Personnel: Peter Tork (vocals, guitar, piano, electric piano, harpsichord, organ, double bass, background vocals); Michael Nesmith (vocals, acoustic 12-string guitar, electric guitar, electric 12-string guitar, organ, background vocals); Micky Dolenz (vocals, drums, background vocals); Davy Jones (vocals, maracas, tambourine, chimes, background vocals); Wayne Erwin (guitar, background vocals); Al Gorgoni, Clarence White, Danny Kortchmar, Dennis Budimir, Felton Jarvis, Gerry McGee, Mike Deasy Sr. , Harold Bradley, Hugh McCracken, James Burton, Don Thomas, Ken Bloom, Louie Shelton, Tommy Tedesco , Wayne Moss (guitar); Bill Chadwick (acoustic guitar); Keith Allison, Laurence Juber , Billy Sanford (electric guitar); Lloyd Green, Red Rhodes (steel guitar); Sonny Osborne (banjo); Doug Dillard (electric banjo); Nathan Kaproff, George Kast, Erno Neufeld, Alex Murray, Bonnie Douglas, Paul Shure (violin); Buddy Spicher (fiddle); Myra Kestenbaum (viola); Jan Kelley, Gregory Bemko, Jacqueline Lustgarten, David Filerman, Edgar Lustgarten, Frederick Seykora (cello); Henry Diltz (clarinet); Bobby Helfer (bass clarinet, trumpet, piccolo trumpet); Jay Migliori, Jim Horn, Plas Johnson , Bill Hood, Buddy Collette (saxophone); Uan Rasey, Roy Caton, Manuel Stevens, Al Porcino, Thomas Scott, Pete Candoli, Ray Triscari, Virgil Evans, Ollie Mitchell, Bud Brisbois (trumpet); Vincent DeRosa (French horn); Richard L. Noel, Richard Taylor "Dick" Nash , Lou Blackburn, Lew McCreary (trombone); Richard Leith, Phillip Teele (bass trombone); John Kitzmiller (tuba); Clifford Solomon, Jules Jacob, Jules Chaikin, John "Buddy" Williams , William Hinshaw, Mack Johnson, Lester Robertson (horns); Larry Knechtel (piano, keyboards); Jack Keller (piano); Michel Rubini (harpsichord, organ); Stan Free (Clavinet); Bobby Hart (organ, background vocals); Artie Butler (organ); Michael Egizi (keyboards, programming); Leon Russell, Michael Cohen, Ralph Schuckett (keyboards); Jim Gordon (drums, percussion); Bill Lewis , William Paul Ackerman, Michael Ney, Hal Blaine, Fast Eddie Hoh, Kenny Buttrey, Paul Leim, Curly Smith, Jerry Carrigan, Herb Lovelle (drums); Gene Estes (tambourine, percussion); Tom Cerone, John London (tambourine); Norm Jeffries, Bill Martin , Roger Bechirian, Gary Coleman (percussion); Chip Douglas, Coco Dolenz, Matt Harris, Carole King (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Peter Doggett.
Recording information: Amigo REcording Studio, North Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); California Recorders, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Cherokee REcording Studios, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Gold Star Recording Studio, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Heaven Studios, Beverly Hills, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); RCA Victor Studio A, B & C, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); T.T.G. Studios, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); United Recorders Studio B, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); United Recorders, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Unknown Studio (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987); Western Recorders Studio 1& 2, Hollywood, CA (07/09/1966-07/02/1987).
Unknown Contributor Roles: John R. Hoenig; Ted Nash; Bud Shank.
Arrangers: Donald Peake; Don McGinnis; Jack Nitzsche; Jeff Barry ; Michael Nesmith; Roger Bechirian; Shorty Rogers; Artie Butler.
This two-CD set, issued in Europe about a week before Rhino Records' expanded box appeared in America, resembles either a considerably expanded and upgraded version of the old Arista Records set Then & Now..., or a more entertaining successor to Rhino Records' 1998 Anthology. The disc, running just under 80 minutes and containing 29 songs, is for the listener who wants the hits and the best album tracks all gathered in one place, including ubiquitous numbers like the television series' second-season end credit track, "For Pete's Sake." These have been remastered, so there's lots of presence in all of the playing, and the vocals never sounded better; the songs all have thick, dense textures, much heavier and harder and upfront than they did on the radio in 1966-1967, with good stereo separation. This set is proof, as though any were needed, that the nicest thing ever to happen to the Monkees' music was getting it moved into the hands of Rhino Records, whose library was the source for these masters. ~ Bruce Eder