The Monkees – ’50: Classic Album Collection’ – Box Set Review

The first album I ever bought was off a TV commercial way back in the 70’s. We were watching the TBS channel, but for us it was a local channel as we were from Atlanta. This was before it became a cable channel. TBS was showing re-runs of the TV show The Monkees. I saw that commercial and begged my mom to buy that album as I really, really wanted it. Well, being the fantastic mom she was, she picked up the phone, made a call and the next thing you know I had a copy of that album. It was The Monkees Greatest Hits and I still have that record today (see below).

Fast forward about 46 years later and I’m still a Monkees fan. But I didn’t have any of their other albums in my collection. I was on Amazon and I saw this box set called 50: Classic Album Collection by The Monkees. It had their first 9 albums included as well as a bonus disc of other tracks. I asked Santa for it and guess what was under the tree.

The Box Set came out in 2016 and is celebrating the band’s 50th Anniversary as they started in 1966. It was released on April 16, 2016 and was a Record Store Day special. I missed this because my first Record Store Day wasn’t until 2017 because if I was back in to collecting in 2016, I would’ve bought this then with no questions asked as it was limited to only 3,000 copies. Now, when I asked for this for Christmas, I actually assumed the box set was only the black vinyl, but when I opened it up and pulled out the debut album, it was a colored vinyl, in fact, they all were a different color. Man, what a surprise it was. There was nothing on the label to tell you if you got the standard black or the color…I got lucky I guess.

We aren’t going to review each album as that would be crazy with 10 different LPs. Instead, we are going to show off each album cover and the colored vinyl so you have an idea of what you get with this box set. We will talk a little about each album mostly taken from Wikipedia, but not getting in to the songs, so I hope you enjoy…

THE MONKEES (Released October 10, 1966):

The Monkees is the debut studio album by the American band the Monkees. It was released in October 1966 by Colgems Records in the United States and RCA Victor in the rest of the world. It was the first of four consecutive U.S. number one albums for the group, taking the top spot on the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks, after which it was displaced by the band’s second album. It also topped the UK charts in 1967. The Monkees has been certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA, with sales of over five million copies (from wiki). The color of the vinyl is Translucent Orange.

MORE OF THE MONKESS (Released January 9, 1967):

More of the Monkees is the second studio album by the American pop rock band the Monkees. It was recorded in late 1966 and released on Colgems label #102 on January 9, 1967. It displaced the band’s own debut album from the top of the Billboard 200 chart and remained at No.1 for 18 weeks—the longest of any Monkees album. Combined, the first two Monkees albums were at the top of the Billboard chart for 31 consecutive weeks. More of the Monkees also went to No.1 in the UK. In the U.S. it has been certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA with sales of more than five million copies. More of the Monkees is also notable for being the first pop/rock album to be the best-selling album of the year in the U.S. (from wiki). The color of the vinyl is Green Marbled Opaque.

HEADQUARTERS (Released May 22, 1967):

Headquarters is the third album by the Monkees, released in May 1967 after the first season of their television series had concluded. It was the first album on which the group members made substantial songwriting and instrumental contributions, rather than relying on session musicians and professional songwriters. After a struggle for creative autonomy with their record label, the group had been allowed, to a degree, to record by themselves. Headquarters became the group’s third consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified double platinum in the United States with sales of more than two million copies within the first two months of release. It also peaked at No. 2 on the UK charts. It is included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. (from wiki). The color of the vinyl is White.

PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN & JONES LTD. (Released November 6, 1967):

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is the fourth album by the Monkees. It was released on November 6, 1967, when the Monkees were exerting more control over their music and had started to play many of the instruments themselves, something that their record company had previously forbidden. However, though the group had full control over the album, they invited more contributions from outside songwriters than on their previous album, Headquarters, and used session musicians to complement their sound. The album also featured some of the earliest uses of the Moog synthesizer in popular music. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. sold more than three million copies and was also the band’s fourth consecutive album to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. (from wiki) The color of the vinyl is Opaque Orange.

