From A Radio Engine/Infinite Rider
Please note, territorial restrictions may apply to this product.
• As a member of the first-ever manufactured group, Michael Nesmith needs little introduction. Aside from his ground-breaking projects in the field of music video and film production, he has enjoyed a solo career since he left the Monkees that has encompassed many styles of music, but has always been supported by his wonderful songwriting.
• The first album in this set, “From A Radio Engine…” was recorded in Nashville, and features his best-known solo hit “Rio”, a Top 30 UK hit in 1977. Follow-up “Infinite Rider…” was released in 1979, and features a much heavier sound. This release contains the previously unreleased long version of “Flying”. Neither of these albums has previously been issued on CD outside of the US.
• Both albums have been digitally remastered by Nesmith from the original multi-track tapes, and the booklet features previously unpublished photos from the sessions for the cover as well as extensive and revealing newly-written annotation by Nez himself, the first time that he has ever written sleevenotes for his albums!
|| ||Casablanca Moonlight|
|| ||Move Than We Imagine|
|| ||Navajo Trail|
|| ||We Are Awake|
|| ||Wisdom Has Its Way|
|| ||Love's First Kiss|
|| ||The Other Room|
|| ||Flying (Long Version)|
Birmingham Sunday Mercury
Michael Nesmith was the most musically talented of The Monkees, and went on to an eclectic solo career. Two CDs just released each feature a couple of bizarrely-titled albums. There’s From A Radio Engine To The Proton Wing paired with Infinite Rider On The Big Dogma, two albums which find Nesmith dabbling in all sorts of music to mixed effect. The other album combines big band set The Witcha Train Whistle Sings, with the country-rock themed instrumental soundtrack to a movir titled Timerider. His best-known, and only, UK hit Rio nestles amid this varied and interesting collection of songs.
The most talented musician in The Monkees, Michael ‘Mike’ Nesmith went on to release several acclaimed solo albums. This album finds Nesmith’s gentle country/rock style channelling a more commercial muse.
Q, April 08
“One-time Monkee man’s chequered past”
The only Monkee with musical credibility, Michael Nesmith made some of the most neglected country-rock of the 70’s.
Uncut, April 08
“Exploration of former Monkee’s belfry yields battiness”
The four albums collected in this pair of reissues illustrate an artistic palette of a range and raging eccentricity regrettably unimaginable in the members of any of The Monkees’ contemporary descendants in the pre-fab pop field. Wichita Train…, recorded as a side project during The Monkees’ boom years, is a collection of orch pop arrangements; Timerider, originally released in 2000, is a fabulously awful gallimaufry of disco metal; Radio Engine, Nesmith’s 1977 solo album, is amiable Gene Clark-variety country; Infinite Rider, its 1979 successor, faintly demented pub rock. On the whole, intermittently inspired, often inexplicable, never dull.
Retro Music Review, March 08
The second Edsel reissue pairs 1977’s From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing with 1979’s Infinite Rider On The Big Dogma. The two albums stand in stark contrast to one another. Radio Engine, recorded in Nashville, has a sweet, warm country twang, while Infinite Rider, recorded in LA, is loud, heavy, and super funky. Both records, however, are masterpieces. Radio Engine opens with what might be Nesmith’s most well known solo composition, Rio. This musical Margarita lifts the listener up above the clouds, for an imaginary trip to a tropical paradise. “Casablanca Moonlight” is coming from a similar place, with the added element of a search for an old fashioned cinematic experience. This LP has a generally cinematic feel, foreshadowing Nesmith’s early ’80s entry into the production end of the motion picture industry. Nesmith’s lyrics throughout Radio Engine are contemplative and philosophical, pondering the big questions of life. “Wisdom Has Its Way” examines the whole nature of wisdom, and how it is rarely found in those who think they already have all the answers. “The Other Room” is an up tempo treatise on the question of self-determination. With a hip, finger-snappin’ rhythm and “doo-waddy-waddy” backing vocals, Nesmith guides the protagonist of the song from helpless despair to joyful triumph. Infinite Rider is far more blunt, exploding with sarcasm and wonderful weirdness. The stream of consciousness lyrics of “Tonite” are fantastically freaky. When Nesmith says, “Everyone’s made out of little thin lines and sometimes their fingers are blue,” you know he isn’t at all happy about the situation. “Cruisin’” is a badass street story with an infectious groove. It could be considered disco in retrospect, but more properly, it is urban funk. Hearing a Texas boy like Nesmith exercising his funky city side is something else. “Factions” is a rip roaring story of rebellion, featuring the wonderfully warped line, “She grew out of her pants/She’s a little too advanced/She’s the daughter of Rock and Roll.” Saxophonist Tom Saviano shines on the hauntingly romantic “Light,” tearing through a mind blowing solo. “Magic” is a doo wop disco ballad pastiche, with Nesmith affecting a Frankie Valli falsetto. “Capsule” brings it all back to the funk, with a relentless club beat backing up a description of the sad state of the media culture.
