Thursday, November 19, 2015

Standing In A Landslide

In 1968 Michael Nesmith recorded a slew of his songs in Nashville with the apparent intent of including them on an upcoming Monkees LP.   For reasons unknown to me almost none of these tunes had an official releases while the Monkees were still a working entity.   Many would later be covered on Nesmith's fine 1970s solo records.   "Listen To The Band" was one of the few exceptions and was released as a single in 1969.

Many years later Rhino records obtained exclusive license to release a gigantic backlog of unreleased Monkees material.   Between three Missing Links sets and expanded releases of the original albums almost everything they recorded is now available.  Among the gems recorded in Nashville is "St Matthew", a semi psychedelic country number with phased vocals and killer twangy guitar.  Like many Nesmith lyrics these are bathed in pathos. On the surface they tell the story of a woman who lives life in the fast lane, but underneath there lies a sadness that belies the upbeat arrangement that encircles the song.

She walks around on brass rings that never touch her feet
She speaks in conversations that never are complete
And looking over past things that she has never done
She calls herself, "St Matthew" when she is on the run 

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