Michael Nesmith / Songs 12CD box

12CD box • RCA and Pacific Arts eras • Bonus tracks

At the end of the month, Edsel will issue Songs, a 12CD box set that brings together Michael Nesmith solo albums issued under two different labels.

The set kicks off  in 1970 with Magnetic South, as a prolific Nesmith went on to issue six albums on RCA in just three years, including the ironically-titled …And The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ which included his own version of ‘Different Drum’, which had been a hit for Linda Ronstadt back in 1967.

1975’s The Prison was the first album on his own label Pacific Arts. This conceptual offering included a novella that was meant to be read while listening to the album as its ‘soundtrack’. Nesmith did the same with 1994’s The Garden (also included here).

1977’s From The Radio Engine To The Photon Wing produced a top 30 UK hit in Rio, with it’s ahead-of-its-time video, and four further albums from late seventies, late eighties and the nineties, complete this set.

Three of the RCA albums offer bonus tracks and these are all presented in vinyl replica-style card sleeves. Songs also features a booklet with notes by broadcaster and Monkees aficionado Iain Lee. It is released on 29 March 2019.

CD 1 – Magnetic South (1970)
1. Calico Girlfriend
2. Nine Times Blue
3. Little Red Rider
4. The Crippled Lion
5. Joanne
6. First National Rag
7. Mama Nantucket
8. Keys To The Car
9. Hollywood
10. One Rose
11. Beyond The Blue Horizon
12. Rose City Chimes*

CD 2 – Loose Salute (1970)
1. Silver Moon
2. I Fall To Pieces
3. Thanx For The Ride
4. Dedicated Friend
5. Conversations
6. Tengo Amore
7. Listen To The Band
8. Bye, Bye, Bye
9. Lady Of The Valley
10. Hello Lady
11. First National Dance*

CD 3 – Nevada Fighter (1971)
1. Grand Ennui
2. Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun To Care)
3. Here I Am
4. Only Bound
5. Nevada Fighter
6. Texas Morning
7. Tumbling Tumbleweeds
8. I Looked Away
9. Rainmaker
10. René

CD 4 – Tantamount to Treason Vol 1 (1972)
1. Mama Rocker
2. Lazy Lady
3. You Are My One
4. In the Afternoon
5. Highway 99 With Melange
6. Wax Minute
7. Bonaparte’s Retreat
8. Talking To The Wall
9. She Thinks I Still Care
10. Cantata & Fugue In C&W*
11. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette*

CD 5 – And The Hits Just Keep on Comin’ (1972)
1. Tomorrow & Me
2. The Upside Of Good-Bye
3. Lady Love
4. Listening
5. Two Different Roads
6. The Candidate
7. Different Drum
8. Harmony Constant
9. Keep On
10. Roll With The Flow

CD 6 – Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973)
1. Continuing
2. Some Of Shelly’s Blues
3. Release
4. Winonah
5. Born To Love You
6. The Back Porch And A Fruit Jar Full Of Iced Tea (a. The F.F.V b. Uncle Pen)
7. Prairie Lullaby

CD 7 – The Prison: A Book With Soundtrack (1974)
1. Opening Theme (Life, The Unsuspecting Captive)
2. Dance Between The Raindrops
3. Elusive Ragings
4. Waking Mystery
5. Hear Me, Calling
6. Marie’s Theme
7. Closing Theme (Lamp Post)

CD 8 – From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing (1977)
1. Rio
2. Casablanca Moonlight
3. More Than We Imagine
4. Navajo Trail
5. We Are Awake
6. Wisdom Has Its Way
7. Love’s First Kiss
8. The Other Room

CD 9 – Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma (1979)
1. Dance
2. Magic
3. Tonite
4. Flying
5. Carioca
6. Cruisin’
7. Factions
8. Light
9. Horserace
10. Capsule

CD 10 – The Newer Stuff (1989)
1. Total Control
2. Tanya
3. I’ll Remember You
4. Formosa Diner
5. Dreamer
6. Eldorado To The Moon
7. Tahiti Condo
8. Chow Mein And Bowling

CD 11 – Tropical Campfires (1992)
1. Yellow Butterfly
2. Laugh Kills Lonesome
3. Moon Over The Rio Grande
4. One…
5. Juliana
6. Brazil
7. In The Still Of The Night
8. Rising In Love
9. Begin The Beguine
10. I Am Not That
11. …For The Island
12. Twilight On The Trail

CD 12 – The Garden (1994)
1. Garden’s Glow
2. Ficus Carica
3. City
4. Hills Of Time
5. Flowers Dancing
6. Wisteria
7. Life Becoming

*Bonus tracks

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I wish there was download card for the unreleased tracks that turn up elsewhere digitally.
Makes this just a reissue with nothing new to say. I should have read all the details.

