Record Store Day was founded in 2007 and has become an annual tradition that takes place every April and on Black Friday in November. 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 made their Record Store Day debut with multiple releases in 2016, which are collected in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac.
Upon its arrival late last year, Christmas Party became The Monkees' first-ever holiday album, featuring classics like "The Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," and "Wonderful Christmastime" alongside brand new material. And now, the good times continue as Rhino will issue Christmas Party Plus!, a package that highlights Monkees holiday songs past and present, on November 29 for Record Store Day 2019. This special release will include two 7" singles on color vinyl (one red/one green), all housed in a gatefold sleeve and limited to 5,000 copies.
The first record features two versions of the lead single from Christmas Party, "Unwrap You At Christmas." It will be heard here in its radio mix, and is accompanied by a previously unissued demo version by XTC's Andy Partridge, a longtime Monkees devotee who also penned this chestnut for the group.
The second record will include the classic performance of "Riu Chiu" (originally seen on "The Monkees' Christmas Show" episode in 1967), and is partnered with "Christmas Is My Time Of Year," which appears in its original 1976 mix for the first time in decades.
Be sure to check out Record Store Day's website to locate participating stores near you! And all things Christmas Party, including music videos, reviews, photos from the recording sessions, and more, can be found in the archives of the Live Almanac.
“Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix)"/ "Unwrap You At Christmas" –Andy Partridge (featured vocal by Holly Partridge)
"Riu Chiu (Original TV Version)"/ "Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix)"
A recent eBay listing featured a sealed copy of the rare 8-track edition of The Monkees' final original studio album, 1970's Changes. Check out what was the starting bid, and for more about Monkees 8-tracks, visit John McCutcheon's wonderful Monkee45s website. And thanks to David Cox for sharing the eBay listing with The Monkees Live Almanac!
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!