Shades of Gray (song)

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"Shades of Gray" was written in 1965 by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and was recorded by The Monkees for their 1967 album Headquarters, the first in which the group played all its own instruments (except a French horn and cello, both of which were featured in this song). Lead vocals were shared by Davy Jones and Peter Tork.[1]

Sons of Champlin recorded the song at about the same time, but the Headquarters version was released first. The album Fat City,[2] released in 1999 by Big Beat UK, finally featured the Sons of Champlin version of the song, named "Shades of Grey" (whereas the original Monkees release was titled "Shades of Gray").

The Will-O-Bees (Janet Blossom, Steven Porter, Robert Merchanthouse), recorded a mid-tempo, slightly heavier and more focused version, in 1966, on Date 1543.

Another version was recorded in 1970 by P.K. Limited (Screen Gems/Columbia Music songwriters Dan Peyton and Marty Kaniger); it was featured in the film Getting Straight".

A cover of "Shades of Gray" by Mind Venertion,[3] appears on the album, Through the Looking Glass - Indie Pop Plays The Monkees,.[4]"

Cultural references[edit]

In the 1986 film Soul Man, C. Thomas Howell's character Mark attempts to impress a girl, so he says, "Today there is no black or white, only shades of gray," a direct quote from the song.

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