The Monkees 50

by: The Monkees

Various record company folks have been trying to assemble the ideal Monkees collection since their first "Greatest Hits" album came out in 1969. With the greatest rock band in television history celebrating the 50th anniversary of their debut in 2016, it seemed only fitting that Rhino Records, who owns the group's back catalog, would take another stab at the definitive overview of the band's career. The Monkees 50 celebrates the band's Golden Anniversary in appropriate fashion, featuring 50 songs that run the gamut of the band's history. All of the Monkees' familiar hits are included here, and so are some little known tunes from their original run, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork's duo singles from the group's mid-'80s comeback, and tracks from the reunion albums Pool It! (1987), Justus (1996), and Good Times! (2016). Monkees 50's first two discs feature the songs Monkees fans know best, along with a few worthy obscurities, and they're a marvelous reminder of just how great their work was, representing some of the finest pop record making of the '60s. Disc three is for more committed fans, though there are certainly songs worth hearing there, especially "Listen to the Band" and "Mommy and Daddy." Monkees 50 is a better than the average Monkees collection, and any album with "Last Train from Clarksville," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "Porpoise Song" is a rewarding listen. ~ Mark Deming

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