than one year, and within two months of release had earned a Platinum sales certification in the U.S. for sales of more than two million copies. Now, that seminal album displaying The Monkees' hard-won creative freedom is being reissued as a deluxe 4CD/1-7" single box set from Rhino Records.
The November 18 release, exclusively through Monkees.com, serves as a teaser for Micky Dolenz's upcoming solo tour. The Monkees Celebrated by Micky Dolenz kicks off in Orlando, Florida on April 1, with Dolenz performing Headquarters nightly along with a set of The Monkees' greatest hits. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 4.
The Monkees tapped Turtles producer Chip Douglas, a.k.a. Douglas Farthing Hatlelid, to helm Headquarters. With Douglas frequently joining in on bass and selected other guest musicians, the core of Nesmith, Dolenz, and Tork played on every track, and singer Davy Jones contributed percussion to most. This organic approach was in marked contrast to Don Kirshner's preferred method of selecting the tunes, recording backing tracks with studio musicians, and having The Monkees add their vocals later.
The prolific Nesmith had a couple of songwriting credits on each of the band's first two albums; here, a full half of the album consisted of the band's own compositions including Nez's "You Just May Be the One," Tork's "For Pete's Sake," and Dolenz's "Randy Scouse Git." Other compositions came from the pens of Kirshner's songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart ("I'll Spend My Life with You," "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind," "Mr. Webster"), Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("Shades of Gray"), and Diane Hildebrand and Jack Keller ("Early Morning Blues and Greens") as well as producer Douglas ("Forget That Girl") and engineer Hank Cicalo ("No Time").
Rhino's 55th anniversary box set boasts a whopping 101 tracks, of which 69 are previously unreleased. The never-before-heard material includes an all-new remix of the album from the original multitrack tapes as well as the debut of backing tracks made for the abortive Don Kirshner version of the album, early demos, and even some recordings which wouldn't be completed until the release of The Monkees' final studio album, Good Times!, in 2016. The box is limited to just 4,000 copies worldwide.
In the press release, Micky Dolenz comments, "After completing our first tour as a four-piece band in late 1966, Nez perceptively remarked that, 'Pinocchio had become a real little boy.' By the end of March 1967, Pinocchio had actually become quite a cool little dude (if I do say so myself) with the completion of Headquarters, the first studio album that we had been allowed to create entirely amongst ourselves. Monkee music was great music. Terrific songs crafted by gifted writers and produced by skilled producers. But Headquarters will always hold a special place in my heart. I remember the camaraderie, the collaboration, the enthusiasm, and the occasional creative angst. And I particularly remember lying on the floor behind my drum kit between takes eating sunflower seeds."
Rhino previously expanded Headquarters in three distinctive editions. The 1995 single-disc remaster added six bonus tracks. The 2000 box set The Headquarters Sessions chronicled The Monkees' autonomous studio sessions with 3 CDs and 84 tracks (including rehearsals, tracking sessions, demos, master backing tracks, and more), most of which were previously unreleased. The 2007 double-disc edition presented Headquarters in mono and stereo along with 22 bonus cuts including previously unissued remixes.
The 2022 Super Deluxe Edition takes a different approach as it details the path to "the great revolt." In January-February 1967, Don Kirshner began recording tracks in New York for what he intended to be The Monkees' third record. At the same time in Hollywood, the band was working with Douglas on their own sessions. The box set premieres The Monkees' earliest demos for Nesmith's "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and Bill Martin's "All Of Your Toys," recorded in January 1967 at Gold Star Studios to convince Kirshner that they could successfully record on their own. The Super Deluxe Edition premieres 23 backing tracks from the New York sessions, including numerous cuts helmed by producer-songwriter Jeff Barry in early 1967. Among these are Barry's own songs "99 Pounds" and "Gotta Give It Time," and Neil Diamond's "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and "Love to Love." ("A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" would be released on 45 RPM with Nesmith's "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" in March 1967, two months before Headquarters debuted. The Diamond song reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 while Nesmith's composition itself made it to No. 39.)
Along with selections from The Headquarters Sessions, producer/curator Andrew Sandoval has tapped the vaults for even more unheard recordings from The Monkees' January-March 1967 studio sessions at RCA Victor in Hollywood. The box promises alternate versions of "You Just May Be the One," "Forget That Girl," and "No Time," as well as a casual performance of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind" and more. Sandoval has also newly remixed the audio and written the new liner notes for the box set. He shares, "Rather than plunder the previous reissues...the entire three-month period surrounding the creation of Headquarters has been reexamined to offer a deeper view...The primary goal has not been modernizing or reinventing what is now a legendary work but rather presenting it in the best possible light." The session discs are chronologically presented, with one each for January, February, and March (and Beyond). Additional rarities are also featured, such as a radio spot, the TV version of "For Pete's Sake," the mono single mix of "Tema dei Monkees," and 1969 mono mixes of "Love to Love" and "You Can't Tie a Mustang Down."
