I love the Monkees. Always have, always will. Micky Dolenz is performing this weekend at the Marquee in Tempe, so I'm posting thoughts on some of my favorite Dolenz-sung Monkees tunes.
Admittedly, this wasn't an easy list to limit to just one post per day, for a meager five days until Micky's Saturday night show. I could've easily started a week ago, and I don't know if that would've been enough. Still, I'm pinpointing songs that grab me every time I hear them -- that I can't help but sing along to -- and we're talking 30 years running.
By that standard, I have to include this tune: "All Of Your Toys." This song wasn't released on one of the Monkees' nine original-run albums, yet it was recorded in one of their very first sessions as an actual band, playing their own instruments in studio. That's right -- the Monkees fought for the rights to play their own instruments, after criticism called them out for having studio musicians, even as many other bands of that era did (and still do). The guys' origin as a made-for-TV band probably had a lot to do with that undue commentary.
So, this is a fitting tune for one of their "official first." They really were the producers' playthings, until they clipped the strings -- which one of the lessons I've learned from them. "I'm A Believer" was a great tune, but had the Monkees not sought the chance to prove themselves, they may have been lost to the annals of music history. This effort is proof of the pop music greatness that was to come, and a fandom that will last forever!