Jan 011970
 

Although Stephen Stills never became a Monkee, despite auditioning for the band and their kickass TV show (and then telling his buddy Peter Tork to join the band), he did wind up playing on a handful of Monkees sessions.

His guitar can even be heard on one of the band’s most smokin’ tunes, Tork’s “Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?” from the Head soundtrack album (1968).

Bit a lot of people don’t know that Neil Young—Stills’ Buffalo Springfield and CSNY bandmate—appears on more Monkees‘ tracks than Stills. You can hear his guitar on “As We Go Along” and two outtakes, “Smile” and “That’s What It’s Like Loving You.”

That said, the best of the bunch is a little-known tune that appeared on the band’s early 1969 album, Instant Replay. “You and I” is a killer song that got a bum deal. It wasn’t released as a single, and because the Monkees’ chart-topping days were pretty much behind them by ’69 (hey, it’s true), when Instant Replay came out, it didn’t break the top 10 (or the top 30, for that matter).

Still, the track is super catchy, and Young’s guitar playing is bold, powerful and overflowing with character and personality. Whereas the Monkees’ Wrecking Crew guitar slingers played their parts perfectly and slipped into the background, Neil is very clearly “in your face” on this track. Anyway, “You and I” is a clear-cut example of a massive hit that should’ve been.

By the way, Young’s Monkees sessions took place just a few days after he left the Buffalo Springfield. You can never know too many useless facts.

Check out “You and I” (featuring Young) in the top clip and “Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?” (featuring Stills, plus some super-slippery bass by Lance Wakely) in the bottom clip.

 

Since we’re on the topic, the Monkees released a fine new studio album—Good Times!—earlier this year. The album, which represents their best work since 1969’s Instant Replay or The Monkees Present (no offense to 1970’s Changes) is a clever mix of new and old (but previously unreleased) recordings and compositions.

The guys—Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith—finished up some old recordings, wrote some new tunes and solicted material from a host of great writers, including Paul Weller. They even completed an old Davy Jones track, “Love to Love,” to make sure their deceased bandmate was part of the project.

Check out the album’s first single, “She Makes Me Laugh” (written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo) below. That’s the ageless Micky Dolenz on lead vocals, by the way. He’s 71!

 

Online Manging Editor Damian Fanelli has played guitar for a Monkee or two. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram.

That Time Neil Young Cut Loose with The Monkees
Source: Guitar World