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:
Thanks a lot to longtime Monkees fan Corey Kaplan for sharing this unique piece of memorabilia from his collection!
Here is a wonderful artifact from the past: a complete issue of A Book of Davy Love, a newsletter devoted to Davy Jones. Iain Lee, British broadcaster and co-owner (along with Glenn Gretlund) of 7a Records, is currently scanning items from his Monkees collection and shared this particular piece with the Live Almanac.
It's easy to forget that in the pre-internet era of the 1970s through much of the 1990s, fan clubs and their newsletters were the ultimate source of Monkees news and information. I fondly recall, as a new fan in the '80s during The Monkees' 20th Anniversary resurgence, eagerly awaiting the latest issues of Monkee Business Fanzine and The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club. Imagine all of the work involved in collecting submissions, typing stories, inserting pictures, and getting copies of the final draft printed, stapled, folded, and mailed!
This issue of A Book of Davy Love, published in 1976, includes a detailed "News" section with lots of updates about the activities of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart at the peak of their touring and recording career, including a promotional photo and fan reviews for their 1975 single, "I Remember the Feeling." Other parts of the newsletter include "Poetry Corner" and "What It's Like Being a Davy Fan Abroad." "The First Time" documents stories about fans meeting The Monkees during their 1969 tour as well as details surrounding the filming of Davy's 1972 TV special, POP! Finally, "Memorable Concert Moments" highlights The Monkees in concert in 1967 and 1969, along with Michael Nesmith & The First National Band at KRNT Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa in 1970.
Thanks again, Iain, for taking the time to scan this newsletter and for sharing it with the Live Almanac. And don't forget, coming soon from 7a Records: Davy Jones Live in Japan, now available to pre-order!
Longtime fan and collector Renny Simno recently purchased a Monkees-styled 8-button shirt produced and sold by Bruxton at the height of Monkeemania in the 1960s. This type of shirt, designed for the group by Gene Ashman, is synonymous with The Monkees, and the Bruxton garment remains a rare collectible to this day. Thanks to Renny for sharing his photos with the Live Almanac!
"The Monkeemen," inspired by The Monkees television series, are coming your way this holiday season in the form of a Christmas tree ornament set from Titan Merchandise. Arriving at retail in late October/early November, the package will be available to pre-order next week at Monkees.com.
Thanks a lot to Iain Lee for sharing this piece from his collection with the Live Almanac, a ticket to see The Monkees at Empire Pool, Wembley in London in July 1967. And don't forget that you can browse the Live Almanac's archives for more coverage of The Monkees at Wembley in '67!
Fabulous 208 was a weekly British pop music magazine, and here Micky Dolenz is featured on the cover of its November 11, 1967 issue in a picture taken during The Monkees' 1967 summer concert tour:
Information about rare collectibles like Mattel's Monkees toy guitars below and more can be found in Marty Eck's exhaustive book on Monkees memorabilia, The Monkees Collectibles Price Guide. Published in 1998, it has long been out of print, but the book is well worth searching for on Amazon.
As a special Fourth of July announcement, Michael Nesmith's Videoranch3D Facebook page unveiled a new line of products celebrating the iconography of Nez's famous green wool hat:
"Over 50 years ago, a young Michael Nesmith walked into an audition wearing a staple of his personal wardrobe. He used his green wool hat to keep his hair out of his eyes while riding his motorcycle. For the past five decades, that green hat has been synonymous with Mike.
"But it was always Nez's hat and remains his -- even if he was known as Mike back then.
"And so we introduce to you the Mike Hat Collection. It features a new iconic logo designed by artists Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway."
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:
The label Music on Vinyl has issued a limited edition (1,000 copies) of Michael Nesmith's second album with The First National Band, 1970's Loose Salute, on 180 gram audiophile transparent vinyl. Thanks a lot to Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares for providing his scans of the release.
Check out these great scans of the original Colgems cassette for The Monkees' seventh album, 1969's Instant Replay, courtesy of longtime Monkees fan, collector, and author Ed Reilly:
Thanks a lot to Jeremy Roberts for sharing his recently published article on Medium about a stop on The Monkees' triumphant 45th Anniversary World Tour!
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 past weekend, longtime fan Scott Erickson shared a very special item from his personal collection with The Monkees Live Almanac: a cassette tape of music sent to him by none other than Peter Tork.
Scott's story about the tape goes all the way back to the late 1980s when he had the opportunity to interview Peter for a radio show.
"When I was in my teens, I produced a radio show for a local AM station," Scott told the Live Almanac. "In 1989, I contacted Peter's 'people' to get an interview and he agreed. Peter later sent me a cassette containing 3 songs that I could use on the air. He had just finished mixing a live album recorded during his run at The Speakeasy in New York City in 1988. The live songs included on the tape were 'Sea Change,' 'Vagabond John,' and 'Miracle.' The live album was never released.
"Back then I was in the habit of always checking both sides of cassettes to make sure I didn't miss anything. And much to my surprise, there were 2 unused and unreleased backing tracks on the other side for 'Gettin In' and 'Sea Change'. I don't think Peter even knew they were there!"
Scott relayed that very few people have heard this unique tape, so the Live Almanac is honored to be able to share snippets from it in this very special audio sampler. Enjoy, and thanks again Scott!
Don't forget that Peter released official recordings of "Gettin' In" on The Monkees' 1987 album Pool It! as well as his 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, which also included "Miracle" and "Sea Change."
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.