And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Michael Nesmith

RCA Records, 1972



Michael Nesmith's solo career has always been interesting. He was an experienced musician who auditioned for a TV show in the 1960s, called "The Monkees". And even though the final four applicants didn't play instruments at first, Nesmith knew he would not have any trouble in attempting to place his musical skills to work.

Nesmith's solo career began in 1968, where he would focus his musical style towards country, as in typical country and/or California rock country, as in such acts as The Eagles and Jackson Browne. He would later become famous with video production, and in the 1980s he was the only member who did not join The Monkees' reunion tour. Years later, the original four Monkees recorded new songs for their album Justus.

And The Hits Just Keep Comin', Nesmith's solo release from 1972, was listed as one of Rock Critics' Choice: The Top 200 Albums (Paul Gambaccini, 1978). "Tomorrow And Me" features the slide steel guitar heard in many of The Eagles and Jackson Browne tunes. If you're familar with The Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling,"it has that kind of style, being a medium-tempo song. The melody and harmonies on "Tomorrow And Me" are just plain beautiful, and can be a regular album cut favorite on internet and/or regular radio stations.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Like "Tomorrow And Me," "The Upside Of Good-bye" is another peaceful song, but it doesn't feature the steel guitar as much, yet it's another off-country tune. "Lady Love"has a more Jackson Browne ballad style, as heard on Browne's Late For The Sky release. "Listening," "Two Different Roads" and "Keep On" identify Nesmith's own sound, having the steel and accoustic guitars, off-country/folk music styles.

"The Candidate" has a different sound, having a more pop acoustic sound. Towards the end, it has a slight psychedelic touch; much different than the country/folk sound throughout this entire album.

Linda Ronstadt's first hit (as a member of The Stone Poneys), "Different Drum," is a Nesmith composition. Nesmith's version is here, and it is much different than Ronstadt's, having a more folkish country style, as compared to Rondstadt's pop/off-country sound. The steel guitar returns with "Harmony Constant," as it is another Jackson Browne-type ballad song, yet t's Nesmith's own "sound," being country/folk, with some beautiful harmony vocalizing. The album's closing song, "Roll With The Flow," features more of the incredible steel guitar, an instrument that is not used as much as it was in today's country music.

For fans of country and folk, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin' is a very relaxing "country" album to listen to. Many popular music performers can be compared here: The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Gram Parsons, and Poco. The California sound of off-country and folk music is definitely heard in Nesmith's early solo career, and his solo recording career is always interesting, as he always had an interest in country and folk music.

Old-fashioned country can also be identified here, and his music is definitely different than that of The Monkees. The Monkees never did any off-country/folk songs, but if you're familiar with The Monkees' "What Am I Doing Hanging Round" and the nostalgic "Magnolia Sims," these two songs can give you some indication of what Nesmith's solo career is all about: very different than The Monkees.

Country music is brought back as it used to be, decades ago, where today's country has a more pop/rock sound. Oh, it's country music (today's country), but Nesmith's solo career brings back old-fashioned country; traditional country with a folk music quality. Country & Western fans will definitely enjoy this album.

Rating: B

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