Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Michael Nesmith Week: The Newer Stuff

See Also:
Mike Nesmith Week: The Monkees Era
Michael Nesmith Week: The Older Stuff

Michael Nesmith's newer stuff is really only the 1977 and 1979 albums 'From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing' and 'Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma,' as well as a handful of other songs from 1980 that weren't released until Rhino put out the 1989 compilation 'The Newer Stuff.' His country-rock days are long gone by this time, but his new sound produced quite a few fine singles and other tracks.

If you followed Nesmith's work at Pacific Arts, you no doubt realize that during this period film and television became at least as important to him as music. For example, he produced a whopping five music videos from the 'Infinite Rider' album, which was quite a feat in 1979. In 1981, Nesmith assembled an hour-long program of comedy skits and music videos called 'Elephant Parts.' The result was a first-ever Grammy in the new music video category. That same year, Nesmith debuted a new music-video program for Nickelodeon called 'PopClips.' It would have been compared to MTV... only that music-video program didn't exist yet. So, when you use "pioneer" and "genius" to describe Nesmith, these aren't empty words. In 1985, Nesmith brought an 'Elephant Parts'-like show to the small screen for NBC. Although it only lasted a summer, I vividly remember several humorous musical performances by Nesmith on 'Television Parts.' I collected a few of these clips (along with some from 'Elephant Parts') below.

As for today's mix, "Rio" and "Casablanca Moonlight" come from 'From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing.' "Light" can be found on 'Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma.' "Tanya" and "Total Control" are part of those unreleased songs from 1980 that appear on 'The Newer Stuff.' "Cruisin'" may seem like an obvious miss here. Since I included the music video below, I chose to omit that fan favorite.

The Michael Nesmith Five (The Newer Stuff)
Michael Nesmith - Tanya (mp3)
Michael Nesmith - Rio (mp3)
Michael Nesmith - Casablanca Moonlight (mp3)
Michael Nesmith - Total Control (mp3)
Michael Nesmith - Light (mp3)

If you like what you see and hear, you may want to buy these Nesmith nuggets:
'The Newer Stuff'
'Elephant Parts'
'Television Parts Home Companion'
'From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing'/'Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma'









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