Allmusic.com, July 08
This two-disc set — from the UK-based Edsel reissue label — contains remastered editions circa 2007 of Michael Nesmith's mid-to-late 1970s solo titles From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing (1977) and Infinite Rider On The Big Dogma (1979). While the former presents an extension of the artist's genre-defining forays into Americana — decades before it had a name — the latter unleashes a collection that is solidly based in the concurrent trends of the time. Without abandoning or compromising his unique and singular song-writing style, Nesmith embraces a comparatively MOR-ish approach to the arrangements to "Rio," the slightly tropical vibe of "More Than We Imagine" and the danceable "Love's First Kiss". Leaning toward his familiar country-flavoured rockers are Nesmith's update of "Navajo Trail" and the mid-tempo ballad "Wisdom Has It's Way". "The Other Room" — which concludes From A Radio Engine … is recommended for old school Nez heads as it settles into a lively groove reminiscent of First National Band classics such as "Mama Nantucket" or "Roll With The Flow". Infinite Rider On The Big Dogma serves up what was Nesmith's most diverse offering of rockers to date or since. Not only does the fresh digital pass reveal an immeasurably cleaner sound than its early 1990s CD predecessor, but also included is a previously unreleased 'long version' of "Flying" that clocks in with over two additional minutes. The unrepentant rockers "Dance," "Factions" and "Horserace" are balanced by ethereal love songs, namely "Carioca" and the memorably twisted triad of Lucy, Ramona and Sunset Sam on "Crusin'". The booklet contains lyrics, formerly unpublished photos and newly-penned liner notes from Papa Nez himself.
Michael Nesmith Facts
- He had already released two singles under the name Michael Blessing before he auditioned successfully for The Monkees.
- He was the first Monkee to have his compositions recorded for the group’s albums.
- He is the only Monkee to have a solo hit in the UK, with “Rio”.
- He has written several songs that do not feature the title anywhere in the song: Papa Gene’s Blues, Good Clean Fun, Some Of Shelly’s Blues, Propinquity, Carlisle Wheeling.
- Linda Ronstadt recorded “Different Drum” and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band recorded “Mary Mary” while he was still in the Monkees.
- His mother invented Liquid Paper, the correcting fluid. Figures vary as to how much he inherited when she died…
- He is considered to be one of the pioneers of country rock (along with Gram Parsons), a style adopted by The Eagles and many others.
- He invented the notion of making pop videos with a storyboard. He misunderstood Island Records’ boss Chris Blackwell’s request for a “film of ‘Rio’” in 1977, when the single climbed into the UK Top 30. Blackwell simply wanted a film of Nesmith singing the song, but Nez interpreted it as a request for a film dramatising the lyrics.
- He invented the concept of MTV. After making several films for songs from the “From A Radio Engine” and “Infinite Rider” albums, he noticed that there were very few outlets for these films to get shown more than once. He also noticed that the growth in record companies making increasingly more expensive promo videos coincided with the growth in cable TV channels in the US, with hours of airtime to fill. The promo videos represented hours and hours of content, already created and sitting on a shelf. Nesmith created a programme called “Pop Clips” for Nickelodeon – the concept was then sold to Time Warner who developed it into MTV.
- He won the first video Grammy for his programme “Elephant Parts”.
- He spent much of the 80s in TV and film production – notable films include “Repo Man” and “Tape Heads”.
- He has written and recorded two “books with soundtracks” (“The Prison” and “The Garden”). The listener plays the record while reading the book.
- He was a good friend of “Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy” author Douglas Adams.
- His website (www.videoranch.com) is home to his current project Videoranch 3D, a virtual environment on the internet that hosts live performances at various virtual venues inside the Ranch.