In early 1968 The Monkees' fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., was released in Japan with an alternate cover in comparison to the United States pressing. The July 2022 issue of Shindig!, in their "Vinyl Art" column, profiled this unique cover of Pisces as it was originally issued in Japan, featuring the work of Japanese graphic artist Keiichi Tanaami.
Thank you to longtime Live Almanac contributor and Monkees fan Renny Simno for sharing this piece with the site!
Earlier this month, the vinyl-only label Run Out Groove released The Monkees' second album, More of the Monkees, as an expanded deluxe limited edition double LP featuring bonus tracks and deluxe packaging. For this release, Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, along with mastering engineer Kevin Grey, cut lacquers from the original stereo analog tapes.
More of the Monkees was originally issued in January 1967 on Colgems and became one of the best selling Monkees albums (certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA). It was the longest to stay at #1 on the Billboard chart (eighteen weeks), and it contains The Monkees' biggest hit single, "I'm a Believer," which was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks.
Run Out Groove's version of More of the Monkees arrived on two 180 gram records, featuring a gatefold jacket, never-before-seen photos, and new liner notes by Sandoval. And now, you can check out this Run Out Groove exclusive below, courtesy of Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares.
Copies of the limited edition transparent green vinyl version are long sold out, but the standard black vinyl is available via Amazon.
As part of yesterday's Record Store Day offerings, the Missing Links trilogy (originally produced by Andrew Sandoval and Bill Inglot for Rhino Records in the late '80s/'90s) was made available as an exclusive, limited edition release courtesy of Friday Music. The LPs were pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl in multiple color variations, limited to 2,000 copies for each volume.
Volume 1 contains the CD bonus tracks that were not part of the original vinyl and Volume 2 features the CD bonus tracks not found on the original cassette. This in-store only release also marks the premiere appearance of the second and third Missing Links installments on vinyl.
Thanks a lot to longtime Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for providing scans of the albums he acquired.
Missing Links Volume Two
Missing Links Volume Three
In the summer of 1987, Rhino Records delighted Monkees fans when it delivered Missing Links, the first album to officially assemble unreleased Monkees songs long stored away in the vaults at RCA. Except for "Apples, Peaches, Bananas and Pears" and "If You Have the Time," both of which had been aired on the Saturday morning repeats in the early 1970s, and "Nine Times Blue," performed live by Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969, the remainder of the tracks were largely unheard (though some had floated around previously on bootlegs). Missing Links also featured what at the time was widely considered The Monkees' most famous lost song, "All of Your Toys," recorded during the Headquarters era and later shelved because of a publishing dispute. Initially available on LP and cassette, the collection was expanded in compact disc form in December 1988 with bonus tracks.
Two more Missing Links volumes followed: Volume Two arrived in 1990 and Volume Three in 1996. Volume Two, issued on cassette and compact disc only, included more previously unreleased tracks as well as versions of songs originally heard only on The Monkees TV show that were ultimately re-recorded by The Monkees under their creative control (the first recorded takes of "You Just May Be The One," "Valleri," and "Words," to name a few). Volume Three, available on CD only, continued this same approach of unreleased material and alternate versions. Bill Inglot and Andrew Sandoval's deep dive of the vaults that resulted in these finely crafted collections remain fan favorites.
All these years later, the original Missing Links trilogy is now slated to make a comeback for an exclusive, limited edition release on July 17 as part of a pandemic-adjusted Record Store Day 2021. Friday Music, which has previously tackled various Monkees reissues, announced today that all three Missing Links albums will be available on 180 gram audiophile vinyl in multiple color variations, limited to 2,000 copies for each volume. Of note, Volume 1 will contain the CD bonus tracks that were not part of the original vinyl and Volume 2 will feature the CD bonus tracks not found on the original cassette. This release also marks the premiere appearance of the second and third Missing Links installments on vinyl. Notably, the original cover of Volume 2 has been altered.
Record Store Day was founded in 2007 and has become an annual tradition. With a stated purpose of celebrating the culture of the independently owned record store, bands and labels will press unique items that are distributed exclusively to shops participating in the event. Thanks to Rhino Records, The Monkees have had several Record Store Day releases, all of which are collected in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac. Be sure to search a list of this year's participating stores where you can pick up your selections, but be aware that the color of the vinyl inside your Missing Links copy will be a surprise.
Missing Links Volume Two
Missing Links Volume Three
7a Records is pleased to announce the release of Dolenz sings Nesmith – Micky Dolenz's first new solo studio album in nine years. The album is comprised of songs Michael Nesmith wrote throughout his career, all beautifully reimagined. Produced by Nesmith's son, Christian Nesmith, this is the album Monkees fans have waited years to hear.
