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Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. (Remastered) [Deluxe Edition]

The Monkees

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Album Review

After wresting control of the Monkees from Don Kirschner and recording the very good Headquarters album as a mostly self-contained unit, the bandmembers returned to using studio musicians to augment their sound as well as looking outside the group for the majority of the songs on their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. Whatever the reason for the decision, the resulting album is one of their best. Filled with hooky pop like "She Hangs Out" and the Harry Nilsson-penned "Cuddly Toy," psychedelic ravers "Daily Nightly" and "Star Collector" (both of which feature the newly invented Moog synthesizer), Mike Nesmith-produced rockers ("Love Is Only Sleeping"), and ballads (the lovely "Don't Call on Me"), the album is filler-free and fun-filled. That it contains three of their finest songs ("Words," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and the song that "invented" country-rock for better or for worse, "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?") means that not only is it one of the Monkees' best, it is one of 1967's best. To think that both this album and Headquarters came out the same year! Most bands would be lucky to have two albums this good come out their entire career. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is a must-have for any fan of smart, fun, and exciting '60s pop. It doesn't get much better than this. [In 2007 Rhino gave the album a double-disc deluxe revamp with mono and stereo versions, the bonus tracks from the 1995 reissue, and a bunch of newly created stereo mixes that often utilize previously unheard vocals. The set is aimed at collectors looking to replace their copies of Rhino's 1995 reissue, and it succeeds. It also serves as a fascinating document of the group and, more importantly, some of the best pop music the 1960s have to offer.]

Biography

Formed: 1965 in Hollywood, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

"Hey hey, we are the Monkees/You know we love to please/A manufactured image/With no philosophies." In 1968, the Monkees addressed their own reputation in the song "Ditty Diego (War Chant)," which summed up the bad rap they'd received in the music press since they first emerged in the summer of 1966. The Monkees were talented singers, musicians, and songwriters who made a handful of the finest pop singles of their day (as well as a few first-rate albums) and delivered exciting, entertaining live...
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