I bought this box set in the early 90's with the complete and unapologetic intention of getting back to my roots. As the youngest of four siblings, the others all being much older than myself, I was exposed to the Monkees, Beatles, etc., for as long as I can remember. We always want to embrace our best memories, especially as we grow older and experience more of what life has in store for us. The Monkees are truly an ear candy happy place for a lot of people, and yours truly is no exception. I'm also happy to see that a so-called caricature band is being embraced by a lot of very young people here! Congratulations for discovering some very good music, regardless of what you may have heard.
It doesn't matter that the band started out as somebody's idea for a TV show aimed at the youth of the 60's. They had great songwriters like Boyce and Hart, King and Goffin, David Gates, and so on writing some very well-crafted, catchy-to-this-day songs that are still not being forgotten. That alone is proof positive against the arguments of all those dismissive naysayers. Let that make you say "I'm a Believer!"
The hits are all here from the TV show theme to 1986's not-so-great "Heart and Soul." I would like mostly to direct your attention to the first two discs in this four-cd collection, because there's not one bad song on either of them. Even the album tracks from that era are great, including when the band finally took over and began to write and play their own music under the tutelage of former Turtles member Chip Douglas (No, he is not the middle boy on My Three Sons, and he's not the brainchild behind Manheim Steamroller--his name is Chip Davis. And, yes, I write this because I kept getting confused about the name myself!:-D). In fact, the band recorded two great albums with Douglas, containing some great self-penned hits like Micky Dolenz's "Randy Scouse Git"(a song about his future and ex-wife Samantha) and the great bluesy brass driven "Goin' Down" before their unfortunate decline with The Birds, the Bees, and the Monkees, an album I never cared too much about. The other two cds aren't as consistently good, but they contain some true gems like "D.W. Washburn," the beautiful and hard-to-find "Someday Man," and one of my favorite of all of Mike Nesmith's country rock ditties, "Good, Clean Fun."
You also get a booklet full of rare photos, track-by-track descriptions of what was going down around the time of the recordings, and full studio musician credits. This box set is a must to own for both newcomers and long-time fans alike. I recommend it highly to anyone interested in this band that some never expected to have any lasting effect, and encourage you to keep their name buzzing around for many more years to come!