Since Dangerous Minds is a safe haven for Monkees fanatics—Monkees producer and historian Andrew Sandoval is the guest on the DM talkshow this week— I would be remiss in my duties if I did not inform you fine people that all 58 of the original Monkees episodes have been re-released this week on DVD by Eagle Rock Entertainment and Rhino. This is the first time in nearly a decade that the entire series has been available. The old Rhino box sets were selling for obnoxious amounts of money.
These two new box sets are fairly no-frills affairs, but they’re priced pretty low, so no complaints there. Aside from every weekly episode of the series, there is the 16mm pilot episode, select audio commentaries, and the Monkees’ Saturday morning TV commercials for Kelloggs. The picture quality is pretty okay, but from time to time you’ll see a stray hair or dust. Audio-wise, the supposed 5.1 surround track is a complete waste of time and the stereo option isn’t all that much better (I recommend just making it mono). It’s really a shame that they didn’t go back and do new transfers and proper audio upgrades (the content here, menus and all, mirrors the old Rhino releases). Then again, if you’d like to own the entire series, now you can, and the price is right for these new tri-fold box sets (both with liner notes from Andrew Sandoval).
Of special interest for Monkees fans is the chance to see the ill-fated final Monkees TV special featuring all four original Monkees. 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee was Peter Tork’s final outing with the group until 1986. Musical guests on that show included Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and The Buddy Miles Express.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Carole King’s ‘Porpoise Song’ demo
Head: The Monkees’ ‘Ulysses of a Hip New Hollywood’
The Monkees on ‘The Johnny Cash Show’
The Monkees’ FBI File
The First National Band: Michael Nesmith’s criminally overlooked post-Monkees country rock classics
After the Monkees gave us ‘Head,’ there was ‘33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee’
Below, the “Making the Monkees” documentary from the Smithsonian Channel: