Earlier this month, Micky Dolenz released his latest studio effort, Remember. Not being one that is usually fond of a covers album, this one not only works for me but is a highly enjoyable listening experience! The premise of Remember is that Micky is covering songs that have played an important role in his life and career. For instance, Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was his audition piece for The Monkees and he attended the sessions for "Good Morning Good Morning" with The Beatles. Other songs were apparently offered to him or The Monkees ("Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Diary") but were ultimately rejected for one reason or another.
Even the (country-esque) reworks of Monkees classics "Sometime in the Morning," "I'm a Believer," and "Randy Scouse Git" are truly inspired, particularly "Randy Scouse Git." Though a bit showy in places, the new arrangement has really grown on me. A take on a Monkees song that was never officially released in the 1960s (though it was performed by Peter Tork on the 1969 Monkees TV special), "Do Not Ask For Love," is given an impressive vocals only rendition. The song has almost 30 vocal tracks on it, and as with the rest of songs on the album, Micky is the only vocalist. (He recorded all harmonies and backing vocals, and Micky is in fine voice on this album.)
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the album is the title track, "Remember," written by Micky's close friend, Harry Nilsson. It's currently the #1 downloaded track of Micky's on iTunes, by the way.
I have to say that I wasn't overly familiar with songs like "Diary" (originally performed by Bread) and "Old Fashioned Love Song" (Three Dog Night). I've heard them on the radio over the years, but they weren't songs I ever went back to for a second listen. In fact, I had never previously heard Nilsson's original take of "Remember," either. In other words, a lot of songs here are really fresh sounding and in some ways almost new to me.
There are two new original tracks: the producer, David Harris, asked Micky to sing his "Many Years" and Micky adds a new self-penned song of his own, "Quiet Desperation." Both are worthy additions to the album, with the latter taking on a country feel.
As for the musicians on the tracks, the recently deceased Bob Birch played bass. Phil Keaggy plays guitar on most of the album and Vinnie Colaiuta is the main drummer. Micky plays acoustic guitar on "Good Morning Good Morning," "Quiet Desperation," and "Johnny B. Goode."
The CD is a digipak that includes a nice 20-page booklet where Micky discusses the reasons behind the selection of each song. It also includes a session list for each track and pictures of Micky before, during, and after The Monkees.
Remember arrives after 2010's King For A Day, but what I really have always wanted from Micky is a rock album. Perhaps that is his next project, but Remember is a great way to pass the time until it arrives. It's available for sale on Amazon and other online outlets, and is downloadable on iTunes.
Feel free to check out this link which covers all Micky Dolenz items in this blog, including reviews of Remember, interviews, and coverage of the concert in New York City (which was recorded) to promote the album.