Look for the refreshed Headquarters on November 18 from Rhino. You'll find the track listing and pre-order link below.
The Monkees, Headquarters: Super Deluxe Edition (Colgems COS-103, 1967 - reissued Rhino, 2022)
CD 1: Headquarters (& More) Remixed
- "You Told Me"
- "I'll Spend My Life With You"
- "Forget That Girl"
- "Band 6"
- "You Just May Be The One"
- "Shades Of Gray"
- "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind"
- "For Pete's Sake"
- "Mr. Webster"
- "Sunny Girlfriend"
- "No Time"
- "Early Morning Blues And Greens"
- "Randy Scouse Git"
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Version One
- "All Of Your Toys" (*)
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Version Two (*)
- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (*)
- "She Hangs Out" (*)
- "Gotta Give It Time" (*)
- "Love To Love" (*)
- "99 Pounds" (*)
- "You Can't Tie A Mustang Down" (*)
- "If I Learned To Play The Violin" (*)
- "Sally" 1969 Version (*)
CD 2: January 1967 Sessions
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (Gold Star Demo) (*)
- "All Of Your Toys" (Gold Star Demo) (*)
- "She's So Far Out, She's In" - Backing Track (Take 2)
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Version One, Backing Track (Take 10) (*)
- "All Of Your Toys" - Backing Track (Take 1)
- "Love To Love" - Backing Track (Take 1) (*)
- "Love To Love" - Backing Track (Take 14) (*)
- "You Can't Tie A Mustang Down" - Backing Track (Take 5) (*)
- "Gotta Give It Time" (Rehearsal) (*)
- "Gotta Give It Time" - Backing Track (Take 4) (*)
- "99 Pounds" - Backing Track (Takes 3 & 4) (*)
- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - Backing Track (Take 2) (*)
- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - Backing Track (Takes 3 & 4) (*)
- "She Hangs Out" - Backing Track (Take 2) (*)
- "I Wanna Be Your Puppy Dog" - Backing Track (Take 10) (*)
- "Love Is On The Way" - Backing Track (Take 7) (*)
- "Sally" - Backing Track (Take 2) (*)
- "Sugar Man" - Backing Track (Take 6) (*)
- "Poor Little Me" - Backing Track (Take 14) (*)
- "If I Learned To Play The Violin" - Backing Track (Take 4) (*)
- "Black And Blue" - Backing Track (Take 6) (*)
- "Eve Of My Sorrow" - Backing Track (Take 7) (*)
- "The Love You Got Inside" - Backing Track (Take 9) (*)
- "Seeger's Theme" - Demo (Takes 1 & 2) (*)
- "Seeger's Theme" - Demo (Take 3) 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - 1967 Mono Mix 1
- "All Of Your Toys" - 1967 Mono Mix
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - 1967 Mono Mix 2
CD 3: February 1967 Sessions
- "99 Pounds" - Alternate Vocal (Take 1) (*)
- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - Alternate Vocal (Take 1) (*)
- "She Hangs Out" - Alternate Backing Vocals (*)
- "If I Learned To Play The Violin" - CD-ROM Mix
- "99 Pounds" - Alternate Vocal (Take 2 with Handclaps) (*)
- "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" - Mono Single Mix
- "99 Pounds" - 1967 Mono Mix (*)
- "She Hangs Out" - Mono Single Mix
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Backing Track (Take 11) (*)
- "Sunny Girlfriend" - Take 7 With Scratch Vocal (*)
- "Mr. Webster" - Alternate Vocal Mix (*)
- "She'll Be There" - Demo, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Midnight Train" - Demo, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Can You Dig It" - Demo, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Nine Times Blue" - Demo, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Until It's Time For You To Go" - Davy Demo, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Until It's Time For You To Go" - Mike Demo (*)
- "Sunny Girlfriend" - Acoustic Remix
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" - Mono Single Mix
CD 4: March 1967 (& Beyond) Sessions
- "Randy Scouse Git" - Alternate Version (Take 18) (*)
- "You Told Me" - Take 15 With Alternate Vocal (*)
- "Peter Gunn's Gun" - Backing Track, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Forget That Girl" - Take 15 With Alternate Overdubs (*)
- "Where Has It All Gone" - Backing Track (Take 12) (*)
- "The Last Thing On My Mind" - Informal Recording (*)
- "Randy Scouse Git/East Virginia" (*)
- "Forget That Girl" - With Alternate Backing Vocals (*)
- "Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho"
- "Fever" - Backing Track, 1967 Mono Rough Mix (*)
- "Pillow Time" - Alternate Take Of Demo Version (*)
- "Masking Tape" - Backing Track (Take 16, Called "13") (*)
- "Detuned 12-Bar Jam" (*)
- "You Just May Be The One" - With Alternate Backing Vocals (*)
- "No Time" - Version One, Backing Track (Take 2) (*)
- "Cantata & Fugue In C&W" - Unedited Version (*)
- "The Story Of Rock And Roll" - Version One, Backing Track (Take 18) (*)
- "Untitled Jam" (*)
- "The Story Of Rock And Roll" - Version Two, Backing Track (Take 28) (*)
- "Early Morning Blues And Greens" - Alternate Vocals (*)
- "No Time" - Backing Vocal Mix (*)
- "Just A Game" - Demos (Takes 1-3) (*)
- "Zilch" - KHJ Radio Spot
- "For Pete's Sake" - TV Edit
- "Tema Dei Monkees" - Mono 45 Version
- "Love To Love" - 1969 Mono Mix
- "You Can't Tie A Mustang Down" - 1969 Mono Mix (*)
- "Tema Dei Monkees" - Stereo LP Version
- "99 Pounds" - Mono Album Mix
- "All of Your Toys"
- "The Girl I Knew Somewhere"
(*) Previously Unreleased
It was a long 5-year wait, but it looks to be worth it!
