Monkees new disc: A knockout
It’s out tomorrow – their new single “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” It will be a giant hit. But what do the stars say? Read all about it.
Tomorrow (Friday) the Monkees’ new single “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” will be released. It will signal the start of more weeks of uproar of Monkees fever and Monkee slamming. It will also be a hit. BUT WILL IT BE NUMBER ONE?
Incredibly, in the few short months they have been on the scene, the Monkees have reached the record status of the Beatles and Stones. People fairly expect their records to go to number one as regularly as Big Ben chimes the hour.
And if this doesn’t, no doubt, the wise heads will be wagging. “Flash In The Pan,” “One Hit Wonders” – the tired old tags will come out.
“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” is written by Neil Diamond, the same American songwriter who wrote “I’m A Believer.”
It is the Monkees’ third single. The general pop opinion is that while the song is fairly catchy it WOULDN’T be a big hit if it wasn’t The Monkees. Most people seemed to think that it would go to number one spot with no trouble at all.
ALAN PRICE, for instance, who looks well on his way to the top spot himself:
“Just on its merit as a single alone this wouldn’t make the Top Twenty. Look, if my brother recorded this it wouldn’t make the chart.
“It’s not as good as their last one, although naturally it will be a huge smash. I see it as a number two – and I was right with the Stones one so watch out!
If they’re going to carry on like this they’re going to have to get an identified vocal sound. Backings are great but they need a stronger lead voice.”
And then there’s CAT STEVENS, well known award winner and song writer, who certainly knows a hit sound when he hears it.
“That guitar’s good. Personally I wouldn’t listen to the record a second time. It sounds like a B side to me. I’d switch this one off. Of course it will be a hit.”
Succinct man is Cat Stevens. CARL WAYNE of the MOVE was also disappointed and thought the group weren’t really coming up with the goods he expected from a world wide foursome.
“Mind you, it grows on you. The first time I heard it I hated it. Now I have to admit I like it better. It wouldn’t be a hit if it wasn’t the Monkees but then you can say the same thing about the Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane.’”
SIMON DUPREE, a very well thought of musician indeed, found “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” good value.
“I like it much better than either of their singles. In fact I hated the other singles. The instant effect of this one is very commercial and very simple. It scores there.
“Number one? Yes. But I’d like to know exactly what the group stands for.”
CHRIS FARLOWE liked “I’m A Believer” and found this latest offering didn’t stand up as well.
“The song itself isn’t hit material but it will be a hit because of the group. I don’t see it as a number one and it’s certainly not as commercially strong as “Believer” but they do have a distinct sound, which is good.”
MINDBENDER RIC ROTHWELL, shrewd chappie, saw three definite influences in the record.
“That guitar is like Buddy Holly and parts of the song remind me of ‘La Bamba’ and ‘Cool Jerk.’ I didn’t like their last one. Of course this will be a hit and they make good commercial records. But it’s not spectacular.
And our Aussie friend GEORGE YOUNG of the EASYBEATS thought the whole song was like Diamond’s own record “Cherry Cherry.”
“I wouldn’t say it was progressive from their first two singles, although they make good records for dancing and singing to. I don’t see this has the appeal of “I’m A Believer.” It goes on a bit.”
WHISTLING JACK SMITH, positively sweeping all before him with his superb blowing technique, liked the record.
“It’s repetitive and that’s the good thing about it. Sheer simplicity. A definite hit. I don’t like the breaks much because there’s nothing going on in them but I like the sound.”
And our MANFRED MANN friend KLAUS VOORMAN was much in agreement.
“It’s happy. I like it because of that – there aren’t enough happy records in the chart and it’s time there were. In a way it has the same appeal as the Tremeloes hit record. Yes, a number one.”
Of course you can’t keep everyone happy. SIMON DEE is a self-confessed Monkee hater. His actual anti-Monkee words were:
“I don’t like the Monkees. I don’t like what they are doing. They are non-creative. I am sick and tired of them.”
When pressed to give an opinion on the record and throw his prejudices aside he said: “It is quite a reasonable sound.”
GENE PITNEY, being the tactful obliging man he is, extricated himself from his hotel shower to pronounce Monkee judgement.
“This is certainly interesting enough to be a number one, though if Neil Diamond continues to write songs for Monkee singles he’s going to have to get a new idea.
“The hanger on this isn’t as strong as on ‘I’m A Believer’. That organ part high up there is good, it just holds the interest.”
LULU, who’s next single is “The Boat That I Row” and was written by Neil Diamond, had absolutely no reservations.
“It’s fantastic. The song’s great and of course it’s going straight to number one.
“I’m biased. I love the Monkees anyway whatever anyone may say. I like the Beatles too but I think there’s room for everyone. I think this is a vey good record with a hit sound.”
Disc & Music Echo, 1st April 1967