Saturday, May 6, 2017

McQ's #64 Song Of 1967 - PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY - The Monkees

Here's the thing.

The Monkees may have begun as a completely synthetic, manufactured for television act, but when all is said and done, by the end of the sixties, they had emerged as one of the best pop acts of the decade, with a expansive number of huge hits that stand with the best output from any of the decade's other great second tier acts.

Aided by excellent songwriters like Neil Diamond, the duo Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, and several Brill Building regulars, not to mention Monkee Mike Nesmith, who contributed several of his own more country leaning compositions, The Monkees reached the absolute peak of their popularity in 1967 (yes, it's true - they outsold The Beatles and The Stones combined that year, the same year that Sgt. Pepper's was released), and of all the Monkees '67 tunes, my personal favorite, without question, is the single Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Originally written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, supposedly as a subtle dig at the consumerism and status-focus that dominated life in several suburban communities along Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, New Jersey, Nesmith would later contend the song was actually written about life in a mental institution.

But either way one interprets the song and its gentle lyrical bite, none of this detracts from the song's fantastic, up tempo, folk-rock groove - one of the most energized in the band's repetoire.

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