Missing Links

by: The Monkees

The Missing Links series of unreleased Monkees tracks was a great idea that became unnecessary and redundant when Rhino began peppering its reissues of the band's original discs with these very same cuts as "bonus selections." But if you didn't buy the expanded reissues, yet you're a big enough Monkees fan to even know these tracks exist, this album is a moderately worthwhile investment both for the sake of completeness and for the genuine quality of the songs. Standouts include the group effort "All of Your Toys" and a slew of Michael Nesmith tracks ("Of You," "Carlisle Wheeling," "Nine Times Blue") that presage his country music pursuits in the years to come. The collection is hindered, however, by the inclusion of some annoyingly childlike songs ("Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears," "Teeny Tiny Gnome") and by the relative lack of material showcasing Peter Tork's erratic yet considerable talents. While in some cases the songs on Missing Links were not initially released for very good reasons, there are some true gems here, and as a whole it's a winner for Monkee curators. (Note that the cassette version of this release has only 12 tracks to the CD's 16.) ~ Joseph McCombs

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