Head (The Monkees album)

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Soundtrack album by The Monkees
Released December 1, 1968
Recorded December 1967–August 1968,
RCA Victor Studios, Western Recorders, Sunset Sound, California Recorders, and Wally Heider's, Hollywood, and Original Sound, Hollowed
Genre Psychedelic rock, psychedelic pop
Length 28:49
Label Colgems (original US release)
RCA Records (original release--rest of the world)
Arista (1981 Japanese LP reissue)
Rhino (1985 LP reissue + 1994 & 2010 CD reissues)
Producer The Monkees, Gerry Goffin
The Monkees chronology
The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
Instant Replay
Singles from Head
  1. "Porpoise Song" / "As We Go Along"
    Released: October 5, 1968
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blogcritics (favorable)[2]
MusicHound 3/5 stars[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 1.5/5 stars[4]

Head is the soundtrack to the film Head, the only theatrical release by The Monkees. Released in 1968 through Colgems, it was the band's sixth album. Head was the last Monkees album to feature Peter Tork till Pool It! in 1987, and the last to feature all four Monkees until 1996's Justus.

The soundtrack album intersperses the six full-length songs ("Porpoise Song", "Circle Sky", "Can You Dig It?", "As We Go Along", "Daddy's Song" and "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?") with bits of Ken Thorne's incidental music, dialogue fragments, and sound effects culled from the film. The selection of music and dialogue approximates the flow of the movie itself, and was compiled by actor Jack Nicholson, who co-wrote the film's shooting script.


The music of The Monkees often featured rather dark subject matter beneath a superficially bright, uplifting sound. The music of the film takes the darkness and occasional satirical elements of the Monkees' earlier tunes and makes it far more overt, as in "Ditty Diego – War Chant", or "Daddy's Song," which has Jones singing an upbeat, Broadway-style number about a boy abandoned by his father. In his 2012 essay on the soundtrack album, academic Peter Mills observed that 'on this album the songs are only part of the story, as they were with The Monkees project as a whole : signals, sounds, and ideas interfere with each other throughout.'


The original issue of the record (Colgems #COSO-5008) featured a front cover with a surface of aluminized PET film, meant to reflect the listener's "head" (face) back at them. With the movie having only a limited release (and virtually no publicity), the point was largely lost, and while the cover was innovative for its time, manufacturing was problematic. (Micky Dolenz recalled years later that the cover was ruining the printing presses at RCA.) A March 1985 LP reissue from Rhino Records (RNLP-145) was less problematic by using foil paper instead, the result being less reflective than the original. The Rhino CD reissue from 1994 (R2-71795) has a grey cover that is not reflective at all.

Track listing[edit]

Original 1968 Colgems vinyl issue[edit]

Side 1
  1. "Opening Ceremony" - 1:20
  2. "Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 2:56
  3. "Ditty Diego – War Chant" (Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson) - 1:25
  4. "Circle Sky" (Michael Nesmith) - 2:31
  5. "Supplicio" - 0:48
  6. "Can You Dig It" (Peter Tork) - 3:23
  7. "Gravy" - 0:06
Side 2
  1. "Superstitious" - 0:07
  2. "As We Go Along" (King, Toni Stern) - 3:51
  3. "Dandruff?" - 0:39
  4. "Daddy's Song" (Harry Nilsson) - 2:30
  5. "Poll" - 1:13
  6. "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again" (Tork) - 2:39
  7. "Swami – Plus Strings (Ken Thorne), Etc." - 5:21

1994 Rhino CD reissue[edit]

Tracks 1-14: Original album

  1. "Ditty Diego—War Chant" (Nicholson, Rafelson) (Alternate take) - 4:30
  2. "Circle Sky" (Nesmith) (Live version) - 2:20
  3. "Happy Birthday to You" (Mildred Hill, Patty Smith Hill) - 1:02
  4. "Can You Dig It" (Tork) (Peter sings lead) - 3:25
  5. "Daddy's Song" (Nilsson) (Mike sings lead) - 2:06
  6. "Head Radio Spot" - 2:03
  • "Porpoise Song" is featured on the original Colgems LP and most reissues in short form, as in the movie. The 1985 Rhino LP reissue features the full 4:00 single version.
  • The version of "Ditty Diego-War Chant" from the LP is played at various speeds as if one was spinning the turntable manually. The "untampered" version, a remix from the original eight-track master, is featured on the 2001 Music Box CD compilation.
  • "Circle Sky" in the film is a live version, but the album features a studio version. The film's live version appears on the Rhino CD as a bonus track.
  • This is the only original Monkees album without a song by Boyce & Hart.
  • The original pressing of the LP featured the misspelled name of producer "Jerry Goffin". Later pressings corrected his name to "Gerry Goffin" and are denoted by the "RE" at the end of the catalog number: COSO-5008 RE.