Dolenz got the idea for the album a long time ago. As Micky says "I think I first mentioned it to Nez years ago, I don’t know where the idea came from, maybe from my friend Harry Nilsson and his Nilsson Sings Newman album. I thought to myself, 'Wow, Dolenz sings Nesmith.'" The new album, which was recorded between September 2020 and February 2021, features songs written throughout Nesmith’s long career, including many from the critically acclaimed Michael Nesmith & The First National Band albums, as well as a few Monkees deep cuts. And who better to produce the album than Nesmith's son, Christian Nesmith, who has done an incredible job in coming up with fresh and completely new arrangements for all of the songs.
The global release date for Dolenz sings Nesmith is May 21, 2021.
(Courtesy of 7a Records)
The Track Listing
On April 3, 2020 Rhino Records issued The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, on compact disc, iTunes, and via streaming services. A 2-LP vinyl edition arrived later on July 10.
Thanks a lot to longtime site contributor Ben Belmares for sharing the scans of the vinyl package seen below!
In 1991, Davy Jones released the cassette tape It's Christmas Time Again. And now, almost thirty years later, the album has been given a contemporary treatment featuring Davy's original vocals, along with guest appearances by Micky Dolenz, Coco Dolenz, Henry Diltz, and Davy's singer/songwriter daughter Annabel Jones, all overseen by celebrated Monkees producer Chip Douglas.
Douglas was at the helm for The Monkees' two most acclaimed albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., as well as some of their best single sides, including "Daydream Believer," "Goin' Down," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Words," and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." He recently talked about the opportunity to revisit Davy's early '90s holiday collection. "This was a rare chance to remix and enhance these recordings by adding the lovely voice of Davy's daughter Annabel whose heartwarming vocals on 'White Christmas' and 'Silent Night' were well above and beyond my expectations," Douglas told Rolling Stone. "Micky and Coco Dolenz beautifully enhanced 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' and Henry Diltz, and other friends, added just the right gusto to 'Hark The Herald Angels Sing.'"
"Singing with my dad on this record was an extremely beautiful and healing experience," Annabel said in a statement. "What a gift to be able to share a moment like this!"
The Monkees delivered their first-ever holiday album, Christmas Party, via Rhino Records in 2018. That album featured posthumous contributions by Davy Jones, who passed away in 2012.
It's Christmas Time Once More is now available to download on iTunes and stream on Apple Music, Amazon, and Spotify.
People has just published an interview with Annabel Jones where she speaks about singing with her father and much more.
Rolling Stone is also covering the release of Davy's Christmas album.
The Associated Press included Davy's Christmas album in a laundry list of reviews spotlighting current holiday releases:
Get ready to get in the holiday mood with Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Goo Goo Dolls, Jamie Cullum, Davy Jones, Keedron Bryant, Leslie Odom, Jr. and more
UPDATE 12/5/2020: It's Christmas Time Once More is now available to purchase on compact disc from the official Davy Jones Shop.
In 1994, James Lee Stanley's Beachwood Records released Peter Tork's first ever solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring several notable guest musicians and friends including Stanley, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles).
And now, in 2020, 7a Records has announced its first-ever Tork-related project as it will reissue Stranger Things Have Happened on compact disc and vinyl this December. The CD version includes a whopping 9 bonus tracks and a 32-page color booklet with sleeve notes by Mark Kleiner, who hosts the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast and has written numerous superlative liners for previous 7a releases. The vinyl, limited to just 600 copies, features 6 bonus tracks and will be pressed on 180 gram Neon Magenta Splatter vinyl. The album cover has also been updated from its original pressing.
Dolenz and Nesmith provided backing vocals on "Milkshake," and Nez can also be heard on "MGB-GT," which was initially performed by Micky, Peter, and Davy Jones during The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour. Davy was present at the recording session for "Milkshake" with his fellow Monkees, but never got around to putting his vocal on tape. James Lee Stanley recalled the comedic circumstances that caused Davy to leave the session during this interview (at 27:30).
Bonus tracks on 7a's compact disc reissue of Stranger Things Have Happened include Peter's 1981 single with his band The New Monks, "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"/"Higher and Higher."
7a Records is also currently producing another highly anticipated release, Dolenz Sings Nesmith, featuring Micky Dolenz covering the songbook of Michael Nesmith, produced by Christian Nesmith with Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval handling A&R duties.
