Steve Kline Ages of Rock
1967: The Monkees start a four-week run atop the U.K. album charts with an LP titled simply The Monkees. This LP also tops the U.S. album chart, and it is the first of four consecutive #1 albums for the group. The Monkees are not permitted by their management to function as a working band for this album, with the group’s contributions limited almost entirely to vocal tracks. Eight of the original LP’s twelve tracks feature one lone Monkee singing lead vocal over instrumentation (and even backing vocals) recorded entirely by session musicians. Other tracks feature multiple Monkees singing over session players; only on the two tracks produced by Michael Nesmith does a Monkee (Peter Tork) get to play an instrument (guitar). No tracks on the original LP feature participation from all four Monkees.