Top Artists – The Monkees

The Monkees – Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.

More of The Monkees

More Sixties Pop

  • This 1967 Stereo pressing boasts INCREDIBLE Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from beginning to end – just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • These two sides are exceptionally (for this album) smooth, rich, sweet, and clear
  • 4 1/2 stars: “To think that both this album and Headquarters came out the same year! Most bands would be lucky to have two albums this good come out their entire career. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is a must-have for any fan of smart, fun, and exciting ’60s pop. It doesn’t get much better than this.”

We’ve been trying to find good sound on Monkees’ albums for at least thirty years, with very little to show for our efforts — until now, of course. It seems the fourth album is practically the only one with potential.

One of the problems holding us back from discovering the best sounding pressings of The Monkees’ albums is the fact that 90+% of the copies we come across are beat to death. The average Rolling Stones record from the ’60s is in better shape.

We will, of course, keep looking, but it’s highly doubtful that any copy of the first two albums — you know, the ones that were at the top of the charts for so long they outsold The Beatles in 1967 — will ever make it to the site. Doubtful, but hope springs eternal in the record biz. You never know what gems you’ll discover until they somehow find themselves on your turntable.

What The Best Sides Of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd. Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1967
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the vocals, jangly guitars, and other instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is, of course, the only way to hear all of the above.

What We’re Listening For On Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd.

  • Less grit — Smoother and sweeter sound, something that is not easy to come by on any Monkees album, including this one.
  • A bigger presentation — More size, more space, more room for all the instruments and voices to occupy. The bigger the speakers you have to play this record, the better.
  • More bass and tighter bass — This is fundamentally a pure rock record. It needs weight down low to rock the way the engineers wanted it to.
  • Present, breathy vocals — A veiled midrange is the rule, not the exception.
  • Good top-end extension to reproduce the harmonics of the instruments and details of the recording, including the studio ambiance.
  • Last but not least, balance — All the elements from top to bottom should be heard in harmony with each other. Take our word for it, assuming you haven’t played a pile of these yourself, balance is not that easy to find.

Our best copies will have it though, of that there is no doubt.

A Tough Record to Play

All Monkees albums rank high on our Difficulty of Reproduction Scale. Do not attempt to play them using anything other than the highest quality equipment.

Unless your system is firing on all cylinders, even our hottest Hot Stamper copies — the Super Hot and White Hot pressings with the biggest, most dynamic, clearest, and least distorted sound — can have problems . Your system should be thoroughly warmed up, your electricity should be clean and cooking, you’ve got to be using the right room treatments, and we also highly recommend using a demagnetizer such as the Walker Talisman on the record, your cables (power, interconnect and speaker) as well as the individual drivers of your speakers.

This is a record that’s going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you feel you’re up to the challenge. If you don’t mind putting in a little hard work, here’s a record that will reward your time and effort many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process (especially your VTA adjustment, just to pick an obvious area most audiophiles neglect).

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Salesman 
She Hangs Out
The Door Into Summer
Love Is Only Sleeping 
Cuddly Toy 
Words

Side Two

Hard to Believe 
What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round? 
Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky / Pleasant Valley Sunday 
Daily Nightly 
Don’t Call on Me 
Star Collector

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

After wresting control of the Monkees from Don Kirschner and recording the very good Headquarters album as a mostly self-contained unit, the bandmembers returned to using studio musicians to augment their sound as well as looking outside the group for the majority of the songs on their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.

Whatever the reason for the decision, the resulting album is one of their best… To think that both this album and Headquarters came out the same year! Most bands would be lucky to have two albums this good come out their entire career.

Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. is a must-have for any fan of smart, fun, and exciting ’60s pop. It doesn’t get much better than this.

The Monkees – Self-Titled

More of the Music of The Monkees

More Sixties Pop Recordings

  • Surprisingly quiet for an original Stereo Colgems pressing – not many survived in this kind of audiophile playing condition
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • 4 stars: “The record wasn’t only a commercial juggernaut, it also stands as one of the great debuts of all time, and while the record and the group have faced criticism from rock purists through the ages, it stands the test of time perfectly well, sounding as alive and as much fun 40 years later.”
  • If you’re a fan of The Monkees, this title from 1966 is clearly one of their best
  • The complete list of titles from 1966 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here

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The Monkees / The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees – Yes, Some Copies Actually Do Sound Good

More Monkees

More Sixties Pop Recordings

  • KILLER sound throughout for this original Colgems pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to them – the vinyl is fairly quiet for a vintage Monkees record too
  • The key to any Monkees record is the midrange, and here is the low-distortion, rich, breathy, present, Tubey Magical sound that no other side one had in such abundance
  • Daydream Believer was the big hit and it is absolutely killer here
  • “Featuring more than half of its material written by band members, The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees ranks as a favorite among longtime fans… it’s one of the band’s finest records, a great representation of the era and an even better pop album.” – Ultimate Classic Rock

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