Stranger Things Have Happened arrives December 4 in the United Kingdom and December 11 in the United States. UK fans can pre-order from Amazon while those in the US can pre-order the compact disc or vinyl from Deep Discount, or Amazon.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for further updates, and in the meantime, read another preview of this latest 7a release courtesy of The Second Disc.
UPDATE 11/24/2020: Listen to the latest Zilch podcast that covers the re-release of Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring an interview with 7a's Glenn Gretlund as well as Mark Kleiner.
COMPACT DISC PACKAGE
SPLATTER VINYL PACKAGE
Asking that musical question: Did Colgems intend to reissue The Monkees' catalog in late 1969/early 1970?
Ed Reilly is a first generation Monkees fan, collector, and author who co-published one of the principal books about The Monkees during the group's 1980s revival. Ed is also known for his long running column in (the now defunct) Monkee Business Fanzine. Entitled "Star Collector," Ed would break down a wide range of Monkees memorabilia, including everything from toys, trading cards, records, and much more. In 1986, Ed co-produced the Monkees convention in Philadelphia that summer.
In the article linked below, published last week on Monkee45s, Ed examines possible intentions of The Monkees' label, Colgems, during the waning days of the group in its original incarnation. Check it out!
UPDATE #2: 4/17/2020:
UPDATE #1: 3/20/2020:
Thanks to 7a Records, you can listen to the very first audio samples from Micky Dolenz Live in Japan, coming this May! A big thank you to both Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for providing this exclusive preview to The Monkees Live Almanac.
US customers can pre-order the CD + DVD edition from Amazon and Deep Discount, while UK customers can pre-order the CD + DVD from Amazon.
The 180 gram splatter vinyl LP is also available to pre-order in the US from Amazon and Deep Discount, and in the UK from Amazon.
Now, enjoy snippets of "Goin' Down," "Mary, Mary", "Randy Scouse Git," "Shades of Gray," "You Just May Be The One," "I Wanna Be Free," "Sunny Girlfriend," "Pillow Time," "I'm Your Man," "Tomorrow," and "To Be Or Not To Be."
ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
This spring, 7a Records will release Micky Dolenz Live in Japan on May 8 in the United Kingdom and May 15 in the United States as a lavishly packaged CD + DVD digi-sleeve set, including a 24-page booklet packed with informative liner notes written by Mark Kleiner and many previously unseen pictures. The DVD will include a concert filmed during the 1982 tour, and Live in Japan will also be released as a special limited edition pressing on 180 gram splatter vinyl.
Micky Dolenz traveled to Japan in early 1982 to give his first ever tour as a solo performer, towards the end of a massive Monkees resurgence that had been sparked there in the fall of 1980 when "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial. Micky's Japanese concerts marked the closest thing he had ever done (up to that point) to a solo concert tour. While he had performed extensively in 1975 and 1976 with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, he had seldom set foot on the concert stage post-Monkees 'on his own.'
Dolenz employed a Japanese group of musicians for his backup band, hiring an outfit called Marlboro. The '82 tour provided a revealing look into what he himself, only fifteen years removed from the original Monkees phenomenon, may have considered the crème-de-la-crème of the group's catalog. While the practice of playing deep cuts for diehard fans has become more common in recent years, at this early juncture Micky makes some captivating choices, including 1969’s "Pillow Time," written by his mother Janelle Scott, along with two standout Michael Nesmith compositions from The Monkees' third album Headquarters, "Sunny Girlfriend" and "You Just May Be The One." Also included are the Davy Jones staple "I Wanna Be Free," "Shades of Gray," and what might be the first-ever concert performance of "Zor and Zam." Everything concludes with Micky's then-current Japan-exclusive single "To Be Or Not To Be" b/w "Beverly Hills."
The CD + DVD version includes five bonus tracks, featuring the debut release of "I'm Your Man" from Micky's performance at the 1978 World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, along with "Tomorrow" from the West End play Bugsy Malone, which Dolenz directed.
Check out a preview of Micky Dolenz Live in Japan below, and take a look at the full track listing of the CD, DVD, and LP courtesy of The Second Disc. Thanks to 7a Records, the Live Almanac was given an advanced preview of Mark Kleiner's liner notes, which are superb. And stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for audio samples from Live in Japan coming soon!
On April 3, Rhino Records will release The Mike & Micky Show Live on compact disc just as Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz return to the road in Vancouver, British Columbia. Featuring live performances from the duo's concerts in 2019, the CD edition is currently available for pre-order, but only in the United Kingdom.
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for more updates coming soon!
UPDATE 2/22/2020: John Hughes of Rhino Records has confirmed that the track listing seen on the Rhino page linked above is incorrect and will soon be updated. He also noted that both the CD and vinyl editions of The Mike & Micky Show Live will feature the same 25 tracks with no variants.
