Action! The Songs Of Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart Various Artists (Songwriter Series)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDTOP 1335

The latest in our popular songwriter series spotlights Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, the duo whose instinctive marriage of folk-rock and pre-bubblegum teen pop created and defined the Monkees sound.

Boyce and Hart each started out as teenage rock’n’rollers in late 1950s Los Angeles and first met in 1960. Their formative years are represented here with ‘Be My Guest’, written by Boyce for Fats Domino in 1959, ‘Beverly Jean’, one of the handful of Boyce compositions recorded by Curtis Lee and ‘Too Many Teardrops’, an early Bobby Hart solo single.

By 1963 both had relocated toNew York, where they began writing as a team. They made their big breakthrough the following year with ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’, a Top 3 hit for Jay & the Americans, which helped land the twosome a contract with leading music publishers Screen Gems.

They reached the peak of their success and creativity in 1966, writing for and producing the Monkees. Three of the group’s best recordings are here, and a further six songs popularised by them are featured in less-frequently heard, but equally good, mostly pre-Monkees versions, including ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ by UK fuzz-beat combo the Flies and ‘She', an almost hit for Del Shannon. By the end of 1966 the Monkees had recorded nearly 50 titles, 21 of them Boyce and Hart songs – quite an achievement considering they were in competition with Carole King, Gerry Goffin and the rest of the Screen Gems stable.

Apart from the duo’s joint compositions, the collection also features examples of their work with other co-writers. ‘Never Again’ by the Royalettes and ‘Hurt So Bad’, as defined by Little Anthony & the Imperials, stem from Bobby Hart’s spell collaborating with Teddy Randazzo. ‘Action’ – the theme for TV’s Where The Action Is, here by Paul Revere & the Raiders –  and ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day’ by Sir Raleigh & the Cupons represent Tommy Boyce’s brief partnership with Steve Venet. And Wes Farrell gets a look-in via three songs co-written with Boyce and Hart.

Come 1969 Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart were stars in their own right, with four hit singles and three albums to their name. This CD kicks off with ‘I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight’, a power-pop precursor from 1967 and the pair’s biggest hit as performers.

By Mick Patrick


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight - Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

  • 02 Preview Valleri - The Monkees

  • 03 Preview Action, Action, Action - Keith Allison

  • 04 Preview I'm Not Your Stepping Stone - The Flies

  • 05 Preview Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day - Sir Raleigh & The Cupons

  • 06 Preview Words - The Regents

  • 07 Preview Last Train To Clarksville - The Standells

  • 08 Preview (He's Gonna Be) Fine, Fine, Fine - The Ikettes

  • 09 Preview P.O. Box 9847 - The Monkees

  • 10 Preview She - Del Shannon

  • 11 Preview Come A Little Bit Closer - Jay & The Americans

  • 12 Preview The Dum Dum Ditty - The Shangri-Las

  • 13 Preview I Can't Get Him Out Of My Mind - Sandra Gee

  • 14 Preview Hurt So Bad - Little Anthony & The Imperials

  • 15 Preview Thank You For Loving Me - The Sapphires

  • 16 Preview If You're Thinkin' What I'm Thinkin' - Dino, Desi & Billy

  • 17 Preview Seven Days In September - Ginger & The Snaps

  • 18 Preview Never Again - The Royalettes

  • 19 Preview I Gotta Find Cupid - Gary Lewis & The Playboys

  • 20 Preview Beverly Jean - Curtis Lee

  • 21 Preview Too Many Teardrops - Bobby Hart

  • 22 Preview Be My Guest - Fats Domino

  • 23 Preview Lazy Elsie Molly - Chubby Checker

  • 24 Preview Action - Paul Revere & The Raiders

  • 25 Preview (Theme From) The Monkees - The Monkees

  • 26 Preview Dicci Come Fini - The Honeybeats

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