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January 7 The Monkees - The Monkees
February 11 More of The Monkees - The Monkees
June 17 Sounds Like…- Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
June 24 Headquarters - The Monkees
July 1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
October 14 Ode to Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry
October 28 Diana Ross & the Supremes: Greatest Hits - The Supremes
December 2 Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd - The Monkees
Ah, the Monkees. Growing up as a rock kid, I got the impression I was supposed to not like Monkees because they didn’t write their own songs or play their instruments. But I didn’t care about that. I loved the songs. And even now, they take me back to the carefree days of childhood. They’re fantastic songs, brilliantly delivered. And, lest we forget, incredibly popular. More popular than we might remember.
This chart really tells a little bit of history. We had hit peak Monkees in 1967. They spent 29 weeks of the year at the top of the charts with four different albums. Interestingly Headquarters only topped for a week but would surely have spent many more weeks at the top were it not for The Beatles supplanting them for 14 weeks.
Now, so many years down the line it is easy to forget just how massive the Monkees were and how many units they shifted. Headquarters sold 3 million, More Of..5 million, the debut 5 million, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd did 2 million.
Taking into account the previous year’s chart, they spent 31 weeks at the top in an unbroken run. Wow. In 1967, they really were bigger than the Beatles.
But it didn’t last. The last week of 1967 marked the last week they would have a #1 album and the downward slide of commerciality was quite brutal. In 1968 The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees got to #3 and sold a million - in less than 2 years they had sold a total of 16 million albums - and that was their last top 30 album. It finally ended in 1970 when Michael Nesmith left and they released Changes which just got to #152 on the charts. But their music lives on and sti cheers the soul.