[…] on limited edition clear vinyl in May. It’s a good time for Nesmith releases with the 12CD Songs box out tomorrow and Loose Salute does of course feature in that set too. It was his second album […]

Robert Lett

Signed copies are available on his website.



There is a copy of The Prison on Ebay.

Neil Storey

Truly wonderful to be reminded of that extraordinary video for Rio. First watched that outside the office on a gigantic (borrowed) vhs machine, wires everywhere, hooked up to a monitor (also borrowed) in my dining room in ’77. Hard to believe it was made over 40 years ago and yet… it still stands the test of time. The same cannot be said for many which came after.

And The Hits / Radio Engine were all Island UK releases… tho’ The Prison is nowadays nigh on impossible to find as such.



You’re right Neil, it is an amazing video for “Rio” What is really amazing is that Mike didn’t kick the white ball in the sun lounger scene……99% of people would definitely have done! Nez has done so much great stuff over the years. A nice box but not essential.

Wayne Klein

Fills in some holes in my collection. Given that the HDtracks version covering 7 of these will cost over $140 U.S., I’m willing to invest in these. Let’s hope these feature the new mastering and while this doesn’t include the majority of the bonus tracks, is a bit of a mystery and a shame.


While it is nice that they have put this together, there really is nothing new to see here. Maybe they should have collected the non-mainstream stuff into a set? The live releases, Wichita, late period Nez. Oh well. And leaving off the recent bonus tracks as well as the ones previously released is just mean-spirited.

Robert Laversuch

Don’t own any of his work – so ordered


All great albums but nothing new here for Nez heads.
The Digital only released bonus tracks from the RC albums should’ve been included -they are outstanding !

The Golden Age Of Ole, Ole, Ole!

I like Michael Nesmith and nearly ordered this box set but I have 10 of the albums, so it`s over to Discogs for `The Prison` & `The Garden`.

Pete Ham

I won’t be the only one to say this…
What a blown opportunity. Why not put the bonus tracks that are on the digital only releases that recently came out? This feels like a recycling of the old Camden releases. Maybe Sony won’t let them?


Sadly, Amazon has lied to you about the USA price. It’s about $80 pre-order. But still, what great music! I’m gonna be purchasing it. Soon!



Mike Brophy

Infinite Rider is one of ny favourite albums of all-time. I have played it for many friends without telling them who it is until they are finished the entire album and rhey were shocked to find out they were listening to a member of The Monkees!

Steve F

“Eldorado to the Moon” is a wonderful track!

Liam G Wilick

Nothing new here, not worth it.

Mark stuart

Very much worth it if you don’t have any of his albums, or like me, have a few on tape and second hand vinyl.

Scott Smith

The criminally under-appreciated “Tropical Campfires” is one of those albums that always lifts my spirits. You can’t listen to it and feel bad.


Tropical Campfires was the only Nesmith album I owned for many years. A few years ago, I acquired all five of the 2-fer CDs. One of them has two albums not included on this set: The Wichita Train Whistle Sings / Timerider.

John Barleycorn

Tiny, tiny amend to your write-up, Paul… the sticker says ‘Iain Lee’ not ‘Ian Lee’.


That’s a pretty great deal and with a birthday coming up I think I’ll stick this on my amazon list!


And isn’t it “Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma”, not “Infinite Rider on the Big Dogman”? Though I do like the revised title, lol.

Lawrence Geller

No quad and no Elephant Parts=no buy.


Is it not “Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash”, rather than “Raunch Stash”?
What did you have on your mind, Mr Sinclair?


‘Different Drum’. Absolute classic. Both P P Arnold’s and The Pastels versions are great too.