Thursday, 29 December 2011

Cheeta R.I.P.

Here's the first Monkees' album in what was going to be a memoriam to Cheeta who apparently left us during Christmas.

Well he didn't.
But another Cheeta did.
There are many.

So this post then becomes a celebration of the life of the ever so long living (the longest living on record; said to be about eighty!), Tweeting (he's a big hit), art producing (he's a demon with gouache) chimp.

a.k.a. Jiggs IV. Still with us.

Here's one of his lovely paintings.
It's called Water. Study in purple and turquoise #6.

Good that.
I saw some hanging once, in the National Gallery no less.
Peter Blake had put them in there, part of a pop art celebration he curated.
Cheeta's paintings were some of the best in the entire show.

Glad he's still with us.

As for The Monkees' album. It's a great listen.
Pre-X Factor, Pop Idol, and other various "talent" shows, The Monkees were the most successful and biggest selling of all manufactured bands.
Even when it was known they were phony, people still loved them.
We all love a good tune, right.

Head it was that did it for The Monkees.
Truth. It was a step too far.
Kind of rubbed the fans' noses in it.

But they were just so Beatles initially. The emulation is almost silly in places.
'Ticket to Ride', 'Day Tripper', snatches of 'Eleanor Rigby' all manifest momentarily before diving away, diverting suspicion.
But it's so obvious; they almost sound like The Rutles.
Listen to 'Let's Dance On'.
'Twist and Shout' in a beard

Of course it's the more obscure songs that are now of interest - although I'm sure they've been repackaged and resold over the years - 'Sweet Young Thing', a song that has Nesmith (the serious one) all over it, is a fantastic track: good riff, freaky lyric, psychedelic arrangement; it's easy to understand why The Shamen were attracted to it.

This version of the album comes from an 80s' produced cassette - probably produced cheaply somewhere in the Middle East - but the sound quality is very good.
Digitized at 320 it sounds very good indeed.
Why the running order has been fiddled around with I have no idea.
Probably to fit it on the tape.

The Monkees - Hey Hey We're The Monkees (Originally, 1966)

The Monkees Theme
Last Train to Clarksville
This Just Doesn't Seem to Be My Day
Let's Dance On
I'll Be True to You
Sweet Young Thing
Gonna Buy Me a Dog
Saturday's Child
I wanna Be Free
Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day
Papa Gene's Blues
Take a Giant Step

Excellent cassette rip @320kbs
Monkey around here

And before anyone comments, I know Cheeta is an ape.


Mwncïod said...

"Hey, hey I'M the Mwncïod!" (little joke for Welsh speakers!)
Funnily enough I recently bought a cheapo Monkees' Greatest Hits CD for a few quid in a second-hand shop in Liverpool because they've always been an inherited nostalgia guilty pleasure of mine even though having grown up watching their TV show early Saturday mornings with the likes of The Double Deckers and Banana Splits et al. even at a tender age I precociously realised it was colourful but pretty inane. I like their obvious radio-friendly hits but the one I could never convince myself whether I liked or not was "Listen to the Band" an intriguing Country 'n' Western-cum-Big Band crossover number one of the aforementioned bobble-hatted one's songs!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i bawb! Happy New Year everyone!

Mwncïod said...

Me again! Been a bit busy recently what with all the pseudo-Christian festivities ...meh! So just got round to listening to The Monkees "Sweet Young Thing" - wow! Psychedelic tinted barnyard stomp and only two minutes long, how 60s-à gogo quaint.
I'd never heard it before and with the fiddlers a fiddling it kinda reminded me not that far removed from "Creep In The Cellar" by The Butthole Surfers - "...there's a hole in his brain where his mind should've been..."
To be honest I didn't realise it was a cover by The Shamen, perhaps in the future I should pay more attention to album song credits!?
¡Muchas gracias for that Roy, ta!

roy rocket said...

Hey Mwncïod [!], ya welcome.
Interesting comparison betwixt Monkees & Surfers; similar in so many ways, when you think about it.... Happy 2012. roy

Anonymous said...

Hate to let you down, but the surviving Cheeta is a FRAUD! And so was the other one that just died...

roy rocket said...

ALL chimpanzees are Cheeta, my friend.
Haven't you read s/he's book?

roy rocket said...

Hey, dj1917.
Have you glaned at me 'Performance' post?

Just wondered...? roy