2010 Rhino Handmade deluxe CD reissue[edit]

On October 26, 2010, Rhino Records released a three-disc deluxe box set through its Rhino Handmade division. Along with the three discs, the set contained a 27 page booklet and a bonus 7" record that includes unreleased instrumental versions of "Porpoise Song" and ‚"As We Go Along."

Disc 1 (Original LP... Plus)

Tracks 1-14: Original album in stereo

  1. "Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)" (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Goffin, King) - 4:12
  2. "Ditty Diego" (War Chant) (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Live) (Nicholson, Rafelson) - 0:52
  3. "Circle Sky" (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Nesmith) - 2:34
  4. "Can You Dig It?" (Peter's Vocal - Stereo Rough Mix) (Tork) - 3:31
  5. "As We Go Along" (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Stern, King) - 4:10
  6. "Daddy's Song" (Remix with Slow Verse) (Nilsson) - 4:33
  7. "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again" (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Tork) - 2:35
  8. "Swami - Plus Strings" (Ken Thorne), Etc." (Alternate Stereo Mix) - 3:58
  9. "Happy Birthday to You" (Alternate Stereo Mix) (Patty Hill, [Mildred J. Hill]]) - 1:06
  10. "Ditty Diego" (Session) (Nicholson, Rafelson) 22:55
Disc 2 (Outtakes and Rarities)
  1. Head Promo: "Coming Soon" - 1:02
  2. "Porpoise Song" (Mono Single Mix) (Goffin, King) - 4:03
  3. "Ditty Diego - War Chant" (Mono Mix) (Nicholson, Rafelson) - 1:06
  4. "Circle Sky" (Mono Mix) (Nesmith) - 2:33
  5. "Can You Dig It" (Mono Mix) (Tork) - 3:25
  6. "As We Go Along" (Mono Mix) (Stern, King) - 3:56
  7. "Daddy's Song" (Mono Mix) (Nilsson) - 2:17
  8. "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again" (Mono Mix) (Tork) - 2:36
  9. "Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)" (Rough Mono Mix) (Goffin, King) - 4:16
  10. "Ditty Diego" (Alternate Version) (Nicholson, Rafelson) - 0:53
  11. "Circle Sky" (Alternate Mono Mix) (Nesmith) - 2:32
  12. "Can You Dig It" (Peter's Vocal) (Tork) - 3:27
  13. "Daddy's Song" (Mike's Vocal) (Nilsson) - 2:08
  14. "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again" (Rough Mix Acetate) (Tork) - 3:45
  15. "Can You Dig It" (Mono Movie Mix) (Tork) - 3:08
  16. "Daddy's Song" (Mono Movie Mix) (Nilsson) - 3:10
  17. Head Promo: "It's this and that" (Hidden track)/Head Promo: "Now Playing" - 0:55
  18. Introduction to Live Show - 8:21 (recorded in Salt Lake City May 17, 1968)
  19. "You Just May Be the One" (Live) (Nesmith) - 3:39 (recorded in Salt Lake City May 17, 1968)
  20. "Sunny Girlfriend" (Live) (Nesmith) - 3:32 (recorded in Salt Lake City May 17, 1968)
  21. "You Told Me" (Live) (Nesmith) - 3:20 (recorded in Salt Lake City May 17, 1968)
  22. "Circle Sky" (Live) (Nesmith) - 2:34 (recorded in Salt Lake City May 17, 1968)
  23. "California, Here It Comes" (Buddy DeSylva, Al Jolson, Joseph Meyer) (The same version used in the ending of the 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee television special) - 1:04
Disc 3 (Head Open-End Radio Special Interview Platter with Davy Jones)
  1. "Circle Sky" (Excerpt) (Nesmith) - 1:38
  2. Davy Jones Interview, Pt. 1 - 2:39
  3. "Can You Dig It" (Excerpt) (Tork) - 2:17
  4. Davy Jones Interview, Pt. 2 - 8:32
  5. "Daddy's Song" (Nilsson) - 2:43
  6. Davy Jones Interview, Pt. 3 - 5:30
  7. "Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again" (Excerpt) Tork) - 2:47
  8. Davy Jones Interview, Pt. 4 - 3:20
  9. "Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)" (Goffin, King) - 2:47
  10. Davy Jones Interview, Pt. 5 - 0:06
  11. "Can You Dig It" (Excerpt) (Tork) - 1:59
Vinyl 45
  1. "Porpoise Song" (Instrumental Mix) (Goffin, King) - 4:18
  2. "As We Go Along" (Instrumental Mix) (King, Stern) - 4:20

The front cover of the box also features an authentic reproduction of the album's original front cover, printed on foil mylar to reflect the person's head.

