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!
Despite a push by Rhino Records for a Grammy nomination, The Monkees' new album Good Times! came up short today when nominees for the 2017 Grammy Awards were announced this morning.
The Monkees have never been the recipient of a Grammy Award. In 1967, "Last Train to Clarksville" was nominated for Best Rock & Roll Group Performance and Best Rock & Roll Recording. It lost both times as The Mamas & The Papas took home the award for Best Performance ("Monday, Monday") while The New Vaudeville won Best Recording ("Winchester Cathedral"). In 1968, "I'm a Believer" was up for two awards (Group Performance and Contemporary Vocal Group) but lost both times to The Fifth Dimension's "Up, Up and Away."
Michael Nesmith, however, won a Grammy for one of his most notable post-Monkees endeavors. In 1982, Nez was the first to be awarded a Grammy for Video of the Year for Elephant Parts. The award was reserved for "video cassettes or discs in any format created specifically for the home video market."
In the meantime, go and vote for The Monkees in Ultimate Classic Rock's Album of the Year poll (and thanks to David Marcone for the heads-up):
"Who could have expected a comeback this great? Mike Nesmith gets to show off all the mileage on his country-fried pipes in this superb road-weary ballad, written to order by a lifelong Monkees fan, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard." -Rob Sheffield
The Monkees Tour Facebook page posted the following information about the poll:
The voting starts today for "The 2016 Coolest Song of the Year 10th Annual Listener's Poll" from syndicated radio show (Sirius XM channel 21) “Little Steven's Underground Garage.” The Monkees' "Birth of an Accidental Hipster" is one of the nominees as it was chosen to be The Coolest Song in the World for the week of May 22, 2016 - show #738.
Fans may vote for their favorite "Coolest Song" once every 24 hours. The voting ends on December 24th at 12pm EST.
The “Coolest Song of 2016” winner will be announced on January 2nd, during Kid Leo's "Coolest Songs of 2016 Revisited Annual Year End Review" show on Sirius XM-21 where Kid Leo will play all 50 "Coolest Songs" of 2016.