Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Songs of Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

If the names "Boyce and Hart" sound familiar, it is with good reason. Not did Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart write many of The Monkees' greatest hits, but they also shaped what we think of today as The Monkees' sound. Together they also wrote songs for Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Leaves, Jay and the Americans, Chubby Checker, The Astronauts, and many others. They would also have their own music career as artists, recording five albums (two with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones) and producing three top forty singles.

The Songs of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart was a compilation album compiled by Cary E. Mansfield of Varese Saraband Records and Bobby Hart  and released in 1995. While most greatest hits albums are compiled of songs from a single artist, The Songs of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart compiled songs which written by Boyce and Hart, either together or with other people. For Boyce and Hart fans, then, this album is a real treat. It features their biggest hits as recording artists ("I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight, "Alice Long (You're Still My Favourite Girlfriend", and "Out and About") and songs they wrote for other artists (The Monkees'  "Last Train to Clarksville" and the original version of "Vallieri," Paul Revere and the Raiders' "(I'm Not) Your Steppin' Stone," The Astronauts' "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day," and so on.).

 What really makes The Songs of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart a very special album is that it features some truly rare songs. Even though Boyce and Hart performed "I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind" on Bewitched, the song did not hit the top forty and has been hard to find ever since. Similarly, the Boyce and Hart singles "We're All Going to the Same Place" and "Goodbye, Baby (I Don't Want to See You Cry)" have also been difficult to find. It also contains the rare single by Dolenz, Jones, Boyce, & Hart, "I Remember the Feeling," released in 1975. In fact, if I have one complaint about this album, it that it should have had more songs by Boyce and Hart as musical artists. "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows (the theme song to the movie of the same name) is conspicuously absent, as are "Sometimes She's a Little Girl," "Maybe Someday Heard," and "L.U.V. (Let Us Vote)." While the songs written by either Tommy Boyce or Bobby Hart with others (such as "Hurt So Bad" for Little Anthony and The Imperials, "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" for Curtis Lee, and "Action" by Freddie Cannon are all good songs, I would rather have had more songs by Boyce and Hart together as performers.

Of course, that one complaint is a minor one. This album has most of the songs Boyce and Hart fans love, and I can't see too many being disappointed in the album. Indeed, it is good to hear "I'll Blow You a Kiss in the Wind" on something other than a Bewitched rerun!


Millie said...

GREAT POST! I love Boyce and Hart!

Oh my goodness, I have tried to get a copy of WAGTF for SOOO long! I can't find it anywhere. But, yeah, they are pretty amazing. Have you heard their version of The Monkees theme song? They sang it originally for the pilot!

Mercurie said...

Oh yes, I've heard the versions of Boyce and Hart singing The Monkees' theme, as well as "I Wanna Be Free" and "Let's Dance On." The original pilot is on the First Season DVD set! Anyway, I wish I could find a copy of WAGTF some where! I was a bit disappointed (and a bit surprised) it wasn't included on the album!