Retro Spins: The Monkees - Pool It!
The Monkees has never struck me as a band....Hmm...I guess I can technically stop that sentence right there. However, to elaborate more, they've never struck me as a band that appreciated their fans. I don't know what it was about them, but the four guys always came off as arrogant and conceited. As if they expected fame and fortune, regardless of what they did, and the fans should be appreciative that they bothered to do anything for those pesants.
Now admittedly, with the above said, I enjoy some of their music. Not only that, but their television show wasn't bad either. Like most, this is where I got my first introduction to them. And yes, this continued on through the 60's and 70's with their albums. The hits eventually dwindled away as time went on, much like the members themselves did, and soon The Monkees feel into obscurity.
With 1970's Changes album, the group, what remained of them, seemed done. Then out of nowhere, 1987, seventeen years since their last studio work, Pool It! hit record stores. Returning were Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork. Though he was asked, Michael Nesmith passed on the project...Of course he did.
Sticking true to their usual studio demeanor, the album featured songs written for the group by other contributors, and was performed and recorded by studio musicians. The only exception was Peter Tork's Gettin' In, which he provided the guitar work for, as well as, the vocals. Ironically, for the member who the rest said couldn't sing, it's actually the best of the twelve tracks on the entire album.
If you're looking for more from The Monkees, you'll definitely find it here. It's not terrible. Heart And Soul, Don't Bring Me Down, Midnight and Every Step Of The Way are all stand out tracks. In fact, the video for the latter is worth watching if you want to get a bit of that classic Monkees humor that made the television series so iconic. Since You Went Away, another contribution by Tork, is also quite good. However, it's by no means a song about a man pining for his long lost love. Rather, quite the opposite. It's an upbeat song about how things are much better, "since you went away."
Overall, Pool It! is pretty good. It was nice to hear what remained of The Monkees plugging along. However, if you're expecting the group to pick up where they left off in their heydays, that wouldn't be the case. It wouldn't be another nine years, 1996 to be exact, when they would release a follow up album. However, it could have been worth the wait, as Justus would finally see the return of all four members. But that review is for another time.
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