THE BIRDS, THE BEES & THE MONKEES (Released on April 22, 1968):

The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees is the fifth studio album by the Monkees. Released in April 1968, it was the first Monkees album not to reach Billboard‘s number one, peaking at No. 3 on the U.S. charts. It was also their first album to miss the UK charts altogether, with their four previous efforts all having reached the top ten. The album has sold over a million copies. (from wiki) The color of the vinyl is Gray Marbled Opaque.

HEAD (Released November 1968):

Head is the soundtrack to the film Head, the only theatrical release by the Monkees. Released in 1968 through Colgems, it was the band’s sixth album. Head was the last Monkees album to feature vocal contributions by Peter Tork until Pool It! in 1987 and the last to feature all four Monkees until 1996’s Justus. The soundtrack album intersperses the six full-length songs (“Porpoise Song”, “Circle Sky”, “Can You Dig It?”, “As We Go Along”, “Daddy’s Song” and “Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?”) with bits of Ken Thorne’s incidental music, dialogue fragments, and sound effects culled from the film. The selection of music and dialogue approximates the flow of the movie itself, and was compiled by actor Jack Nicholson, who co-wrote the film’s shooting script. In 2013, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 25 in their list of “The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time”. (from wiki) The color of the vinyl is Clear.

INSTANT REPLAY (Released February 15, 1969):

Instant Replay is the seventh studio album by the Monkees. Issued 11 months after the cancellation of the group’s NBC television series, it is also the first album released after Peter Tork left the group and the only album of the original nine studio albums that does not include any songs featured in the TV show. (from wiki) The color of the vinyl is Green Marbled Transparent.

PRESENT (Released October 1, 1969):

The Monkees Present (full title being The Monkees Present Micky, David, Michael, also known as simply Present) is the Monkees’ eighth album. It is the second Monkees album released after the departure of Peter Tork and the last to feature Michael Nesmith until 1996’s Justus. (from wiki) The color of the vinyl is Transparent Red.

CHANGES (Released June 30, 1970):

Changes is the ninth studio album by the Monkees. The album was issued after Michael Nesmith’s exit from the band, leaving only Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones to fulfill the recording contract they had signed in the mid-1960s. Changes was their last new album for Colgems Records and the group’s last album of all new material until Pool It!, released in 1987. (from wiki). The color of the vinyl is Blue Marbled Transparent.

BONUS DISC (Exclusive to the box set):

The bonus disc here rounds up twelve key singles and one outtake. There are some stereo versions of songs and some mono as well. There is one outtake being “All of Your Toys”. It is 13 songs in total which is a nice bonus set. The color of the vinyl is Purple Marbled Transparent.

And that is everything. No liner notes, but that is fine as I am only getting it for the music anyway. This was a pure nostalgia purchase/gift as they always bring back such fond memories of my childhood. No score as this wasn’t really a review, more of picture presentation of the box set. Maybe we will get to the albums down the road. Thanks for hanging around and I hope you have a great day!


30 thoughts on “The Monkees – ’50: Classic Album Collection’ – Box Set Review

  1. Looks so cool..I got the RSD cd version . Have so many fun memories of watching the reruns of the Monkees in the afternoons after school.

    I mainly listen to Monkees compilations. Should really dive into this collection…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So cool you have that original album from 46 years ago! This is a nice looking set of vinyl. Funny that with a set this big there are no liner notes. Always a great thing to head back into the time machine and rewind back 4 decades back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know the Monkees besides the “hey hey” bit. I will say that Rhino looks to be the king of box sets. They typically hit home runs with the packaging. This one is no exception.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John…I have to get this! Many of their albums are good…very good. They had some of the best pure pop songs of the 60s and I still watch their TV show…they were hilarious. I got to see them in 1986…a sidenote to that show. I had seen KISS a few years before and The Monkees were LOUDER. I could not hear for days after that concert. Maybe it was where I was sitting but damn it was loud…and great.

    Liked by 1 person

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