Back in 2018, Michael Nesmith's six early 1970s albums for RCA Records appeared suddenly on various digital and streaming platforms, and more surprisingly at the time, each album was chock-full of bonus tracks, many of them previously unreleased.
Magnetic South (1970), Loose Salute (1970), Nevada Fighter (1971), Tantamount To Treason (1972), And the Hits Just Keep On Comin' (1972), and Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973) have all seen various reissues over the years on both compact disc and vinyl. And since the CD re-releases featured scant bonus tracks, the 2018 digital/streaming versions of those albums marked the first time that the vaults were truly opened to reveal a plethora of previously unheard recordings by Nesmith and the First and Second National Band line-ups (including new versions of Monkees songs like "Circle Sky," and instrumental renditions of both "Magnolia Simms" and "Tapioca Tundra").
And now, courtesy of the Real Gone Music label, comes Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings, which will collect "22 tracks drawn from the RCA Victor vaults, every one of which is previously unreleased in any physical format," according to the description found on the Amazon listing of the compact disc. Though no official track listing is available as of this posting, the disc will seemingly be comprised of the songs that were first revealed via the digital and streaming issues of the albums in 2018.
Here is the full description of The Lost RCA Victor Recordings courtesy of Amazon:
Michael Nesmith has always travelled to the beat of a 'Different Drum''whether as the writer of that classic hit for Linda Ronstadt and The Stone Poneys, the wool hat-clad member of The Monkees, or one of the earliest progenitors of the country-rock genre. In recent years, Nesmith has penned a critically acclaimed autobiography, reformed the First National Band to sold-out audiences, and both recorded and performed live to fans young and old with The Monkees. Now, Real Gone Music and Second Disc Records are proud to present a major deep dive into the Nez archives. Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings features 22 tracks drawn from the RCA Victor vaults, every one of which is previously unreleased in any physical format. Over six RCA albums released between 1970 and 1973, Nesmith blossomed as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and producer under the aegis of RCA Nashville legends Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis. With bandmates including legendary pedal steel guitarist O.J. 'Red' Rhodes, John Ware, and John London, Nesmith pioneered country-rock with a spiritual and searching style all his own. Different Drum premieres on CD some of his most remarkable musical explorations from this vivid period including cosmic reimaginings of Monkees-era favorites like 'Tapioca Tundra,' 'Magnolia Simms,' 'Circle Sky,' and 'Listen to the Band;' unheard outtakes like 'American Airman' and 'Six Days on the Road;' vastly different alternate takes of 'Different Drum,' 'Dedicated Friend,' and 'Tengo Amore;' and even an early version of 'Marie's Theme' from his cult classic multimedia project The Prison. The mind-altering music on Different Drum has been mixed from the original multitracks by Andrew Sandoval and mastered by Vic Anesini at Sony's Battery Studios, while Papa Nez himself has contributed insightful new commentary to the liner notes by The Second Disc's Joe Marchese. Rare photos by renowned photographer Henry Diltz and previously unseen images round out this landmark package. Different Drum is a freewheeling, widescreen journey through the world of one of rock's greatest iconoclasts. Don't take our word for it: listen to the band!
Different Drum: The Lost RCA Victor Recordings will arrive on April 30, 2021. You can pre-order your copy from Amazon now! And stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for official track listings and more!
Monkees fans, here he comes! Andrew Sandoval, Monkees archivist, author, and producer, has officially announced the brand new edition of his classic book, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, set for publication in June 2021. Long considered the ultimate resource for the most complete examination of The Monkees' television, recording, theatrical, live concert, and public appearance career, Day-By-Day has not been simply updated, it has been thoroughly rewritten, redesigned, and expanded!
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO RESERVE YOUR COPY BY MARCH 15, 2021:
Rebirth of a Classic: Out of Print for More Than a Decade, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story Returns!
Here's a rare Monkees collectible to start off your new year, one that I have never come across previously. A seemingly original 1969 promotional poster for The Monkees' seventh album, Instant Replay, recently sold for $335.99 on eBay!
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!
The Monkees' expansive 1969 tour stopped at the California State Fair in Sacramento on September 4, 1969. John Hurst of the Sacramento Bee reviewed the show, as documented by Andrew Sandoval in his book The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
"The audience game them the Star Spangled Banner treatment last night when they appeared in front of the State Fair grandstand - [meaning they] stood through the entire first half of [the group's] show ... When Micky Dolenz dangled his legs over the edge [of the stage] as he sat to sing a song, there was a stampede to touch him. He quickly retrieved his feet and the girls went back to flinging their crumpled wads of paper onto the stage. ... The concert opened with a group called Queen Lily Soap, playing a kind of Hebraic-psychedelic rock with occasional lapses into the dance tempo of the hora. Then Sam & The Goodtimers, the six-man group that backs up The Monkees, took over to warm up the audience. ... [The Monkees] gave the huge crowd a good show."
What is the Monkeemobile all about? What was the idea behind this iconic vehicle? And eventually, what happened to the Monkeemobile?
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
Vote now for expanded deluxe vinyl edition of Monkees' debut album (UPDATED: The Monkees win the vote!)