Session information[edit]

all songs produced by The Monkees unless otherwise specified

Opening Ceremony

  • Spoken words: Unknown
  • Recording info unknown

Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)

  • Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King
  • Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
  • Backing vocals: Davy Jones, and Unknown
  • Guitar: Ken Bloom, and Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar
  • Bass: Doug Lubahn
  • Drums: Michael Ney, and John Raines
  • Percussion: Michael Ney, and John Raines
  • Cymbals: Russ Titleman
  • Keyboard: Leon Russell, and Ralph Schuckett
  • Cello: Gregory Bemko, David Filerman, Jan Kelley, Jacqueline Lustgarten
  • Double Bass: Max Bennett, Clyde "Whitey" Hoggan, Jim Hughart, and Jerry Scheff
  • Brass: Bill Hinshaw, and Jules Jacob
  • Woodwind: Bill Hinshaw, and Jules Jacob
  • Produced by Gerry Goffin
  • Recorded at California Recorders, Hollywood, February 26, and 28, 1968

Ditty Diego ─ War Chant

  • Written by Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson
  • Vocals by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones
  • Piano: Michel Rubini
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, August 3, 1968

Circle Sky

  • Written by Michael Nesmith
  • Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
  • Guitar: Michael Nesmith, Keith Allison, and Bill Chadwick
  • Drums: Eddie Hoh
  • Organ: Michael Nesmith
  • Percussion: Michael Nesmith, and Eddie Hoh
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, December 9 and 17, 1967 and January 6 and 8, 1968


  • Spoken words: Unknown
  • Recording info unknown

Can You Dig It?

  • Written by Peter Tork
  • Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
  • Harmony vocal: Peter Tork
  • Guitar: Peter Tork, and Lance Wakely
  • Bass: Unknown
  • Bongos: Unknown
  • Cymbals: Unknown
  • Percussion: Unknown
  • Tambourine: Unknown
  • Unknown: Chester Anderson, Don DeMieri, Michael A. Glass, and Eddie Hoh
  • Recorded at Western Recorders, January 28 and February 1, and RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, January 29, 30, 31 and March 8, 1968


  • Spoken words by Davy Jones, and I. J. Jefferson
  • Recording info unknown


  • Spoken words: Bela Lugosi, etc.
  • Recording info: Lugosi dialogue from "The Black Cat", Universal, 1934

As We Go Along

  • Written by Carole King and Toni Stern
  • Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
  • Guitar: Ken Bloom, Ry Cooder, Carole King, Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar, Tony McCashen, and Neil Young
  • Bass: Harvey Newmark
  • Drums: Earl Palmer
  • Percussion: Denny Bruce, and John Raines
  • Organ: Unknown
  • Flute: Unknown
  • Recorded at Wally Heider's, Hollywood, May 30, and Original Sound, Hollowed, August 1, 1968


  • Spoken words by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Charles Macaulay, Film Officer, and Film Director
  • Recording info unknown

Daddy's Song

  • Written by Harry Nilsson
  • Lead vocal by Davy Jones
  • Electric Guitar: Michael Nesmith
  • Acoustic Guitar: Michael Nesmith
  • Bass: Rick Dey
  • Drums: Eddie Hoh
  • Piano: Eleanor Slatkin
  • Cello: Justin DiTullio, Ray Kramer, Emmet Sargeant, and Eleanor Slatkin
  • Trumpet: Pete Candoli, Buddy Childers, Tony Terran
  • Trombone: Richard Leith, and Lewis McCreary
  • Unknown: Keith Allison, Bill Chadwick
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, January 10, 16, 19 and March 1, and Sunset Sound, Hollywood, April 4, 1968


  • Spoken words by Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Frank Zappa, Timothy Carey, Man 1, Man 2, and Man 3
  • Recording info unknown

Long Title: Do I Have to Do this All over Again?

