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Missing Links, Vol. 3

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Album Review

Rhino treats the Monkees' catalog with a seriousness akin to the Beatles' Anthology series, but it's nonsense to pretend that the group's outtakes and rarities are deserving of such fanatical scrutiny. There are a lot more than anyone suspected, though, and Missing Links, Vol. 3 presents 24 more, again proving that the bottom of the Monkees' barrel has the same mixture of fun and boredom as hiding in a barrel as a stowaway. There are too many trivial cuts here from the late '60s — that goes for both the slight pop/rockers and Nesmith's less slight country-rockers. On the other hand, there are some good 'uns, like the Dolenz-sung acoustic 1967 demo "She'll Be There," which recalls early British Invasion acts like Peter & Gordon; different/rare mixes/takes of "Circle Sky" (one of Nesmith's best compositions), Jeff Barry's "She Hangs Out," and Neil Diamond's "Love to Love"; "How Insensitive," Nesmith's imaginative country rearrangement of an Antonio Carlos Jobim (!) standard; and "Merry Go Round" and "Zor and Zam," insanely experimental outings for a teeny bopper group. Thrown into the mix are novelties like commercials and an Italian version of the Monkees' theme: icing the cake with an inconsistency that makes the nearby presence of a CD remote button a necessity.


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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