Monkees fans have the opportunity to vote for the group's multi-platinum #1 debut album to be issued as an expanded deluxe edition double LP featuring previously unreleased songs and mixes, courtesy of Run Out Groove, a vinyl only label that, according to its website, "caters specifically to music fanatics, pressing limited edition titles made by music fans for music fans."
Run Out Groove provided more details about the proposed release, noting that Monkees producer and archivist Andrew Sandoval would be a part of the project:
[Mastering engineer] Kevin Grey and Andrew Sandoval would cut lacquers for the original album from the analog stereo tapes for the first time since original release in 1966!
Proposed Track Listing:
The Monkees won the vote for Run Out Groove's latest promotion, and just like that, an exclusive transparent yellow color vinyl has sold out!
But good news! Fans can still order the black vinyl edition, which features the same packaging and content, through November 9, 2020.
On April 3 Rhino Records issued The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, on compact disc and via streaming services. A 2-LP vinyl edition will be available on July 10. The Live Almanac highly recommends this very worthwhile document of a unique era in Monkees history, and a big thanks to longtime site contributor Ben Belmares for sharing the scans of the CD package seen below!
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!
The former Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees track by mix/master/remaster, and more, is being converted into a book by Craig Smith and Derek Miner. Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc doesn't have a release date, but fans can now review another excerpt that was recently revealed on their website! Featured in this update is "Goin' Down," originally issued as the B-side to "Daydream Believer" in October 1967. And don't forget to follow Mixing Links on Facebook!
"Goin’ Down" started life as a jam following a take of "She Hangs Out" on June 21, 1967. Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork played electric guitar with a rhythm section of "Fast" Eddie Hoh on drums and producer Chip Douglas on bass. The original tracking was recorded to 4-track tape, though it is most likely the recording was transferred to 8-track for later overdubs. The brass parts were recorded September 15, 1967, both a 12-piece accompaniment (which may have been recorded to just one mono track!) plus saxophone and trumpet solos. It is unclear if the vocals were added before or after this instrumentation.
Thanks to John at Monkee45s.net for the images seen above!
The Monkees are the featured story in the upcoming June 2020 issue of Goldmine. The magazine is available via Amazon Kindle, but as of this posting, Amazon still lists the May edition as the most current. Goldmine's website happens to be offering their May issue (featuring Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the cover) as a complimentary digital download. Keep an eye on these links for future availability. And thanks to Scott Nelson for advising the Live Almanac about The Monkees' latest entry in Goldmine!
UPDATE 4/27/2020: The June 2020 issue featuring The Monkees is now available to purchase digitally via the Kindle edition on Amazon.
UPDATE 5/28/2020: The issue is now available as a complimentary download! And you can read the featured interview with Micky Dolenz on Goldmine's website.
In this sequel to Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees Songs, One By One, authors Michael A. Ventrella and Mark Arnold look at the careers The Monkees had outside of the TV show and the band: From Micky’s early appearances as "Circus Boy" through Peter’s financial and legal problems to become a respected performer with his band Shoe Suede Blues, to Davy’s frustration with record labels and his many solo albums for his fans, to Michael’s evolution from country rock founder to the creator of MTV and video technology ahead of many others. They look at the various reunion concerts, the movies and plays, and the ups and downs of their varied careers, all with insight and humor.
Below is commentary found on the back cover of Headquartered: A Timeline of the Monkees Solo Years, courtesy of Dean Friedman:
"Some people are so ignorant as to imagine that The Monkees are not a 'real' band. That’s crazy! That’s like saying that lemon meringue pie is not 'real' food. They’re both an inspired synthesis of disparate wholesome, delicious, natural ingredients combined, orchestrated and executed with expert skill and sublime results. What this book makes irrefutably clear is that all four Monkees were consummate professionals – talented musicians and skilled performers, all – producing strong, creative, original, yet inexplicably unheralded, music recordings and video content before, during and after their frenzied 'Monkees' moment. Never underestimate a 'pop star.' There’s always more to them than you could ever imagine. This book proves it. I will always love lemon meringue pie. And I will always love The Monkees."
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 issue The Mike & Micky Show Live on compact disc just as Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz return to the road in Vancouver, British Columbia. (A 2-LP vinyl edition will be available on May 15.) Featuring live performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March and June 2019, both the CD and vinyl releases will feature the same 25 tracks.
In most markets, every ticket purchased for Michael and Micky's April tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of The Mike & Micky Show Live. (UPDATE 3/18/2020: The tour has been rescheduled for Summer 2020.)
The Track Listing:
Last Train to Clarksville
You Told Me
For Pete's Sake
The Door Into Summer
You Just May Be The One
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
The Girl I Knew Somewhere
Birth Of An Accidental Hipster
As We Go Along
Pleasant Valley Sunday
Papa Gene's Blues
Randy Scouse Git
Me & Magdalena
Auntie's Municipal Court
Sweet Young Thing
(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
Listen To The Band
I'm A Believer
A big thank you to Richard Flynn of All Things Music Plus+ on Facebook for sharing this rare advertisement promoting The Monkees' third single, "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"/"The Girl I Knew Somewhere," originally published in the March 18, 1967 issue of Record World.
Reserve Your Copy!