Kimonos, beautiful Japanese temples, sushi, dragons … Monkees.
Not only does Japan have some of the best architecture and food in the world but they also have some of the biggest Monkees fans in the world too.
Who would have thought?
Okay, true to form, today I’m here to talk about some really fun and rarely seen Monkees collectible vinyl and CDs from Japan that I have in my personnel collection.
Japanese vinyl and CD products are some of the best made and best sounding products in the world.
Whether it’s Monkees or Beatles, or what have you, the care in the sound quality of the products and the packaging has sent collectors around the world in a frenzy to find Japanese issues of their favorite artists albums.
While Monkees recordings went out of print here in the States around 1971, Japan has always kept the flame burning with their Monkees product constantly in print due to the group’s continued popularity in that county.
In fact from 1980-82 Monkees albums raced up the charts in Japan due to the song “Daydream Believer” being used in a Kodak television commercial and The Monkees TV show returning to the air.
Due to a full-fledged outbreak of Monkeemania, tons of new vinyl reissues were put out as well as books and other Monkees items causing Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (all separately) to tour the country in 1981 and 1982 due to the demand for all things Monkees.
My first taste of a Japanese Monkees album came in 1976 or 1977 (it’s hard to remember lol) when my oldest brother, who was serving in the Navy at the time, bought me a mid-70s Japanese pressing of “More of the Monkees” on the Arista label (see above and below).
This was well before the 1980 Monkeemania breakout obviously and this particular Japanese pressing is rarely seen these days.
Funny enough, I did notice that the Japanese CD reissue of “More of the Monkees” from 1992 did use the back cover form the mid-70s reissue and of course I have that CD too.
Anyway, below are some really nice items that I have from Japan in my Monkees cupboard.
- 1981 Japanese reissues of “The Monkees”, “More of the Monkees”, “Headquarters”, “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd.”, “Head” and “Instant Replay”
- 3 CD set called “By Request” which came out in 1989. Note: I got this set in L.A. with the same brother who bought me “More of the Monkees”. This was the first issue of a huge chunk of Monkees music on CD and I was thrilled to get it! It’s still a nice set with some unique mixes that aren’t commonly available nowadays
- “Pool It!” Rhino Japanese CD
- “Monkees Rare Tracks” – an obscure legit 1993 Japanese CD issue of a selection of Rhino’s Missing Links Monkees outtakes
- Japanese issues of the 2 CD Deluxe sets from 2007 of “The Monkees” and “More of the Monkees”. The CDs were wrapped in paper that had CD artwork with Japanese writing on it but the regular issues of the CDs inside.
- Mid-70s Japanese vinyl issue of “More of the Monkees” on Arista (front and back and vinyl with inner lyric booklet)
- 1992 rear of “More of the Monkees” Japanese CD reissue
Happy Monkeeing around the world!