“I realized early on that Red was the magic carpet,” the late Michael Nesmith observed to this author in 2020 of his longtime collaborator Orville “Red” Rhodes. “I began to realize this guy is on another level…He’s playing music up at the highest jazz levels, but he’s playing all by himself. I thought it was some of the most inspired and celestial pedal steel guitar music -which was like an impossibility, but it really was.” Perhaps no release better epitomizes the intuitive, almost symbiotic relationship between Nesmith and Rhodes than 1972’s And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’. The wry title reflected Nesmith’s lack of chart success at RCA Victor, but artistic success was another matter altogether. The stripped-down album was a musical dialogue between Nesmith (on vocals and 12-string acoustic guitar) and Rhodes (on his pedal steel), journeying from his pre-Monkees songbook through the present day. Now, the album – a very special one in Nesmith’s discography – is receiving a 50th anniversary release from 7a Records on both CD and vinyl LP.
The upcoming edition, due from 7a on May 13, features such highlights as Nesmith’s own interpretation of “Different Drum,” a 1967 hit for Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys, the beautifully melancholy “Tomorrow and Me,” the searching “Harmony Constant,” and trippy “The Candidate.” Four session outtakes have been added, mirroring the contents of Legacy Recordings’ 2018 digital-only expanded edition: “Cantata and Fugue in C&W” (first released in 2001), a unique version of Nesmith standard “Some of Shelly’s Blues,” and alternate takes of “Keep On” and “Roll with the Flow.” The latter two tracks reflect the improvisatory, exploring nature of the sessions. The alternate take of “Keep On” has a less bright arrangement than the final take, while the alternate of “Roll with the Flow” is considerably more aggressive and rocking, with double-tracked vocals, than the mellower country version on the LP. These tracks are making their premiere on vinyl. (For a further dive into the Nez vaults, look no further than Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music’s 2021 CD release Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings.)
7a’s edition of And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ is newly-remastered and includes a 28-page booklet featuring both liner notes and previously unpublished photos. The 180-gram vinyl version is pressed on colored vinyl and housed within a gatefold sleeve. This release makes an essential companion to 7a’s Cosmic Partners: The McCabe’s Tapes (2019) which premiered Nesmith and Rhodes’ intimate concert of August 18, 1973 on CD and LP (and included some material from And The Hits…).
Look for this 50th anniversary reissue celebrating the legacy of country-rock pioneer Michael Nesmith on May 13. You’ll find the track listing and pre-order links below.
Michael Nesmith, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ (RCA Victor LP LSP-4695, 1972 – reissued 7a Records, 2022)
- Tomorrow and Me
- The Upside of Good-bye
- Lady Love
- Two Different Roads
- The Candidate
- Different Drum
- Harmony Constant
- Keep On
- Roll with the Flow
- Some of Shelly’s Blues (Alternate Version)
- Keep On (Alternate Version)
- Roll with the Flow (Alternate Version)
- Cantata and Fugue In C&W (Instrumental)
Tracks 11-13 first released digitally in 2018, first released on CD on Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings, Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music RGM-1044, 2021
Track 14 from Nevada Fighter/Tantamount to Treason, BMG Camden 74321 822352, 2001
JOE MARCHESE (Editor) joined The Second Disc shortly after its launch in early 2010, and has since penned daily news and reviews about classic music of all genres. In 2015, Joe formed the Second Disc Records label. Celebrating the great songwriters, producers and artists who created the sound of American popular song, Second Disc Records, in conjunction with Real Gone Music, has released newly-curated collections produced by Joe from iconic artists such as Johnny Mathis, Bobby Darin, Laura Nyro, Melissa Manchester, Chet Atkins, and many others.
He has contributed liner notes to reissues from a diverse array of artists, among them Nat “King” Cole, Paul Williams, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, B.J. Thomas, The 5th Dimension, Burt Bacharach, The Mamas and the Papas, Carpenters, Perry Como, Rod McKuen, Doris Day, Jackie DeShannon, and Andy Williams, and has compiled releases for talents including Robert Goulet and Keith Allison of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Over the past two decades, Joe has also worked in a variety of capacities on and off Broadway as well as at some of the premier theatres in the U.S., including Lincoln Center Theater, George Street Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, and the York Theatre Company. He has felt privileged to work on productions alongside artists such as the late Jack Klugman, Eli Wallach, Arthur Laurents, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. In 2009, Joe began contributing theatre and music reviews to the print publication The Sondheim Review, and in 2012, he joined the staff of The Digital Bits as a regular contributor writing about film and television on DVD and Blu-ray.
Joe currently resides in the suburbs of New York City.