Famously, The Monkees started as a band created for a TV show – they were sometimes referred to as the Prefab Four. But as their career progressed, they asserted more influence over their career. On their third album, Headquarters, The Monkees played most of the instruments themselves, becoming almost a self-contained band. The two musicians in the group, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, continued to play on Monkees records, but Mickey Dolenz largely gave up the drums.
‘Goin’ Down’ is taken from the sessions from the band’s fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.. It was released as the b-side to the #1 single ‘Daydream Believer’. The group took the chord progression from Mose Allison’s ‘Parchman Farm’. They handed their piece to songwriter Diane Hildebrand. and asked her to write lyrics. She wrote about a man, distraught about the end of a relationship had ended, who jumps into the river. Fortunately, there’s a happy ending.
Just movin’ slow and floatin’ free There’s a river swinging under me Waving back to the folks on shore I should have thought of this before I’m floatin’ on down to New Orleans And pick up on some swingin’ scenes
It’s a lot of effort for a non-album single – it’s detour into big band jazz with an impressive Dolenz lead vocal. Wrecking Crew member Bud Brisbois contributed the trumpet solo.
‘Goin’ Down’ was featured on a 2012 episode of Breaking Bad, bringing it to a new audience. It was also added to later editions of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.
Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.
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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person.
Graham Fyfe is probably the only music blogger to appreciate both Neil Diamond and Ariana Grande. Based in Fleet Street (New Zealand), he's been writing this blog since around 2000. Aphoristic Album Reviews features reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.
Read about the discographies of musical acts from the 1960s to the present day. Browse this site's review archives or enjoy these random selections:
The 1970s are beloved by music nerds; artists in a variety of genres cranked out a 40-minute album every year. The late 1960s staked out the territory for many genres; the 1970s was when they were explored fully. Artists like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder broke free from the Motown […]
Kimbra Johnson was earmarked for stardom early. There are videos online of her singing as a pre-teen, while she placed second in New Zealand’s national secondary school rock quest at the age of 14. But after a generic debut single ‘Deep For You’, she took time out and became more […]
There are many examples in popular music of stripping away the superfluity and getting back to basics, but it doesn’t get much more basic than Detroit’s The White Stripes. Dispensing even with a bass player, the purported brother and sister duo delivered direct, blues-inflected rock. Their first album was released […]
The first decade of the 21st century feels like my home territory. I spent my teenage years in the 1990s catching up with the 1960s and 1970s, so the 2000s were the first decade in which I actively engaged with new music. In the 2000s music splintered further into sub-genres […]
Gram Parsons, or as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die describes him, “Keith Richards’ citrus-heir drug-buddy”, is remembered as a country-rock pioneer. While this description is certainly apt, I was generally a little taken aback by his music at first. It’s not the commercially oriented country offered by […]
Ezra Koenig and drummer Chris Tomson started playing together in a rap collaboration named “L’Homme Run” while attending Columbia University. The pair were interested in punk and African music and named their band after a short film Koenig attempted to make about a vampire invasion of Cape Cod. Koenig and […]
I add new blog posts to this website every week. Browse the archives or enjoy these random selections:
Published in 1931–32, with 12 volumes, 7 million words, 9,000 pages and 50,000 articles, the second edition of Everyman’s Encyclopedia was edited by Athelstan Ridgway. We recently inherited our family’s set. I’ve been bemused by their section on jazz, and thought I’d preserve it here for posterity. I’ve broken up […]
The band Television emerged from the same CBGB scene that produced Talking Heads, The Ramones, Blondie, and Patti Smith. The group was started by Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, and drummer Billy Ficca. Verlaine and Ficca were childhood friends, while Hell met Verlaine at high school in Delaware. Hell was replaced […]
Of the indie guitar bands proffered by Dunedin’s Flying Nun label in the 1980s, Straitjacket Fits were the most likely to break through to a mass audience. The Fits were based around two vocalists and songwriters who were an unlikely combination but who complemented each other beautifully; Shayne Carter had […]
Adult contemporary superstar and Hebrew Hunk Neil Diamond is a fascinating figure to me. His music is an uncomfortable blend of Brill Building pop, gospel, and confessional writing, like he can’t make up his mind whether he wants to be Elvis Presley or James Taylor. As an adolescent, I was […]
Bassist Ashley Hutchings and rhythm guitarist Simon Nicol formed Fairport Convention in 1967. They named the band after Nicol’s father’s medical practice, above which they rehearsed, on the same Muswell street as the Davies brothers of The Kinks grew up. Lead guitarist Richard Thompson and drummer Martin Lamble joined the group, along […]
Bob Dylan needs no introduction – he’s one of the key figures in rock music. He helped to define the genre as it matured, especially as a lyricist. He broadened the scope of rock lyrics, utilising both social issues and surreal poetry. Through the 1960s, Dylan never stood still, initially […]