  • Written by Peter Tork
  • Lead vocal by Peter Tork
  • Backing vocal: Davy Jones, and Peter Tork
  • Guitar: Peter Tork, Stephen Sills, and Lance Wakely
  • Bass: Lance Wakely
  • Drums: Dewey Martin
  • Tambourine: Unknown
  • Recorded at Western Recorders, January 20, 28 and February 1, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 14, RCA Victor Studios, January 22, 27 and February 12, and Sunset Sound, Hollywood, January 25 and 26, 1968
  • The song was recorded over a large number of sessions and was originally intended for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.

Swami - Plus Strings

  • Written by Ken Thorne, Etc.
  • Vocals by Micky Dolenz, and Teri Garr
  • Recording info unknown

1994 Bonus tracks Session Information[edit]

Ditty Diego ─ War Chant [First Recorded Version]

  • Vocals by Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Jack Nicholson, and Bob Rafelson
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, July 25, 1968

Circle Sky [Live Version]

  • Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
  • Electric Guitar: Michael Nesmith
  • Bass: Peter Tork
  • Drums: Micky Dolenz
  • Percussion: Davy Jones
  • Organ: Davy Jones
  • Recorded at Valley Auditorium, and Lagoon Park Amusement Center, Salt Lake City, UT, May 21, 1968

Happy Birthday to You

  • Written by Mildred Hill, and Patty Smith Hill
  • Lead vocals by Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork
  • Organ: Michel Rubini
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, August 3, 1968

Can You Dig It? [Early Mix]

  • Lead vocal by Peter Tork
  • An earlier mix of the song with a lead vocal by Peter Tork. A close observation on both mixes reveals that Peter Tork's lead vocal is the same as the harmony vocal found in the original released mix.

Daddy's Song [Early Mix]

  • Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
  • An earlier mix of the song with a lead vocal by Michael Nesmith

Head Radio Spot

  • Spoken words: Unknown
  • Recording info unknown

Album Personnel[edit]

The Monkees
  • Micky Dolenz (vocals, drums on live version of "Circle Sky")
  • Davy Jones (vocals, maracas and organ on live version of "Circle Sky")
  • Mike Nesmith (vocals, guitar, electric organ, maracas)
  • Peter Tork (vocals, electric guitar, bass guitar on live version of "Circle Sky")
  • Ken Bloom – guitar
  • Danny Kortchmar – guitar on "As We Go Along"
  • Leon Russell – keyboard
  • Ralph Shuckett – keyboard
  • Douglas Lubahn – electric bass
  • Mike Ney – drums
  • William Hinshaw – horn
  • Jules Jacob – horn
  • Gregory Bemko – cello
  • David Filerman – cello
  • Jan Kelly – cello
  • Jacqueline Lustgarten – cello
  • Max Bennett – string bass
  • Clyde Hoggan – string bass
  • James Hughart – string bass
  • Jerry Scheff – string bass
  • Michael Rubini – piano
  • Keith Allison – guitar
  • Bill Chadwick – guitar
  • Richard Dey – bass
  • John Gross – bass
  • Eddie Hoh – drums, cowbell
  • Lance Wakely – guitar, bass
  • Dewey Martin – drums
  • Michael A. Glass – percussion
  • Ry Cooder – guitar on "As We Go Along"
  • Neil Young – guitar on "As We Go Along"
  • Carole King – guitar on "As We Go Along"
  • Harvey Newmark – bass
  • Earl Palmer – drums
  • Dennis Bruce – percussion
  • Stephen Stills – guitar on "Long Title"
  • Pete Candoli – trumpet
  • Marion Childers – trumpet
  • Anthony Terran – trumpet
  • Richard Leith – trombone
  • Lewis McCreary – trombone
  • Justin Ditullio – cello
  • Raphael Kramer – cello
  • Emmet Sargent – cello
  • Eleanor Slatkin – cello
  • Brendan Cahill – percussion
  • Jack Nitzsche – arrangement on "Porpoise Song" and "As We Go Along"
  • Russ Titelman – conductor on "Porpoise Song"
  • John R. Hoening – unknown
  • Tony McCashen – unknown
  • unknown – organ and flute



Chart (1969) Peak
Billboard Top LPs[5] 45


Year Single Chart Peak
1968 "Porpoise Song (Theme from Head)" Billboard Hot 100 62[5]


  1. ^ Head (The Monkees album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Music Review: The Monkees' Head Soundtrack Remains A Worthy Trip - Blogcritics". Blogcritics.org. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  3. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 774. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan; with Hoard, Christian (eds) (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). New York, NY: Fireside/Simon & Schuster. p. 553. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ a b "Head - Charts and Awards". Retrieved 22 June 2014.