Continuous Hit Music: The Monkees – Monkeemania

Continuous Hit Music – a weekly exploration of vinyl finds in 2012. Read ‘em all here

Artist: The Monkees
Title: Monkeemania
Original Release: 1979
Label: Arista
Store: Arkaba Hotel, Glen Osmond St, Adelaide
Price: $3.33
(Original AU pressing)

Adelaide Record Fair is a new event on the calendar. It falls on the same weekend as the Adelaide Fringe festival, a wonderful time to be in Adelaide where the entire city is out, and many tourists are in town. There are plenty of other things going on, taking advantage of all the extra people. This record fair is one.

The mix of fringe, record fair and good friends was all the excuse I needed for a weekend away.

It’s new, so it’s small. It has two main stalls – Revolve Records from Erskineville (who is just down the road from me) and OzVinylJunkie, a stalwart of the record fair scene. It’s held in a mega pub, the Arkaba, just slightly out of the city main.

It’s not a huge selection, but hopefully it’s the start of something good. There was plenty to go through, and opposed to Parramatta, a friendly vibe and no one really trying to rip you off. I walked away with dozens of albums, many from the 3 for $10 boxes. This record is one.

Davy Jones passed away a few days before this record fair. I am a huge fan, and wrote a piece about Davy for EMI Australia’s blog. I adore my deluxe Rhino CDs, box sets and Monkees collections through the years. But the vinyl I’ve seen around have been mostly poor condition.

So it was nice to find this mammoth Monkees anthology. The name Monkeemania was recently reused by Rhino for a new collection, but this one is pretty definitive. No matter where you stand on how great this band is, you have to own at least 20 of the songs here. Over the 40, it hits all the big songs and the best album tracks. However, it does fall into the later years in the end – I’m not sure how often I will play side 4.

One of the best things about vinyl is that double albums make sense. These double best of collections are just a treat. If you’re a fan, you can really sit with them in an afternoon, pour over the artwork and really immerse yourself.

The music. So Clarksville, Pleasant Valley Sunday, both the Believer songs…they’re all here. Then there’s the lesser known track. Take A Giant Step, Randy Scouse Git, For Pete’s Sake, Cuddly Toy and so much more. It doesn’t capture everything, but no 40 tracks can (try the Music Box boxed set for that).

This probably sorts out my Monkees on vinyl for a bit, until I track down some high quality versions of the first four albums. The artwork is fun, and reflects their innocent pop image. There’s a full sleeve sized Monkees comic, and collage of magazine cut outs, photos and track notes.

There are times when I want to listen to the Monkees, and it’s tough to choose between those first few albums – they are all so good. But this will do for now.

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