And as of today, customers in the United States can now pre-order The Mike & Micky Show Live on Amazon.
UPDATE 3/8/2020: Rhino's website linked above has been amended and now reflects the proper track listing.
Seen below is the the cover of The Monkees' fifth album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, in its unused, pristine state, before it was pasted onto the cardboard jacket. According to Monkee45s.net, "The first 5 Monkees LPs were pressed in stereo and mono, however all slicks were printed exactly the same. If, for example, the vinyl was a mono pressing, the word 'STEREO' on the front cover slick would be folded over the back of the LP and covered by the rear slick."
The label Music on Vinyl has issued a limited edition (500 numbered copies) of Michael Nesmith's debut album with The First National Band, 1970's Magnetic South, on 180 gram audiophile transparent vinyl. It is currently available to order from Deep Discount.
Thanks a lot to Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for providing his scans of the release.
Last month, The Monkees’ first-ever holiday album, 2018's Christmas Party, was issued on 180-gram vinyl by Rhino Records in multiple formats:
Black 180-gram vinyl (at most retailers)
A limited-edition red or green version (exclusive to independent record stores)
A red and white "candy cane" exclusive (available only at Monkees.com)
Each version of the LP is tucked into a gatefold sleeve designed by comics legend Michael Allred. The Monkees’ stunning version of "Riu Chiu (TV Version)" as performed live a capella on the second season episode, "The Christmas Show," is tacked on as a bonus track.
Christmas Party is also available on compact disc and for streaming on Spotify.
Thanks very much to longtime Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for providing his scans of each version of Christmas Party on vinyl!
"Candy Cane" vinyl and labels
Green vinyl & labels
Red vinyl & labels
Black vinyl labels
THE PRESS RELEASE
7a Records is delighted to announce the release of their third Michael Nesmith album. Recorded at McCabe's in Santa Monica, CA, on August 18th, 1973, "Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes" is a rare and previously unreleased concert recording featuring Nesmith and a small coterie of fellow musicians, including long time recording partner and pedal steel player Red Rhodes. Released as a lavishly packaged CD set with a 24 page booklet with previously unseen pictures and liner notes by Michael Nesmith. This recording is from a mini concert tour that was in support of what was to be Nesmith's final record on the RCA label, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Consisting of a rhythm section featuring Danny Lane on drums and Colin Cameron on bass, and the legendary O.J. "Red" Rhodes on pedal steel, this would be the last performance of its kind and the beginning of an almost Homeric journey for Nesmith. On the heels of an inordinately successful Monkees TV show, the hangover from overnight celebrity, and the disappointments that so often follow such ascents, this forgotten and almost lost board mix in all its unvarnished glory (remastered here by Christian Nesmith, Michael's oldest son) stands as a ready witness to the spirit of a man full of heartache, a performer bruised by the claws of the star-maker machine, and an artist whose songs have become touchstones for our lives. What you hear is exactly as it happened with no overdubs or audio mumbo jumbo. The perfection you hear is totally for real.
This summer, Rhino Records has been celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. To commemorate that moment in popular music history, Rhino launched their "Summer of '69 - Peace, Love and Music" retail campaign on July 9 with a series of limited-edition vinyl releases available exclusively at participating brick and mortar retail outlets. On July 23, the soundtrack to The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head, was issued on silver vinyl as part of Rhino's celebrations.
Thanks a lot to Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of this latest issue of the Head soundtrack.
Coming this September: Limited edition of The Monkees' "Christmas Party" on red/white vinyl (and more)
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM MONKEES.COM:
Yes, we’re a little late for Christmas in July, but hey, we’re early for Christmas in general! The Monkees’ first-ever Christmas album, CHRISTMAS PARTY, is coming to 180-gram vinyl for the very first time on September 13 in a few different formats:
Good ol’ black 180-gram vinyl at most retailers
A limited-edition red or green version exclusive to independent record stores
A red and white “candy cane” exclusive, available only at Monkees.com!
Our Monkees.com red and white “candy cane” version is strictly limited to just 1,000 copies, so don’t wait for Santa to snag it for you.
CHRISTMAS PARTY is pressed on 180-gram vinyl tucked into a beautiful gatefold sleeve by comics legend Michael Allred. It includes all the new holiday favorites from last year’s collection, with the addition of The Monkees’ shining moment “Riu Chiu (TV Version)” as performed live acapella on the Christmas episode of their show.
PRE-ORDER THE LIMITED EDITION RED/WHITE VINYL BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW:
BUNDLE SET ALSO AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER:
Micky Dolenz Live
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns