This is as fine a job as anyone could look for in a single-disc Monkees career summary. Over the course of this generous 25-song disc, all of the Monkees numerous hits are included ("Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," etc.), but perhaps more significantly, many lesser-known songs of equal quality can be heard. While the Monkees' many unforgettable hits were generally written by great pop composers of the day like Neil Diamond ("I'm a Believer"), Gerry Goffin & Carole King ("Pleasant Valley Sunday"), and the team of Boyce & Hart (damn near everything else), that's not the whole story.
Though the Monkees were criticized for being merely actors playing a band, Mike Nesmith was in fact a superb songwriter. He's represented by several songs here (the garagey "Mary Mary," the expansive "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," et al), and went on to release some of the best country-rock albums ever made. And though most of the playing on Monkees tracks was done by L.A. studio musicians, the blend of British-Invasion and pop-psych is totally convincing in a manner not unlike self-contained fellow Californians the Beau Brummels. Besides, as great as the Brummels were, would you really want to put their rhythm section up against the likes of Carole Kaye and Hal Blaine?