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.
Micky Dolenz & The Metropole Orchestra: Out of Nowhere is now available on both compact disc and as a limited edition 180 gram vinyl picture disc.
On April 15, 2017, Micky performed with the American Metropole Orchestra at Rice Auditorium in Salem, Oregon, as part of the Smith Fine Arts Series. The orchestra was led by conductor Keller Coker, and he was assisted by Wayne Avers (Monkees/Dolenz musical director and guitarist). The show was recorded by 7a in order to preserve this unique performance and commemorate it with a special live album release.
And now, thanks (as always) to Ben Belmares, you can take a look at the CD version of Out of Nowhere below, including 7a co-founder Iain Lee's liner notes. Thanks, Ben!
This past January during a 5-concert jaunt throughout California, Michael Nesmith brought new life to his initial post-Monkees outfit, The First National Band. Originally consisting of Nez, Red Rhodes, John London, and John Ware, the group released three albums between 1970 and 1971, but their live performance history was fairly limited. Ignored and almost shunned by audiences and peers during their heyday, the music of the First National Band has since been cited by critics and contemporaries as a pioneering influence in the country rock genre.
In one of the more unexpected moves of Michael Nesmith's career, a reconstituted First National Band hit the road in early 2018 with Christian Nesmith (guitar), Jonathan Nesmith (piano/guitar/vocals), Circe Link (vocals), Christopher Allis (drums), Jason Chesney (bass), Amy Spear (vocals), and Pete Finney (pedal steel). Sadly, original members Rhodes and London have passed away, but Ware gave his blessing to the project and wished everyone well.
The concerts by the First National Band Redux, as they were dubbed, were ultimately a critical and commercial triumph. And now, The Monkees Live Almanac is proud to be the first to share the details about a forthcoming live album from 7a Records that will document this unique event in Nesmith/First National Band history.
Since 2015, 7a Records and its proprietors Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee have been producing Monkees-related releases, including a collection of Micky Dolenz's 1970s MGM singles, Bobby Hart's first solo album, various limited edition vinyl 45s (Dolenz/Davy Jones/Dolenz with Circe Link & Christian Nesmith), and more recently, vintage and new live recordings by both Nesmith and Dolenz. And now 7a has made an agreement with Michael Nesmith and the members of the First National Band to release a live album documenting their January 2018 performances.
"We are extremely proud and excited to be able to work with Michael Nesmith and the First National Band on this album," Glenn told the Live Almanac. "What I have heard so far literally gave me goose bumps. It's that good. By all accounts this will be a superb album and one of 7a Records' biggest releases to date."
Iain was just as enthused. "If you’d have told 15-year-old me I’d be releasing a brand new First National Band live album on my own record label I’d have laughed in your face. This is a dream come true and is the culmination of years of hard work and dreaming from both myself and my business partner Glenn. We make it our business to only release records that we would buy and man, I’d buy a dozen copies of this. It’s a thrill and an honor to be working with Michael and the band on this. And you wait until you hear what Christian [Nesmith] has done with the production. Stunning."
As Iain said, Christian Nesmith is currently in the process of mixing and mastering the recordings, but at this moment, it has not yet been decided whether the album will consist of one full show or a compilation of the best performances from the various stops on the tour. Nez will have the final vote once everything has been mixed.
The following songs are very likely to be included on the album:
Be sure to check back with The Monkees Live Almanac as Glenn and Iain have promised more details about the upcoming First National Band live album release as they become available.
I would also like to take a moment to thank both Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for sharing this news with the Live Almanac and its readers, and for their constant support of the site.
UPDATE 4/22/2018: Iain Lee is reporting on Facebook that 7a hopes to release the First National Band live album in July 2018. It will be available on compact disc and as a 2-LP set.
UPDATE 6/18/2018: 7a Records announces the release of "Michael Nesmith and The First National Band Redux Live at the Troubadour" deluxe CD and 2-LP gatefold vinyl
7a Records co-founder and UK broadcaster extraordinaire Iain Lee will be interviewing Michael Nesmith tonight - live! Be sure to tune in to Iain's radio show at 5:30pm ET/2:30pm PT/10:30pm UK on talkradio.co.uk!
Ann Moses was the editor of Tiger Beat from 1966–1972, writing countless stories about The Monkees during their heyday. Ann also acted as Hollywood Correspondent to Britain's New Musical Express from 1968-1971. She has published a book which is now available on her website, and you can preview it on Amazon.
British radio broadcaster (and co-founder of 7a Records) Iain Lee recently spoke to Ann on his radio show:
I went to the 2014 Monkees Convention in New York and filmed what I saw and who I met. I am a huge Monkees fan and it was a real thrill to speak to like-minded, passionate people. I was also lucky enough to interview Micky Dolenz, Monkees songwriter Bobby Hart, and Monkees historian Eric Lefcowitz, who all appear in this documentary.
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.
UPDATE #4 on 5/23/2017:
Rhino Records has announced a new Monkees compilation, Summer of Love, as referenced in the first update above.
Glenn Gretlund and Ian Lee Talk About Working With Micky Dolenz On The MGM Singles Collection, New Music and More!
In this episode, Mike, Micky and Peter talk a California date, James Grant Interviews Peter Tork. Iain Lee and Bobby Hart talk some cool new releases & "Good Times!" Monkees news & Monkees Mailbag! Love one another! Thank you for listening to & for being part of this show. We love you. It is THE YEAR OF THE MONKEES!
Click the image below to listen!
7:30PM EST: Earlier this evening on his radio show, British broadcaster and 7a Records producer Iain Lee played "You Bring the Summer" from The Monkees' new album, Good Times! Iain is going to air the track once more before the end of his show. Tune in by clicking the "talkRadio" link below!
UPDATE 7:55PM EST: Iain has now replayed the song - thanks, Iain! It features Micky Dolenz on lead vocals.
UPDATE 8PM EST: A big thanks to Walter Herwig who submitted a sample of "You Bring the Summer" to The Monkees Live Almanac's Twitter feed:
Iain provides some great news for those waiting for Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection to be released on compact disc, along with a special project featuring Micky, Christian Nesmith, and Circe Link.
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An Evening With The Monkees 2020