Friday, June 24, 2011

On my turntable (Monkees edition): HEAD (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

HEAD.  Where do I begin?

Even though I was a Monkees fan as far back as pre-school, I didn't know of HEAD's existence until high school. I had heard the album's majestic single "Porpoise Song" on a 70's tv mail-order compilation, but it wasn't until the early 80's when The Monkees' Japanese reissues showed up in one of my stores that I actually heard the whole album.
"Porpoise Song", Sept '68

The soundtrack to HEAD isn't very long - it only contains six actual Monkees songs - but from start to finish it's a real trip. The LP was assembled by the film's co-writer, Jack Nicholson (yes that Jack Nicholson), using sounds and snippets of dialog from the film in between songs. Conceptually it was very innovative at the time. HEAD goes beyond being just a collection of tunes from a film; It is a true psychedelic masterpiece.

A year or so after I'd had the chance to fully ingest the HEAD LP, I saw the actual film at a Minneapolis Monkees convention. What a trip. A few years later in '86 I caught a special midnight showing of HEAD on the big screen (which I highly recommend to anyone who ever gets the chance).  A week after that midnight movie I saw The Monkees in concert for the first time.
Flyer from 1986 showing of HEAD

And now here I am, one week away from seeing The Monkees in concert for the ninth (or tenth?) time. As part of their show they are performing all of the songs from HEAD while footage from the film is projected behind them. How friggin' groovy is that??

(The answer:
Pretty friggin' groovy, man).

Up next: Instant Replay...

No comments: