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:
Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund, co-founders of 7a Records, have revealed the details surrounding their latest upcoming release. Davy Jones Live in Japan will highlight two of Davy Jones' early 1980s Japanese live albums, Live in Japan (1981) and Hello Davy (1982), while also providing fans with a bevy of bonus materials, including Davy's Japanese singles from this era on CD and vinyl and a DVD of one his concerts filmed in Japan in August 1981.
Japan experienced the first rebirth of The Monkees in the 1980s even before Davy, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork reunited for the mega-successful 20th Anniversary Tour of North America in 1986. When "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial in Japan in 1980, Monkeemania was rekindled as the group's television show returned to the airwaves and Monkees albums were reissued, causing them to chart in that country once again. Demand for The Monkees was so high in Japan that Davy, Micky, and Peter (with The New Monks) all toured there individually between 1981 and 1982, playing to extremely enthusiastic audiences. Davy also released several solo singles in Japan during this time period, including "Dance Gypsy" and "It's Now."
7a's Davy Jones Live in Japan arrives on August 9, 2019 (a week earlier in the United Kingdom) in two different formats, all of which will contain bonus materials.
First, a triple vinyl LP set will include both of Davy's early '80s Japanese live albums along with a 28 page booklet that replicates an original Davy Jones Japanese tour program. Pressed on individually colored vinyl (red, white, and blue), the third LP is dedicated solely to bonus tracks (alternate mixes and single sides, including all of Davy's Japanese 45s).
There will also be a 2CD + DVD set consisting of both live albums, 22 bonus tracks of alternate mixes and single sides, and a 24 page color booklet with liner notes by Iain Lee and Mark Kleiner. This set also exclusively features a DVD of the Hello Davy concert which has been transferred from a LaserDisc issued in Japan in 1982.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for further previews of this release, and be sure to pre-order below!
UPDATE 6/17/2019: The complete track listing is now available:
Recorded during The Monkees' 30th Anniversary Tour in the summer of 1996, Two Man Band featured Peter Tork and his longtime friend, singer/songwriter/musician James Lee Stanley, performing selected covers and songs by Tork, Stanley, and The Monkees.
Peter and James first met in 1964 when Peter was a member of the Phoenix Singers during Peter's Greenwich Village days. In 1994, James Lee's Beachwood Records issued Peter's first solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, and the duo began to perform together in the aftermath of its release. The intimate, acoustic nature of their shows inspired them to replicate that formula inside the recording studio, and Two Man Band was born.
In 2001, Peter and James released Once Again, which was followed by Live/Backstage at the Coffee Gallery in 2006.
Two Man Band is an excellent album that the Live Almanac highly recommends. Listen to an insightful interview with James Lee Stanley where he talks extensively about the album on the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast:
AllMusic delivered praise for Two Man Band in its review of the album:
"Following the artistic success of his debut solo CD, Stranger Things Have Happened, Peter Tork teamed up with Beachwood labelmate James Lee Stanley. This pairing allowed Tork to further explore his acoustic, blues, and easy listening side. And, as with his first release, this is an excellent album. Both artists compliment each other and the music is very accessible. Tork has a wonderfully pleasing and distinctive voice, and Stanley's voice is a perfect blend. The two alternate lead vocals and composition credits and this, too, works. Stanley contributes more original tunes to the collection, while Tork is content to write a couple and choose suitable covers (such as the brilliant 'Milkshake,' a clear standout of the CD). 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' is outstanding and rivals the Monkees' version. One wonders what direction the Monkees would have taken had Tork had more control. That said, this album is a treasure. A perfect album for late summer nights while relaxing."
Two Man Band can be purchased on compact disc today through Amazon or CD Baby. The album is also available for downloading on iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify.
Thanks very much to Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of Two Man Band with The Monkees Live Almanac!
This May, Friday Music will release two different vinyl editions of Greatest Hits, the very first compilation of Monkees music originally issued by Colgems Records in June 1969.
Here are the details, courtesy of Friday Music, and thanks to Scott Nelson for the heads-up!
In 1969, Colgems Records honored their hugely successful recording act The Monkees with their first smash hits album simply titled "The Monkees Greatest Hits." The 14 track masterpiece is loaded with hit singles like "Daydream Believer," "Last Train To Clarksville," "I'm A Believer," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," & "Valleri."
The amazing LP was only in print for a very short time, making it an instant collector's item five decades ago.
Now, Friday Music is pleased to announce 50th Anniversary super limited edition 180 gram orange audiophile vinyl release of "The Monkees Greatest Hits." Impeccably mastered by Joe Reagoso (The Monkees) from the Colgems Records tapes, the masterwork is also packaged in the original artwork design that was seen in record shops back in 1969.
More hit tracks like "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "Valleri," "She," and "Shades Of Gray" are included as well as a super rare stereo mix of "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" to further enhance your Monkees listening experience.
The Monkees - Greatest Hits (180 Gram Audiophile Translucent Gold Vinyl/Limited Anniversary Edition)
Songs, a 12-CD collection that brings together Michael Nesmith's works for both RCA and Pacific Arts, is scheduled to be released by UK-based Edsel Records on April 5, 2019.
The box set, however, is not a complete representation of Michael's solo output as the following albums are not included: The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, Live at the Palais, The Michael Nesmith Radio Special, Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (soundtrack), Live at The Britt Festival, Rays, and The Ocean.
Four RCA-era bonus cuts are included in the track listings ("Rose City Chimes," "First National Dance," "Cantata & Fugue in C&W," "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette") and 7a Records co-founder Iain Lee has penned liner notes for the booklet.
In June 2018, Michael Nesmith's 1970s RCA albums were issued digitally with previously unheard bonus tracks.
Amazon provides the following description of the box set:
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, alongside some very astute choices of songs he has covered. Nez signed to RCA in 1970 and in quick succession made three albums with The First National Band, which featured pedal steel guitarist extraordinaire O.J. 'Red' Rhodes. All three featured, in the main, his own compositions (including some he had tried out in Monkees sessions) plus some interesting covers, including both well-known country songs and songs by the likes of Harry Nilsson and Eric Clapton. Alongside the contemporary output of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, these albums form the foundation of Country Rock. Nesmith continued in this vein with three more albums for RCA in 1972 and 1973, the ironically-titled "…And The Hits Just Keep on Comin'" containing his own version of "Different Drum," a huge hit for Linda Ronstadt back in 1967. He formed his own production company, Pacific Arts, in 1975, the first release being "The Prison," "a book with a soundtrack," with songs to compliment the reading experience. A second example of this, "The Garden," was issued in 1994. 1977 saw the release of "From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing," which featured the hit single "Rio." The video for this was instrumental in the birth of MTV. Moving away from country rock, follow-up albums further showcased Nesmith's songwriting, accompanied by songs by Cole Porter and others. This box set is the first time that Michael Nesmith's solo albums from both his RCA and Pacific Arts periods have been brought together in one compendium. The albums are in CD-sized facsimiles of the original sleeves, along with a booklet that compiles all the credits and liner notes from those sleeves. There are also four bonus tracks across the RCA albums. Booklet notes by broadcaster Iain Lee.
Instant Replay, The Monkees' seventh album and the first to be released in the post-Peter Tork era, was issued by Colgems Records on February 15, 1969:
Thanks a lot to Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of The Monkees Greatest Hits, the 1976 compilation that Rhino Records has just reissued on orange vinyl as part of their "Start Your Ear Off Right" promotional campaign. Thanks again, Ben!
By 1976, Arista Records had inherited The Monkees' music catalog from Colgems (later Bell Records) and proceeded to release The Monkees Greatest Hits. This Arista collection was in reality a repackaging of Re-Focus, an earlier Monkees compilation produced by Bell in 1972. Arista's Greatest Hits featured the same track listing as Re-Focus but with brand new cover art, and could be purchased as an LP, cassette, or 8-track.
As Monkees albums were hard to come by in the mid-1970s, and possibly due to other factors like the return of the group's TV show in syndication and the activities of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, Greatest Hits sold well and peaked at #58 on the Billboard chart in 1976. It was later certified Gold in 1986 and Platinum in 1991, and remained in print through the 1980s when it first appeared on compact disc.
And now in 2019, The Monkees Greatest Hits is being treated to yet another release, this time by Rhino Records as part of their annual "Start Your Ear Off Right" campaign. Available exclusively at participating music shops beginning on January 8, Greatest Hits has been pressed on orange vinyl and is limited to 4,500 copies.
Live in 2021