I do wish there would be a smaller version available at some point.
This is excellent, though I was also hoping for a repress of Sessions at some point - with this landing now I doubt that will ever happen.
Andrew Sandoval sells the Headquarters Sessions CDs on eBay for $50, and will make a download of the booklet upon request. I have been told that these are factory-pressed CDs, not CD-Rs.
I had seen that! It did catch my interest, but I’ve been on the fence on it. Might have to revisit.
Thanks for reminding me.
Is there a link to this? I searched and couldn’t find it.
Haven't these Monkees albums been done to death? More Rhino re-hash.
Guy Smiley says
Lots of unreleased tracks here, as the article points out, and to answer your question… Go see the Monkess threads on the Steve Hoffman forum and see the fan enthusiasm there.
In other words: NO. This has not been “done to death” nor is it a mere cash grab. Many fans have long waited for Headquarters SDE box.
Now we wait for a “Pisces” box (Next year?) and that means all of the group’s 60s albums will have received the SDE treatment.
Say what you want, but Rhino, Andrew Sandoval (Who doesn’t half-a** anything), and The Monkees really set the bar on these SDE boxes. The packaging and the quantity and quality of the tracks for these releases has been astounding.
Apple and The Beatles, and plenty of other artists I could name, should learn a thing or two from these Monkees collections. Not to mention, this box is selling for just $70. A bargain, really.
Peter Denmark says
At last - yet still some moan and whinge ("I wish it were smaller", "done to death", "hoping for a reissue of "Sessions"). Well guess what? The one wishing it were smaller, don't worry, you could always sell it on EBay a couple of years from now and you would easily make your money back. The one moaning it's been done to death, no-one is forcing you to buy it and finally "Sessions" was clearly announced as a limited edition. If you didn't get it back in 2000, tough titty. Personally (and for the majority of fans), I cannot wait.
Guy Smiley says
Well, I’m looking forward to this, but I don’t that people’s gripes aren’t without merit.
Not everyone knew about the Sessions box over 20 years ago (I didn’t). Luckily, it can be streamed, bought digitally, or found second hand (As mentioned above, Sandoval is selling leftover discs on eBay).
Some box sets could stand to be scaled down or offer small options, but this one’s just $70. Much cheaper than others of equal or lesser content. Also, this isn’t The Beatles and wouldn’t sell on that same level. This is clearly aimed ar hardcore fans.
Griping about “Done to death” cash grabs is a bit much though. As you say, no one’s being forced to buy it.
Not to mention, how many times have other artists — The Who, Hendrix, and Elvis Costello come to mind — been repackaged over and over, and over again?
Regarding engineer Hank Cicalo being a songwriter, I recall an interview with one of the Monkees who said now and then they would pick a random name of an associate and give them a writer's credit. They also said Cicalo bought a house with the royalty money.
thats a HUGE box and a UNBELIEABLE price..also a LOT to listen to, WOW
Phil Cohen says
Apparently,some problem has developed with this release. Extensive customer feedback(on Steve Hoffman forums) has confirmed that all customers have had the same experience that I have. Five days after Rhino sent customers an e-mail telling people that their set is "On The Way", the UPS tracking number is still untrackable. Rhino has not actually sent the product. One customer actually contacted UPS and confirmed that UPS never received the package.
Though 75% of this limited edition have already been sold, I would advise caution if you are thinking about ordering this set. Let's see if the people who ordered this set actually receive it.....or if it ends up being vaporware.
My tracking status has changed to “departed from facility, Riverside, CA”
Joe Marchese says
HEADQUARTERS most certainly exists. I'm staring at my copy on my desk as I type this; it just arrived today. The substantial lag between the generating of tracking numbers and the receipt/processing by the post office isn't a new one, at least not from the many e-merchants I've ordered from over the years. I'm sure everybody will be receiving their sets soon, too. Enjoy!