The Monkees

Artist Playlists

About The Monkees

The Monkees’ evolution from corporate boy band to adventurous pop project is one of the great stories of artistic rebellion. Assembled for a television show that launched in the fall of 1966, the foursome of Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork channeled the cheeky innocence of the pre-mustache Beatles to perfection. Off camera, though, they played hardball, leveraging their success to seize control of the music-making process. While The Monkees’ hits are proto-bubblegum gems penned by many of the decade’s best songwriters for hire, their deep cuts deploy ace studio musicians and cutting-edge technology to explore psychedelia and a cerebral brand of country-rock that would later be fleshed out on Nesmith’s solo releases. Their defiance culminated in the 1968 movie Head, a surreal critique of youth culture and capitalism pulsating with a deeply lysergic soundtrack. The quartet splintered by 1970, but their lasting impact on pop-rock led to several reunion albums, including 2016’s stellar Good Times!, featuring tunes written by alt-rock stars inspired by The Monkees’ quirky brilliance.

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