I’m showing my age here, big time, but I make no apologies for that. I grew up watching The Monkees TV show (repeats, the show had finished quite a while before I started watching it), and while I didn’t quite *get* all the storylines (inevitably it involved some sort of complicated boy/girl situation, and a beach, and a Mr Nasty), I can remember thinking how funny they were. I also remember my granny telling me Davy Jones had been in Coronation Street.
Then in my teens, when I was going through a phase of dating mods (it was the height of the revival) I rediscovered The Monkees. At first I was dismissive; I liked The Who and Bob Dylan and The Kinks – The Monkees didn’t seem in the same league. And then I came to truly appreciate them as a group. OK they didn’t write their biggest hits, but it was the way they delivered them that mattered. I defy anyone to listen to Last Train to Clarksville or Pleasant Valley Sunday and not be instantly transported to the world they were singing about; and later tracks like The Porpoise Song and Listen To The Band are absolutely seminal.
Ultimately, like so many manufactured bands, what made The Monkees great was the combination of personalities and voices. Davy Jones’ voice was sublime. I love the fact you can hear his Mancunian accent so clearly on this track: