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.
In 1979, Micky Dolenz partnered with Chrysalis Records to release "Love Light"/"Alicia" as a single in the United Kingdom. According to The Monkees: A Manufactured Image, the first 1,000 copies were pressed with a picture sleeve, and the B-side happens to be a Dolenz original. Both songs were featured on the 7a Records CD edition of Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection, and they are now available to stream or download on most major media platforms:
The July 15, 1967 issue of music industry trade magazine Cash Box featured an ad for The Monkees' double-sided smash single, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"/"Words":
Last week, in celebration of Record Store Day Black Friday 2019, Rhino Records issued Christmas Party Plus! featuring Monkees holiday songs past and present. The two 7" singles are pressed on colored vinyl (one red/one green) and housed in a gatefold: "Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix)"/"Unwrap You At Christmas (Andy Partridge Demo)" along with "Riu Chiu"/"Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix)."
Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares scanned his copy and shared it with the site. Thanks, Ben!
"She Makes Me Laugh" was the lead single from The Monkees' album Good Times! and was premiered on Rolling Stone magazine's website on April 28, 2016.
Accompanied by a lyric video that featured scenes from Monkees comic books produced by Dell in the 1960s, the video recently passed 1 million views on YouTube.
At the time of the song's release, Rivers Cuomo, lead vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter of the rock band Weezer, who composed "She Makes Me Laugh," talked about The Monkees' influence on his career:
Micky's early 1970s singles, originally released on the MGM label, were collected for the first time ever in 2015 courtesy of Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund of 7a Records, both longtime Monkees fans and co-producers of Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection.
The set, originally available as a gatefold vinyl and digital download but later released on compact disc, featured the A and B-sides of Micky's tenure at MGM as well as his collaboration with Michael Lloyd (Starship) that yielded the 1972 single "Johnny B. Goode"/"It's Amazing to Me." The CD version contained a plethora of bonus tracks, including Micky's late '70s/early '80s singles and collaborations with Christian Nesmith and Circe Link.
Micky placed his stamp of approval on the project, and conducted several interviews in support of it. "It's really a great package," Dolenz told Examiner.com. "Over the years, I've had versions of those songs, one on a tape here, on a disc here, on a demo here," he said. "It's nice to have them all in one package."
The MGM Singles Collection is a stellar release that is highly recommended by the Live Almanac. Bolstered by the photography of Henry Diltz and superb liner notes (by Mark Kleiner Biggar) and mastering, the set is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK and is also downloadable on iTunes. You can take a look inside the compact disc package below, thanks to Ben Belmares, and read more about Micky's career at MGM in the archives of the Live Almanac.
Liner Notes by Mark Kleiner Biggar
Updated Liner Notes for Compact Disc Release by 7a co-owner Glenn Gretlund
The Compact Disc
"The Christmas Song," the classic holiday standard performed by Michael Nesmith on The Monkees' new album Christmas Party, debuted in music video form today on RollingStone.com. Produced, directed, and animated by Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway, the clip features newly recorded dialogue by both Nesmith and Micky Dolenz.
Coming after the Live Almanac's exclusive sneak preview yesterday, The Monkees' YouTube channel has unveiled the brand new lyric video for "What Would Santa Do," the latest track in the spotlight from the group's recently released holiday album, Christmas Party. Enjoy!
As revealed yesterday on YouTube during the live chat that accompanied the premiere of its official lyric video, "Unwrap You At Christmas" was treated to a single mix by music engineer and mixer Tom Lord-Alge, who has previously worked with U2, Peter Gabriel, Santana, and many others. You can listen to the single mix below!
Video for "Unwrap You At Christmas" debuts (UPDATED with vinyl release date for "Christmas Party" album and more)
The holiday season continues to deliver for Monkees fans as the brand new lyric video for "Unwrap You At Christmas," the debut single from the group's first-ever holiday album, Christmas Party, has premiered on the official Monkees YouTube channel, and in a brand new single mix to boot! Join the Watch Party in real time now (on the right side of the video).
UPDATE: The chat revealed that the vinyl release for Christmas Party is currently slated for September 2019.
UPDATE #2: Rolling Stone - Watch the Monkees’ New Cartoon Video ‘Unwrap You at Christmas’
UPDATE #3: "Unwrap You At Christmas" (Single Mix) now available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube
(Video credits: Art by Michael Allred / Colors by Laura Allred / Directed by John Hughes)
"Unwrap You At Christmas" is now available for download and streaming! Written for The Monkees by XTC's Andy Partridge, the song features a lead vocal from Micky Dolenz and is the first official preview of the group's holiday album, Christmas Party, set for release this Friday.
"Unwrap You At Christmas" can be downloaded on Amazon and iTunes and is also streaming on Spotify. Listen to it on YouTube below!
Thanks a lot to David Marcone for passing along this YouTube find to the Live Almanac!
Click the image below to watch the fantastic music video for "You Bring the Summer," produced by Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway:
In early 1986, Arista Records, who owned the Monkees catalog at the time, started planning a greatest hits package that would mark the group’s 20th Anniversary. When Micky, Davy, and Peter hit the road in late May and surprised everyone by becoming that summer’s hottest concert ticket, Arista pared down their original 2-LP package to a single album that ended up including a couple of brand new Monkees recordings.
However, the three new songs that ultimately appeared on Then and Now...The Best of The Monkees ("That Was Then, This Is Now," "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," and "Kicks"), included participation from just Micky and Peter. (Michael Nesmith, as we all know, remained on the sidelines for most of the group's 20th Anniversary activities.) A little backstory: Davy was signed to Bell Records in the early 1970s, and the label eventually morphed into Arista Records, led by music mogul Clive Davis. For years, Davy vocalized his disdain for the Bell experience, claiming his talents were misused and that he was never given the opportunity to grow as an artist while under their auspices.
Once the offer came around from Arista in 1986 regarding new recordings for the reunited Monkees, Davy balked, saying it was a bad deal while also expressing frustration that The Monkees would just be singing over pre-recorded backing tracks. Things became complicated when “That Was Then, This Is Now" took off at radio and on MTV. Davy would leave the stage when the song was performed live, and the music video, filmed in concert, led to questions of “Where’s Davy?”
Despite the tension behind the genesis of the Arista Monkees recordings, the Then & Now album went platinum during the group's blockbuster 1986 reunion tour. “That Was Then, This Is Now” became the band's new single that summer and a music video for it was filmed at Great Arena in Jackson, New Jersey on July 25. The video received heavy airplay on MTV, making the song a Billboard Top 20 hit in the summer of 1986.
An alternate version of the video appears below:
The latest single release from the illustrious 7a Records features two long lost tracks by Davy Jones. "Rainbows" was written and produced by Chip Douglas (who was also at the helm for The Monkees' Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. LPs along with singles like "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "Goin' Down") and recorded by Davy in 1981. The song has long circulated in tape trading circles of Monkees/Davy fans, but this single marks its first official release.
"You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song" was written by Davy and Tommy Boyce (who co-wrote some of The Monkees' biggest hits with Bobby Hart) and appeared as the B-side to "(Hey Ra Ra Ra) Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse," the official theme song for the 50th birthday celebration of Mickey Mouse. That single was released by Warner Brothers in 1978 in England only, and neither side has ever been officially issued on compact disc or been made available digitally.
The limited edition 7" red vinyl single featuring "Rainbows" b/w "You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy" was released by 7a Records last month, and 7a co-founder Glenn Gretlund has confirmed with the Live Almanac that it's now officially sold out. "Only 500 were pressed and we don't have any left," Glenn told me earlier today. "Some retailers might have a very limited amount of stock left, but once it's gone, that's it."
The Live Almanac has received multiple emails inquiring whether or not the single would be made available on digital or streaming platforms, and fans will be happy to know that "Rainbows" is now ready for download on iTunes and to stream on Spotify and Apple Music! "Only the 'A' side is available," Glenn told the Live Almanac. "We don't have digital rights to 'You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song,' but we hope to be able to add the track to a future CD release."
In an August 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Micky Dolenz spoke about The Monkees' first single and #1 hit, "Last Train to Clarksville":
"It's about a guy going off to war. Frankly, it's an anti-war song. It's about a guy going to Clarksville, Tennessee, which is an army base if I'm not mistaken. He's obviously been drafted and he says to his girlfriend, 'I don't know if I'm ever coming home.' Considering that it was a Monkees song and the first one, I was always surprised that the record company even released it unless it just went right over their head.
"I don't recall recording it because there was just so much going on at that time. I was recording two or three songs a night after filming the TV show all day. [Co-writer] Bobby Hart tells me I went in to sing one night. He says that I'd learned the song and routined it. We'd done the keys and all that stuff. There was a bridge part of that song. You know the bit where I go 'di da di di da di da?' Well, there were words to that. I said, 'Bobby, I just can't sing that.' I just couldn't learn it in time. He said okay. 'Well, we need to get it done so just go, 'di da di di da di da.'
"I have a very fond memory of hearing it on the radio for the first time on KHJ, a big station out here at the time. Davy [Jones] and I were renting a house up in the Hollywood Hills. We were pulling up to this big, beautiful rented house in Beverly Hills when they went, 'Here they are, the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville.' We pulled over and just had the biggest grins on our faces."
The latest release from 7a Records features two long lost tracks by Davy Jones. "Rainbows" was written and produced by Chip Douglas (who was also at the helm for The Monkees' Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. LPs along with singles like "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "Goin' Down") and recorded by Davy in 1981. The song has long circulated in tape trading circles of Monkees/Davy fans, but this single marks its first official release.
"You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song" was written by Davy and Tommy Boyce (who co-wrote some of The Monkees' biggest hits with Bobby Hart) and appeared as the B-side to "(Hey Ra Ra Ra) Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse," the official theme song for the 50th birthday celebration of Mickey Mouse. That single was released by Warner Brothers in 1978 in England only, and neither side has ever been officially issued on compact disc or been made available digitally. 7a previously provided fans with a sneak preview of the A-side.
This release is available as a 7" red vinyl single, and only 500 copies have been pressed. Of note, after speaking with 7a co-founder Glenn Gretlund earlier this week, only 50 copies remain in their stock. Deep Discount had the best pricing option, but they are currently sold out! (Check back later, however, for ordering options.) There are still limited quantities available from Amazon. And for UK customers, Amazon UK has the single listed but it's currently out of stock. Clearly this item is in demand, so be sure to get your copy soon!
The ever dependable Ben Belmares has supplied the Live Almanac with scans of his copy of the single below. As always, Ben, thank you! And another thanks must go to both Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund at 7a Records for working so hard to preserve the legacy of the works of the individual Monkees. Don't forget to follow 7a Records on Facebook and Twitter. And you can read more about 7a's past releases in the archives of the Live Almanac.
Intact in its original picture sleeve, the Rio 45 (PAC45-104) is straight from 1979. Nez has signed the sleeve's cover in gold ink to match the gold Pacific Arts seal on the accompanying numbered certificate of authenticity.
The first 10 orders will also receive a Rio sticker from 1979!
Only 175 are available. Sorry, no personalizations. Orders will begin to ship in late May.
An Evening With The Monkees 2020