Charles Darwin the famous evolutionist takes The Monkees through various stages of evolution until they are ready to brainwash the world via commercial exploitation. Hatched in giant test tubes, the four are stripped of all personal identity and names: Micky Dolenz becomes Monkee #1, Peter Tork becomes Monkee #2, Mike Nesmith Monkee #3, and Davy Jones Monkee #4. Each Monkee attempts to regain his stripped personal identity by thinking his way out of captivity into his own world of fantasies. Monkee #1 (Micky) performs an R&B up-tempo duet remake of "I'm A Believer" with Julie Driscoll; Monkee #2 (Peter) reclines on a giant cushion in eastern garb and, to the lilting backing of sitar and tabla, performs "I Prithee (Do Not Ask For Love)," a gentle number concerning spiritual values. Monkee #3 (Mike), in an inventive split screen number, sings a country tune, "Naked Persimmon (The Only Thing I Believe Is True)"; and Monkee #4 (Davy) capers about in short pants and frill collar in fairytale land, singing and dancing to the tune of "Goldilocks Sometime." But Darwin is alarmed by their fantasies and tries breaking them down by his own hypnotism via "Only The Fittest Shall Survive," a slab of swirling psychedelia laden with congas, drums, jungle noises, cyclonic winds, explosions and heavy breathing. After The Monkees perform "Wind Up Man" in the stiff-legged form of robots, and "I Go Ape" disguised in white gorilla costumes, they are regenerated to Darwin's taste and, hypnotized, plasticized, psychoanalyzed, and sterilized, they make their debut at the Paramount Theater on December 7, 1956, dubbed "the greatest rock 'n' roll singers in the world." The four, dressed in outlandish 1950s vocal group gear, are then immediately launched into a classic '50s rock medley: "At The Hop," "Little Darlin'," "Peppermint Twist," and more. Backing them up are Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, The Buddy Miles Express, and The Clara Ward Singers. Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll interrupts the proceedings and announces they have decided to give Davy, Micky, Mike and Peter complete and total freedom, resulting in a brief snippet of Davy Jones' "String For My Kite," Peter Tork's harpsichord rendition of "Solfeggietto" by C.P.E. Bach and all four Monkees performing "Listen To The Band," with Mike on Black Beauty (Gibson Les Paul Custom), Peter on keyboards, Micky on drums, and Davy on tambourine as an affectionate swan song performance by all four Monkees. As the song progresses, they are joined by hippies and all of 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee's guest musicians from The Trinity to The Buddy Miles Express, resulting in a climactic frantic cacophony until Darwin literally closes the book on them; the book's title is, prophetically, The Beginning Of The End. As Peter Tork performs "California Here It Comes" (his very last Monkees recording!), 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee's end credits superimpose over footage of Southern California being the hapless victim of an A-bomb blast.moreless
This tv special is extremely horrible. This is by far the worst of anything I have ever seen related to the Monkees. Avoid it at all costs. It has no central plot, no good songs or anything. The movie "Head" made no sense but was a very good movie. You aren't going to get that lucky again with 33 and 1/3.
This was not actually an episode of "The Monkees", but rather a music special aired a year after the series ended. Like the movie "Head", the special illustrated how boxed in the guys felt by the series, and represented their attempt to do something they really wanted to do. Each Monkee had a showcase with music he chose, and there was a large lineup of guests, including Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Buddy Miles Express, and Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll with the Trinity. It is really nothing like "The Monkees", and is probably only interesting to hardcore fans of the group.moreless
Features these performers singing these songs: Micky Dolenz & Julie Driscoll: "I'm a Believer"; Peter Tork: "I Prithee (Do Not Ask For Love)"; Mike Nesmith: "Naked Persimmon (The Only Thing I Believe is True)"; Davy Jones: "Goldilocks Sometime"; The Monkees: "Wind Up Man"; "Darwin"; Paul Arnold & The Moon Express: "Only the Fittest Shall Survive"; The Monkees: "I Go Ape"; The Trinity: "Come On Up"; The Monkees: "At the Hop"; Fats Domino: "I'm Ready"; Jerry Lee Lewis: "Whole Lotta Shakin Goin' On"; Little Richard: "Tutti Frutti"; We Three & The Monkees: "Shake a Tailfeather"; Fats Domino: "Blue Monday"; The Monkees: "Little Darlin"; Jerry Lee Lewis: "Down the Line"; The Clara Ward Singers: "Dry Bones"; David Jones: "String For My Kite"; Peter Tork: "Solfeggietto" by C.P.E. Bach; The Monkees & Entire Cast: "Listen to the Band"; Peter Tork: "California Here it Comes (end titles).