The Monkees first studio album since 1996's Justus arrived one year ago today. Check out the Live Almanac's complete coverage from the moment it was announced:
This evening on his UK radio show, Iain Lee spoke with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, the legendary new wave group responsible for songs like "Tempted," "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)," and many more. Afterwards, Iain relayed details about the interview on Facebook, in which Tilbrook referenced The Monkees' 2016 album, Good Times!, while also hinting about writing for a future Monkees release:
"Um. How to say this. I literally just had Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze on my show. I said it was sad he wasn't asked to write a song for Good Times. 'Oh we were,' he said, 'but we couldn't fit it in. But they're doing another record and we're writing one for that...'"
No further information is available regarding Tilbrook's comments, but it should be noted that in a March interview Micky Dolenz raised the idea of The Monkees working together in 2017:
"We’re talking about another Monkee project. Nothing to announce at this point, but it’s in the air because this year is the 50th anniversary of our first real tour. So there’ll be stuff going on this summer and fall and then, well you just never know."
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac, and for a link to the Tilbrook interview once it's archived online.
UPDATE @ 8:40pm EST:
Joe, who owns Joe's Record Exchange in Fort Myers, Florida, has informed the Live Almanac that he received an email today from a record distributor regarding a brand new Monkees compilation coming this summer from Rhino Records. Here's what Joe had to say:
"I own a record store in Florida. I received an e-mail today from one of the distributors I buy new vinyl from, and it was about an upcoming Rhino promotion called '1967 Summer of Love.' There are 19 releases scheduled, and one is by The Monkees called Summer of Love. The only information given is that it is a 'New 1 LP and 1 CD compilation' with a scheduled release date of July 18, 2017."
It's unknown, of course, if this collection will contain any new Monkees music, and I'd like to stress that Rhino Records has yet to officially announce such a compilation. It's interesting nonetheless, on top of Iain's interview with Glenn Tilbrook. Thanks, Joe!
UPDATE #2 @ 10:30pm EST:
Andrew Sandoval, Monkees archivist and concert tour producer, spoke exclusively with the Live Almanac about the initial report above:
"No comment on recording, but we await any new Difford & Tilbrook song. Here's hoping."
Chris Difford is Glenn Tilbrook's songwriting partner in Squeeze. Thanks, Andrew!
UPDATE #3 on 5/10/2017 @ 4:15pm EST:
You can now listen to Iain Lee's interview with Glenn Tilbrook, and the Monkees discussion begins at the 2:00 mark.
Today in 2016, The Monkees' lead single and video from their Top 20 album, Good Times!, was premiered on Rolling Stone magazine's website.
At the time of its release, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, who composed the song, talked about The Monkees' influence on his career:
Nez also celebrated the release of "She Makes Me Laugh" with this post on Facebook on April 28, 2016:
Thanks to @Trimco_wgins on Twitter who alerted the Live Almanac about the video below, courtesy of YouTube. And if you haven't seen it, don't forget to check out the official video for the second single from The Monkees' latest album, Good Times!, produced by Michael Nesmith's son, Jonathan, and Susan Holloway.
And I must say that I'm in total accord with Andrew's song selection below!
A backing track for Jeff Barry and Joey Levine's "Gotta Give It Time" was originally recorded in January 1967 and, 49 years later, it was finally given a vocal by Micky Dolenz (with backing vocals by Michael Nesmith) for The Monkees' 2016 album, Good Times! Andrew Sandoval discussed its original '67 attempt for an entry in his Day-By-Day book:
"...The studio musicians next settle in to recording Joey Levine's promising 'Gotta Give It Time,' not coincidentally co-written with today's session producer Jeff Barry. Only four takes are made of this garage-styled rock number, the final one being marked as the master. Had The Monkees ever completed the recording it could have been another '(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone.'"
Here's a homemade video for the song from YouTube, splicing "Gotta Give It Time" into the first season episode "The Chaperone":
In late November, voting commenced for "The 2016 Coolest Song of the Year 10th Annual Listener's Poll" sponsored by "Little Steven's Underground Garage," a syndicated radio show on SiriusXM. (Steven Van Zandt is a musician, producer, songwriter, and longtime member of The E Street Band who placed "Hipster," a cut from The Monkees' latest album, Good Times!, into steady rotation on Underground Garage.) It was announced yesterday that the song has taken top honors in the poll!
In another impressive feat, Monkees fans played a role in setting a record for the annual poll:
The drowsy melancholy of "Me & Magdalena," Ben Gibbard's contribution to a new album by the Monkees, featuring the particular beauty of Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz, their tenor voices weathered but still vital, harmonizing.
Adam Schlesinger, who made his name reviving power-pop as half of Fountains of Wayne, gathers together a crew of clever songwriters – including Rivers Cuomo, Ben Gibbard, Andy Partridge, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller – to provide top-shelf material for a reunion that lives up to the album's title and its exclamation point. But though Good Times! updates the Monkees' sound, it also keeps one foot in the past: A tweaked Sixties demo allows Micky Dolenz to perform a virtual duet with the title track's composer, the late Harry Nilsson; and Davy Jones (who died in 2012) appears via a 1967 outtake. Septuagenarians have never celebrated puppy love so winningly. K.H.
Check out this great poster, a creation of Monkees fan Becca Nelson. I think it sums up 2016 nicely!
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval produced this year's 50th Anniversary Tour. Today on Facebook, he took a moment to reflect on the shows and more:
Micky Dolenz & Peter Tork played close to 50 different songs over the past 7 months, across 66 concerts in four countries (covering 30 of the 50 United States, Canada, New Zealand & Australia). We were joined by Michael Nesmith for four tremendous shows, one of which I think was maybe the best concert I have ever seen The Monkees perform.
This year, The Monkees had a new album called Good Times! that was a Top 20 charting album in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. This just blows my mind.
I have been proud to present The Monkees in concert for 160 shows from 2011-2016: the group's longest period of continuous activity since the 1960's.
We owe a great debt to our fantastic band: Wayne Avers, John Billings, Rich Dart, Gemma Dolenz & David Alexander. This year, we were blessed by having such wonderful guest musicians as David Robicheau, Vance Brescia & Felipe Torres.
Our tremendous crew pulled off a consistently great production. Thank you to Tim Iseler, Chip Auchincloss, Austin Becker & Sabrina Rush. We were helped immeasurably on a number of dates by Guy T. Koepp, Martin Garneret, Francis Sapienza, Noamme Elisha, Dave Butterworth & Matt Littlejohn. Special thanks to Scott Gawlik for his work on our videos and live concert filming.
Lastly, my extra special thanks to everyone who came to "watch us sing and play" in this wonderful five year period. Your support, trust and love have made it all possible.
Off Good Times!, the Monkees' first album in 20 years, "Me and Magdalena" is a gentle, folk-y ballad that lets Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's tender harmonies shine. Ben Gibbard wrote the track, and the album itself features writing contributions from artists like Rivers Cuomo, Carole King, Neil Diamond, Noel Gallagher and more.
Good Times! Plus! was made available as part of a special Record Store Day release by Rhino Records for Black Friday on November 25, 2016. The four song EP, pressed on 10" red opaque vinyl and limited to 2,500 copies, included the four non-album songs that were previously only available via iTunes and exclusive retail CDs in both the US and Japan. Ben Belmares scanned his copy, and you can see the front and back covers, labels, and more below. Thanks, Ben!